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WELCOME

I’m a non-medical trained professional that provides women and birthing people with evidence based information, emotional and physical support throughout pregnancy, birthing and postnatally. As a Doula, all I want is to be there for you. Let’s get started.

A bit about me

I am Sophy Yildirim and my personal pronouns are she/her.   I am a full-spectrum antenatal, birth and postnatal doula based in Portsmouth, UK.

I started supporting parents and prospective parents as a breastfeeding support charity volunteer in 2007.  I am a retired La Leche League leader.  I became a doula after 7 years of running a baby sling library and information service called Southsea Slings.   I continue provide Southsea Slings services.  I have extensive experience of providing infant feeding and new parent support.

 

As your doula I can assist you in preparing fully; making space and time for you to talk, think and plan for the pregnancy & birth you want.  I am there to support you through your pregnancy & birth, giving you unconditional, non-judgmental encouragement and warmth.  

 

As your postnatal doula I am here to offer you essential areas of support.  Simply listening to you without any agenda, providing specific practical support, e.g. infant feeding or baby carrying solutions, helping out with a baby's siblings, or with basic household tasks.  I offer  companionship that boosts your confidence.   Often the support I give is emotional and  practical rolled into one.

 

I studied law and anthropology, this helped to build the foundations for being a doula; especially the  knowledge that our human rights are critical in making truly informed choices.   Access to evidence based information in preparation for becoming parents, giving birth and caring for babies is crucial.  This preparation helps to  ensure  a more positive experience of birth, becoming a parent and the postnatal period. 

 

I am very pleased to have studied on Leila Baker’s Side By Side Doula Preparation Course. 

In 2020 I also attended online:  The Queer Birth Club’s ‘LGBT+ Competency Workshop’ with AJ Silver and ‘Black Breastfeeding Week – International Online Event’ organised by Breaking Breastfeeding Barriers.  I am hoping to study a ‘Breastfeeding Cultural Safety Course’ with Ruth Dennison 121 Doula soon. 

I am proud to be a supporter member of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services – AIMS.

 

I was actively involved in a Portsmouth Peer-to-Peer Birth Support Group after my first child was born in 2004. I now love volunteering on the committee for a local community support group called Informed Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond.   

 

If you are interested in the services I provide please do contact me, or feel free to go ahead and book a no strings attached chat with me here.

Doula Sophy - Sophy Yildirim
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Services

Service Price Guide

This list is a guide to the fees charged, for the support services I provide.  Details of what is included in the birth packages can be found here.  For some ideas on what my postnatal support can look like, take a look at the postnatal packages

The below services can be booked only after having a chat.  Discussing what services may suit you, will assist you in making an informed choice about what support will work best for you.  If you're interested in any of these services, please book a free chat and we can explore working together.  The package options incorporate many of the services in this list, at a reduced price. 

  • Birth plan session & post-session write up support (remote)                          £125

  • Infant feeding, sleep & care planning session                                                  £125

  • Postnatal planning workshop                                                                             £125

  • On call support day time                                                                                    £250

  • On call support night time                                                                                 £250

  • Labour & Birth in-person support                                                                      £500

  • Labour & Birth remote support                                                                          £300

  • Birth de-brief                                                                                                        £125

  • Parent/Mother Blessing -  Ceremony/Celebration                                           £180

  • Birth Doula Sophy Package                                                                                £900

  • Shared Care Birth Package with

       Sally Carter- Solent Parenting & Doula Sophy                                                 £1200

  • Postnatal support - minimum 3 hour booking                                                 £20/hr

  • Meet Walk Talk        -                         free to attend/suggested donation      £3.00

Southsea Slings - Carrying Consultations - Hires - Why not visit my shop whilst you're here too?

  • Mini Carrying Consultation - quick troubleshoot or explore options to hire/buy   £10

  • Half an hour Carrying Consultation   £20

  • An hour & a half - Standard Carrying Consultation   £40

  • 1 week hire of 1 sling/carrier/cover/coat     £10

  • 2 weeks hire of 1 sling/carrier/cover/coat   £20

  • 4 weeks hire of 1 sling/carrier/cover/coat   £30

 

Please note: If you are in financial hardship please do not be put off contacting me.  If you are not in a position to pay full amounts in advance, or you have concerns, please let me know.  I can sometimes accept payments by installments of over a longer period of time.   Packages can sometimes be adapted to suit your budget.

