I am very happy to write this reference for Nike Bielby. I had not planned on getting a doula and it was my husband's recommendation (probably to support him at the birth!) I am very happy we had Nike. My labour was sudden as I was induced and I managed to do the whole thing without any pain relief: just a Tens Machine - I am convinced that this is because Nike came and helped me relax through the contractions. As a result of her three varied birth experiences (two natural deliveries and a caesarean in between), she knew what to expect and was there on hand to ensure that I had the correct pain relief when I had a ventouse delivery and an episiotomy. What really helped is that when I was worried about the actual delivery, she allayed my fears by telling me that the contractions were the worst part and that I was through the majority of it. Again, when it came to the placenta delivery I was still petrified and not sure what to expect but she was there to hold my hand and reassure me while my husband cuddled the baby. After the birth she sat and watched my little boy (adoringly) and stayed with me while my husband went to get his clothes from the car so that I could relax and close my eyes - I was shattered.
Nike was also great post-natally and came to support me: whether it was giving me tips on how to do things with my little boy; boosting my confidence; generally being there for girly chats; emptying the dishwasher in the mornings or just taking him from me and him out for a walk so that I could go back to bed and sleep. She also had a great knack for choosing cute co-ordinating outfits and socks for the baby amongst his plethora of clothes that made me smile when I saw him. She was always punctual, honest and very hard working. For me, however, the best recommendation of all is that she really loved my little boy making him feel safe and secure in a brand new world and that is all that a mother can really hope for.
Samantha Sharp, mother of Oscar - birth & postnatal support, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, April/May 2011
Nike has been amazing with Lilla and has helped me immeasurably in so many ways. I’m not sure I’d have coped without her! Mainly the support and encouragement, help and suggestions, plus someone to give me a bit of time and space when I was tired and needed five minutes to myself. It’s also meant things have been easier for my fiancé, as I’m less stressed and consequently, so is he! Nike has fulfilled all my expectations of having a doula – above and beyond. She has been like a part of the family over the last five weeks and we are going to miss her so much. I can’t praise her higher – she’s been an absolute pleasure to have helping me at this special, but sometimes overwhelming time. I am so grateful for Nike’s help and support and I know that she will make a fantastic postnatal doula in the future. I have already recommended her to a friend.
Fiona Kent, mother of Lilla – postnatal support, June/July 2011
I first met Nike two weeks before my second son was born. I’d been suffering with a great deal of anxiety about the pending birth and had stumbled upon the idea of working with a birth doula late in my pregnancy. I felt desperately unprepared for what I then considered the ordeal ahead and needed to quickly correct my troubled outlook. Nike immediately understood me - I wanted to have a natural birth to ensure successful exclusive breastfeeding having failed at this with my firstborn. I was however terrified at the idea of dealing with the pain of labour without an epidural. Nike quickly responded with lots of empathy and comforting, identifying that I needed to overcome my fear and have confidence in my body’s ability to cope with the task at hand. Simple messages were delivered clearly and supported by literature and other materials she provided.
A consultant then suggested booking an induction prior to my expected due date due to my advanced maternal age. This sent me off in a different direction of worry as I was sure being induced would lead to intervention during labour, however I was mindful of risk as well. Again, Nike dealt with this swiftly with more tailored suggestions based on her knowledge of NHS policy and how hospitals operate. She shared literature on the subject as well. All of which helped me to come to a decision about whether to go ahead with induction or not.
Nike’s strengths are in her communication skills, knowledge and approachability. She is extremely warm and remained non-judgemental throughout our time together. As well as our one-to-one meetings she followed up with email and text communication building the relationship and maintaining momentum which made me feel cared for. Nike immediately reassured my husband too that we were in good hands and as soon as I needed her on the night of delivery she arrived in a flash - calm and positive.
Nike helped me draft my dream natural birth plan. It consisted of 11 bullet points – all of which we succeeded in ticking off.
I don’t believe I could have achieved spontaneous labour and natural birth without her involvement, I therefore highly recommend Nike Bielby as a birth doula without hesitation.
Tracey Hanna, mother of Charlie, birth support - Kingston Hospital,
Nike arrived at just the right time – the week after my husband returned to work following paternity leave. Having her meant I continued to have the extra support which in turn increased my confidence. It also enabled me to catch up on some much needed rest. Nothing was too much trouble for Nike. The first morning she came I had to rush straight out to the doctors for an emergency appointment and she coped brilliantly looking after George and finding her way around the flat. She used her own initiative and identified what needed doing without having to ask all the time. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Nike.
Lucinda Bayliss, mother of George – postnatal support, October 2011
I hadn't thought about getting a doula until a friend of mine, who'd had a c-section, mentioned what an invaluable support Nike had been for her postnatally.
As soon as I met her I knew I wanted Nike to be a part of our 'team'. She was like a ray of calming sunshine, giving me all sorts of information to prepare me before the birth, being an indispensable help during and immediately after I'd had the baby and an amazing emotional and practical support in the first few weeks of being at home with our little package. Nike is still the first person I think of when I need advice or a shoulder to cry on; I can't recommend her enough.
Summer Pejacsevich, mother of Lily-Amalia, birth & postnatal support - Chelsea & Westminster Hospital - November/December 2011
As a father-to-be - and then the real thing once we got our daughter home - one of the things that impressed me the most about Nike was the fact that she really took my thoughts and feelings into consideration too. I was struck by her sincerity and how genuinely passionate she is about what she does, without ever being too intense or obsessive. I trust her implicitly.
