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Review by founder of Nurturing Birth Valerie Goedkop

July 4th, 2011

Valerie is a very experienced doula and founder of Nurturing Birth, one of the biggest trainers of doulas in the UK.

About the book she said…..

‘Her new book, is really a very easy and excellent read for expecting parents. It talks about birth physiology - whilst most books don’t…. and explains to parents their choices and really sounds like “doula talk” to me… The book is easy to read and well organised. I would be VERY happy to suggest it to mums and dads as one of the better books aimed at them.’

Birth junkies…..

June 6th, 2011

Last week in the Daily Mail…..

The birth junkies: Why women can become addicted to giving birth

An agonising ordeal? No, says maternity expert NICOLE CROFT, giving birth is a natural high so powerful it can leave mothers wanting more




The offer of a Caesarean section might seem heaven sent to any pregnant woman approaching delivery day with rising anxiety.

When I discovered I was expecting my first baby, I’d have paid good money for a general anaesthetic to spare me the agony of childbirth with which I was all-too-familiar, thanks to soap operas and the horror stories other mothers are strangely desperate to share.

Click here for the full  article

Thinking of having a doula and want to know more??

June 6th, 2011

Watch this video- this is Valerie Goedkoop being interviewed on the whos and whats and whys of a doula. She runs Nurturing Birth, where I trained as a doula, and which is a great place to hunt for one in your area.

WIN a COPY of The Good Birth Companion!!!!

May 24th, 2011

Click here to enter competition to win a copy of my book The Good Birth Companion.Great preparation for your own labour or the perfect present for a pregnant friend.

Podcast interview on Mothers Who Work website

May 23rd, 2011

Click here to hear an interview with me about birth and the book……..

The Good Birth Companion

May 23rd, 2011

My book is now widely available to buy… major Waterstones and WHsmiths, at Jaffe and Neale if you live locally, or on Amazon.good-birth-companion.jpg

Praise for the book so far……


‘I cant praise this book enough. Nicole Croft clearly shares her very wide knowledge and experiences from her many roles as doula, active birth centre associate and yoga during pregnancy teacher. Easy to follow, easy to read and I can honestly say I have managed to read almost all of it as it has been difficult to put down. Its modern and refreshing and I will be passing it on to the sister in law who is due her first later this year. Five stars from me.’


‘When you read this book you feel as though you have a very wise best friend standing next to you helping you through the various anxieties of pregnancy and birth.. I believe that ‘knowledge is power’ and this book has made me feel that I have all the information I need to give birth without fear. Would definitely recommend this book - by far the best birthing book I have come across.’


‘If you only read one book to prepare for birth - this is the one to read. Nicole Croft explains the birth process in a really clear and balanced way. The thing I love most about her approach is that she doesn’t judge the choices people make about their birth, she simply explains everything really clearly so that mothers can make informed choices.’ 


‘It feels like all the best parts of my favourite birth books have been distilled into one handily carried paperback. I’m only halfway through but already I’m feeling so much more relaxed about it all. The author writes in an informal and light style but with real authority on the subject, debunking myths left, right and centre, challenging established ideas and making it all quite fun in the process.’




The third stage of labour- leave well alone….

May 23rd, 2011

I was at a home birth only last week - the birth of a gorgeous girl after a five hour labour- and as is often the case at home births, the level of midwifery care was exemplary. The midwives- and there were two from fairly early on- were caring, quiet, attentive but entirely unobtrusive. Exactly the way good midwives should be. The first stage went smoothly and the mother coped admirably with movement, sound, good breathing and the use of water. And with wonderful guidance from the midwives, the second stage was also gentle despite the baby weighing in at over nine pounds. What then suprised me, was the rush to complete the third stage. As the mother had been slightly iron deficient during pregnancy I can only assume it was to avoid any risk at all of excessive blood loss, but after such a wonderful physiological first and second stage, it seemed out of keeping to me that the choice was taken to rush what can only be assumed would have been a very easy third stage. And yet this rush seems prevalent, even amongst those who otherwise support natural birth. It begs the question- when there is no emergency, whats the rush?Contrary to what a lot of people think, the birth is not over after the baby is born. In fact, as Dr Sarah Buckley suggests, in hormonal terms we are more in labour than ever during the third stage. The placenta needs to be born efficiently and in its entirety and the placental site needs closed down. Close proximity of mother and baby, or skin-to-skin is the perfect way to help this happen, as the baby’s touch and early suckling leads to reduced adrenaline as well as raised oxytocin levels and this induces the contractions that are necessary to detach and birth the placenta. As the birth is not over, keeping conditions as they were for the birth- dark, quiet and private- will also help this process.  Early separation of mother and child is not only very stressful for them both, but also reduces the fluidity of the hormonal interplay.This first hour after birth is also an extraordinary time, where the baby and mothers needs are entirely aligned and when they are completely primed for bodning, high on a cocktail of hormones that induce love, pleasure and attachment. Without due reason, to disturb this moment is arguably ensuring we lose some of this magic for no just cause.It is also the case that intervention in the third stage i.e active managment requires the umbilical cord to be cut prematurely or before it has stopped pulsating. Not only does this cut off the baby’s breathing back up plan, but it also ensures that the baby loses the blood trasferrance from the placenta which works out on average 100ml of extra blood ( this a third of their total blood volume) ensuring that their risk of anemia one month on is far higher.As in every part of the labour, we must start from the premise that we need do nothing, until a valid reason presents itself to intervene. ( In line with the first rule of medecine ‘Primum non nocere’ or  ’First do no harm’ )Mother nature has been finely tuned and highly evolved over millions of years. Many of the hormonal interplay is not fully understood, but that which is suggests mothers and babies are primed to be in a ceratin state and to behave in a certain way, and that it is to their overall ebnefit oif they do so. Tampering is usually counter-productive.As Sarah Buckley says in her fantastic book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering‘At a time when Mother Nature prescribes awe and ecstasy, we have injections, examinations, and clamping and pulling on the cord. Instead of body heat, skin-to-skin contact and the baby’s innate instinct to find the breast, we offer separation, wrapping and outside assistance to ‘attach’ the baby. When time should stand still for those eternal moments of first contact, as mother and baby fall deeply in love, we have haste to deliver the placenta and clean up for the next case.’

Business of Being Born

April 13th, 2011

If you havent yet seen this I highly recommend you watch the documentary ‘The Business of Being Born‘.Obviously its about the American Maternity system, so if nothing else we can breathe a huge sigh of relief that our care is better by comparison, but it is also a fantastically eye-opening insight into the birth process and the benefits of really considering the where and whos of your birth process, as they make such a huge difference to your ultimate experience.  My favourite line from the film is ‘ Women don’t need to be rescued. Its not the place for the knight in shining armour. Its the place for her to face her darkest moment and lay claim to her experience.’ Overall a really inspiring watch; realistic and uplifting.

Quick picture of the book…….available for pre-order on Amazon.

April 4th, 2011


The Good Birth Companion

April 3rd, 2011

I am very pleased to announce that my book The Good Birth Companion, which will be released on May 5th is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click on title to go to the amazon page.Launch party will be at Jaffe and Neale, Chipping Norton on Thursday May 5th at 6.30.