Name
Kristine Balfour
Display Name
Kristine Balfour - Littlewing Prenatal and Birth Doula
Business Name
Littlewing Prenatal and Birth Doula
Email
kristine@littlewingdoula.com.au
Business Phone
0428 790 331
Location
Melbourne
State
VIC
Doula Time
2015
Doula Category
Birthing Doula
Training
Australian Doula College - Certificate in Doula Support Services; Spinning Babies; StillBirthDay Academy (Current); Bachelor of Social Work; Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology)
About / Bio
I bring to my role as a doula my extensive experience of providing professional emotional and practical support to women of all backgrounds. I have a sound knowledge of pregnancy, birth, birth support and interventions in both Australian and international contexts.

I can support you whether you birth at home, in hospital or at a birth centre. I can also support siblings to prepare for and be present at the birth. I can work alongside your professional care team, participating in planning meetings and other appointments as necessary, being clear that my primary role is to support you in the way that you wish.

I have a calm and attentive presence with clients. I enjoy forming supportive relationships with people, and working with them to help them to relax and to feel safe. I am a thoughtful and reflective practitioner, keeping my clients in mind and attending to their individual requirements. I believe in women’s innate ability to birth. I believe that pregnancy and birth are as much psychological processes as they are physiological, and therefore that good information and emotional support are critical to positive birth experiences and outcomes for women and babies.

I am a qualified and experienced social worker and counsellor in the areas of trauma and perinatal mental health. Throughout my life and career, I have been providing formal and informal support to women around pregnancy, birth and parenting. I am an experienced cross-cultural worker, competent in working with clients from all cultures and faiths by learning from my clients and adapting my practice to meet their needs. I have extensive experience working with young women and with people who have survived childhood abuse and neglect, birth trauma, complex trauma and PTSD.

You can read an interview with me here: https://medium.com/@Birth_for_HumanKIND/every-mother-needs-a-village-ede512cd91bb
Testimonial
1. "Kristine was able to offer me any information I asked for and distill it so as I wasn't inundated and trawling through too much reading material. During labour she used pressure points on my body as I laboured at home. This made the contractions bearable and assisted me in having no pain relief medication. She acted as my advocate in hospital. I arrived at hospital fully dilated and pushed out my beautiful baby boy not long after. Kristine remained calm and constant. Keeping me well hydrated and warm. In hospital she created space around me so as I felt I could make the best decisions for me and my baby. She was so encouraging and forever putting my needs at the fore. She was unflappable in interactions with the baby's father who was at best approaching the situation unconventionally. Kristine supported me to realise my birth preferences which we had discussed as part of writing out a birth plan. I look back on my birth experience with passion and joy. I whole heartedly recommend Kristine as a doula. I felt her experience as a social worker held her in good stead to take on this important work of primary prevention. I treasure the memory of my son's birth."

2. "Kristine’s presence was essential to how the birth of my baby eventuated. In the lead up to the birth she helped me realise what decisions were right for me in going post dates. I felt very emotionally supported by Kristine as I approached the date where I would no longer be eligible for a home birth. My main reason for having Kristine present at the birth was to support my 3 year old son, to allow him to be present, which was important for both of us. However I feel that the support and reassurance that I got from Kristine prior to and during the birth was just as important to me. She was a wonderful advocate. When I was presented with interventions I didn’t want to accept (such as being told by a hospital midwife “we will rupture your membranes”), Kristine asked me how I felt about this and reminded me that I didn’t have to consent to interventions if I chose not to. I think that the birth would have played out very differently if she hadn’t reminded me that I had a choice in what procedures were done to me. She was able to recognise when I needed space and to focus on my contractions, and when I was able to talk and reflect on how I was feeling. I feel so thankful that I had Kristine present for the labour and birth, and for all of her valuable support pre and postnatal."

3. "We had a wonderful experience with Kristine as our doula. She was incredible throughout the pregnancy, helping us understand the tools we needed to make our birth a positive experience. Her knowledge, professionalism and expertise gave us faith in our ability as a couple – making the pregnancy an exciting and enjoyable time. During the birth she allowed us to have the confidence to make informed decisions and made us feel at ease so we could focus on having a calm and enlightened birthing experience."

4. "I have found Kristine to be a calming presence. When I have raised questions or concerns about my pregnancy and birth she has given me space to express my worries. She has then provided information to give me a broader context and alternative views or explanations. Kristine has a great balance of being warm, present and thorough - all qualities you want around you at this amazing time and especially when it's your first pregnancy."

5. "Kristine provided my partner and I with three sessions/six hours of pre-natal education, birth planning and support classes which:
- were held in the comfort and privacy of our own home, at times convenient to us – perfect for a couple of introverts
- prepared my partner for his role in the delivery (where we opted to not have a doula present)
- prepared us both for a range of realistic and evidence-based scenarios
- gave me a good understanding of the types of decisions I wanted to include in my birth plan, as well as decisions that we may need to make while in labour
- provided expertise to two newbies in a situation where ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’
- were wholly personalised to our individual needs and concerns, and level of pre-existing knowledge
- included plenty of time to answer our specific questions
- addressed my irrational fears with practical tips (and without judgement)
- included a range of learning aids - written, audio-visual and hands-on
- covered many topics that pregnancy books did not and that hospital-sponsored birth classes would not (eg. options when your wishes may be outside the hospital’s policies)
- was supported by the generous offer to get in contact during early labour if we are worried about anything while we are at home by ourselves.

Kristine’s up-to-date training and friendly, empathic nature put us at ease, making us much more confident about the birth process. We highly recommend Kristine to anyone wanting to feel and be more prepared for labour and birth."
Services Offered
Full Birth Support Package:
Three pre-natal sessions for information provision and birth planning, and building rapport.
On-call for you 24/7 for two weeks before and two weeks after your estimated date of delivery.
Attendance at your entire labour and birth, from the time that you request my presence until approximately two hours after the birth, in accordance with your wishes.
Two post-natal home visits within the first two weeks after the birth, for debriefing and support.
Telephone and email contact from the beginning of our work together, up to six weeks after birth.

Sibling Doula Service:
As above for the Full Birth Support Package, but with a focus on preparing your children to be present at the birth, supporting them throughout the birth, and including them in the post-natal debriefing process and helping them adjust to life with a new sibling.
Other Skills
Cross-cultural and inter-faith work
Supporting people with mental health issues
Supporting young parents
Supporting survivors of sexual abuse
Supporting healing from previous birth trauma
Working with interpreters
Supporting LGBTI families
Supporting refugee and migrant families
Supporting young parents
Supporting survivors of sexual abuse
Supporting healing from previous birth trauma
Supporting vegan families
Adoption, loss and bereavement
VBAC
Date Updated
2019/02/10