Marine Roujon and Julien Leroy - on the birth of their son Martin
Before meeting Tori as my Pilates teacher I didn't know what a Doula was. In my country, Doulas are not very common.
A doula is a non medical support for childbirth and everything around it, and me and my partner thought it would be good to have this kind of support as we have no family here.
This is such an intimate moment as a woman, as a couple and as a new family... you want to choose someone who will support you, advocate for you, give you advice and at the same time who will leave this special moment to you. Tori had the right attitude about this, she knew when to step in and when to step back, all along I felt she was in the right place.
She came at home when we were about to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. She was another pair of arms to load the car, help me going down, arriving at the hospital when we have to check in, she was always by my side during these uncomfortable moments while the dad-to-be was sorting out paperwork.
She helped Julien to install the delivery suite as I wanted it, mats, ball, cushions...etc. I felt I always had somebody by my side. I had decided to try for a natural birth without drugs, Tori was 100% supporting me with my birth plan, we had thoroughly discussed it previously and I knew she would advocate for my choices, whatever they would be, even if I decided to take the epidural in the end, she would support me in any circumstances.
We had to monitor baby's heart from the very beginning of the labour. The medical staff were looking at it but not saying much, and it could have been quite worrying for me if I didn't have Tori: she was asking all the questions to the medical staff as I was concentrating on my contractions.
She would insist on getting clear answers and she would report back to me very serenely. At the start, the labour was not very fast, she advised that I should try to rest as much as I could, not standing, try to cat nap in between contractions... It wouldn't have been natural to do that for me and I think it saved my strength and allowed me to have a complete natural birth even if it was quite long. Tori was able to guide me in the moment because she knew the bigger picture.
When labour started to kick in, she was very present, always by my side. She was talking me through it, but what I liked the most is that she was constantly preparing me for the next phase. She was explaining to me how I will be feeling in half an hour or an hour. Thanks to that I was mentally preparing for the next phase before it started. And she was very spot on. As each new feeling/sensations arrived, I was prepared and supported and new what to do: no panicky moments.
She was also very observant and she could tell if I was starting to get tired and will always try to find the right support. She is the one who saw I was going into transition phase and told the midwives just by looking at me and listening to me. Around this time, new midwives arrived as the morning shift started, it feels like they don't know you and your story. It was so good to have Tori with us as she was there from the beginning till the end. She was the intermediate between the medical staff and me, and so I only had only 1 person to talk to the entire time, it was very comforting.
Few moments before the pushing, she explained to me how I was going to feel, what I should do to be more efficient, etc... I was exhausted but she explained it step by step, like a recipe in a way. I also have to say that during all this process she was very kind and sweet and always sent me positives vibes... and it was such a long night and day for everyone - including her - and I never felt that from her.
Once my baby boy was born she was genuinely touched, because she loves what she does and it shows. She stepped back and let us have our family moments, offered to take few family pictures and stayed with me as long as I wanted her to. I am very glad we had Tori with us for this special time, she was a very knowledgeable support person and also had the most loving attitude to accompany us during this special day. But Tori doesn't stop here, she comes to your home after the birth, to support the new mum in what ever way she wants.... and she brings her amazing home cooked meals! What a treat!
Tori has taken in consideration all our wishes and she made sure during the pre natal meetings that she understood what we wanted. We can spot strait away that she has experience and knowledge... and she loves what she does. English is not our first language and she was a great support for all the medical discussions. She was talking with the medical staff for us and advocating for us. After the birth she was always available for us and treated us with home cooked meals.
Georgia and Nick Van Teil – on the birth of their son Sylvester
Tori was our Doula for the birth of our son Sylvester, which was a long and tiring 36 hours of drug-free, natural labour.
After a couple of initial meetings about what her role would be, we felt comfortable having Tori as part of the birth team. Georgia knew Tori through her Pilates studio, Peaches Pilates and had done a few months of pre natal Pilates leading up to the birth. Georgia found Tori's one on one sessions to be so helpful with her pregnancy and felt a million dollars after every session. ("Amazing massage and my hips loved every minute of her classes!"). Tori also had us do a couple of sessions with her together around massage and recovery which we found extremely helpful for the birth.
It was important to us that the Midwives still had an important role and that Georgia’s mum Maureen was also involved.
Neither of us had any idea how intense and difficult the labour and birth would be, and looking back we’re not sure how we would have gotten through it without Tori’s support.
Tori did not take over or intrude in the delicate relationship between us, she was simply there as an extra set of hands, a shoulder when needed, and another person with the positive reassuring energy needed to get us through. Tori was at our house for almost 30 hours as well as the remaining 6 at hospital.
