From Doula Clients:
During my pregnancy we spent time with Marcela preparing for the birth, writing our birth preferences and discussing and agreeing on what responsibilities and roles I wanted everyone (my husband, Marcela and the midwives) to undertake. This time together allowed us to get to know one another and develop a mutual trust which proved vital when it came to the birth itself.
We were fortunate to have a water birth at home and Marcela played a key role in enabling a positive, calm experience throughout. She was excellent at communicating with the midwives and while ensuring that they clearly understood my birth plan, she was wonderfully respectful of the essential and important job they were there to do. Her presence at the birth was discreet and unintrusive, but absolutely there - just as I had requested. It was such a relief to have Marcela arrive in our home before the midwives and stay until after they had left. It was like having a fairy godmother in the background, anticipating my every need and providing calm, tender, gentle support which neither interfered with my focus, or the connection between me and my husband during the birth.
Our postnatal meeting was such a joy - Marcela came to visit us at home laden with nourishing, healthy and homemade food gifts. We could not have felt more looked after. It was lovely to talk about the birth with her and of course for her to share cuddles with our new baby boy!
We chose to hire a doula because we knew that the practical support and continuity of care they provide can contribute to a positive birth experience, however we couldn't have known what a huge difference Marcela's personal approach, commitment and encouragement would make and for this we feel very lucky and extremely grateful. Thank you so much Marcela!
In the end we had quite a difficult birth with more medical intervention than we had hoped for and a 3 day hospital stay prior but Marcela was present with us throughout and worked together with my husband and our midwives to give me exactly what I needed: a calm, peaceful, positive and supportive environment (I'm not sure the labour ward has ever seen so many fairy lights!). She gently reminded us and gave us the confidence to ask the questions we needed to ask and take the time we needed to make what could have been quite a traumatic experience the amazing birth story I had hoped for. I felt truly cared for and nurtured by Marcela throughout my pregnancy and after the birth both emotionally and physically (she is an amazing cook!) and I would highly recommend her services to anyone thinking of hiring a doula.
We therefore decided to do some research. I already knew Marcela from a local parent and toddler group we both attended, and had been looking at her website to find out about her pregnancy yoga classes, when I spotted that she also supports families as a doula. We had some chats with Marcela about her approach and to get to know each other better, and she also encouraged us to meet other potential doulas as well. We could tell that it was very important to her that we felt comfortable and relaxed with our choice, and that her first priority was that I had the birth experience I wanted. After meeting other doulas my husband and I were in total agreement that we wanted Marcela to be our doula. We found her to be warm, friendly, reassuring, knowledgeable without being dogmatic, and a good fit for our personalities.
During the winter of 2019/2020 Marcela met with us at home several times to discuss plans for the birth of our daughter who was due in April 2020. During these meetings and chats she helped us work through our thoughts and hopes for the birth, suggested evidence-based resources we could use (and in fact she loaned us several very useful books), and was generally a caring and knowledgeable "sounding board" whilst we were considering our options. Thanks to all of her support, we felt empowered to reach decisions about birth preferences that were right for us. I also started attending Marcela's brilliant pregnancy yoga classes which were fantastic in their own right!
We never could have predicted what happened next. Over the course of February and March 2020 it became clear that coronavirus was taking hold and that by the time I would be having my baby in April things could be quite different. Marcela was a great support and worked with us and our community midwife to reconsider our options in light of this curveball! We ended up having to change our plans several times; in February we decided we would prefer a home birth and prepared for that, but in March it was announced that home births would be suspended in Lothian due to the lack of ambulance back up, so we reverted to our original plan of the Birthing Centre.
Then, lockdown hit, meaning we could no longer see Marcela face to face, but she continued to keep in touch regularly by whatsapp and video call. With not long to go we received a call from our midwife who, very apologetically, informed us that only one birth partner could attend with me at the Birthing Centre due to covid-19 restrictions. We were so disappointed that this meant that Marcela would not be able to actually be present at the birth, but she continued to be a brilliant support to us, dropping off treats (we highly recommend her cocoa and date energy balls!) and she stayed on standby the whole time, just in case the timings meant that we had a childcare issue.
