Bradford Doulas – What We Do

Offering practical and emotional support to pregnant mums six weeks before the birth, during labour and six weeks after the birth, through trained volunteers.

Doula is the Greek word for wise-woman. Acting as a ‘professional friend’, volunteer doulas help women to make positive choices, accompany them to appointments, provide practical support at the birth, build positive relationships with other services and offer emotional support.

The Bradford Doulas support women to make the best choices for themselves and their babies, helping them to achieve a positive birth experience and building their knowledge to enable them to make informed decisions about childbirth, nutrition and breastfeeding. Support from volunteer doulas can also connect families into network of other support services.

Families are carefully matched with volunteer doulas who are best suited to them (dependent on the woman’s needs, requests and circumstances).

Who will benefit?  Evidence tells us that where a woman receives support by a companion like a Doula, before the birth, during birth and after the birth,  she is more likely to have a more positive birthing experience.

Where and when is it delivered? Most support is in the home and volunteer doulas also accompany women to appointments, antenatal classes and hospitals for birth. Training for volunteers doulas, is held at Carlisle Business Centre.

What Doulas Do?

Antenatal: 6 weeks before your baby is due

  • Building relationship with family
  • Visit you at home on a weekly basis
  • Accompanying to appointments
  • Help you develop your birth plan with choices
  • Encourage active birth, prepare you for labour
  • Packing a hospital bag
  • Discussing benefits of breastfeeding or infant feeding choices
  • Provide emotional and practical support

During Labour:

  • Accompany as a birth partner
  • Stay with you during labour, (keeping active / using birthing balls / massage) and encourage your physically and emotionally
  • Help you to create your optimum birthing environment
  • Work professionally with maternity staff to provide the best birthing experience as possible
  • Stay with you after baby is born
  • Assist with skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding at birth.

Postnatal: Support in the first six weeks of family life

  • Visit you at home on a weekly basis
  • Breastfeeding & infant feeding support or signposting
  • Emotional support, looking for signs of baby blues
  • Supporting with parent infant relationship
  • Support with practicalities with baby care, sleep safe, smoke free
  • Refer you to other services if needed
  • Help you find local baby and mums activities

Volunteer Doulas are trained to understand the limits of their work. Doula’s do not give clinical or medical advice or interfere with medical or clinical aspects of labour and are not trained as interpreters.

How do families register? 

If you are pregnant and live in Bradford City (postcodes BD1,2,3,7,8,9) You can self refer by calling:

01274 223 232

If you work with pregnant families, midwife, doctor, health visitor, early year’s staff, social care, voluntary and community sector organisations or other Better Start Bradford projects please gain consent from the family before referring.

Call us or Email for a referral form.

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