Julie Ann Crowley
A birthkeeper of particular sorts… if you’re looking to retain all or some aspects of physiological birth to any aspect of your birth & postpartum planning; I’m your Doula. Come chat with me!
The area I cover
I will cover anywhere (home births or hospitals) that can take up to 1.5 hours of driving each way, from NN9 Northamptonshire.
Getting in touch
More about me
My name is Julie Ann, and I am a mother of two and dog owner, living in Raunds, Northamptonshire. I am from Ireland but have lived for many years in London and Olney, with many other places in between. Prior to my ‘calling’ into studying Midwifery (2014), I had a successful yet draining career as an IT Systems Analyst – commuting 3 hours a day into central London from Olney.
I am in awe of everything pregnancy-related and have been lucky to experience it all from having my own two pregnancies, the role of the midwife for just under three years (2014-2017) as a Student Midwife, and then now from the perspective of a Doula. My transition from studying midwifery to Doulaing was a fairly easy decision that I made in 2017. I grew increasingly disheartened by the short amount of time we were actually given to support women and birthing people, and the lack of real continuity of care where they never seemed to have 1-to-1 care with the same, known midwives.
When I learnt about Doulas, it was clear to see that THEY were the ones who had the time and the impartiality to provide really outstanding care to people. I provide more rewarding support now to women and birthing people as a Doula and I hope that you will get to experience this – whether with me, or any of my peers.
Aside from working directly as a Doula for people, I have a media and birth-business support services venture (Birthy Media) which supports other Doulas, Midwives, Birthkeepers, Lactation Consultants etc. I also work with AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) as a volunteer and lead their Social Media team: spreading their good work and amazing birth resources. I am a birth activist who as well as working with AIMS, I volunteer time to various campaigns such as But Not Maternity, March With Midwives and many more. Please check us out on social media! Within Northants, I run various birthy/parenting support groups for local people which you will find on Facebook: Northamptonshire Birth Voices and Positive Baby Family.
What do I do?
If you’ve not had a Doula before, it is worth knowing that you can have me for your pregnancy/birth, or for just the postpartum period, or both.
During your pregnancy I will be on hand either at the other end of the phone, in person over some tea and cake, at a rock concert (yeah!) text messages and – if required – accompanying you to any appointments or classes that you are attending. I will also be able to shower you with evidence-based information AND anecdotal lived-experiences to help you answer any questions that you have about the plans you want to make, or treatments and care pathways you may be advised to take. By the time your birthing day comes around, we would have talked about what you would like me to do and where you would like me to be. I can be there to comfort you; to perform a couple of movements to help relieve any discomfort or encouraging your baby/ies to adopt a more optimal position; to keep everyone fed and watered; to generally make sure you have everything you want and need whilst witnessing you and your body achieving the greatest thing you’ve ever done!
I can attend to you and your family as a Postnatal Doula. As with during your pregnancy and birth; this role is driven by what it is that you feel you need assistance with, although I do have a frequently-used list of things that help immensely in case you can’t think of anything. As a new mother you will always be taken care of. I carry out a lot of the care myself, but I will also be there to support the rest of your network around you and giving them pointers and the confidence to support you themselves in their own personal way.
Infant feeding is one of my favourite parts of both pregnancy and the postnatal period, therefore I am well-trained to help you on your way with breast/chest/body feeding if this is how you wish for your baby to be fed. I also come with a variety of slings and baby carriers to introduce you to, and to use myself with your baby if you need a little rest. There are a lot of things that will make your transition into motherhood that little bit easier in the first few weeks, and a lot of them can be carried out by your Doula. Whatever takes the load off of you is what I specialise in.
My Birth services hope to find you early in your pregnancy so that we have the maximum possible time getting to know each other and making sure that you have the most enjoyable pregnancy possible, whilst helping to plan your ideal birth and ensuring you have all of the information that you could possibly need. All births are covered by my birth services – however you bring your babies into the world; I am here to help you.
You’ve stumbled across a human being here who is well aware that all birthing people are not women, and that all pregnancies do not result in the gestational person going home with a baby at the end of it all – whether that is adoption, surrogacy or otherwise! I am aware that people who have different skin colour to me, and those who move and whose abilities differ to mine, are constantly being failed by the maternity system in the UK: I will fight for you and I will work to protect you.
I run Hypnobirthing courses as a way to prepare you for the events leading up to, including and after birth. I birthed my own son in 2019 completely free of pain and panic, at home in a birthing pool using Hypnobirthing, but I have also experienced intervention to a large extent with my first baby, in a hospital setting. I believe that these first-hand experiences coupled with my work in midwifery, equip me to be realistic about birth planning with you no matter what your circumstances are. I hope that you feel the same!
Choose A Doula!
Straight up: everyone should have a Doula.
I continue to campaign for better births for people in my area, by championing causes that mean Doula support is one day considered as a social prescription and funded-for. Doula care completes the enormous gap where standard midwifery care has been falling short, and so must be funded and worshipped in the same way as we do our NHS partners.
Bringing a Doula into your life will be incredibly rewarding and ensures that for every day that you will know each other: your Doula will promote feelings of pride and amazement in yourself, your body and what you achieve in birth.