In the end our baby was very accommodating(!) and I went into labour in the morning, went to the birthing centre with my husband at lunchtime once my parents-in-law had arrived to look after our son, the baby was born at 4pm and we were home at 11pm the same day, so we did not need to ask Marcela to come, but it was so comforting to know that she was there with her phone on 24/7 (I was worried that my parents in law might sleep through a phone call if we had had to call them late at night, but I knew that as a mum of two young children Marcela would be very used to waking up!).
After Sophie was born we were still in lockdown and so Marcela could not come to visit us inside our home as she usually would, but again she was amazing at supporting us from afar thanks to the wonders of modern technology. We really appreciated knowing she was there whenever we needed her. It was lovely to introduce her to Sophie in person this summer when restrictions were eased!
Even though we were not able to have Marcela supporting us at the birth itself, we are so glad that we decided to work with her. It made what could have been a very stressful period in our lives much easier to cope with, and thanks to her we still had a wonderful birth experience despite everything that was going on. Thank you Marcela! - Fiona & Chaz, second time parents
I first got in touch with Marcela to see if she could be my birth doula. Even though she had already been booked for when I was due she still kindly made the effort to meet me and recommend a few other doulas. She continued to be supportive throughout my pregnancy and ended up being my postnatal doula. In doing so she helped with various household chores, brought me delicious food and was happy to discuss any concerns I had. I would highly recommend her to be your doula as she genuinely cares about the mamas she looks after and brings with her such a warm and nurturing energy.
I was really lucky because my pregnancy coincided with Marcela's training to be a doula, so I had amazing support from her then. We met regularly to talk about what to expect from pregnancy and the labour and I borrowed a lot of useful literature from her. In the end, not only did I love my pregnancy but also looked forward to the labour. Unfortunately, my labour had some complications, so it was lovely to also get Marcela's support after it - it brought a great comfort to me and my partner.
From Yoga Students:
I joined Marcela's pregnancy yoga class as a total beginner, never having done any yoga previously, at 16 weeks pregnant and continued up until 42 weeks! It became a highlight of my week, even having a great pregnancy with no issues that slice of Sunday calm was the best. I started to notice towards the end of each working week that I was needing the stretches and head reset that I got every Sunday. The breathing techniques helped loads in labour and thank goodness for the focus on pelvic floor exercises! I met some lovely people through the class and can't wait to get back to a postnatal class as soon as possible.
I started attending Marcela’s class when I was around 16 weeks pregnant. I’ve found the sense of caring, support and community has helped me to enjoy my pregnancy more. The yoga practice has helped with stiffness and aches and pains as well as providing information about poses that may be useful in the lead up to and during labour. The class has also helped me to feel calmer and less anxious since I started attending.
I didn't have yoga experience before attending Marcela's pregnancy yoga class while pregnant. During my pregnancy I experienced pelvic pain and heard that yoga could help aches and pains. Marcela was very gentle letting me know how I could perform the exercises in a different way and help me to relieve the pain. Every week I was looking forward to her class and get completely relaxed at the end. She is not just a great teacher she is an amazing person!
I really looked forward to attending marcela’s antenatal classes every week during my pregnancy. She is so knowledgeable about pregnancy / birth and provided lots of great advice. I enjoyed stretching out all the pregnancy aches and pains with some gentle yoga, followed by a lovely relaxation at the end of each class (heaven!). I always left feeling much more calm and comfortable. Marcela also provided some really great breathing techniques and position suggestions for labour which I found so helpful. she really helped me get in the right mindset for labour too with lots of positive stories and words of encouragement. I would 100% recommend her classes!
I had no previous yoga experience before attending Marcela's pregnancy yoga class while pregnant with my first baby but heard yoga was good for assisting with aches and pains. The class was fantastic and I looked forward to it every week both from a yoga and social aspect. I learned relaxation and breathing techniques which I was able to use throughout my pregnancy and during my labour. Highly recommend this class! Thank you!
Marcela’s pregnancy yoga classes were a little post-work weekly sanctuary throughout my pregnancy. I learnt poses which helped me to relax and relieve aches and pains as pregnancy progressed, and during an unfortunately long labour! Marcela is a really lovely person who cares for every student and encourages discussion and friendship within the group.
