Testimonials

Kirsty- (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course & Birth Doula Support)

As a solo first time mum, the support that Natalie provided me during both my pregnancy and labour was invaluable. She was so reassuring and supportive, providing a sounding board to help me make decisions about my birth choices and this included attending consultant appointments with me. 

I also completed the full hypnobirthing and birth preparation course with Natalie, over four weeks, which I found incredibly helpful and relaxing, and it gave me some brilliant meditation and breathing techniques to use in labour. She also came to do some great sessions with me to help try and turn my baby when she was breech, as well as showing me some exercises I could do on my own too. 

Natalie was on hand throughout my induction and labour to help while away the hours of waiting and keeping me calm and focused during labour. She made sure that my wishes were respected and that my birth experience was in line with what we had discussed, even though things didn't go quite to plan as I might have hoped. 

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Natalie to anyone looking for a doula, booking her support has been one of the best decisions I have made! 

Sarah (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course)

I can honestly say I would recommend Natalie to anyone to help prepare for their birthing journey. After having been through two labours already, I assumed I was a pro by now and that I couldn’t learn much more, but how wrong was I?! Natalie’s sessions were so informative to both myself and also my partner, they were delivered in a simple way and really helped us to understand the different concepts of hypnobirthing and reasoning behind the path that labour takes. This knowledge was the foundation of preparing us for the perfect birth of our son.

From the experience of my two previous births I had some anxieties in my pregnancy knowing what was to come. Natalie’s kind and caring manner made us feel relaxed during the sessions and she listened through our personal apprehensions, which were then discussed. The breathing and relaxation techniques we learnt in the sessions were amazing and when the time came for the arrival of our baby, he was welcomed into the world with no medical intervention just two relaxed parents remembering the guidance of what Natalie had taught us.

The understanding of labour we both got from the course really helped us to understand what was happening at certain points during the birth, which meant we were relaxed at points where we may have been otherwise concerned. We also developed a clear understanding of the direction we wanted to go with the birth, which we may not have thought about in so much detail. I genuinely believe that if we had not had the sessions I would not have had such a smooth and positive birth. Thank you so much Natalie!

Mike- Sarah's partner (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course)

We would like to thank Natalie for helping us plan for the birth of our son. It was my partner who signed us up for the sessions, so I was a bit apprehensive at first as I didn’t think that as a dad I would get anything from the sessions, but was happy to go along with it anyway to support my partner.

 

The sessions were great, really informative and not only reminded us what would happen during labour but also explained why things were happening at certain points during the birth. It really made us think about what was to come, as a couple, rather than just my partner having her individual thoughts. That made me feel a part of the birth and it got us talking about our expectations, concerns and ideas. I think the course really brought us together and helped when it came to the day, as we were much more prepared, which helped us to have a smooth and positive birth.

I would thoroughly recommend any prospective dads to try hypnobirthing, it was so beneficial to really understand the process and from a father’s point of view I could really help and support my partner during the birth rather than being just one of those guys sitting on the side and hoping for the best.

Chloe (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course)

Before my course with Natalie I was absolutely terrified about giving birth and I was set on having an epidural for pain relief as soon as possible. After just one session discussing Hypnobirthing I felt so much calmer and much more prepared for what's to come!

After completing the sessions I felt ready and EXCITED for labour, which is something I never thought I would feel. My partner and I learned a lot from our sessions and felt really positive- all thanks to Natalie!

I would highly recommend Natalie to anyone thinking about Hypnobirthing or feeling nervous about labour and early parenthood, she is very knowledgeable and she made us feel so confident and empowered.

Richa (Birth Doula Support)

Everyone has a story and mine isn’t the most perfect one but I can strongly say that I had the most perfect person beside me during one of my most difficult times. My name is Richa and I am 34 years old, I was going to be a second time mother to my precious daughter Zara. After the first emergency caesarean delivery of my son I decided to have a VBAC delivery with my daughter and I was very determined about that. We decided to have a doula who would assist me during the VBAC delivery and we decided to go for Natalie as soon as we read her profile and we were even more sure when we met her.

Natalie was so reassuring and respected my wishes and assured me of her full support with my choices and decisions. During my early labour, while I waited at home, Natalie was in regular contact with me- be it day or night, she gave helpful suggestions to make the labour easier and more bearable. She not only reminded me to embrace the contractions, as they are going to bring me closer to seeing my child, but also advised on how I could manage the pain with meditation, birthing ball, positions, massage, bath etc.

During my hospital stay Natalie came to be with me as soon as I informed her I had been admitted and she did not leave my side, she gave me the moral strength that I needed to continue with my decision and I was able to manage the pain without medication. It was like having the most faithful companion by my side, we shared our life experiences and our future plans and all this made the most painful time go by so quick. All I remember now is our conversations and not the pain to be honest.

