My name is Gillian Nevin and I am a qualified Active Birth Teacher and Birth Doula, based in Cornwall. After my undergraduate studies, I completed an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute. Shortly afterwards, I became pregnant with my first child.
Knowing very little about birth and babies, I was fortunate to come across Janet Balaskas and the Active Birth Centre in London. I attended weekly Active Birth Yoga classes and completed her highly regarded Active Birth Workshop which prepares both the woman and her partner for the process of labour and birth. I went on to have four wonderfully empowering birth experiences. Two important factors contributed to the way in which I was able to cope with these enormously powerful natural events. One was the confidence and knowledge of my instinctual abilities gleaned from my Active Birth classes and the other was the presence of an experienced caring birth companion throughout my labours. I came to realize just how important the moment of birth is for a woman and her child. I trained as an Active Birth Teacher with Janet Balaskas and as a Doula with Michel Odent.
As an Active Birth Teacher and Doula, I am present, in the deepest possible sense. I do not tell you how to give birth. I simply remind a woman that birth is a normal process, an experience well within her capabilities, and not something to be frightened of. I am a woman myself, I have given birth, I am present to hold your space, perhaps your hand, but most of all simply to be there with you. Birth is an organic process, rooted in the earth, developing instinctively and a unique creation directly dependent upon the energies of the mother. The woman is in control, she is the one doing, and as Michel Odent notes, the best carers are simply present in the wings. The quiet reassurance and understanding offered by a doula to the mother in labour has a noticeable effect not only on how the birth unfolds, but, perhaps more significantly, on the way in which a woman feels about her birth. I feel strongly that a woman should never be made to feel as if her body did not work correctly, as if her behaviour in labour did not meet some expected ideal. I enjoy working with women and babies during this very important period in their lives.
I hold Preparation for labour and birth Workshops and Baby Massage Classes in Truro, Cornwall and I am also available as a Birth Doula and placenta encapsulation specialist.
At present, I am doing a PhD at Falmouth School of Art.
• BSc (HONS ) Mathematics
• MA (Art History)
• MA (Illustration)
• Associate of the Active Birth Centre
• Developmental Baby Massage Instructor
• Birth Art Cafe Mentor
• Birth Doula
• Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBI)
Most of the classes and workshops are held in a little barn studio adjacent to the duckpond. Baby Massage classes are held in the family room in front of the woodburner so that the babies and mothers are warm and comfortable.
In the Summer when the weather is sunny, Baby Massage takes place in the garden.