Melbourne Doula Since 2004 – Kelly Winder (aka BellyBelly Kelly)


Melbourne Doula, Kelly Winder

A trained birth doula since 2004, with many years of experience in Melbourne hospitals, birth centres and at home.

Ready to feel informed, confident and truly supported by a doula you can absolutely trust?

Love the idea of the anxiety of birth melting away because you have GREAT support, and you know that you and your partner have totally “GOT THIS!”?

Kelly Winder is a birth doula with many years of valuable experience in Melbourne hospitals, birth centres and at home. She was trained in 2004 by the amazing birth superstar, Rhea Dempsey.

Not only that, but Kelly is also the creator of the BellyBelly website (which launched almost 16 years ago!). BellyBelly was created to help women and men get informed and feeling confident about pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Around 2 million visitors frequent the BellyBelly website on a monthly basis, so it’s safe to say she’s heard a fair few stories and experiences too!

Kelly lives, breathes and immerses herself in pregnancy, birth and parenting on a daily basis, with burning passion to help women and their partners have better birth experiences.

“Wow! I’m still in shock when I think about that long labour and the fantastic result – it was sooo worth it. I truly know that I couldn’t have done it without you – that is a fact. You are amazing and are truly made for the job Kelly – I really can’t thank you enough”. — Bronte

Coverage area: Currently booking clients in Melbourne’s north eastern suburbs to the CBD. Other suburbs may be accommodated on prior arrangement, please email [email protected] to discuss.

Types of Births Attended: Kelly has attended and is fully supportive of waterbirth, vaginal twin birth, vaginal breech birth, medicated and non-medicated vaginal births, homebirth, Jewish birth, inductions, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), caesarean birth, single mothers, gay and lesbian couples, sexual abuse survivors, in hospital (public and private) and birth centre settings.

About Kelly

“Her support during the pregnancy showed that she is committed and motivated towards helping others achieve the kind of birth she would want for herself, that is one where the woman’s choices and preferences are supported, her birth plan taken seriously, and her feelings considered at all times.” — Yvette (twin vaginal birth)

Kelly has birthed three beautiful children who are now aged 5 to 16. The first two were born in private hospitals (one with an epidural, and one without), and the third was a planned homebirth, which resulted in a transfer at 9 centimetres dilated. Her (posterior and arm up!) baby was born perfectly healthy, without any intervention, aside from breaking the waters.

Kelly has heard the stories of SO many women and men, about their experiences of birth and parenting. The stories have been a range of heartwarming warm and fuzzies, to traumatic accounts. Hearing all these stories is what inspired Kelly’s passion for maternity reform and birth advocacy, enabling women to have the choices they want, while giving birth on their own terms.

Birth Education

Kelly is a dedicated and committed doula who strives to help her clients achieve the very best birth possible for their unique situation. In order to work more effectively with clients, Kelly has a strong preference to work with clients who have/will attend any of the following courses or information sessions for birth preparation (click to view):

Similar courses (external from hospitals) may be considered. Kelly fully understands this is an extra expense to couples, however she believes independent birth education is crucial to the birthing process to help achieve the best outcome. A recent study found hospital based classes may be completely missing the mark for pregnant women and their partners, resulting in higher rates of c-section, epidurals and other interventions.

Options & Packages

Kelly offers several options and packages, but what she’s most passionate about is setting women up to succeed with the best outcome possible. Having a great doula is fantastic, however, adding in other key elements known to make or break an experience help Kelly’s clients to have a better experience yet.

For example, we know that 96% of women initiate breastfeeding in hospital, but by two months of age, 50% of babies are partially or fully on formula. This is why Kelly’s packages include a year’s membership to the Australian Breastfeeding Association (worth $70) and a two-hour IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) visit in your home a couple of weeks after the birth, to get you off to an amazing start in your breastfeeding journey. It also gives you a familiar face in case you need on-going support.

The biggest complaint Kelly has heard over the years about post-birth care in hospitals is the highly confusing conflicting breastfeeding advice – and this is because doctors and midwives are not trained lactation consultants. But Kelly’s clients will enjoy a visit from BellyBelly’s IBCLC, Renee Kam.

You’ll also get access to the BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion workshop recording (available for clients birthing in the second half of 2018 onwards), which features some of Australia’s best birth and early parenting speakers.

Birth Planning Only

This service is for those who don’t want support at the birth, but do want help planning their birth, or are looking for options, resources and help putting together their birth plan (free template included). Visits may be in home or via Skype. An hourly rate applies.

Birth Only

Support for the duration of your birth, without any visits before or after the birth. Not recommended unless exceptional circumstances (i.e. if Kelly is used as a back-up or pre-natal visits are not possible due to impending birth). The great results doulas achieve are significantly attributed to knowing and trusting your doula.

Want to find out more about Kelly supporting you at your birth? Send an email to [email protected].

Here’s some more feedback from Kelly’s clients.

