With Nicola Nelson Midwife

Some times all we need is to talk and we can find our own way; create our own map. Having someone to bounce off is enough, most times, to set us back on our path or even to help us discover a whole new path.

Birth Work can be emotionally demanding and continuing your professional development can be a challenge, especially as many self-employed Birth Workers work in relative isolation for much of the time. Even working in a team; say an NHS environment, can leave us feeling isolated; what if your vision is not aligned with those you work?  It's almost worse being surrounded by people and still feeling isolated.

While many Doulas experience a period of mentorship, opportunities for supervision after this are limited.

For antenatal educators such as Hypnobirthing Teachers it can be difficult to access meaningful or robust support after completing your initial training.

It is not unusual for an individual practitioner to need support beyond that which can be provided through social media groups. Every woman, every pregnancy, every birth is unique and working with that can present unprecedented challenges for the Birth Worker. An initial Birth Work preparation course cannot prepare you for every eventuality; our learning takes place over a lifetime and we need support to do that. How do we make sense of some of what our clients experience and how can we learn from it and develop so that we may deepen our practice and in turn offer the best support we possibly can to our clients? If we are affected emotionally by what we experience, where do we put that emotion and how do we process it positively?


“When you know better, you do better”

- Maya Angelou


reflective-supervision-support-doulas-birthworkers-midwives-antenatal-teachersReflective Supervision provides a safe and confidential environment for you to reflect upon and discuss your work while developing and deepening your practice. The focus is on supporting you in your personal and professional development using structured reflection sessions. It is a means of encouraging self-assessment, analytical and reflective skills. It is a collaborative, dynamic process which includes the components of teaching and mentorship, but which goes far beyond to a nurturing role.

I feel passionately that Reflective Supervision is necessary for safe, sustainable, and ethical practice.

I also believe in holding space for others; allowing you to experience what you need to experience in order to empower you.  Holding space provides the opportunity for your thoughts, insights and often answers to emerge.



Reflective supervision provides an opportunity for you to:

  • Reflect on and review your practice.
  • Engage in reflective practice and critical thinking
  • Discuss and analyse individual cases.
  • Develop and deepen your practice
  • Identify training and continuing development needs.
  • Get support with working through difficult issues

I am a Midwife with experience of managing and supervising a wide range of Birth Workers including antenatal teachers, lay birth supporters and Midwives. I have expertise in supervision around complex clinical and social cases including Child Protection.

Reflective Supervision sessions for Birth Workers are accessible no matter where you live as we can work together via Skype or Face Time if you don't live locally to me. If you live in the Bristol area you are welcome to attend my office in BS15 for your sessions. I offer sessions up until 9pm on week days and at the week-ends by special arrangement once we have built a relationship.

Good reflective supervision relies on trust and therefore (within some limits*, see below) a supervisee has a right to expect the content of the session to remain confidential. The content of a supervision session will be agreed between us in advance.

Sessions may include:

  • Identifying areas of knowledge, skill or practice that you need to develop further and creating a plan to address that.
  • Exploring other ways of working
  • Exploring self-limiting agendas that you may not even be aware you hold.
  • Exploring your emotional reaction to or feelings experienced during a client’s birth.
  • Exploring and processing feelings and your responses to a client’s birth story.
  • Accepting your limitations as a practitioner and being at peace with that.

You will be invited to engage in self-compassion; the foundation of all Way of the Koi work. You will be encouraged to develop and use your own breath work for creating a personal peace that you will draw on in your birth work.

Way of the Koi Objectives: safe, compassion focused care of women, ourselves and one another.

Way of the Koi also draws deeply upon the philosophy of Shoshin (初心), a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind." It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

Sessions close with a few moments of mindful breathing practice.

Ground rules and responsibilities will be clearly defined, and a contract of commitment is drawn up and agreed in advance.

The process works towards enabling and empowering you to:

  • Engage in critical self-examination and reflect on practice
  • Become more self-aware in practice
  • Identify practice issues and to consider new approaches to practice based on evidence
  • Consider your client's perception of what happened in a specific episode
  • Be challenged in a safe environment
  • Have the opportunity to consider future training and development needs
  • Exercise self-compassion

You will be asked to complete a brief

Sessions take one hour. You are more than welcome to book one-off, randomly scheduled sessions or regular monthly sessions, which ever suits you better.

Cost: £30

Three sessions if block booked: £75

1 years-worth of sessions (12) if block booked: £310


Email or phone Nicola to discuss your needs or to arrange a session nicola.nelson@wayofthekoi.com / 07904 658 664


In the event that you disclose information which indicates that you or your client (including their children) are at significant risk of harm, self-harm, exploitation or abuse I have a duty of care to report this to a statutory service. This is to safeguard not only the general public but also you; my client.