What is Bradford Doulas?
Acting as a ‘professional friend’, volunteer doulas help pregnant women make positive choices, accompany them to appointments, provide practical support at the birth, build positive relationships with other services and offer emotional support.
Support is provided six weeks before birth, during birth and six weeks afterwards, through home visits, over the phone and via video calls:
- Weekly contact and home visits
- Emotional and practical support
- Accompanying to antenatal appointments
- Help in developing birth plan / preferences
- Preparation for labour, encourage and practice active birth positions and discuss coping methods
- Packing a hospital bag
- Discussing benefits of breastfeeding or infant feeding choices
During labour and birth:
- Accompanying as a birth partner
- Keeping active, using birthing balls, using massage techniques, and encouraging physically and emotionally
- Help in creating a calming and relaxing birthing environment
- Working professionally with maternity staff to provide the best birthing experience as possible
- Staying after baby is born
- Assisting with skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding at birth
During the first six weeks of family life:
- Weekly contact and home visits
- Breastfeeding and infant feeding support and / or signposting to specialist support
- Emotional support, looking for signs of baby blues
- Supporting with parent infant relationship
- Supporting with practicalities with baby care, sleep safe, smoke free
- Referring onto other services
- Help in finding local activities
What difference does Bradford Doulas make?
Evidence tells us that where a birthing person receives continuous support before the birth, during birth and after the birth, they are more likely to have better and positive birthing experiences which is an important component of respectful maternity care. Research also indicates pairing families with a doula from the same ethnic, linguistic or religious background is an important way to improve equity and provide culturally responsive care. Women:
- Feel empowered to make the best choices for themselves and for their babies, including informed decisions about childbirth, nutrition and breastfeeding
- Achieve positive birth experiences
- Bond with their new baby and adjust to their new family life
- Feel listened to and supported throughout
Doulas also advocate for families, speaking up in support of their preferences.
Who is eligible for Bradford Doulas?
Pregnant women living in the Better Start Bradford area. Families are carefully matched with volunteer doulas who are best suited to them (dependent on the woman’s needs, requests and circumstances).
Through CCG RIC funding, Bradford Doulas also cover the City CCG wards (City, Manningham, Girlington and Frizinghall).
Having a doula has more than met my expectations. I felt that I got all the right support from Jane. I was able to share and discuss anything with her, especially if I was feeling low.
I have never come across such understanding people in my life. The doulas really are angels!
More information about Bradford Doulas
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Find out how to refer families who are breastfeeding or mixed feeding for practical and emotional support, delivered for us by Health for All.
Find out how to refer a family for practical and emotional support in the home, delivered for us by Home-Start Bradford District.