Julie Raphael

Photo of doula Julie Raphael

Mentored Birth & Postnatal Doula

Contact Email: julie.doula@virginmedia.com
Phone: 07856 219459
Website: http://www.focusedonyoudoulaservices.co.uk/

Hi,

My name is Julie and I’m a Doula UK mentored birth and postnatal doula living in Claygate, Surrey. I have two wonderful daughters who are now making their own way in the world which leaves me with time to follow my other passions. Exciting times if only I knew what my passions were!

I’d always just assumed that my journey to becoming a new mum would be natural, instinctive, something I could just do until I had my own children and a massive wake-up call.

Pregnancy wasn’t all positive and glowing; the births resulted in beautiful healthy babies but my feelings weren’t what I’d imagined; postnatally my mind and body weren’t anyone I recognised. My babies were very much wanted and very much loved – but that didn’t make any of it any easier.

I’d never heard about doulas until they cropped up in several books I was reading.  It sounded amazing and I wanted to know more. After much deliberating and procrastinating I finally took the plunge and in June 2018. I’ve found my passion!

I love what I do. To call it a job doesn’t really do it justice. It uses each part of me – my brain, my heart, my physical presence – to help build relationships with and between people. I’m there to add to the birth environment and experience for the woman and the support I provide, while focused on the her needs, encompasses her partner, other children and family members and even pets on occasion!

I guess there are a couple of underlying beliefs I follow, even if they are a bit cliched:

“Your birth – your way”
I believe birth is a natural process but I also know that sometimes nature benefits from a helping hand. From a Homebirth to Caesarean or anything in between – my role is to support you.

“The Right Birth on the Day”
Just as in all aspects of life, labour and birth can be unpredictable but different doesn’t have to mean bad. By feeling supported and informed you can still have a positive experience.

“It’s your party – I’m just an honoured guest”
I don’t make the decisions and won’t judge you for yours. That extends through pregnancy, birth and into my postnatal services. I am thrilled to be a part of your journey but I don’t know that brought you to our meeting or where it will take you. Only you know your family best.

On a practical side, I’m continually updating my knowledge and extending the network of people who have specialist knowledge to support my clients if needed. I’m a lay member of Kingston Maternity Voices Partnership and I volunteer with organisations to provide doula support to women who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it.

I’m happy to have a chat or answer any questions by email so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Julie x

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