Natalie made sure I understood what the midwifes and doctors were explaining at all times and was very respectful of them. When the final time came and I had to make the unfortunate decision to have another caesarean delivery Natalie supported me and helped me realise that what I was choosing was best for the baby. She was there at all times, like an angel by my side, who was constantly whispering that everything would be fine and that I had tried my best and given my all. I was so lucky that she was the first one to hold our daughter and ensure that I had skin to skin with her immediately. Natalie also came and visited me postnatally, at home, to ensure that my mental well-being was good and to see that Zara was thriving well.

All I can say is that, for me, Natalie was a God send and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing partner.

 

Naomi & Bo (Postnatal Doula Support)

When I discovered that I was pregnant with my third child during a global pandemic, my first concern was how I would manage my mental health being home with a newborn and not being able to have visitors. With my first 2 children that first 6 to 12 weeks was a particularly vulnerable time: sleepless nights, new family dynamics, sore nipples, painful recovery. The way I kept sane was to organise to see a different person each day whether that was meeting another mum at the park or having coffee in my pyjamas while somebody cuddled my baby on the sofa. I knew that with my normal support system taken away I would need to find a different kind of support.

Early on in my pregnancy I contacted Natalie and discussed the idea of having weekly postnatal support. This was predominantly for company and a safe non-judgemental and dedicated space to talk through concerns, emotions, experiences etc. But also for practical support such as helping to fold laundry, make beds and cuddle my baby so that I could also get things done and play with my other children.

Natalie is a fabulous doula. She supported me through my pregnancy by staying in contact and asking me about my plans. She gave me the confidence to advocate for a gentle c-section and to request a change of midwife when I felt unsupported and dismissed by the one I was seeing.

Natalie's help in those first 3 months was invaluable, she was respectful of my home and my family. My older children adored her and loved playing games with her and doing fun activities like making fruit kebabs. She provided excellent practical support in the house from providing meals, making beds and even helping me wrap presents for my mum (she did a far better job of that than I would have done).

Most valuable of all was having somebody there fully intent on supporting me. It is so easy for new mums to feel like they fade into the background a bit as their focus is on their new child (and any other children) while everyone who visits is also fixated on the new baby. To have that space to ask for what I needed, to share my concerns, to moan about the hard bits, and to celebrate the wins made all the difference.

I highly recommend Natalie and I am sure that any family choosing to work with her will have an equally supportive and positive childbirth and postnatal journey.

Vicky & Mike- (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course)

Let’s begin at the end…Oliver was born at home, in a warm birthing pool and his first hours were spent in the place where he will grow up, in the arms of his mummy and daddy.

At the beginning of our pregnancy we would never have envisaged that we would have the amazing home birth that we did. We are first time parents and our approach was thar babies were born in hospital.

Then we were fortunate enough to complete a hypnobirthing course with Natalie and this changed everything we thought we knew. We were very open to the idea of hypnobirthing, having embraced fertility acupuncture and ways to reduce stress while we were trying to get pregnant.

Originally we were anticipating a group course but were fortunate enough to end up ‘one to one’, via Zoom, with Natalie Stoker, which we would highly recommend.   We both enjoyed the course immensely and learned a huge amount about the whole pregnancy and birth journey, in particular, all the choices and options that we as parents had open to us that we honestly knew nothing about.

This included the importance of creating the right birthing environment which was continuously emphasised and a great deal of the time was spent learning about how to achieve this.

We were able to do the ‘homework’ together as well as listen to the mp3 recordings about lowering anxiety and having positive mindsets. Doing all of this brought us closer together and my husband found it made him feel as if he had a real role in the birth and he learnt that he was more than just a hand holder.

Working with Natalie was just brilliant. She is extremely knowledgable and honest with her advice and training. As the training went on we found that we had new friend in our lives and were sorry to reach the end of the course, such was our enjoyment of it but also the important part it played in giving us confidence boosts after each session. Natalie even visited us after the birth to meet us and baby Oliver, which was wonderful after having only ever seen each other on line.

When we started our NCT course we really realised how much we had already learned from Natalie and we were both grateful we had done more training than just the NCT course.

Fast forward a few months along in the pregnancy and thanks to the course, we had written a birth plan and had a clear idea of the birthing environment we wanted - comfortable surroundings, low light, as little stress as possible and a water birth.

At our 36 week midwife appointment the midwife surprised us by suggesting we consider a home birth. We were a low risk pregnancy and she thought we were a good couple to go for it. At 36 weeks this was quite a late decision to make but when we talked about it, we realised that what we were hoping to be able to have at the midwife led unit and/or hospital was already in our home. This also echoed everything that we had learned from the hypnobirthing course about managing stress by creating the right birthing environment. A home also meant that we had a greater chance of a water birth as hospitals only have so many pools - ticking off that source of anxiety. Thanks to the hypnobirthing course, we had the confidence to make the decision to go for the home birth and made contact with the home birth midwife team for our area.

