What is a Doula?

A Doula (pronounced Doo-Laa) comes from Ancient Greek meaning female slave. Today the meaning refers to an experienced woman who has children of her own and can offer continuous physical, emotional and informational support during pregnancy and labour, and also with early bonding.

A Doula believes in mothering the mother and offering emotional and practical support to not only the mother but also her partner. This type of support enables the whole family to relax and enjoy the pregnancy and birthing experience.

What are the benefits?

Research has shown that by having a doula present at the birth of your baby, it can:

(Taken from “Mothering the Mother” by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus 1993)

Why use a Doula?

Women have a whole range of complex needs during pregnancy, childbirth and the weeks that follow. Much of a Doula’s work will be done before the birth takes place, meeting with the mother-to-be at least twice to talk through her wishes, hopes and possible worries, and if relevant, previous birth experiences. If needed, a Doula can help you formulate a birth plan and help ensure your wishes are carried out during and after labour. In addition to the medical care received, and the love and support provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, gentle encouragement and respect. More and more women today are craving the one-to-one care that the medical professionals are unable to provide. They want someone who can be there all the way through their labour, by their side and on their side. This is something a midwife cannot guarantee due to shift changes and needing to care for more than one woman at a time. A Doula understands that each woman is unique and requires care based on their own circumstances and preferences.

About Us

We are Paula Smithers and Jackie Howe and have been friends for over 15 years. We were chatting a few years ago over a coffee and got on to the subject of Doulas. We both said it would be something we’d love to do. As mothers, we both have strong bonds with our children; mainly because we were supported through pregnancy and giving birth and in the early, unknown days of having a new born baby. Time passed and a few years later we talked about it again, but this time decided to do something about it. We both trained as Doulas in 2012 with Nurturing Birth, and we are now registered with and members of Doula UK as Mentored Doulas. We both have the same mentor and she is helping us on our journey to become Certified Doulas.

We both have very similar outlooks on life and have the same passion about childbirth and motherhood. We want to help make your experience of labour and childbirth as you would wish it to be.

Jackie Howe, with her children.


Hello, I am Jackie and live just outside Norwich. I can access all of the major hospitals in the County and can attend home births or birthing centres within Norfolk.

I love being a mum, I have two children who are now 29 and 27 and being a mother has been the most wonderful experience of my life. As well as being a mum, I am a sister, an aunt, a friend and of course a wife to Ian who supports me in everything I do.

Jackie Howe
Paula Smithers with her child.


It is my immense love of being a mother and the miracle of childbirth that has inspired me to become a Doula. Every birth is unique and it is my aim to help you and your partner make this experience a safe and happy one.

I live in Central/North Norfolk and can access Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn Hospitals within 40-45 minutes.

I have two children (now young men!) born in 1990 and 1991 the most memorable moments in my life. I am a mother, sister, aunt and friend. Loyal, caring, honest and happy….and best of all, loving and loved…..so I want to share this with you.

If you feel you would like to meet me and discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting your ‘bump’.

Wishing you all love and peace x

What can we offer you?

Birth Doula

We can assist you in making a detailed birth plan while discussing your thoughts, requirements and wishes. From the type of birth (natural, water etc) to the location, whether you would like it be at home, in hospital or at a birthing centre. Pain management, environment and personal needs can all be discussed and personalised specifically for you and your partner. Childbirth is a lifelong, memorable experience and we hope to help make yours a loving, inspiring and satisfying one.

You can contact either of us either by email or using the telephone numbers provided. We will make an initial appointment to come and visit you and your partner in your home, giving us the opportunity to chat about your needs and to make sure that the services we can offer are right for you. We would be on call for 24 hours a day from week 38 – 42 and will provide constant attendance once labour has started until you have your baby safely in your arms and you are fully settled. We will see you for one or two ante natal visits whichever suits your needs. Please give either of us a call for a no-obligation introduction chat.

Post Natal Doula

Our role as Post Natal Doulas is to provide support for parents and their families and to create a restful atmosphere for mother, baby and the rest of the family. We can provide a shoulder to lean on and a gentle, non-judgemental ear to listen.

We can help the household run as smoothly as possible in the first few weeks after baby is born. From doing the laundry, shopping, walking the dog, meal preparation, school run……anything is possible. This will enable you to enjoy time with your baby without worrying about the dishes piling up or the ironing sitting in the basket.

This service would be provided at an hourly rate to suit your schedule for the length of time required; we will be as flexible as we can.

Our Contact Details

Jackie Howe


Mobile : 07900601461

Home : 01603 433388

Paula Smithers


Mobile : 07786257312

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