We’ve brought ourselves kicking and screaming in to the 21st century and are now posting films on our own Youtube channel! Currently we have a film featuring several doulas who have completed our Nurturing Birth Doula course, a few talking heads of Florence and Sophie discussing various doula subjects, and an interview with a former doula, now student midwife. More to come and do let us know if there are any particular subjects you would like us to cover! Nurturing Birth Youtube Channel
We are so excited to launch the Nurturing Birth Directory – a new, free, online directory for parents to find pregnancy/birth/postnatal/feeding services. Easy to use, international, with a wide range of services on offer – a one-stop shop for parents to find the support they need. If you are doula who is interested in listing your services, or if you are a parent looking for support then head over to www.nurturingbirthdirectory.com to check it out!
We were so thrilled to be asked to write an article about Postnatal doulas for the Autumn edition of Juno Magazine. There was a lot of lovely feedback on social media, and a recognition that the postnatal doula is a bit of an unsung heroine! We hope that the awareness of doulas continues to spread.
The lovely folks at Juno Magazine have given us permission to share the article with you.
JUNO article Post_natal_doula
Here is some more information about Juno Magazine and what they do!
JUNO is a natural parenting magazine that inspires and supports families through its range of features, columns and artwork. Established in 2003, it is published four times a year, in March, June, September and December. The editorial is broad, covering all aspects of family life for all ages. JUNO is loved by many readers for its articles that share personal experiences and reflections, and for the beautiful and striking images and illustrations from a range of artists.
JUNO offers fresh perspectives in this fast-paced technological world, creating a non-judgemental community for those who are keen to follow “a natural approach to family life”. There are columns on home-education, empowered birth, teens and nutrition; interviews, craft and recipe ideas and a mix of features that can help readers make informed choices as they journey through the challenges of parenting.
JUNO is available through WH Smiths, independent retailers, online at www.junomagazine.com and as a digital edition.
All subscribers receive free access to the full back catalogue of issues in digital format.
We are delighted to launch a film featuring several of our doulas explaining more about the Nurturing Birth Doula Course. So, for anyone who is interested in becoming a doula, or knowing how the Nurturing Birth Doula Course works, please visit https://vimeo.com/138516966
We are delighted to have our article “Mothering the Mothers” in the current issue of Juno magazine (http://www.junomagazine.com/out-now-issue-41/). In it Sophie discusses the role that postnatal doulas fulfil, particularly now that most of us no longer live in communities or villages where there is extended family to support new parents. Sophie talks about the different ways in which postnatal doulas can support new mothers – providing emotional, practical and information support to empower and nurture families. For your copy visit Juno Magazine’s website where you can subscribe for digital or paper copies.
In Monday’s Independent Hannah Fearn discussed how more women are employing doulas to support them during birth due to the fear of not having support from midwives. Whilst we welcome positive reports of doulas in the mainstream press there are a few comments that need clarification. It is certainly true that the use of doulas is increasing in the UK, and internationally, as women empower themselves and take responsibility for their birth experiences. However, doulas are not a new concept – there is much evidence to show that experienced local women have supported those giving birth since time began. Research consistently shows that having a doula present at a birth decreases the length of labour, reduces the number of caesarean sections, medical interventions and/or need for pain medication. It also shows that women have better breastfeeding initiation rates with a much higher percentage continuing to breastfeed at 6 weeks plus. It is imperative though, that a doula be recognised as a non-medical support. A doula does not undergo a medical training and never replaces the role of the midwife. She is there to provide emotional and practical support and to empower a woman to make informed choices, something that has been recognised by the charity Birthrights as being key to a woman’s positive mental state after birth. It is true that the current NHS provision for the majority of women means that they are not supported by a named midwife through their antenatal, perinatal and postnatal experience. Often they meet the midwife who is going to be at the birth of the baby on the day itself. Having someone by their side who has heard their concerns, hopes and expectations in advance of the birth can certainly allay fears and promote a positive environment for birth. Doulas aim to work alongside midwives, supporting them in their challenging role and enabling everyone to be their best on the day. Many doulas work hard to establish positive relationships with their local midwife teams, becoming members of the MSLC or Maternity Forums at their local hospital trusts, and setting up mutually beneficial events.
The subject of cost came up and the implication seems to be that doulas are looking to charge exploitatively. There are doulas who charge between £1000 and £2000, but the vast majority charge less than £1000, with many new or mentored doulas charging significantly less than £500. Doula UK has an Access Fund for anyone who has financial difficulties to support their employment of a doula. The birth doula role typically involves several meetings with the client antenatally, being available on the phone or email, going on call for up to 5 weeks, attending the birth (however long that may be), then returning to visit the clients postnatally a couple times to ensure that all is well. It requires a doula to ditch her day-to-day life at a moment’s notice with no idea of when she is able to return home.
Sadly the benefits of the postnatal doula were not discussed – the invaluable support that a doula can bring to a new family, helping them to settle in to their new parenting roles, providing information, supporting feeding, taking on some of the domestic responsibilities, making food, helping to look after other children etc. This cannot be overlooked, and goes far beyond the midwifery remit.
For information about the Doula Preparation courses provided by Nurturing Birth please email us on email@example.com or call 0121 422 2819.