 

 
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Birth Doula Packages

I can provide you with in person and remote birth doula support.  During the COVID 19 pandemic this still applies.  As your birth doula, I start by giving you the support, time, space and resources  to make  the best preparations you possibly can for giving birth.

Mother and Baby

Postnatal Doula

Packages

The postnatal period can easily be an incredibly stressful and busy time in any parent's life.  As your postnatal doula, I can ease the strain.  In some cases, I can even help you prevent situations from becoming a burden.  I can provide you with practical, as well as emotional support.

 
 

Birth Doula Packages

My role as your doula is uniquely tailored to your requirements.  I will support you in the way you wish to be supported.

There is increasing evidence demonstrating the tangible benefits to having a doula from shorter labours to improving the condition of parent and child from birth and having a more positive experience of pregnancy, birth and bonding.

What's included in the birth package?

Interview me with your partner (if applicable) if you have children they’re welcome to attend too.   The interview generally takes place face to face, but at the moment video call via zoom works well book the free 30 mins chat to interview me here

Your birth package will include:

  • At least two antenatal meetings before you go into labour (or before a planned cesarean), these are around 2 hours each.
 
  • During your pregnancy you can text message or call me, as much as you need.
 
  • I am on 24 hr call for you from 38 weeks of your pregnancy, or before then if labour begins earlier, or you are having your baby/babies earlier.
 
  • Two postnatal visits lasting 2 hours each.

 

  • Discussion of your priorities, any concerns or worries.

  • Non-judgmental evidence-based information, practical and emotional support.

  • Exploration of optimal positioning during pregnancy & labour together with comfort measures

  • Support in making birth and postnatal plans

  • Access to my book library; an extensive range of books on pregnancy, birth, postpartum recovery, baby care, breastfeeding & parenting.   Some DVD/video links available too.

  • Birthing pool and pool accessories for those having a home water birth, or those wishing to use one as a big bath during late pregnancy (you will need to purchase your own liner)

  • CUB birthing stool (this is inflatable and can be used at home or in hospital settings)

  • Access to Southsea Slings baby carrier collection and a week’s free hire included. 

  • Encouragement and reassurance  throughout

  • Assisting you to find local antenatal and postnatal services, from antenatal & hypnobirthing classes to complimentary therapies

  • Breastfeeding/infant feeding/chestfeeding preparation, education and support

Price starts from: £900

Additional extras can include, for example, a Parent/Mother Blessing, or accompanying you on extra health care appointments remotely or in person.

Please note: If you are in financial hardship please do not be put off contacting me.  If you are not in a position to pay full amounts in advance, or you have concerns, please let me know.  I can sometimes accept payments by installments of over a longer period of time.   Packages can sometimes be adapted to suit your budget.

 

Postnatal Doula Packages

I can assist you to adjust, more smoothly to the challenges that having a newborn baby, or newborn babies can face you with, whether you're a first time parent or have children already. 

 

Having me as your doula can give  you greater confidence in your own abilities to overcome challenges, and I can support you to positively bond and thrive on the way.

My postnatal work can include the following kinds of activity, this is not an exhaustive list and you are welcome to ask me about anything not listed and I will certainly give it consideration:

  • Initial chat to discuss your needs and check our compatibility

  • If appropriate an antenatal visit to your home 

  • Assistance with making a postnatal plan

  • Emotional & physical support for example, actively listening to your frustrations, fears, preoccupations, to your birth story and exploring your postnatal recovery.

  • Breastfeeding/chestfeeding support

  • Newborn care information, suggestions and guidance.  This could include education about baby carrying in slings/carriers, feeding, comforting measures for baby, bathing, nappy changing etc.

  • Assisting you in finding & exploring evidence-based information to assist you in making informed decisions

  • Light housework

  • Shopping chores (funds for this provided by you)

  • Preparation of foods – some cooking

  • Helping parents have some much needed sleep or self-care time, by watching or occupying siblings or the baby/babies.

