What is 'When Push Comes To Shove'?

When push comes to shove is a Hemel Hempstead based, EBE award nominated maternity service. Founded by Nickita Starck. 
We are NICE stakeholders and specialise in birth physiology and birth rights.
We provide outstanding birth education. From Doula services and online birth workshop programmes to Independent Midwife referrals and PSHE education for children. 
When Push Comes To Shove see you as an individual, not a statistic. The term 'Risk' is relative and we ensure quality education so you are able to understand why you are being labeled 'high risk' and what your choices are. 
We are an advocacy service set to ensure your wishes are respected during birth. Informed consent is key and sadly we hear all too many accounts of this not being practiced. We provide evidence based information so you can make an informed decision about your birth.
We also have a youtube channel. We interview many birth professionals such as Doctors, Midwives & Doulas. We even interview celebrities! Our podcast is available on itunes and spotify too. 


  • DOULA SERVICES - We can provide you with an experienced Doula wherever you are in the UK. Our Doulas are all certified and very knowledgeable. If you are on a low income we can offer a payment plan. ​​

  • ONLINE BIRTH WORKSHOPS - If you don't fancy a Doula but you are keen on the education, book our online course for the fraction of the price! 

  • PSHE- Education for children. We teach in Uniformed organisations such as Scouts and Girl Guides as well as offering a PSHE programme for schools

  • BIRTH RIGHTS ADVOCACY- We provide an excellent service for women who have been told they are 'not allowed' to birth how they wish. We provide families with evidence based information in order to make an informed decision about their birth. 

  • MIDWIFE REFERRALS - If you require an independent midwife or Birth Keeper, we can put you in touch with a midwife suitable for your needs. PLEASE NOTE There is currently no insurance for independent midwives to attend births! 


  • Women who are told they cannot have a home birth for reasons such as 

    • HIGH BMI​

    • LOW BMI





  • Women who are told they cannot have a vaginal birth for reasons such as




  • Women who are told they need to be induced for reasons such as 



    • GDM


There will never be enough words to Thank Nickita for her guidance and support to get the dream birth I wanted.

At 28 weeks Pregnant, after battling my local maternity service. I came across "When Push Comes to Shove" and watched one of the videos. I decided to message Nickita, without really knowing why I was messaging her. I felt lost and overwhelmed with the consultants bombarding me with information. After a phone call with Nickita, she armed me with not only the information I needed to fight my corner, the backing of an influential lady named Beverley. Beverley, ensured my local maternity services knew I meant business and I knew my rights.

I'm so pleased I had the Home Water Birth I so desperately wanted, my son was present at the birth and we moved through this transition together as a family.

Thank you Nickita and Beverley for everything you have done to support me and my Family without you it wouldn't have been possible

Shauna M

At the 12 weeks scan we found out we were having MCDA twins (where a placenta is shared). I immediately was told it was a ‘high risk’ pregnancy and upon every appointment since reminded of all the risks. I was told about the risks of going beyond 36 weeks of pregnancy and the aim of the medical team was to  deliver them by 36 weeks. This was daunting, as I had so many more questions with regards to my desired pregnancy journey, if they were thriving and doing well whether they could stay in a little longer and also if more focus could be given on supporting me to have a natural birth, rather than the emphasis being on a C section or epidural, all of which I’m happy to have if it’s absolutely necessary. As it’s so early on in the pregnancy, I felt my options ought to be considered, yes there are risks but there are so many variables from now until when they are 36 weeks. When I got in touch with Nickita she immediately put my mind at ease, educating me on what choices I have, who I can speak with and how I can help myself along my pregnancy journey, to put myself in the best position to hopefully have the birth I wish for. Nickita listened attentively and was extremely supportive.

Joanna M


With the support of Nickita, on the 8th September I had the birth I dreamed of - at home, in the conservatory, in little more than 5 hours.

This was a birth that followed the trauma of a 5 day medicalised horror show that had resulted in a c-section, an experience that started with the awareness that I was out of my power and ended up with me feeling like a defective object ripped out of a machine. I was desperate for healing. I was desperate to believe that my body could do what I knew it was designed to do, although inside I felt inadequate, as though I myself was defective, as if I simply didn’t know my body well enough for it to be able to give birth. Thinking about my c-section produced this quiet cold sensation inside me, which I didn’t share with anyone - a feeling of inadequacy. What I didn’t know at the time was that the feeling I was identifying with didn’t belong to me; wasn’t in fact mine. Instead, it belonged to a system that commonly, even mostly, produces inadequate birth experiences. It was a form a social shame that I’d internalised. It was awful. I felt ‘less than’; harboured a deep-seated fear that somewhere at my core I wasn’t a very effective being.

