Alison Grunwald

  • 152_Alison-with-Jesse-Oct-2014

Listing Category: Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and Doula

  • I am a Birth and Postnatal doula serving North West London and surrounding areas. It is a great privilege to support new parents as they enlarge their families and help to make the process as smooth as possible. I inform, educate, support physically and emotionally and use my experience from more than 60 births to guide clients and support them in the early weeks. For those who want to breastfeed their babies, I have nearly 40 years of experience. I am a peer breastfeeding supporter in an NHS hospital and have had training from an Internationally Board Certified lactation consultant. You can read what some of my clients have to say below.
    After you get in touch, if you want I will visit, free of charge, so that you can get to know me and decide if I am right for you.
    My Birth Package includes at least two antenatal and two postnatal visits; 24hour on call from 38 weeks; effective support, during labour and birth; help in establishing and maintaining breastfeeding, and providing confidence and information at each stage. I offer massage during labour and support to breathe deeply and relax.
    Antenatal sessions include preparing a strong, well considered Birth Plan, ensuring all baby equipment and necessities are discussed, explaining when I will come, how we will travel to birth unit and the best ways to labour in the early stages and manage pain without drugs, if this is your choice. Not everyone wants this and I will go through the options, explaining how they work.
    Once booked I am easily contactable by phone or email and will always respond promptly.
    I am happy to provide ongoing postnatal visits and also breastfeeding ‘drop-ins’ to support and offer guidance on early breastfeeding and breast care. In my work as a peer breastfeeding supporter at the Royal Free Hospital I help new mothers latch their babies for effective feeding.

    “Alison, you have been an invaluable source of encouragement, knowledge and support, combining professional experience and an extensive knowledge with a deep empathy and genuine concern for the wellbeing of all involved. It is not always easy taking a stranger into one’s home, but you are such easy company and so calm, reassuring and genuine that it never really felt like that. It was not only very helpful, but also a pleasure to spend time with you.
    “Always available when needed, but never imposing or interfering, you have helped to make this the experience we had imagined…..Should we be fortunate enough to have another baby, we can think of no one more helpful and reassuring to have advising and helping us along the way.” Chris, father of baby Carlo, born at UCH.

    “From when my husband and I met Alison we felt very at ease but also confident that she had the knowledge and experience to be exactly what we wanted and needed. I chose to have a doula at my second birth due to the bad experience of my first birth.
    “Our antenatal visits were extremely helpful at making me feel positive about the birth, something I never thought I would feel.
    “When it came to the labour, Alison listened to my lead and came to our house as soon as I felt I needed her there. It soon became apparent my labour was progressing very quickly and she kept me and my husband calm and kept a level head throughout.
    “Once at the hospital she calmly made sure the team were aware of all my wishes, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise, as I was close to giving birth, and without her there I would have felt very rushed.
    “she helped make sure I got the water-birth I wanted, and all went very well at the birth.
    “Afterwards she took on a very mothering role of looking after me and being the best advocate I could have hoped for.
    “Postnatally, when I struggled with breastfeeding, she also had very good tips I used.
    “I would not hesitate to recommend her as your doula. I will definitely be recommending her to all my friends.” Laura, mother of baby Conrad, born in Birth Centre pool, UCH

    About me

    I am a happily married mother-of-four, including twins, and a grandmother of eight. I was fortunate enough to have two VBACs (vaginal birth after Caesarean) and be able to breastfeed all my children. My experiences informed my wish to help other women achieve the birth they hoped for and I have been privileged to share many happy birth journeys over the past seven and a half years.
    I am non-judgemental and happy to fit in with your choices, both for your type of birth and feeding method. I will guide you towards successful breastfeeding or how to safely prepare and store forumula. Also how and when to use a pump.
    My counselling background has been invaluable, as family situations are often complex, and at times of stress I am a respectful listener.
    I provide effective massage during labour which my clients say really helps in managing pain, and I am there for their partners – aware of their needs and happy to involve them as much as they like.
    Birth is a family affair and should be a joyful journey: one of the most important aspects of my work as a doula is to help you to be partners, with your medical care-givers in any decision-making along the way and never highjacked by events.

  • I have Doula UK Recognition for Births and Postnatal work and am
    Nurturing Birth Certified.
    I am a former Relate couples' counsellor and an experienced fertility counsellor. I worked at the London Women's Clinic in W1 for five years after training at the Royal London Hospital.
    I am a peer breastfeeding supporter at the Royal Free Hospital and a student healer with the Healing Trust.

  • Testimonials:

    "My husband and I can't thank Alison enough for helping us through what was the hardest few weeks of managing our newborn twin boys. Alison is a calming presence. She supported and looked after us in those early days where we needed to learn everything from scratch and also feel reassured we were doing a great job.
    I loved being able to breastfeed both boys and got through those first hurdles with her championing me the whole time. I'm still feeding them on the boob today (nine weeks in right now)!
    We loved how she nurtured the boys for us. I loved getting a cuddle meant a lot and I really needed them." Kyrenia, mother to Aden and Jakob.

    "Hi Alison, I hope you are well. I just wanted to say hello and send you a picture of Bronte and Alban...who are now six months. And still breastfed!! A lot of that is thanks to your expertise and support, so thank you from the three of us! It was a huge challenge to begin with but completely worth it. Much love, Jacinda"

    "Where Alison truly shined, and her support was invaluable, was during the active labour and birth. She provided great support to my husband too, in that he wasn't alone in deciding various important decisions eg when to go to the hospital. This really helped him feel more relaxed during the whole process.
    After the birth I wanted to try and breastfeed as quickly as possible. Alison provided me with helpful, hands-on support in getting our daughter to latch on within the first hour of being born. I had nursed our first, so was familiar with what to do, but her support at that moment made a big difference in getting our baby to nurse straight away - unlike with my first which took a few days." Jessica, mother of baby Sarah, born UCH birth centre.