Rachael Boterhoven - Your Birth Companion
supporting women and couples through their pregnancy journey and beyond
Hello there, welcome to my page, and congratulations for making it this far to what will soon be one of the best decisions of your pregnancy/birthing journey!
A little bit about me. My name is Rachael, I am 32 years old born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. I am a wife, and a mother to two beautiful girls aged 3 and 4 with another baby girl due November 2021. I am a newly graduated enrolled nurse, a student doula and an aspiring midwife.
I lost my mother at a young age, so when it came to my first pregnancy, I didn’t realise how much I needed that extra support, (especially by a female), not to mention when it came to my second. I acknowledge and empathise with women who have limited family support for whatever reason, which is why I am so passionate about providing that little extra support and care to help fill the void during this wonderful, loving and memorable time.
As a student doula working in Perth’s inner city and northern suburbs, I offer personalized birthing support which is discussed and created with each of my clients. My goal is to give you and your family the attention, knowledge and support you need to make informed choices about your pregnancy, labour and birth.
My Own Experiences
In 2016 I fell pregnant with my first child. It was the cruisiest pregnancy I could have ever imagined. I had a very laid-back approach to pregnancy and birth – I was asked a few times if I was scared about birthing and I would respond “no”. I never over thought it and the idea didn’t frighten me. I was also not a reader so I didn’t do any education prior and went in to labour with the mind-set that the midwives and doctors will advise me what to do, and make the best decisions for me and baby. Boy was I wrong. It is more now being an EN that I realise that hospital staff need to follow policies and procedures in a timeline sequence, so decisions made are not always made with the patient's best interest in mind – but because text-book protocols say that XYZ will be the ‘safest’ way for them to monitor your progress.
Skipping past the rest of that birth story, I went in to my second pregnancy with a totally different mind-set. I hadn’t overcome my previous birth [trauma] story and I had so many questions as to why things happened the way that they did. I knew what I wanted to do differently this time so I educated myself by doing a hypnobirthing course and by listening to a lot of positive birth meditation tracks. This was amazing! It educated me on labour and birthing options, calming and breathing techniques, birthing positions and mainly that I had choices and had the right to question things and say NO! Let’s just say that this birth was 10 times and more, better than my first experience, and that was due to being more educated.
The thing with birth, your world is changed whether you’re a first-time mum, second, third time mum, etc. Your hormones go nuts, you live on broken sleep, you’re in demand 24/7 and responsible for a tiny human…but who supports you, the mum? I suffered severely with PPD more so after my second birth. I had two tiny humans who were 14 months apart. I had very limited immediate family to support me and to be vulnerable around. I felt like I needed to be strong, in control and carry-on, day in, and day out without really focussing on my own well-being. I wish I had someone who was there for me during my pregnancy, an ear to share my thoughts, ideas, concerns and worries. I wish I had someone in the birthing suite during my births advocating for me other than my partner, reminding me that I am strong, I can do this and bring me back in to alignment when I’d deviate from my birth plan knowing how important it was to me to achieve.
I wish I had someone who followed and supported me during this time to debrief with, and to ask me how I AM going, genuinely. Well, my friend, if this is the kind of support that you are looking for, someone to remind you that ‘you can do it’ that ‘you’re doing amazing’ and that ‘you’re not alone’, and check in with you post-birth, then this next bits for you.
How I Can Help
Your Birth Companion/Bestie
Well, let’s put it simply. I know what sucked for me the first time around giving birth, and I know what was great the second time around whilst both birthing in a public hospital – and that was the continuous care and having a better support person on the day.
Despite your birthing place, may it be at home, a birthing centre, private, or public hospital, my promise to you is that you will not be alone. My packages can include accompanying you to your antenatal appointments, provide you with self-learning resources, educate you on best birthing positions and remind you when you need it most, that 'you can do this!'.
All women deserve to have someone beside them to guide and assist in making educated choices about their pregnancy, and to remind you that you can trust the strength of your body during this time. I am here to provide unbiased information, emotional and physical support to you and your family.
A doula is not a substitute for a partner. My personal experience and speaking with other women who did not have a doula revealed that they wished they had someone whose goal was to assist them in having a safe, healthy, and positive labour experience, which included support for their partner, who is often left feeling helpless during this time.
I have skills in robozo work, knowledge in favourable labour positions, acupressure point work, massage, and providing you with the best analytical facts rather than personal suggestions.
If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me, I would love to support you through this magical journey.
With love Rach xo
Rachael provided tools and techniques which will be very helpful in keeping [me] calm and focused, not only for myself but my husband as well.