I’d enlisted the help of a doula the first time I’d given birth, but she didn’t know how to help me. A few days into the experience she’d disappeared and afterwards I didn’t want to look her in the eye. I felt angry that she hadn’t helped, but the stronger feeling was of shame for my failure, as if it had revealed that I was inherently defective and wrong.

Well, fast forward 3 and a half years to my daughter’s birth. Nickita had dropped into my life in the last couple of months and directed me to resources to help me rewire my brain, helping me to understand that it was my beliefs about the birth that would have most impact on my experience (birth is after all, like orgasm, a highly psychosomatic experience fuelled by the hormones that connect our mind to our body). Nickita recommended the videos of Laura Shanley, from whom I could absorb a pure confidence in the natural ability of the animal body to birth. She also recommended the Ani-ball, a device designed to slowly stretch the perineum, a practice that not only helps to reduce tearing during birth, but enables the pregnant woman to understand something of what the birth process will be like and mentally get ready. More importantly, she visited me often in my home, and made it clear that this whole thing must be done on my terms to be successful. She gave herself 100 percent in service to me as the birthing woman.

When it came to the birth, well I freaked out. I was terrified by the intensity of it, and would have taken anything in the medical playbook to get out of there. The only way I could cope was by doing only and exactly what my body said to do. It had very clear instructions, including being alone in the room as much as possible and tuning out all distractions. I needed to be beyond honest to feel okay. Even the slightest sound of talking could distract me, plunging me out of the manageable feeling of meeting the thunder that was tearing through my body, and thus leave me rudderless in a universe of pain. Always a people pleaser before, now I had to feel okay to bark people out of the room, even out of the house, in order to concentrate and steer my consciousness through the intensity I was experiencing. I was in a part of myself that I didn’t know, a part that was incredibly honest, that could take control and follow the directions of my body and do what it needed. I was learning one of a woman’s most profound lessons, that I can transform annihilating pain into something more benevolent, if equally formidable, through taking control of my own consciousness and steering my mind. I can now understand why some women experience birth without pain - it’s not because their sensations are mild, but because with mental strength it is possible - once you move through fear - to join up with the raging waters and in that tremendous paradox of surrender, to begin to direct the course of the dream.

This was all enabled by Nickita being there. She was the only person I wanted anywhere near me. When I felt overwhelmed by fear I would glance at her and see love pouring from her eyes. When I didn’t believe I could do it, it was her confidence that saw me through. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I felt the power of her conviction - “it’s all going to be okay”, “you don’t have to do anything to make it happen, just trust and you will realise it’s already happening” - and my body trusted and opened.

It was simple, straightforward. Nickita even had her baby there (she called her little doula, to me she was a quiet little physical reminder of the end result of birth). She held the space, spoke to the midwives, ensured that everyone understood what I was too preoccupied to articulate about my needs and my values. She tolerated me shouting, barking for people to leave when I immediately and desperately needed them to, all of the time with a beatific expression of loving joy on her face. She did all of this on her own birthday, in an act of total and complete service that I will never forget.

My baby came out in one go, after I stepped out of the birth pool and stood up. I was in utter shock and Nickita continued to support me as I navigated making decisions about the delivery of the placenta, whether and when to cut the cord etc. She sat by my head like a ministering angel while I was stitched up (a small tear) and got high on post-birth hormones, achievement, and laughing gas. The deeper psychic wound had already been sutured. I’d done it!

I realise now that I could have given birth in a similar way the first time round too, with that kind of support. It had never been me at fault, but a system that provides the wrong information and inadequate support to the birthing woman. This time round I had Nickita. She knew I could do it, just like the many other women she’s supported. To her, straightforward natural birth is routine, normal. Words can’t express my gratitude for her presence at my birth. I’ll carry the experience with me always as one of the crowning moments of my life.

Tallie M



We are raising the voice of birth by bringing the subject of birth into the mainstream narrative.  Birth effects everyone.  Along with the amazing single BREATHE AGAIN we are talking to as many people as possible about birth & birth choices on our growing YouTube Channel & we will begin filming the birth documentary in the Spring of 2021.

Raise funds for Independent Midwives to get the insurance needed to be able to get back to work

Make, record & release the amazing New Single, Breathe Again.

Available now for pre-order

To create an education program for young adults to understand the physiology of birth & all of the birth options available

Create an educational program suitable to be added to the current Sex Education Curriculum to help educate children about birth & choices in birth

Funded antenatal & postnatal education to women & birthing people throughout all stages of motherhood with non-biased, factual information

Create an Access Fund so even those in financial or personal hardships can have access to Independent Midwives & or Doula support if they so wish

Raise awareness for the right to choose where people birth & who they have at their birth

Using donated funds to build independent birthing units around the UK so anyone who wishes to, can access & use independent birth services outside of their homes if they wish to do so.