My name is Mel Howells and I run Serene Births in the beautiful city of Boorloo/Perth in WA, providing individually tailored pregnancy and birth support services to women and their families in the northern suburbs. I have had the privilege of calling Perth home since 2012 after relocating from the UK and I currently live with my partner, his daughter and our two fur babies. I worked as a Registered Midwife in the UK, but since moving to Australia I have re-trained as an Early Childhood Educator, specialising in the education and development of children aged 0-2 years.
I have always felt an internal pull back towards birth work and in 2021 I had what I can only describe as a “light bulb” moment and decided to research doula training programmes. The main reason why I became a doula/birth support person stems from my previous experiences of sharing the birth space with women and their families within the medicalised model of maternity care and quickly realising how overused the phrase “woman-centre care” was. I was astonished and appalled by how far removed from that phrase the care that women receive is in harsh reality. Women are constantly being told that it is the outcome which matters most – healthy baby, healthy mum – and the very idea of women having a positive birth experience is utterly belittled.
I want women to realise how truly important their birth experiences are; to be able to let go of societal judgements and own their birth with pride, however this may unfold. I want to enable women to tap into their ancestral feminine power and change their perception of birth to embrace it as an experience to be celebrated and revered, not one filled with fear and dread.
Support looks and feels different for everyone. For some women, they may simply find comfort and reassurance in the presence of another trusted female. For others, they may find safety and security in knowing that their birth partner has a partner; another member of their personal birth support team who knows her wants and needs inside-out. Some couples may feel overwhelmed by the sheer mountain of information which is available through modern technology and need help in deciphering the jargon so that they can make the best decisions for them, whilst others may simply need some one-to-one sessions revisiting topics from childbirth education classes. If women feel as though they have all the support they need for their birth but feel as though they will need an extra source of help for the postnatal period, I offer that too.
My role is to share my knowledge and skills with women and their partners so that they feel able to take charge of their own birth experience, with my unconditional and continuous support throughout their whole journey and to be a guiding hand wherever I am needed to help them navigate what often feels like a fear-based, fragmented maternity care system with confidence and clarity.
Every pregnancy and birth are different, and no two women will experience the same journey to motherhood. The philosophy which underpins my services acknowledges every woman’s uniqueness and my work is tailored to meet your every need. Birth can be a magical experience and I want you to look back on your birth with positivity and pride. If this resonates with you and you want to learn more about what I offer, please feel free to send me an email at [email protected] or reach out to me via social media on the links below. I would be honoured to walk alongside you on your birth journey.