London - A doula who has guided countless A-listers through pregnancy and labour has opened up about the advice she advocates for her famous clients.

Childbirth expert Latham Thomas, 32, has worked with Victoria’s Secret Angel Doutzen Kroes in the past and is on standby for reality star Tamera Mowry, due to welcome her first child any day now.

Though many expectant mothers in New York hire doulas – a non-medical expert on hand to guide a woman through labour – it seems Thomas goes above and beyond the average, making her highly in demand – and pricey – with fees of up to $12 000 (R103 704).

She says she favours a holistic approach, advising on diet (she favours a plant-based regimen), exercise (plenty of yoga) and the mother’s mindset (she recommends meditation).

“The goal is for [the women] to experience a healthy, balanced and fabulous pregnancy,” she says.

“It can be very sexy and empowering if you embrace the changes to your body.”

It was certainly effective for Kroes, who gave birth to son Phyllon in January last year, and was back to her runway best in what appeared to be record time.

“I gave Doutzen nutritional advice throughout her pregnancy.

“She did not put on much weight at all and it came off very easily after the delivery.”

Thomas, herself a mother to Fulano, nine, says New Yorkers are probably most in need of her guidance.

“A lot of women – especially the A-types who live and work in Manhattan – have issues with slowing things down,” she says.

“No matter how wealthy and successful you are, you still want your hand to be held.”

Other clients, including top fashion designers Stacey Bendet Eisner and Rebecca Minkoff cannot speak highly enough of her.

“This woman is an angel,” says Minkoff. “She empowers you so that you are free to focus on welcoming your baby into the world.”

To critics who believe doulas can be obstructive and contradictory to the advice of doctors and nurses, Thomas says her goal is to unite holistic and medical specialists.

“I felt there was this polarity in Manhattan where you had the hippie natural birth [movement] on one side and [doctors] who were into ultra-medical, hospitalised birth on the other. I thought: ‘How come there is no interaction?’ I wanted to bring those two sides together.” – Daily Mail

* Latham Thomas’ book, Mama Glow has just been published.