testimonials

I have testimonials dating from 2014 – please see Archived Testimonials page https://devondoula.com/archived-testimonials-2014-2018/

In-person and remote birth doula support:

Hilary is truly passionate about the birth process. Kind, understanding and attentive to our needs, she guided us (Mother and Father) through the meaning of birth, both in a practical and spiritual sense.

Although our birth didn’t go according to plan and Hilary couldn’t be with us, we felt her powerful presence throughout our decision making.

Postpartum she helped us come to terms with the birth and the rollercoaster of the first few weeks. (SH and SC June 2022)

Remote antenatal and postnatal support: Around 33 weeks into my pregnancy we decided to start working remotely with Hilary. We live in Italy, and after navigating my whole pregnancy in another language and health system, I was very eager to have some additional support in English.

A number of complications set in during the latter stages of my pregnancy, throughout which Hilary’s support and care was invaluable. She gave us a lot of detailed but digestible information about the various issues that were arising, sharing articles and links but also videos, podcasts and other sources. She regularly checked in with us, and in our opinion went above and beyond what we could have expected in terms of remote support.

We had a number of video calls with Hilary prior to the birth to discuss different aspects of the process and our options, which helped us to feel as ready as we could be. Once my contractions started, we had a really clear idea of what to do, and what to expect. This helped me to feel very in control of myself through the inevitably unpredictable adventures of labour! The birth itself was an extremely positive experience, and we truly attribute much of this to the calm I felt thanks to the way Hilary helped us to prepare.

After our daughter arrived, Hilary’s post-partum remote support while I was in hospital and afterwards was truly invaluable. Hilary made a huge difference to our birth experience, and we cannot recommend her remote services highly enough! (CP April 2022)

Remote postnatal support: Hilary supported me through the post partum period following the birth of my first child. Due to the distance (I live in Australia) she provided this support remotely.

Hilary gently guided me through the early, hazy days of motherhood, providing advice and expertise on a huge range of issues, always following up our chat by sharing further information she’d found through her research.

She was warm and open, creating a safe space for me to discuss whatever was on my mind and explore complex feelings around my birth experience too. The support I received from Hilary was invaluable in helping me to build my knowledge and confidence as a new mother – I’ll be forever grateful to her. (R January 2022)

In-person birth doula support: Following issues in early pregnancy I was keen to find a doula but didn’t know where to start. Following a google search we found Hilary and from the first conversation we just clicked. In those lonely and anxious early weeks Hilary was there to listen and reassure us when no one else could. As our journey through pregnancy progressed and I was finally ready to believe we’d have a successful outcome, Hilary gave us all the information and space to discuss our birth choices. I was convinced I could only cope with a planned C-Section, but Hilary gave me the confidence to explore all my choices and plan for all eventualities. 
When my waters broke at 34 weeks Hilary was on the end of the phone calming me down on our journey to hospital. She was with me virtually while I was assessed as an inpatient and on the phone when I eventually went into labour naturally a few days later. Knowing she’d be by my side during labour gave my partner and I great comfort and all the fears of early pregnancy melted away. My labour ended up being an incredibly empowering experience, it was a privilege to have Hilary with us to share this precious time. Despite ending my labour in a C-Section, I cherish every moment of my labour because of Hilary. I can’t thank her enough for her unwavering support and compassion thoughout our journey and showing us that birth can be a positive experience.  (LS January 2022)

Virtual postnatal doula support testimonial: Thankfully, I had a straightforward birth and a positive pregnancy experience. In the early weeks we were both rapidly discharged by the midwifery services as we were both doing well. This left me feeling a little abandoned as new mum, especially as I’m new to Devon and don’t have a close community established quite yet. I contacted Hilary to request a simple chat once a week and I am SO glad that I did. Having her support has been more than I ever expected. She helped me feel empowered to be the intuitive mother I hoped to be. She gave me gentle perspectives on parenting from a generous and empathetic viewpoint also. Not only that—it was lovely to spend time talking to Hilary as she’s such a genuinely lovely person! I cannot recommend her support services any more highly and I’ve already sent her details to several other new mums I know. Thank you Hilary for being everything you are! (HV November 2021)

In-person birth doula support: Hilary supported me with both my second and third babies. My second was an hour and a half unmedicated pool birth, my third was an early induction with preeclampsia, ICP, gd and a breech baby ending in emergency section during a pandemic. Both times she was incredible but with R Hilary was there to call on throughout my 3 week stay in hospital to provide knowledge and support when I needed it most. She contacted the hospital to remind them of my mental health birth plan which then allowed for my partner to stay with me when my mental health was declining. And she again provided me with photos to allow me to reflect on and remember my birth. R’s birth was the complete opposite of what I wanted and what I had had with my second baby, it was somewhat traumatic but with the support of Hilary, my partner and my midwife I still think of it fondly. If you’re thinking of getting a doula I would 100% recommend Hilary. (L November 2021)

In-person birth doula support (home birth) testimonial: We can’t thank Hilary enough for the amazing support that she gave us as our doula! As a first time mother who had recently moved to Devon, it was really important for us to find someone who could support us before, during and after my baby’s birth as we didn’t have our usual network of family and friends close to hand.

