What is a Doula?

Traditionally speaking, a Doula is a companion that supports a woman, both physically & emotionally, in the birth and post-natal period. And although that description sounds super ambiguous (totally know it does!), I will make easy by saying this.

There is no ONE answer for this. Every GREAT Doula I have known, has a unique skills set, offering, personality and energy. So even though the gist of what a Doula is can be summed up in true Wikipedia format up above – what a Doula truly is, what she truly does and what she truly offers varies so much from person to person, mama to mama.

Personally, I see a Doula as the ultimate gentle guide, friend, confidant, supporter & cheerleader. Like the birth version of Jiminy Cricket, Mary Poppins and a Fairy Godmother. I see myself as a chameleon, adapting to surrounding, sounds, people and energy in order to best serve the mothers I work with, tuning into their individual needs at that specific time.

Every laboring woman & mother needs something entirely different. And for this reason alone, I challenge you to explore how YOU perceive the definition of what a Doula does.

What does a birth photographer do?

A Birth Photographer is a professional documentary photographer who specializes in photographing births. They are particularly skilled at shooting in extreme low light conditions, crowded rooms, under stress, with unexpected or quick movements, for undetermined amounts of time etc.

When hired to photograph a birth, I typically shoot the labour, pushing stage, birth and immediate after-birth period for my clients. It is important to capture as many facets of the journey, in order to piece together an authentic & unique representation of your amazing birth story!

I think many people assume birth photography is graphic and gruesome, which makes it difficult to understand why anyone would have their birth photographed.

The truth is that it is about SO much more than that.

First breaths, first kisses, first feedings, first cuddles, first moments as a family, wrinkly toes and sweet almond eyes peering out into a new world.

Birth Photography is a bird’s eye view into the place between life & death. A place where emotions are charged and magic is rife.

Who wouldn’t want to freeze those moments in time, forever?

How old are you?

Just hit my thirties and am so excited!

How many children do you have?

I have two beautiful children. Ruby Jay, 3, and Odin Lukas Hawke, 1. And a bunch of fur babies!

Where are you located?

Based in Melbourne, I cater to residents of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, in the lovely state of Victoria. Frankston Hospital and The Bays Hospital Mornington are the public and private hospital nearest to me.

How do you manage to Doula & birth photography at the same time?

With skill, balance, finesse and commitment to doing the best that I can do, with every single mother I work with. More often than not, I can get a very clear idea of which part of my services my clients are prioritizing. I ask questions, we discuss that is more important to them. From here, it is a juggling act where my mind stays sharp. I support the laboring woman and her partner, without fail, and when a brief moment comes up for me to step away and take a great photo – I do. It is something I love to do – multitasking with passion & intent!

Do you take on out-of-town clients?

Absolutely! I can travel locally, nationally and internationally so long as travel requirements (transportation, accomodation, stipend, etc.) are met by my client.

What are your formal qualifications?

I studied with Australian Doulas & Childbirth International. Am currently re-certifying with Doula Trainings International. I am a proud member of The International Association of Birth Photographers and Australian Birth Photographers. Professional development is something I take very seriously as I am forever striving to be the best version of myself, possible.

Do you speak any other languages?

I sure do! I speak English, French, Italian and am currently learning Spanish. (Although I feel more fluent in Spanish than Italian at the moment!)

How many births have you attended?

I am a big believer in it isn’t about the amount of births one attends – it’s about the kind of Doula you are. The second bit would be a far more appropriate question to ask. Cuz I can guarantee you that more births does not equate a better Doula!

What time do you usually make your way over in labour?

Depending on the service, I typically make my way over in labour when mama is in active, established labour. I do this for a number of reasons, most of them being critical to using time & energy efficiently, while making sure the labouring woman’s body is in an environment where her body can function optimally leading up the birth of her child.

That being said, this varies enormously on person to person, the service and their circumstances. There is no set time constraints or limit.

What other services do you offer?

I offer a number of services and you can find the bulk of them at Work With Me!

Where can I find your prices?