Nicolas Pejacsevich, father of Lily-Amalia, birth & postnatal support - Chelsea & Westminster Hospital - November/December 2011
I was pretty nervous about childbirth, but didn't necessarily want my husband to be by my side throughout, so a doula seemed a great idea. I knew as soon as I met Nike that she would be perfect. Kind, patient, with a great sense of humour, Nike was not only an incredible support throughout the birth - from reading me little snippets from Grazia to making me laugh, to holding my hand and being a complete rock when things got more serious, to providing continuing support and advice as I have taken my first tentative steps into motherhood. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Anna Van Praagh, mother of Johnny, birth support - Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, December 2011
I knew Anna was pretty scared about childbirth and I hate seeing her in pain, so I was relieved when she suggested getting a doula. Nike was perfect - informative, reassuring and not remotely intrusive. Having her made a huge difference in preparing Anna for birth and providing support for her through what turned out to be quite a traumatic experience.
James Muthana, father of Johnny, birth support - Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, December 2011
We are so happy to have had Nike as our doula at the birth of our second son. Nike's presence had such a calming effect on both me and my husband. Giving birth to a baby is an overwhelming experience and we really appreciated the sensitivity and responsiveness that Nike expressed at this very special moment. She has a fantastic ability to listen and to show empathy. She is professional, yet personal - it feels like we have known each other a long time even though we had only met at two prebirth sessions! She also gave us a lot of useful advice and suggestions both before and after the birth of our baby. We would happily recommend Nike to anyone that wants a great doula!
Helena & Christer Reitberger, parents of Vilmer, birth support - University College London Hospital, January 2012
I have 2 boys, one who is 2 years 4 months and a 7 week old baby. Before my youngest son arrived I knew that juggling the demands of a baby and a toddler would be pretty tiring. I started the search to find someone to support us all. I knew it would be important to find someone who my eldest son could trust and who could give me some guidance with the little one.
Nike came into our lives as a postnatal doula and has been absolutely invaluable to me. Even before my baby was born Nike offered me support that I didn’t even realise I needed. I had experienced a long and difficult first labour which ended with a forceps delivery and I was becoming nervous about my second labour. Nike spent time with me talking about how to relax and explaining why I didn’t need to fear giving birth. She lent me some useful DVD’s and literature on natural childbirth which helped with my birth plan and reduced my anxiety. Chatting to Nike who had been through labour herself and who had lots of wise words was so reassuring and towards the end of my pregnancy this helped enormously. Edward was born in a birth pool and it was such a different experience. I really felt speaking to Nike helped me shift my perspective on labour and having Edward was actually a lovely experience.
As our post natal doula Nike has been a massive support to us all. At the beginning when I was sleep deprived and had lots of questions, Nike was such a reassuring presence. She was able to provide suggestions on co-sleeping, feeding and what to expect at different stages as well as how to look after myself. I had some early difficulties with breast feeding and Nike was able to get me in touch with a fantastic lactation specialist who has been a great support ever since.
Nike also frequently spends time with my 2 year old, Tom, so I can bond with my new baby. Tom, who can be quite shy with new people, instantly took to her and they have a really lovely relationship. Nike is very patient and loving with him. She takes him to music groups, the library, on walks and to the playground. When I was running a temperature Nike picked him up so he could spend the day with her family so I could sleep. They went to the zoo and Tom played trains with her boys. He always comes home very happy, chatty and talks about her long after she has left.
Nike is such a warm and lovely person and is so easy to be with, it’s been a little like having a supportive and wise older sister to call on. I have felt so lucky to have found someone all the family are fond of. I think it is a very special thing that Nike does, she has listened and directed me and been so helpful practically, but she also is a positive and caring force and has added so much to these life changing few weeks. I would and do recommend her to other mums, and if we’re lucky enough to have three I would love to have Nike as our doula, friend and support again.
Rose Griffiths, mother of Tom & Edward, postnatal support - February/March 2012
It is with great pleasure and lots of appreciation that I sit down to write a testimonial for Nike. My pregnancy with my first son was quite complicated with risk for pre-term birth. I was on bed rest for much of the pregnancy and had to prepare myself for all the possible scenarios of labour, including caesarean. It was due to this uncertainty that, although I knew I wanted the support of a Doula when the time came, I couldn't start looking for a Doula until I was 30 weeks pregnant and the window when my son would arrive became more defined. I was fortunate that Nike was available around the expected dates and was able to join and support my husband and I in our journey into parenthood. In the pre-labour stage, Nike was very supportive and knowledgeable about the various existing and potential complications of my pregnancy and provided my husband and I with lots of information and resources in helping us prepare both, for vaginal and caesarean birth.
I ended up having an elective caesarean. When this was decided, Nike was very flexible in how she offered to support us in the process. She helped me establish breastfeeding with my baby the next day. She also helped me deal with the aches and frustration I experienced after the section by sharing her own experiences and providing endless encouragement when I needed it.
Looking back, the road to having our first son was really bumpy and when Nike joined our journey there was a lot to catch up on. I believe it was Nike's openness, dedication and flexibility that allowed us to connect so quickly and, in turn, provide the support my husband and I needed.
Rita, mother of Liam, birth support - University College London Hospital, March 2012
© Doula in London (Nike Bielby)