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Juliana, Darren and baby Bianca

I had never heard of a Doula until my partner Juliana mentioned it and explained the role. I must admit at first I was a little skeptical because I believed that I could look after Juliana and help her through the labour myself without the need for any help.

After Cheryl’s first home visit during the pregnancy I was so glad that we had her by our side and that she would be with us to help both of us through the labour and after our baby was born. The more I understood about the birth process the more I felt we needed a Doula and wondered “how could anyone go through this experience without one?”

Before we engaged Cheryl my biggest concern was that it was my job to help Juliana and I was concerned about having a stranger present that might negatively impact on our connection. I thought privacy would be an issue and that I would lose the connection I wanted to have with Juliana; thankfully I was wrong.

Until talking to Cheryl I didn’t realise how important the labour was and that this memory, good or bad, would stay with us forever. A difficult and stressful labour can have a big impact on how you recover and you go into the new role of parents.

Cheryl was totally unbelievable throughout the whole process including the months leading up to the labour, during Bianca’s birth and also her follow up support.

I can honestly say that if Cheryl wasn’t there to guide us and help us at the crucial times and help us make decisions I think our experience would have been very different and very stressful.

At one point some really tough decisions had to be a made as Juliana was in labour for many hours without progressing; she was exhausted and many options were being offered to us. At those times it was particularly invaluable to have Cheryl there to guide us and make sure we were informed and happy with our decisions. We didn’t know what we really needed and what was hospital policy, we were tired and unsure and she helped us make critical decisions confidently.

I would never go through this ever again without a doula; with everyone I speak with about our experience I try to convince them that they too will need the support of a professional Doula, even if they think they don’t.

I also didn’t want to be the one responsible for not making the labour the best possible for Juliana and having her blame me for not supporting her. I knew how important a natural birth was to her and I wanted to help her achieve this but I wasn’t sure how.

Being a paratrooper in the Australian army, I thought I could take care of any situation but supporting Juliana would mean many situations would be out of my control. I knew we only had one opportunity to get this right. Juliana’s emotional needs were very high and changing all the time but Cheryl seemed to know intuitively what we both needed. She was skilled, professional and very experienced having attended over 1,000 births.

Cheryl helped and supported us every step of the way and we will be for ever grateful for her making this the best experience it could have been.

Born July 2014


“ One of the things we loved most about Cheryl’s approach to supporting us was that she really helped us examine the PROCESS of birth and how we felt about each step, so that we could be clear about our preferences for proceeding through it.

We never felt like she judged our decisions along that process pathway – just supported us to feel confident and let go of fears surrounding each step of the way. ”


Stork Talk

Delivering Strategies for your ideal birth.

Give yourself the best chance of a positive birth in a hospital setting. A new book by one of Australias leading doulas, Cheryl Sheriff.


Sharing wisdom from her 30 years experience as a midwife and doula, and her presence at over 1000 hospital births.


After reading this book you will have more direction, and feel confident, excited and less daunted by the experiences to come.


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