Doula References

Barbara:

“Giving birth is such a personal and intimate experience, the memory from which stays with you forever. Therefore, it can be quite a daunting task to choose a doula with whom you feel comfortable sharing this experience. My acupuncturist recommended Kelly to me and after meeting with her, my partner and I had no doubt that she was the right choice for us. We felt comfortable with her instantly and were very impressed by her level of knowledge.

The birth of my son had been a very disappointing experience which ended in a c-section. Therefore, I desperately wanted a natural, drug-free birth this second time around. Kelly helped build my confidence and determination that I could achieve this goal. She helped prepare my birth plan, gave me access to all her resources and shared her extensive knowledge with me.

As such, as I went into labour, I felt completely calm and clear on what I needed to do whilst my partner fully understood his crucial role as my support person. As it turned out, my daughter came out posterior which was incredibly painful. However, with Kelly’s support and guidance, I managed to stay focused on my goal and ultimately had my completely drug-free, natural birth.

In hindsight it was such a positive and satisfying experience, my only regret being that I didn’t have Kelly around for my first birth.”

Relle (Doula) & Rod:

“Kelly was an awesome source of support for me during the pregnancy and birth of my son Angus. Even though it was my third pregnancy, I had experienced two previous labours that were not ideal, so I sought a highly experienced and understanding Doula. I ended up having an AMAZING experience for my birth with just a 90 minute labour and completely drug and intervention free birth.

After going 9 days past my due date, Kelly support every morning after a night of pre-labour, reminding me of my goals and that my body was doing some real work throughout all of this pre-labour, kept me going until my body finally did decide it was time to happen. Her support during that time meant the world to me. I will forever be thankful to Kelly for reminding me that I COULD DO IT and when it does happen it would be worth it! It was worth it!

Catherine & Jason:

“A very special thank-you to you. You made such a difference at the birth for us both, encouraged me when it all seemed too hard and helped me achieve the birth that has given our little girl the best start in life. Thanks for sharing this special time with us. I hope our paths cross again. You are a beautiful person with much to give the world.”

Meredith & Chris:

“Thank-you for helping us achieve a wonderful birth experience. I felt safe and far more relaxed knowing I had the right support. Everything went exactly as I wished for with minimum intervention and stress… I feel sooooo grateful that we had such a great outcome. I am sure it is even helping me get through these difficult first months. I now know I CAN get through anything with determination, knowledge and support!”

Bronte & Michael:

“Wow I’m still in shock when I think about that long labour and the fantastic result – it was sooo worth it. I truly know that I couldn’t have done it without you – that is a fact. You are amazing and are truly made for the job Kelly – I really can’t thank you enough.

Tadhg and I recovered really well. I think that the midwifes were in shock. After the birth I was surprised that I had absolutely NO pain at all, none. Every day the midwives would come in and offer Panadeine forte or Panadol. I had to giggle to myself – if only they saw me in labour – and I got through it! As if I was gonna need a Panadol afterwards, hee hee! After you left I was up and about. He latched on well and has a good sucking reflex. My milk also came in early… it’s amazing what the body can do when left to do the job.”

Yvette & Lindsay:

“Kelly was my birth attendant for the birth of my twins at Birralee, Box Hill Hospital. I’m very grateful to her, and highly recommend her to any expectant parents.

As soon as my husband and I met Kelly, we knew we would be very comfortable with her in this situation. She’s just the sort of person it’s very easy to feel relaxed with. She has a natural warmth and caring nature perfectly suited to being with a birthing woman. Her support during the pregnancy showed that she is committed and motivated towards helping others achieve the kind of birth she would want for herself, that is one where the woman’s choices and preferences are supported, her birth plan taken seriously, and her feelings considered at all times.

Kelly has a natural empathy, and was a wonderful source of emotional strength for both my husband and myself for the birth of our babies. Her intelligence and sense of fun make her great company too. She gives a great back rub, and is an excellent hand holder and toenail painter. She’s interested in and always learning about all things birth related, therefore very easy for me to talk to about all the issues I was facing with a twins birth. And of course having children of her own, she can relate from a mother’s point of view.

A twins birth, with a mother who wanted to do it her way, the hospital wanting to do it their way, three shifts of unknown midwives and a Registrar nobody had met before, husband, children and mother present as well, and a long tiring day, would be a challenge for anybody. Kelly handled it beautifully! If I was having any more children, I would want Kelly there with me again.”

Yael & Rob:

“Having a doula support me during labour was single-handedly the best decision I made about my pregnancy/birth! It not only made a tremendous difference to me in having a positive birth experience, but it also gave me so much confidence beforehand going into labour.

I had a few concerns with having a doula there, but in the end I realise all of them where unfounded! I wasn’t sure that I needed somebody, I mean after all, there were going to be midwives there and my obstetrician. Also, my husband and I are very private people and we weren’t sure how we would take having somebody there during such a special and private time. I was also worried that they would pressure me into doing what they though that right for birth, or at least not be as supportive when I wanted pain relief/intervention etc.!

