About me

Thames Doula
Lea Ouai

About me
17th September 2019 
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About me. 18

ABOUT ME

Being a doula and working with parents through pregnancy, birth and beyond is a huge privilege which brings me joy and satisfaction.

My mum was a homebirth midwife, one of eleven born at home, so birth was always welcomed as a happy and healthy event.

As a young adult, before my three lovely children arrived in the 80s, I lived overseas in Europe and Africa, as a consequence of which I have a working knowledge of French and Portuguese.


DOULA EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION

In 2005 I attended the Paramana Doula course run by Liliana Lammers and Michel Odent of Primal Health Research, as I had been to see him talk on natural birth and waterbirth before the homebirth of my third child in 1985.

Their gentle hands-off philosophy encourages women to eat well, take time to connect with their babies in the womb and trust the body's normal physiology.

From 2005-16 I volunteered with Birth Companions who work with vulnerable women in detention and in the community. I was employed by Birth Companions on their start-up Community Link Project 2008-10, and also mentored new Birth Companions.
I was privileged to work with women who had experienced great difficulties throughout their lives. The grounded compassion and non-judgemental practice offered by this organisation set a wonderful example which will stay with me forever.

In 2008, I attended the Developing Doulas course, then run by Maddie McMahon and Linda Quinn. This offered a marvellous space for women to support each other, have their wide experience of childbirth listened to and validated and in turn, translate that into compassionate doulaing.

In the same year I completed recognition as a birth and postnatal doula with Doula UK.

In 2010 I attended the Developmental Baby Massage course with former Active Birth teacher, Peter Walker. This is a loving and enjoyable experience for your newborn from birth onwards, promoting all round development besides easing and soothing any minor upset.

Through 2016-17 I have been privileged to study Rebozo Medicine with traditional Mexican midwife Angelina Martinez.

In 2017 I qualified with Placenta UK to consult with parents on how they wish to prepare their placentas for remedies. I make smoothies, encapsulations, tinctures and also have homeopathic remedies made for both mother and baby.


Since 2005 I have had the opportunity to learn from such wonderful international teachers as :

Nils Bergman on kangaroo care, skin to skin, breastfeeding and brain development
Sarah Buckley on undisturbed birth and delayed cord clamping
Elizabeth Davies on ecstatic birth
Ina May Gaskin on privacy and birth hormones
Mavis Kirkham on informed choice
Jack Newman on breastfeeding
Michel Odent on protecting the birth environment
Penny Simkin on when survivors give birth
Elena Tonetti Vladimirova on healing birth
Angelina Martinez on traditional Mexican midwifery skills including massage, cupping, rebozo and postpartum closing ceremony La Cerrada

Further workshops and study days have covered subjects such as homebirth; yoga, homeopathy and belly dance for labour and birth; birth art; hypnotherapy; postnatal doula care and supporting fathers-to-be.

My ongoing doula education feeds into and is reinforced by everyday doulaing and the endless variety of experiences it presents.