West Country Soul Midwives - Nicola Nelson and Angela Conway
We met as Student Nurses in the early 1990's and our lives have remained intertwined ever since, both exploring the world in our own ways but forever linked by our shared belief in the power of simple human connection. Our life’s-work has been to compassionately serve others at their first breath and at their last-breath and at the many moments of joy, pain, triumph or crisis that come in-between these two life defining breaths.
We now work together offering Sensory Journey in Care Homes to those with dementia and Soul Midwifery at the end of life.
Nurse. Celebrant. Health Visitor.
Soul Midwife with a lived experience of dementia through brain injury within her family.
Hospice Nurse. Hypnotherapist. Birth Midwife.
Soul Midwife with experience of dementia Nursing and managing a Dementia Care Unit.
What we do and what we offer
We trained in the art of Soul Midwifery with Felicity Warner at the Soul Midwives School in Dorset.
We are able to work with you and your family from the moment you come to know that you have a life limiting condition. Some people reach-out for a Soul Midwife much later in their journey, and that’s ok too.
It’s all about you.
It may be challenging to start contemplating your end-of-life plan. Starting to plan this doesn’t mean you’re giving up. We both have end-of-life plans already and have shared them so that when (and it is when) the time comes we can focus on really living in whatever time we have left.
Soul Midwives recognise the challenges that starting this process can bring and we can be there for you.
We must all prepare for this final stage of life. We must consider our preferences and values and share them with our loved ones. What is most important to you? What would be most important to your loved ones? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Would you like to focus on living? How can you maintain control at this time?
During the later stages of your journey we are able to support you with comfort and relaxation using a variety of Soul Midwifery skills; gentle touch massage, deep listening, scented oils, sound, relaxation techniques or hypnotherapy. Often the most profound support comes from us being simply ‘present’. We are also able to teach your loved ones these skills if you wish.
Our aim is to promote a feeling of safety, dignity and calm in whichever way you wish to experience this. You may only want us to teach you and those around you some techniques to promote your comfort or you may wish to have us around in a more present way; what-ever you want is ok with us.
There may be days when you thought you wanted us around but then you didn’t, and that’s ok too. You are in control.
We aim to meet you where you are, not where anyone else thinks you should be.
Hopes and wishes
When we move into a place of acceptance it can be incredibly freeing both psychologically and socially. We are no longer constrained by the usual things that shackle us to the everyday. Some people embrace this as an opportunity and choose to fill this period of their life with all the good things that life has to offer. We are comfortable sitting in this place with you and are open to supporting you to plan what you’d like to do with the rest of your life.
Not everyone has strongly held spiritual beliefs. Some people want to spend their time re-engaging with their birth religion. Some have very definite and strongly held spiritual or religious beliefs. Some people are atheist. Some people experience a spiritual awakening for the first time in their lives. Soul Midwives are comfortable in any of these scenarios and have the capacity to work with you around any of them.
We work with families and loved ones too and are open to being engaged by a family solely to support them and not work with their loved-one at all if that is what is needed. Some-times all that is necessary is for us to support the family and they can do the rest.
It can be a great source of comfort knowing that your loved ones will benefit from the ongoing connection with and support from your Soul Midwife.
Soul Midwife Café’s
We hold free Soul Midwife Cafes once a month in a variety of venues around the West Country. Anyone is welcome to come along and chat to us. Soul Midwife Cafes are an opportunity to speak freely about end-of-life (and be heard) or start the work of putting plans in place that will empower you to take control of this hugely significant part of your life story.
You are welcome to attend if you have a loved one who is dying or if you simply want to understand more about dying and death.
Visit our dedicated Facebook page to find out about dates and details of the next Soul Midwife Café or request one in your area.
If you run a Care Home and would like to host a Soul Midwife Café please get in touch. We also offer support and teaching around end of life care for Carers and Nursing Staff.
You can get in touch with us in any of the following ways:
- Complete the contact form below
- Phone or text us: Nicola 07904 658664 / Angela 07425 205 806
- Email us: email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.org
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