After a horrific first birth which had me going through medical intervention after medical intervention after medical intervention, etc and an “emergency” c section, from 35 weeks it felt like I had no control or say over what was going to happen to me regarding the birth. There was no informed consent for anything I purely didn’t know better and believed it was best to listen to what the midwives and doctors were telling me. Fast forward two years later and we are expecting baby number 2. With the horrific treatment of mums I’ve witnessed in the nhs and the appalling treatment I’ve had in my first lot of appointments I knew I didn’t want to have this baby in a hospital. Luckily a telegram group I’m in shared When Push Comes to Shove’s own telegram group, and with reading through and watching Nickita’s interviews with other women from all walks of life talk about the pros of free birthing and the cons of allowing others to dictate how you birth, I knew that I was going to have this baby in the comfort of my own home in a birthing pool, which I wanted the first time but was told no because I was “high risk”. Even if a hospital birth is what you want I thoroughly suggest watching the interviews because you will come away with so much empowerment and knowledge about birth physiology and the cons of medical intervention. I personally am so excited to take my birth back into my hands and have the birth I dreamed of and it’s all that’s to the amazing women at When Push Comes To Shove.
We contacted Nickita when we were due our first child as a holding hand and to help prepare us for what was to come! She was not at all as I expected a doula to be, she is confident, witty, eloquent and knows her stuff. She also listens to and respects your views and treats any queries or questions with the utmost respect and does not diminish your choices or ideas if they do not agree with her own. Nickita will also present both sides of any issue and provide guidance if you need further information so you can make informed choices which are best for you, your baby and the situation. She will support you and your decisions all the way and was a great help to my husband in supporting him both mentally and emotionally to help him make decisions and advocate for me confidently. I cannot recommend her more highly.
I hired Nickita as my doula as soon as I found out I was expecting, this was my first pregnancy and I wanted to do things my way, and I knew Nickita could help to make that happen. Throughout the later stage of my pregnancy Nickita was always on hand with advice, reassurance and a kind word when it was needed most. Nickita taught me all I needed to know about what my body was going through and what it was capable of. I went into the final stages of pregnancy feeling informed and confident, even when things didn’t pan out as expected I knew I could rely on Nickita to support me through it and explain all my options, especially when my other care providers were to busy to advise. As a person Nickita is funny, warm, practical when it’s appropriate and caring when all you need is a cuddle! The breadth of her experience means I always felt I was in the best hands and I felt no fear going into labour. I can’t recommend Nickita highly enough, if you’re questioning whether to engage her services, don’t! It will be the best decision you ever make for you, your partner and your baby!
Wow. What can I say? This beautiful lady has gone absolutely above and beyond for me. We met because I asked a question she had an answer to. Then I needed some support through a majorly tough time in my pregnancy and guess who was right beside me (from a distance) on the phone the whole way through. Nothing is too big for this wonderful lady. I am never made to feel stupid for asking any questions and the love and support that Nickita shows is just out of this world. I truly didn't know that a human this amazing even existed. I am looking forward to continuing this pregnancy with your love and support 🙂
I came across Nickita & her company (When Push Comes To Shove) when I was expecting our 5th child in summer of 2021. This time I was 100% certain I wanted an “off grid” home birth since my past birth experiences at the hospital & birthing centre left me hurt physically and emotionally due to the unnecessary interference. With Nickita’s information I felt I had everything I needed to plan & claim the natural birth I wanted. I was extremely excited & looked forward it with great anticipation! I signed up for her Q&S’s and birth physiology courses which were very informative & empowering. I came out of them with a wealth of knowledge, positive energy and reassurance. I enjoyed special guests she had during the Q&A’s, they were highly respected big names in the natural birth world. Course atmosphere was relaxed & fun.
Unfortunately & unexpectedly I had a miscarriage in early September 2021 at 10 weeks of my pregnancy. Nickita was very kind & guided me through it which I’m forever grateful. Following this heartbreaking experience in loosing my baby & at the same time receiving this authentic, compassionate & thorough care by Nickita I had the calling to help women & my own children in the future, which then led me to her Doula/ Birth Keeper course which I enjoyed tremendously. The way women birth matters, the way babies are born matters & it begins with self education which then leads to informed decisions, beautiful and empowered births, women & families. “Peace on Earth begins at birth”
With love & gratitude
Loved the intensive course with host Nickita, had a nice relaxed feel as if your just chatting to a friend, filled with lots of information , interactive with short videos , perfect for a first time mother, I’m on my fourth and still found out lots of things I’ve never known before. I feel empowered to stand up for my rights and not be bullied or coerced into anything! Thanks again x
I attended the intensive course yesterday and walked away feeling empowered in my decision to home birth, even though this is my first child I have always been in the mind set of avoiding the NHS, this is for all treatments and always look at holistically treating myself. I’ve lost all confidence in what we are told, drugs forced up us and big pharma and I didn’t want to ever have to fight for my childs rights in a hospital setting. Learning all the current practices that are currently taking place during labour and how different it could be for so many women made me want to make sure I don’t go through any of this. Nickita explained everything is great details and left time for plenty of questions from everyone. Highly recommended! 😀
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.
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