SUPPORTING YOUR CHOICES
Supporting parents from birth and beyond
When your baby is here, there is still so much to understand and learn.
Physical and emotional recovery for mum and baby, processing birth trauma, breastfeeding, understanding baby’s biological development, parent’s mental well-being, sleep support, a changing couple’s relationship, expressing breastmilk, combination feeding of breastmilk and formula, introducing bottles, helping a 6 month baby to start solids, returning to work whilst breastfeeding. The list goes on.
The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is never more evident than in the early days of parenting. Spending time with other parents, feeling supported, having someone to listen to your anxieties and thoughts is just a small part of what I offer. You may not need something fixing, but often feeling heard, listened to and respected is a huge part of what I can help with.
If you’re looking for non-judgemental, kind, supportive, listening help, then get in touch.
Cally is a truly amazing person who has helped me in so many ways, I honestly will never be able to thank her enough for her support.
I met Cally when she was my NCT teacher in September 2020. The course was brilliant and I recommend it to every new parent I know. Cally is fantastic at teaching the course but also at helping the group gel together, supporting you on your way to becoming lifelong friends. The course has been an integral part of my experience of becoming a mum.
When my little one was 6 months I completed Cally’s Intro to Solids course which gave me the confidence to introduce foods to my little one at the right time.
15 months into motherhood Cally continues to support me on my breastfeeding journey. There is absolutely no doubt about it that I would not have breastfed for so long without Cally’s support. I would recommend Salisbury Breastfeeding Facebook and Salisbury Breastfeeding weekly Zoom to every new mum.
Cally is the only professional who has supported me since the beginning of my motherhood journey, at every twist and turn. I always know I can go to Cally for advice if I need it, which is so reassuring. I would not be the person or the mum that I am today if it wasn’t for Cally’s support
Nikki, Michael & Edith Brown
Cally was recommended to us by a friend who had previously used her doula services, I had heard of a doula before and loved this concept of being supported by another woman throughout my labour, alongside my husband.
We met Cally for a chat and we both loved the idea of Cally supporting us both of us during the labour. Cally listened to our birth preferences beforehand, she is empathetic and supportive of your preferences, she really has your back and that is exactly who we wanted!
Our labour was long, it took a long time for me to reach 10cm dilation but Cally was there the whole time (I don’t know where she finds her energy!). When my husband took a break she was there holding my hand, her presence was incredible; there when I needed her, protective of our preferences & also had our backs when difficult decisions were to be made.
We had a vaginal birth which is what we both wanted and were fortunate to have, however there were several points during the long labour where this may not have happened and we think that Cally’s support helped us here.
I would highly recommend her services, not only as a doula during the birth but also for the ongoing support and care after the birth. She has helped us so much with setting up good breastfeeding techniques from the very beginning, to supporting us in those first weeks where we didn’t have a clue about looking after a newborn and being parents. She was there for us and know that made me feel supportive and like ‘i’ve got this!’
Finally, I would like to highlight that my husband kept saying whenever I was nervous leading up to the birth “you know it’s all going to be fine as we have Cally on board” and I think that sums it all up! So thank you Cally for everything and all of your support.
A, A, baby L & baby E
We had the privilege of meeting Cally as our NCT teacher more than three years ago with which we were blown away by her level of knowledge and passion, in supporting us to become a family. Since then she has saved both of our breastfeeding journeys with fantastic support. We cannot recommend her services highly enough and often find ourselves signposting others to sign up for some ‘Cally Magic’ to ensure they find their tribe & get their fix.
Compared to many I feel I was pretty late in discovering Cally Edwards, with thanks to lockdowns there was no face to face NCT, no prenatal, no face to face feeding support and no new baby/mum groups.
To say I entered life as a first time new mum completely in the dark is an understatement and honestly, until I met Cally, one that I didn’t see becoming lighter anytime soon.
There were no classes, no drop in weighing sessions, no health visitor visits, nothing.
Cally’s wealth of knowledge and ability to empower new parents is undeniably invaluable and something I will forever be grateful for at a time when there really was no one else to turn to (other than google!!). From feeding support, weaning workshops, and trauma reflections, Cally’s knowledge and experience is top class.
Her ability to adapt to bossing zooms so quickly in a time of need was admirable and something that remains such a useful tool especially now with life’s juggles. I have experienced both 1:1 and group zoom sessions, Cally makes them incredibly personalised but also interactive in group settings which was all the more appreciated during those lonely lockdown times.
Cally’s no nonsense, down-to-earth and good humoured approach has been a breath of fresh air that, combined with her trusted experience, is a perfect match!
