Kate Woods - Founder and Facilitator
I’ve been deeply connected with the process of pregnancy and birth since 1994, when I gave birth to my first child. The experience was so utterly life changing, that I found myself arriving into motherhood at the same time as being initiated into what was going to be my life’s vocational path.
During the birth, I saw and felt myself holding hands with every woman who was bearing down, across the globe, in one great circle. This vision energised me to ride the powerful sensations, and also put a new fire in my belly-which was to support, empower and be a witness for others during this immense unfolding. I knew right then that holding those hands many times over, in real-time, was on my path.
I supported many births in our local Glastonbury community, but it wasn’t until 1998 that I trained as a Doula, with Michel Odent. It turned out that I had an unwitting apprenticeship into the role, as I didn’t start to do it ‘for a living’ for the first 10 years. Some time after that, I went on to train with Janet Balaskas at the Active Birth Centre, in Shiatsu for labour with Suzanne Yates and many more. I trained as a Holistic Childbirth Educator with Amanda Rayment, years later and more recently completed training as a Mental Health First Aider.
Having felt called to serve those in less fortunate circumstances and offer accessible voluntary Doula support, I went on to create Doulas Without Borders in 2019, a national voluntary doula organisation.
Having recognised the cycles of trauma between healthcare practitioners and birthing people, I created a Trauma Informed Education hub to offer training and support for all those working with birthing people, with the first workshop accredited with the RCM.
Nowadays you’ll find me somewhere between Glastonbury, Bristol and Spain, amongst other places, as my nomadic soul loves to be in changing landscapes, sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, and sometimes retreating to delicious alone time, but usually outdoors!
Contact Kate: email@example.com
Samsara Tanner, Course Facilitator
Since I was a small child I have been drawn to the mystery of birth. My first birth was a powerful entrance into womanhood. I was not only amazed at my bodies ability to grow a baby, but also with the realisation that my body also knew how to birth him, nourish and comfort him with a sense of deep remembered knowledge. But a sense of aloneness was also present during my labour. My partner was everything and more, but he was having his "own" birth experience.
At one point during the labour I felt desperately alone, physically as well as emotionally. All I wanted was my mother, my sister, a friend, anyone who knew me. A woman who I could trustingly sink into, take strength from their belief in birth, who would whisper me words of love and encouragement and hold me as I travelled this journey. I promised to myself in that moment that I would never be along again in birth without a supporting sister with me, or that I would never leave a woman to labour alone if she asked me to accompany her. I had unknowingly become a Doula.
Two years later in the softness of the early morning light, I welcomed my precious daughter into my arms, gently surrounded by my partner and held by the strong female presence of my chosen Birthing companion. I felt that I somehow had returned home.
Now 29 years later I can be mostly found enjoying my wonderful and inspiring children, sitting in the magical woods where I live or by the side of a birthing woman as she journeys to becoming a new Mother.
I am a childbirth educator, facilitator of the Mumababy Tribe circle for pregnant and new Muma, a Birth and Postnatal Doula, a Doula UK mentor and I make placenta remedies.
Contact Samsara at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daisy Dinwoodie, Course Facilitator
I strongly believe in every woman's ability to know what is right for her and her baby and that, with support of her partner and/or a doula and access to information, she can birth her baby with grace, strength and passion. I have supported many women planning to birth after caesarean (VBAC) and those considered high risk. I am happy to meet you to discuss your needs, and see whether you feel you might benefit from my support. I do not have a preference as to how you birth your baby, but know that you do, and that you will want unconditional support with that.
I began my journey as a doula in 1997 when I attended the birth of my friend's son at home. I saw then how safe, comfortable and supported she felt, and I witnessed her becoming a strong and very capable mother before my eyes as she laboured. I had my own three children later, between 2005 and 2011. Each of their births was very different and I learned a lot about negotiating with maternity services to meet our needs! From 2006-2008, I studied with the Scottish Birth Educators' Course, learning how to facilitate groups, understand the many options possible for birth, support every choice without judgement and respect women's knowledge and intuition. In 2008, I completed my doula training with Mindful Doulas and became a member of the Scottish Doula Network, where the ethos and community of doulas support, sustain and uphold one another with love and respect. Since then I have been fortunate enough to support many families on their birth journeys. I have thoroughly enjoyed finding Conscious Birthing and Kate, and am thrilled to join this wonderful community.
In addition to being a mother and a doula, I also teach pregnancy yoga, Active Birth workshops and the Birth Educators' Course at the Pregnancy and Parents Centre in Edinburgh, am an accredited Talking Mats facilitator, run a homebirth support group and lead singing groups for women. With Fiona Reilly (postnatal guide) I also hold Birth Stories workshops, for women to process and integrate their stories.