Welcome to Birchtree Beginnings!

If you’re an expectant or new parent and you or your partner is visually impaired, you’ve come to the right place!

Gemma PictureMy name is Gemma Burnett-Hitchcock and I’m a blind mum of 2, and a doula and birth educator, specialising in support for visually impaired parents. You can read more about me, my experience and qualifications and the services I offer, via the links at the top of each page, and please feel free to contact me for a chat about your situation and how I might help.

Pregnancy and early parenthood can be a daunting time, and whilst visually impaired (V I) mums and dads share the same concerns as all parents, we also face some additional challenges.

Birchtree birth and babycare classes are specifically designed for you as V I parents, providing practical preparation and boosting your confidence to plan a positive birth and tackle the ordinary everyday routines like feeding, changing and getting out and about with your little person.

Classes draw on my doula, birth educator and BabyCalm™ training, along with my experience supporting dozens of V I parents over the years, as well as my experience as a blind mum myself. Sessions are tailored to meet your individual needs, with a wide menu of topics to choose from, and in addition to face to face classes locally, I also offer telephone packages, making support accessible to parents from across the UK. Have a look at the Classes For V I Parents page to find out more.

As a doula, I also offer ongoing support to parents through pregnancy and/or the postnatal period. As I specialise in V I support, much of my doula-ing takes place by phone. You can read about what doulas do or more information about my doula services .

Blind Mums Connect: I am chair and founder member of Blind Mums Connect: supporting visually impaired mums across the UK.

Not Visually Impaired?: Please don’t feel you have to go away! I provide doula services, including breastfeeding support, for all parents, sighted or not. I also run Birchtree Mammas antenatal courses with my friend and colleague Lisa-Jane Merridue, of DoulaMamma. Please get in touch for more information or the dates of upcoming courses.

Birth Debriefing: If you have experienced a difficult or traumatic birth, birth debriefing gives you the chance to talk about the birth, what happened and how you feel now. Talking things through can be really beneficial, and if you are having another baby, I can help you prepare for a more positive experience this time.

Training for professionals: I run workshops for professionals on supporting V I parents. If you are a midwife, doula or other interested professional, please get in touch for details of my upcoming workshops.
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