My wife and I had been considering having our second child for a while, and after the difficulties we experienced with our first little boy, the thought of doing it all again has been pretty daunting, to say the least.
We have now started engaging with Cally, after she provided my wife so much support when our little man arrived, and I must say her approach has certainly helped us see it from a more positive and proactive perspective, making us believe we can begin on this next journey on the right foot. Feeling like we have someone on our side going into this a second time, knowing that we have her to help fight our corner and guide us through some of the trickier times that inevitably lie ahead, is a huge weight off our shoulders.
As a dad, it’s sometimes hard to understand how you fit into the picture both before the birth of your baby and the time after. Cally has helped me understand how proactive you can be and how, as the dad, working with her can help create that positive environment for my wife, that helps her feel more secure knowing she is in control, and she has a close team around her.
Knowing that you are part of that, for me, has made me look at having another baby as something that can be a massively positive, which after our own first experience, I didn’t think was possible.
Imogen & Keith Ratcliffe
It’s impossible to do full justice to the role that Cally has played in the births of all three of our daughters just by using words! In 2017 when we joined seven other couples in a church hall and were introduced to Cally as our NCT Antenatal Course teacher we had no idea what she would come to mean to our family.
Whilst pregnant with our first, we came to believe that home birth was the right choice for us, Cally was hugely supportive and set about equipping us with all the information we needed. From here, we asked Cally if she’d doula for us. Following our blissful home birth Cally was instrumental in ensuring a successful, exclusively breastfed feeding journey, something which was very important to me! She visited us at home as well as checking in and responding to my messages at all hours. Cally advised on positioning and attachment as well as helping us work out the feeding teams plan of pumping and top ups.
The most challenging aspect of our second daughters birth was the fact that she was “overdue”, our first came early, so I was not prepared for this!! Cally has a wonderful way of empowering and supporting decisions. We declined induction, Cally was respectful of this and again shared much relevant research to keep us informed. Second daughter arrived at home, no problems, just a little “late”!!
Pregnancy number 3 and “Cally” and “home birth” were written in the birth preferences from the beginning. This time, we had a pandemic to contend with!! Stretched maternity services and NHS Covid procedures meant that Cally had to adapt her working, but it didn’t stop her having the most positive impact and making herself so available. We declined induction again, this time under great pressure from a risk adverse and coercive consultant. Cally played a crucial role in helping me to process everything we were up against but, perhaps more significantly, she was extraordinary in helping me unpick this birth. Our 3rd daughter was an “accidental” hospital birth, something that I have really struggled with.
Cally continues to make herself available to us and takes such an enormous interest in our girls.
For anyone considering a doula, I have described Cally as “as essential as my uterus to my births!”. My husband was initially concerned as to what his role becomes when a doula is present. He has since acknowledged that Cally was hugely complimentary to our team, there to support us both.
Nim & John Martin
Cally has given so much, so selflessly to so many women I know, including me. She is entirely committed to giving women confidence in pregnancy, birth and postnatally. Her passion is unstoppable and radiates from her.
Cally was our antenatal teacher – we got a good’un there! She is so knowledgeable, so personable, and so good at bringing people together. She really helped us to be more informed about our birth choices, presenting all the information and explaining it all so clearly, so that we could go into our birth feeling confident about whatever was to come. I really had her on my shoulder in the birthing room: the knowledge we learned on the NCT course from Cally, gave us a better understanding of the medical advice, and enabled us to have informed discussions with the midwives about our choices going forward. I really enjoyed each of my three births, and I know that this is in part due to the confidence Cally instilled in us through the antenatal class.
Cally is a breastfeeding guru! There is no one else I would go to for advice. She helped me to breastfeed for the very first time when I thought I’d never be able to. The day I came home with my third baby, feeding was not going to plan, and within minutes I knew exactly who I wanted to speak to. I called Cally in desperation, knowing that she would sort me out! She welcomed me into her home, and sat with me until things were sorted. Even though I suspect it may not have been a convenient time, she seemingly dropped everything for me and my baby. Cally is one of those people who has the knack of making you feel like you’re the only one she cares about.
Once you know Cally, she’s one of those faces you are always relieved to see when you’re heading to a breastfeeding group for some advice, or if you happen to bump into her on the postnatal ward or something – she’s got empathy, knowledge and comfort by the bucket load! Everyone knows Cally, and everyone loves Cally! She’s a real hero!
Alice, Will & Gus Page
There aren’t enough words to say how amazing Cally is. But I’ll try! We hired Cally as a postnatal doula and can easily say it was the best decision we ever made.