  • Access to my book library – a week’s hire of any book available at the time of request

  • Access to my sling library – a week’s hire of any sling available at the time of request

My standard postnatal hourly rate is £20/hr - minimum booking is 3 hours

Block booking of 6 hrs or more is £18/hr for birth package clients

Some of things that I cannot do:

I do not give advice.  I am not a medical professional.    I will not give any medications, prescription or otherwise to your baby or children.  I am not a nanny and I will not take over the care of your baby or any other children, undertake major house cleaning duties or transport people, family or friends.

Please note: If you are in financial hardship please do not be put off contacting me.  If you are not in a position to pay full amounts in advance, or you have concerns, please let me know.  I can sometimes accept payments by installments of over a longer period of time.   Packages can sometimes be adapted to suit your budget.

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Marinella Abbondati

She supported me all through my first pregnancy in 2012, helping me have the confidence to choose a home birth for my first birth.

I think Sophy was probably born to be a doula, she just didn’t figure it out till recently. She’s certainly been doing the things a doula does for much longer than she’s been officially working as a doula. She supported me all through my first pregnancy in 2012, helping me have the confidence to choose a home birth for my first birth. And she gave me pretty lifesaving support over the phone through the first hours of breastfeeding.. even though she was on holiday abroad at the time!

That’s Sophy, she doesn’t let insignificant things like physical distance or time zones get in the way of giving her unconditional support.

Nowadays I live on the other end of an ocean, but when I was pregnant with my second son she supported me again the whole way through, remotely over WhatsApp, in her warm and wonderful way.

I guess it didn’t really occur to either of us that she could dial in for the birth, but in the throes of transition on an island over the other side of the Atlantic, it was Sophy’s serene and steadfast presence that I suddenly wanted.

Luckily the time zones and the internet gods were on our side, it was 9am in Southsea and she answered my WhatsApp call and thus became my de facto digital doula. We chatted and laughed through the contractions until pretty suddenly Max surprised us with his jet-propelled entrance into the world.

Legend has it Sophy herself was born on a boat, and perhaps that’s why she has always had an unflappable air of calm competence about her, like those skippers of yore who lovingly guided their crew and ship around rocks and through tempests, with quiet hearts and steady hands.

I would quite literally trust Sophy with my life. In fact I probably have done, on various occasions over the years I’ve known her. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have support me through pregnancy, birth and beyond. (Marinella gave birth to Max, her second child in 2020)

 

Testimonials

Water

We held an interview over zoom and Sophy was warm and knowledgeable and never put any pressure on us to go forward, so if you aren't sure if a Doula/Sophy is right for you then have that chat and find out!

I wouldn't want to give birth without her! I knew very early in meeting Sophy that I would love her to be our Doula. We held an interview over zoom and Sophy was warm and knowledgeable and never put any pressure on us to go forward, so if you aren't sure if a Doula/Sophy is right for you then have that chat and find out! Our prenatal sessions really helped me and my partner prepare and were also a great time to bond with Sophy. Throughout my pregnancy she was available to message and call whenever I needed and really supported me when I was having a wobble. She supported us in developing our birth plan and I felt confident she was clear on my preferences and could advocate for me if necessary. This continiuity was really important to me as whilst very lovely, the midwives that attended on the day had never met me before and I didn't have that connection with them. When I went into labour and my partner called her Sophy, she immediately said she'd be over - it was the emphatic response we needed (and not one we got from the midwives). With Sophy there I felt safe. She took care of all the practicalities of the pool and the midwives and was a reasuring presence that allowed my partner to fully focus on being my emotional support. Without her support I think it's likely we would have felt pressured to go into hospital, rather than be attended at home as planned. Following the homebirth she cleared everything up, which meant we could both give the baby our full attention. Postnataly I believe it was her guidance that meant a successful breastfeeding journey. Birth is such a huge life event, and I felt simultaneously so vulnerable and so powerful. I am so glad that Sophy was there and worked together with my partner to protect my space and allow me to embrace that power.

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More testimonals

Check out the reviews on Southsea Slings Facebook for what people have said about the carrying consultations services.