Hilary surpassed all our expectations. She provided the perfect balance of knowledge and experience and immediately put me and my husband at our ease with her friendly and informative manner. Hilary stepped into the shoes of a mother, friend and protector. She held the space beautifully for me during my labour which allowed me to relax completely and trust the process. We had a fabulous home birth and I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy with Hilary’s fantastic support and encouragement while the midwife was still climbing the stairs!

Thank you, Hilary, for helping us to make the birth of F one of the most empowering and transformative experiences of our lives. 
(S and J August 2021)

Virtual Birth Doula Support testimonial: Thank you so much for being our Doula. Before this year I didn’t really know what a doula was, but now I would 100% recommend you to anyone giving birth soon. Although, as it worked out, we were only able to meet on-line I have no doubt that your contribution and support helped us feel positive and have a wonderful birth experience.

We found you at a time when I was feeling quite lost and apprehensive about the birth (even before the pandemic and it’s impact on Maternity Services came along).

Our conversations made me feel listened to, and that my thoughts and feelings were valid. These chats alongside your signposting (when requested) to evidence-based and relevant information played a part in turning around how I felt and enabled me to feel positive and empowered to birth my beautiful baby daughter.

Thank you very much from all of us. Much love…” (A and A July 2020)

Birth Doula support testimonial: “I’m so happy with my birth story! And I owe a big part of that to Hilary. It was a comforting feeling to know there was always someone on the end of the phone who would be there to give informed support. The last couple of weeks of my pregnancy were quite stressful. Hilary was a calming influence and after talking with her I would feel many of my worries ease up!” (HF March 2020)

Postnatal doula support testimonial: “Hilary was my post birth doula. I had Hilary recommended from a mental health team. At first I didn’t know what to expect, Hilary was my fairy godmother. I had a very bad experience in hospital and was suffering with low mood. This amazing lady brought me back to life. She really knows her stuff. My twin boys and I will be forever grateful. Hilary goes above and beyond and is highly professional throughout. I only wish I had her longer ! Cannot recommend enough! A lovely lady whom I will hold dearly!” (PP November 2019)

Birth doula support testimonial: “I gave birth to my beautiful boy in August in the birthing pool at my house. Having only moved to Devon in June I was quite late in finding a doula but Hilary was so understanding and I immediately knew we would click after our first phone conversation. My boy decided to stay comfy for 43 weeks and Hilary was so supportive as I held out to go into labour naturally and have my home birth. When the time came Hilary held space for me beautifully, allowing my mum to concentrate on looking after my 4 year old and giving me the space to relax and turn inward. The midwives arrived just before I gave birth so for most of active labour it was just Hilary and myself. She kept me hydrated and gave words of support and everything went smoothly. I can’t thank Hilary enough for her support, she was integral to my wonderful birthing experience.” (RT November 2019)

Birth doula support testimonial: “Having Hilary as our doula was like having a second mum, but one who had extensive knowledge of pregnancy and birth!
Having suffered trauma in my first birth and mental health problems following it, it was important to me to have support leading up to, during and after the birth, someone who wasn’t just going to say ‘well they know best’ and Hilary provided just that. She supported me to step away from the emotion of the moment and make informed decisions that were best for me, even when things weren’t going to plan. During the birth she held the birth space (despite having her foot in a cast!) and added to the feeling of it being a casual every day yet magical event. She was always quietly listening ensuring my birth preferences were adhered to. I had the most incredible, intense and quick labour, and when the going got tough she reminded me to breath, when the going got really tough and I shouted ‘get him out’ she told me ‘he is out! His head is out, feel!’ which was an unforgettable moment.
Hilary’s support didn’t stop there; her photos and after the birth visits allowed me to process and remember the birth fully, and our photos I will forever treasure; when breastfeeding was tough she was only a message away, and when I was tired and hungry she gave me the most delicious push cake!
Hilary’s support goes above and beyond because she truly loves women and I’m proud to now call her a friend.” (LC March 2019)