And so to the big day itself…on the day of the birth the waters broke at midnight and then we had a few hours while the contractions slowly started. I was able to use the hypnobirthing training straight away, listening to the recordings in bed to help me relax before things started to move along.
By early morning I was in the birthing pool with my husband holding my hand while we went through some of our positive affirmations. We closed the blinds to make the room darker (no lights as it was daylight) and we had cushions, a birthing ball and a sofa covered in sheets so I could change position and get out of the pool if I wanted to - all to keep relaxed. As things progressed I was able to use the breathing techniques we had been taught on the course and my husband was coaching me through the breaths. The final stages of labour were actually quite fast and with the midwife in control and plenty of deep breaths with gas and air our beautiful son was born in the pool and was placed straight into my arms for skin to skin bonding.

Thanks to the course, we knew our birth plan and the midwife had a copy so we were able to do delayed cord clamping and my husband cut the cord when the time was right, he also announced that our baby was a baby boy.

Oliver, his mummy and daddy then spent their first few hours as a family together in their home, cuddling on the sofa. Oliver was able to feed quite quickly and we spent the time just getting to know each other.

The whole home birth was just amazing and it would absolutely not have happened if we had not done the hypnobirthing course. The training gave us such an understanding of what we could do, how we could do it and how important it was that we did things the way we wanted to because of the impact this would have on our birth. The fact that we were able to have things as relaxed and low stress as possible can only have helped make the birth as smooth as it was.

I believe the fact that I was looking forward to the labour and so relaxed about the birth, is what made Oliver come when he was ready at 39+5. I truly trusted my body to give birth to my son when I was ready and trusted my body knew what to do, which it did, all courtesy of our training.

Vicky, Mike & Oliver (Antenatal Breastfeeding Course)

My husband and I did the Hypnobirthing course with Natalie before the birth of our baby boy Oliver in July, which we absolutely loved. After completion of that course, Natalie suggested the mindfulness breastfeeding course to us.

I have always wanted to breastfeed and it’s something I was particularly anxious about, as I found that in general people you speak to tend to give you negative stories in relation to breastfeeding. They talk about mastitis, sore nipples, they would say it’s really painful and people often would advise ‘just switch to formula if you can’t do it’’ but I was really passionate about wanting to breastfeed my baby and I wanted to learn more about it and ultimately be more informed. My husband was also keen to understand more and very supportive of me wanting to breastfeed.

Firstly the course is a great addition to the Hypnobirthing course and follows the same format in terms of power point learning, discussion and mindfulness sessions at the end, which you are given to download and listen to in-between and after the course.

The course explained all about breastfeeding in an easy to understand  way with helpful videos about how a baby should latch and different breastfeeding positions to try. It also covered where you could seek help at the conclusion of the course, if you were having any trouble with  breastfeeding once your baby arrived.

Natalie provided a helpful mindfulness breastfeeding book and lovely gift, which covered everything we had learnt and could be referred to at a later stage. I enjoyed the course immensely as did my husband, learning all about how breastfeeding is a new skill and something that takes practice, which helped us to feel more relaxed and patient in the early weeks.

When our baby Oliver arrived, we managed to breastfeed successfully.
I would say I was very relaxed about it as I was much more knowledgeable having taking the course with Natalie. My husband was also great and supported me to use the techniques we were taught - by taking Oliver to ‘reset’ if he was distracted, not feeding well or distressed. This has really worked well. We also found it really useful to focus on a supportive breastfeeding environment as discussed in the sessions. 

If you want to breastfeed and you want to learn more about how it works and how our bodies are truly amazing, then take this course with Natalie you won’t regret it!

Anya- (Hypnobirth & Birth Preparation Course, Birth & Postnatal Doula Support)

Natalie has been a big part of our lives for the last 6 months. We completed a hypnobirthing course during my third trimester, which was informative, reassuring and extremely useful during the final few weeks of pregnancy and in labour.

Natalie was then our birth doula for the home birth of our son, which was everything we had hoped for. Her practical and emotional support kept us both calm and allowed us to focus on what mattered the most. She dealt with some minor disasters with the birth pool and supported me with such care in the first hours after the birth.

Since then, Natalie has been visiting us weekly for postpartum support, which has been fantastic. Her calm and supportive personality is perfect for the role and she clearly has huge knowledge and experience to back it up. We couldn't recommend her work more.

Theo's Dad (Postnatal Support)

Having a new baby can be very up and down.

One day you think, 'I've got this, we are travelling along nicely'.

The next day something changes unexpectedly and the wheel comes off the wagon!

Then, Natalie would visit and she would help us put the wheel back on the wagon and get us back on track.

Having someone to share the practical and more importantly mental load with has been invaluable since Theo was born.

Harry's Mum- (Postnatal Doula Support)

Natalie came to provide us with postnatal support from 6 weeks old.

Having Natalie's support has meant time and space just for me, at a chaotic time of life where that is a rare commodity!

Having that time and space for a few hours a week (2 x 3 hour sessions) has supported me in being a far calmer and more compassionate mummy in general, during the early months of Harry's life.