Tori has been an amazing support for our family following the birth - always checking in, bringing us delicious food which is a godsend during those first few weeks, and showing a genuine interest in our little boy's life and development. Tori is an unbelievable cook and prepared food that was perfect for a newly nursing mum. We have mentioned to Tori that she should moonlight as a chef on the side hehe.
Through the process she has become a great friend and we would highly recommend her services to anyone about to have a baby.
The curry alone was worth the investment!
Laura and Jamie Christie – on the birth of their daughter Olivia
We cannot recommend Tori as your doula highly enough!! We started our journey not even knowing what a doula was, but now I recommend Tori to anyone and everyone having a baby. My husband and I had a great birthing experience and we really believe that this was mostly down to having Tori being a part of it.
Olivia was our first baby, and like most people, we were overwhelmed by all the information that was being thrown at us. But when we met with Tori, it was like a weight had been lifted from us. She was amazing from the get go – with her calming nature we immediately felt relaxed and happy that we had someone we could trust by our side for one of the most important times in our lives.
Her knowledge is extensive and thorough, with her unbiased opinion helping us make informed, confident decisions about our birth. She was nothing but supportive throughout our journey – from the few months before where she met with us several times to help discuss and create our birth plan, to the entire labour which lasted over 12 hours, as well as after the birth where she continued to support us and our new baby. Whether you know what type of birth you want or if you have no idea at all like us, Tori will help you figure that all out.
On the day, Tori knew exactly what to do and when. She was offering both us all levels of support from massage, to recording contractions, ringing the hospital, taking photos, offering food, to positive conversation and even a few laughs. My labour had a few complications but she remained nothing but calm, which ultimately kept both my husband and I positive throughout.
My husband was especially grateful for her support because there were several moments where he became panicked, but with her words of reassurance he quickly focused on the positive outcome again. For me, I found it especially useful when chatting with the midwives because as things rapidly changed, she was able to help me understand what this meant and decide what I wanted.
She went above and beyond what was required not because she had to, but because it’s second nature to her. She cannot hide her beautiful caring nature and this is what makes Tori stand out. It was the little things, like her arriving at our house ready for labour with salad rolls and smoothies, to the homemade baby wipes (as she knew I was conscious of chemicals on bub), to the yummy meal she made to pop into our freezer.
Tori is more than just a doula though – she is a bloody amazing Pilates instructor and this is how I was lucky enough to find her, as I was a regular at her studio. Throughout my entire pregnancy I did pre-natal pilates which helped keep me fit and I’m sure definitely helped for labour. I’m now doing post natal pilates with a few other mums which we love, and so do our bubs. Half the time we finish the class and she’s managed to nurse or rock them to sleep – she’s like the baby whisperer. She’s happy to nurse, feed, rock or entertain them so that we can work out.
Overall, I highly recommend Tori to anyone wanting a relaxed and calm birth. I am more than happy to chat with you if you have any questions. We will definitely be calling on her for bub number 2!!
Claire and Richard Butlin – on the birth of their son George
We feel very grateful to have had Tori involved in the birth of our son, George.
Tori has been a perfect fit right from the beginning, and our meetings prior to the birth imbued us with confidence and excitement in an informed and relaxed way.
Tori’s presence during labour was a welcome calm in the chaos and gave Claire invaluable focus and reassurance.
It was amazing for us to share such a profound and life changing experience with Tori and we are deeply grateful for her skills and ongoing support.
Tori’s pilates and after birth care were appreciated and came at a time when they were most needed. This support continues to benefit Claire. Tori has become a friend of the family and George simply adores her!
Rochelle de la Croix – on the birth of her son Phoenix
I was extremely privileged to have Tori as my Doula, upon our first meeting she had an instant warmth and aura and I knew she was who I wanted in the delivery room with me, as my support and on my team. Tori is extremely pleasant, friendly, warming and very mature. We had a few meetings before the delivery to run through options as to what I hoped and expected from the birth.
During the Labour, which I will add was very intensive – being induced by the machine, at times I just wanted to give up but I had Tori beside me coaxing and encouraging me every step of the way.
I will honestly say having Tori as my Doula was my best investment, she is not only a Doula – it felt having a close friend, even family member in the room – with the added bonus of all of her knowledge and expertise about the birthing process and baby related issues.
Tori really made this experience smooth, I would give her the highest recommendation to all expecting Mothers. Words cannot express having Tori as my Doula, thank you so Much Tori! Phoenix and I are doing extremely well.