Prices vary on service or product, and location. Please email with additional questions!

Are your services only available for home births?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! I support (and love!) ANY kind of birth, in any kind of environment.

What kind of camera do you use?

I primarily use a Nikon D750 with a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4.

How long does it take to receive my images?

I have really quick turnaround time for images. You can expect your full gallery, delivered online, within 72 hours.

What's included in your packages?

I am so proud of my package inclusions and the passion I inject into all of my services. I well and truly have a no BS approach to my pricing – fantastic value, extra gifts (because you deserve it!), complete coverage, no hidden surcharges, total reliability and a very high standard of genuine love, support and professionalism. You can expect the best of me regardless of what you are engaging me professionally to do. Besides the above, the following is a run down of exactly what each package’s inclusions are…

Birth Photography
Placenta Encapsulation

What happens if you miss the birth?

Birth is wild and unpredictable – which means that regardless of how committed I am to getting to your birth on time, a variety of circumstances could interrupt this.

– Precipitous (very fast labours)
– Sudden emergency
– Sudden illness
– Traffic or road accident
– Personal emergency
– Not providing sufficient notice to me (as per our agreement)
– Your midwife or Doctor’s suggestions

In the event birth is missed, my professional obligation stands and I make my way to you regardless. There is still much left to be documented and still plenty of support I can offer you there after.

In some instances, as a courtesy gesture, I may offer a complimentary rain check photo session or photo product.

To avoid missed birth to the best of our ability, it is so important to follow instructions and maintain quick & open communication from first uterine twinge 😉

What happens in the event of a Cesarean?

In the event of a cesarean, (emergency or planned), services I am engaged to do still proceed. Doula support & birth photography is not only reserved for those who birth vaginally and it is VERY important to remember that. As for Doula support, I would continue to be there for you before, during (if permitted), in recovery and the after-birth period to both you and your partner. As for photography, I shoot labour or pre-surgery, recovery and after-birth. Because of the 1 person rule in surgery, I usually send my camera (with pre-loaded settings) into theatre with a nurse or midwife to capture the physical birth. I edit these images as usual and deliver them to you.

What is the difference between a Doula and a Midwife?
Do you offer training?
How many births do you book per month?

I typically book a maximum of 3 births (birth photography and/or Doula services) a month. I do this to avoid burn out, overlapping births and more importantly – give you & your family the undivided attention from me that you deserve.

What happens if two people go into labour at the same time?

In the event of overlapping births, I employ the services of a back up colleague to cover me temporarily or completely during birth. Although I do my absolute best to be there, mother nature has a wicked sense of humor! I have yet to use my back up but never say never!

Do you have a back-up photographer and Doula?

I sure do, and any responsible professional in these industries should, too. Because of the unpredictable (sometimes untimely) nature of birth, it would be naive of me to believe babies don’t come when you least expect them to. I have my own family and I am my own person. This means accidents, illness, traffic, overlapping births – just about anything you can think of could derail me from attending the your baby’s birth. And that is totally normal! And although I make EVERY effort to fulfill my obligations to you, I also make sure that if push comes to shove, I have a great back-up available for you. I use a number of amazing local women I turn to, to deliver the same high standard. My back-ups are like minded individuals; passionate, kind, reliable. Although I have yet to use them yet, the day will no doubt come around. And if so, I have got you covered!

What payment types do you accept?

I accept cash payment, Bank Transfer (both Australian & International); as well as all major credit cards & PayPal.

Do you offer payment plans?

Oh goodness gracious – if you haven’t guessed it, that is one resounding YES! Payment plans make my services and courses a reality for many people who couldn’t afford to do so otherwise. I am in the process of adding an integrated platform to allow a take-home lay-by option for photo product, as well as an option for instant payment plans at checkout. Till then, please inquire and mention your interest in a payment plan.

Do you have gift certificates?

Yes, absolutely! You can purchase them in any denomination to use towards ANY of my services. I can also provide registries for baby-showers or other group initiated gift giving. Just send me an email to make it happen.