Besides my husband, Kelly was the only one there for all of my labour. Having 14 hours of labour in a hospital meant that I was there for 3 different shift of midwives. All of them were too busy (even in a private hospital) to be with me constantly. They had other patients and responsibilities and when they were with me, they were doing their observations – definitely NOT holding my hand throughout contractions! It takes a while to get to ‘know’ or feel comfortable with each midwife so it’s good having somebody there who you feel at ease with the whole time. Even at the end of the birth when the midwife was there the whole time (I think by that stage everybody else had already given birth!), she was helping the doctor, and didn’t help me at all. Kelly and my husband were the ones standing by my head.

I guess everybody pictures birth as a private moment, but unless you are having a homebirth, it basically isn’t. You get whatever midwives are on the shift and as I went private, I had never met any of them before. They definitely didn’t share my philosophies on birth, so it was fantastic having Kelly there advocating what I wanted for my birth! Kelly and I had gone through it when we had met beforehand, so I knew that she was 100% clear on what I wanted for my birth. I spent the whole time with the first midwife arguing that I didn’t want to have artificial oxytocin to speed up contractions, and despite this she must have come in at least 6 times to tell me she wanted me on the drip!

Kelly was the one who made sure the midwives had seen my birth preferences, and with the hospital environment being quite daunting I found it very easy to become submissive to what the midwives wanted you to do. I found having Kelly there in some ways a source of strength for me, it helped me stand up for myself, and she also did it when I was in too much pain to but referring people to my written intentions.

Having somebody there meant that when something was needed or somebody needed to find a midwife, I didn’t have to send my husband out and be left all alone, which would be extremely hard, especially towards to end. Kelly was there to do this, and infact she knew when to do it without even being asked!

I was worried Kelly might try and get me to do things differently, or she might not approve of what I wanted, but I didn’t get that feeling at all. She was there to support me, and not once did she tell me that she would do. Even beforehand when we were discussing things, she gave me to information and left the decision up to me. The midwives definitely can’t answer things in an unbiased manner, so by having somebody there who is not part of the system, you can really find out what your options are.

I also found having Kelly there was a really good source of encouragement, especially at the end when I wanted to give up. She knew the right ways to encourage me to go on, to get through the pain, and also just showing me useful tips to get the labour progressing faster and helping me get into certain positions during contractions. She was able to read the signs and give me an indication how I was progressing, and she was there to explain things to me such as medical terminology used so I knew what was going on. It’s very hard to concentrate on things being said during intense contractions, but she was there to repeat it to me and let me know what my options were.

She also knew the ‘right’ way to encourage me, to get the best out of me. By contrast the 3rd midwife I had instead told me I wasn’t pushing well enough, which she might have though was a good way to encourage somebody, but on me it had just the opposite effect! The only thing I wanted to do was ask her to leave. I’m just glad I had Kelly and my husband to listen to during that time.

One of the biggest benefits was that she able to help my husband to help me. Just like me, I’m sure he felt a little lost, and it’s hard to know how exactly to help somebody when you are not to sure yourself. My husband could encourage me in ways nobody else can, simply because he knows me the best. Kelly helped to guide him to when I needed help, and when to keep going, and also when to back off because I just needed to concentrate. I didn’t feel for an instant, and nor did he, the Kelly took over his role. Rather, I felt she brought my husband and me closer together by helping him to give me undivided emotional support. She helped him to be more involved and more effective. I believe she played a completely separate role (just as the midwife does to the doctor), that instead complimented his irreplaceable job being there!

Just because you have somebody there who loves you, I don’t think that necessary qualifies them as the best person to help you in that situation. Sometimes you and your partner just need that little extra ‘professional’ help. Both my husband and myself didn’t feel it was a reflection on his ability to help me, nor on my desire to have him help me through such a personal experience. It enhanced the experience, rather than detracting from it as one may think!

She definitely didn’t ‘push in’ during labour or birth, and many times when my husband was helping me get through contractions I didn’t even notice her in the room.

For many of the above things you could have another person there besides your husband/partner such as mum or sister, but I found somebody with some training the best part about having Kelly there! She knew what was going on medically speaking, but wasn’t there as a medical person. She was there to keep a level head, explain to us what was going on, and help to give us space to make the final decision. Also, I think its hard to watch a loved one be in pain, so even if you bring a mother or sister who knows who you want and can be unbiased even though its their daughter etc going through it, they might not be able to help you hold out and achieve your goals. I found that not being offered pain relief was the best way to try and hold out; if people were urging me to take it I probably would have caved in earlier.

In the end I felt that the midwife/doctor’s primary responsibility was the baby or my medical wellbeing, but a birth attendant’s primary responsibility is my happiness and satisfaction – which are two very different roles! Having a birth attendant there gave me the confidence and power to feel that I could give birth the way I wanted to. I am so glad I had Kelly there throughout this, and can’t wait to have the opportunity to have her there in the future!”



  1. hello, I want to purchase a copy of your book. want to be a doula. I no you can order a e book, but im not interested in that I would like a hard copy, you I order this from you

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