Even before our little boy was born, Cally answered numerous questions and reassured me. We met once briefly on zoom before our baby was born and within moments I knew she was the person we needed to help. I instantly felt calmer and supported.
Once our baby was born, she came out in the early days and made minor adjustments to help with breastfeeding, reassured us that it’s all normal and she was only ever a text away. We spread our Cally hours out over the first 6 weeks especially for when my husband returned to work. She’d come in, make me a cup of tea, debriefed our birth, pet the dog, bounce the baby, support an anxious first-time mum, explain in man terms for my husband.
After our postnatal hours were used up Cally has continued to be a huge support. From helping me find the right mum groups for me, giving us advice about bedtime and sleep.
Every time we have reached out for advice or guidance she has always come back with a positive response confirming we are doing the right thing and giving us more tips and tools to help us along.
We are unbelievably grateful for every piece of advice and hour she spent sitting on our sofa or zoom giving us a pep talk!
I can safely say that without her support we wouldn’t be where we are today, with a very happy baby, a mum that’s very confidently breastfeeding and trusting her instincts and a dad who feels included and bonded without having to bottle feed.
We rant and rave about how truly amazing, warm, friendly and supportive Cally is to everyone. Of all the silly baby stuff on the market that first-time parents think they need, don’t bother with it, hire Cally instead!
Mel & Jack Birmingham
We first met Cally as our NCT teacher before the birth of our first child. She was a wonderful teacher, full of information and always incredibly supportive of our own decisions and journey.
When we found out we were expecting our second child ,we knew straight away that we wanted to Cally to be involved as our birth Doula. We could not have asked for better support. She was available to us constantly for questions and reassurance in the weeks leading up to the birth, even attending a late night hospital appointment with us!
She then barely left our side during a long labour and she seemed to know exactly what we needed before we did. Whether that was calming essential oils for me, or energy-giving jelly babies for my husband, or translating messages from the medical team in a calm and endlessly reassuring manner. I honestly do not know how we would have managed without her.
Having known Cally as NCT teacher, breastfeeding supporter and birth doula, I cannot think of anyone I would rather have had by our side through any of these journeys.
Laura & Lee Webster
I first met Cally at the drop in breastfeeding support group when my little boy was only 3 weeks old and everything was a bit of a struggle, feeding included. She was an enormous help then and ever since and I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without her help in those first few months. We had issues with sleeping, cluster feeding and then I developed carpal tunnel in both wrists, making life with a tiny baby virtually impossible. Throughout it all Cally was there to help with advice, her no nonsense approach, kindness and even just a hug which meant the world to me. Since he’s grown I’ve been back for formal advice on returning to work and night weaning, and as always Cally’s advice was extremely helpful. I would thoroughly recommend her services to anyone who is thinking of approaching her. Our boy is now sleeping through most nights.
Introduction to Solids workshops:
“Practical, clear advice, tactfully delivered without any waffle or judgement. Thank you for giving us the confidence to enjoy being first time parents.”
“As ever Cally was hugely knowledgeable and helpful. The course itself, with the accompanying WhatsApp group and wider support, is excellent and great value for money. To improve even further it would have been great to make more progress through the presentation to cover the formal info, and perhaps to have some prereading so we understood some of the basic terms like what baby led weaning means, beforehand. Overall we feel in a much better place to start introducing solids when ready and would love to hear more courses From Cally.”
“Cally’s personable approach sets her courses apart. She’s pragmatic and patiently understands the anxieties around being a new parent. The focus on talking and meeting new people is very important so I love the idea of the WhatsApp group.”
“I would 100% recommend Cally’s weaning workshop, I feel so empowered, confident and excited to start our weaning journey. I was feeling anxious and confused about how to introduce solids, what introduce, quantities and mixed with breastfeeding. I really feel like every caregiver could benefit from this, particularly as you are able to have an open and honest discussion with Cally too!”
“I found the session super helpful and reassuring – was rather apprehensive to try BLW for my 2nd, now I’m much more confident 😁 great value for money wish I’d done it with my first baby.”
“Great value for money, very affordable for mums. Informative and confidence building.”
“We found the course very informative with lots of relevant information given and a good organised flow to the course. It was great value for money and I loved being able to meet mums in a similar situation to us and be able to chat with them as well. Cally is also available post course to help with any questions or issues which really helped us feel more confident. Cally is incredible and I couldn’t recommend this course enough!”
“As ever with Cally’s teaching all the important messages were laid out simply up front, along with a great confidence boost and loads of good information to dig into after the class. Always feel so supported by Cally. I’d highly recommend this to anyone.”