I attended Marcela's antenatal yoga when I was pregnant with my twins and I really enjoyed her classes. She does her job with passion and love and it was a pleasure to do yoga with her. She is an excellent teacher, friendly person and a very good friend. Highly recommended!!
Marcela's yoga classes really helped me to relax and use safe yoga moves not only in class but also at home, during labour, during the anxious first days at home and my for anxiety. I met other mamas to be and made great friends which has been amazing to share each other journeys with one another. Marcela always adapts her class to how all the mamas are feeling on the day and gives options on moves. So even if your having a bad day...by just turning up and doing what you can... brightens up your day!! Youll always leave feeling relaxed and energised!!
I attended Mama Gives Light antenatal yoga classes at Yoga's Got Hot. I started going from 16 weeks pregnant until I was 38 weeks. From my first class I was made to feel so welcome and felt like mama gives like took a genuine interest in my pregnancy. At the start of every class she always checked in with how you were feeling and if any changes or pain anywhere. She taught me many different positions for in labour and also to cope with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Her classes are always tailored to suit how your feeling that week in your pregnancy and I feel her knowledge and passion for pregnancy yoga is great! I felt as prepared as possible but also calm in my pregnancy and journey into labour as a first time mum and I have to thank Marcela for a massive part of that! You honestly helped me so much! Also since giving birth she has checked in to make sure me and my little one are doing well! I’d highly recommend Mama Gives Light pregnancy classes to any expecting mum to be!! Thank you!!
I felt very relaxed, well looked after and well instructed during the pregnancy yoga session. The time flew by and the spread and content of the class was well balanced so I enjoyed the class throughout. I liked the friendly tone , chatting wasn't forbidden if a question or discussion came naturally. I also liked the balance between gentle movement, yin/restorative and stronger postures, the offer of modifications and the reminder to keep connecting in with your baby.
As a complete beginner to yoga practice I felt guided and taught well. I felt very well looked after by Marcela, her knowledge about pregnancy and yoga is extensive and I felt safe and supported at all times. I liked Marcela's openness to being asked any kind of questions and not feeling silly! After each class my body felt refreshed and I really enjoyed the exercise.
I was delighted when I heard that Marcela had decided to become a doula. As a midwife I feel that women need doulas like Marcela. She is so passionate about women's ability to give birth naturally whilst recognising that things don't always go to plan. I feel that she will always bring balance regardless of how or where the woman she supports chooses to give birth. Marcela is positive, kind and reassuring, all great qualities for a doula to have. She would be a gift to have by your side during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatally.
That home birth was one of my favourite experiences of my midwifery career. I’ve worked with lots of doulas and I am happy to say that you’re the most professional, realistic, humble and respectful doula that I have worked with. When I remember that home birth I always smile and feel very proud of every person that was in that room that day and also feel very nourished. We were all there looking out for each other to enable a woman’s journey to motherhood, so very special!
I met Marcela when we did an amazing natal hypnotherapy class together over the course of a weekend. It was so lovely to meet Marcela, she was so open, friendly and I immediately felt like we connected and she helped make me feel relaxed and at ease whilst going through the workshop together. We have stayed in touch since having our babies and having seen her go through her doula training and currently her pregnancy yoga teacher training and can only think of the qualities that I first mentioned and how any expecting mother will be in the best hands working with Marcela either with her as their doula or yoga teacher.
I have known Marcela since 2015 when she started antenatal Pilates with me. It has been wonderful getting to know Marcela over the last few years, as both a dedicated client and now a friend too. Marcela has been through quite a journey and it has been amazing watching her spirit, will and determination even when times were I'm sure difficult. Marcela is a very dedicated person and works exceptionally hard to achieve her goals. I have been able to see this through her Pilates journey from antenatal, postnatal to intermediate/advanced Pilates. She is strong in both mind and body and I know she will make an excellent yoga instructor and Doula. I am looking forward to coming to her classes in the future! Plus everything that Marcela has been through puts her in the perfect place to be a wonderful, compassionate and understanding Doula, I wish her every success with her new venture - I'm sure it will be fantastic.