“As always Cally’s courses are always fun, informative and friendly! She has given us a lot of confidence ready to start solid weaning and really appreciate all the help she has given us! Totally value for money and would recommend (and have done) to all my parent friends.”
“I found the course “introducing solids” really informative and delivered in a friendly open minded relaxed environment. The duration was just right with a mix of slides and face to face. It was great to have the whatsup group which moving forward I can see how this will be helpful tool for reassurance and confidence with other parents in the same boat. Thank-you.”
“Super helpful. I haven’t been sure how to progress with weaning and now have a much better idea. Fantastic value for money and way more helpful than most of the books. Easier to digest too.”
“A brilliant course that gave me a great starting point of understanding the different ways of weaning from milk to solids. The communication before and after is impeccable and Cally is always there to answer questions. It’s helped me build a bigger network of mums to talk to, share ideas and ideas express worried too. Fantastic!”
“Before Cally’s workshop I had so many questions around weaning and was confused by all the tips and advise out there on the big world wide web. Now I’ve completed the workshop I feel informed, confident and excited to start introducing our little one to solids!”
“The course was fab! Very comprehensive, covered all the relevant topics. I found the video clips particularly very helpful to actually see examples of what we were talking about. Also lots of time to answer our questions, Cally is very knowledgeable and expanded on related topics. Great to have the PowerPoint and links to refer back too, although it’s delivered via zoom it still felt friendly and sociable, especially as Cally set up a WhatsApp group to introduce ourselves beforehand to get to know each other and to provide continued support to each other as we introduce solids. Great value for money, especially as Cally is on the WhatsApp group and is kindly able to answer questions in the future. Cally delivered the course in a relaxed and reassuring way, no question is silly! And also with a great sense of humour : ) thank you!”
“Cally is incredible. I admire her honesty and passion so much and as such can’t recommend this course or any of her courses enough. She is incredibly knowledgeable and I always feel like I’m going to hear the other side to the story… which means I come away with a balanced view and can take what from the commonly talked about ways and perhaps a more novel (maybe if I can say it) educated approach. Her courses are always worth doing. Don’t hesitate. Also for £15 she makes it available to everyone. Such good value for the insight she provides and the ongoing support she’s always happy to give. It should cost more. Just do it.”
Refresher Course feedback
“Cally’s course was brilliant. Being new to the area ourselves, she had invaluable knowledge on local support and services available, including the experience in hospital itself, as well as fantastic information on generally preparing for a second baby. It was also great to meet other mums. The WhatsApp group and continued support from both Cally and the other mums is amazing and has been so helpful as issues and questions come up since the course finished.Cally’s passion to ensure you have the most positive birth possible and go in confident, whatever birth you have planned, is inspiring and infectious. She really cares about you and your family, and I found it impossible to leave this course feeling anything but excited, informed and empowered about all aspects of having a second baby.”
“Can’t recommend Cally enough, her energy & enthusiasm plus experience speaks for itself. Empowering mums and passion for supporting choice.”
“I loved the course. It was just the refresher course but me personally I learnt a lot. I’m going to be a first time father and I’m so much more confident now than I was before doing this course.”
“Fabulous course. Really useful, Cally was amazing and so knowledgable. Has helped me feel positively about the next baby and really look forward to his arrival.”
“Cally has been a constant source of knowledge, support and laughs from the very first moment we met her at our first NCT course. She is so knowledgeable, judgement free and straightforward with a great sense of humour. She helped us to feel fully empowered and informed with our first birth and we had such a positive birth experience because of this. Our breastfeeding journey was hard but Cally was there at all of the breastfeeding groups providing invaluable advice and support as well as tissues, tea and biscuits! Most recently, we have done a refresher NCT style course with Cally as we are expecting our second child. This course has been great and Cally has provided such valuable information on what is available, what our options are as well as reassurance and guidance on postnatal issues and family life with a subsequent sibling. I would absolutely recommend Cally to anyone, I don’t know what we would have done without her!
“We valued Cally’s support so much from the offset that we also booked onto her Antenatal Refresher Course. Having attended NCT 2 1/2 years previously my husband and I felt that we had most of the information we needed but certainly needed reminding of some of the key points. An incredibly informative but informal and fun course for anyone looking to remind themselves roughly what happens and when!”
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I have been supporting parents since 2014. As an experienced breastfeeding counsellor I can help with all areas of feeding. Be that the basics of good position and attachment, understanding feeding cues, explaining a baby’s development and sleep behaviour, helping with any problems, signposting to a local infant feeding team and am happy to show you how to introduce bottles and keep the baby feeding responsively and contently.