General news

WeHadADoula Social Media Campaign launched

With one week to go until World Doula Week 2015, Doula UK have launched the #WeHadADoula social media campaign.

The idea behind the campaign is that there is so much solid and overwhelming evidence showing the benefits that a doula can bring to a family during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, but it is the flexible practical and emotional support that doulas provide to women and their partners during the childbearing year that is the fundamental value of doulaing and it is this that it can be hardest to get across. The #WeHadADoula Campaign will use real people's stories to help people understand what a difference doulas make. . . . read more

Delegate Place Giveaway to Mark NHS Change Day

To mark International Women's Day on March 8th - the 2015 theme of which is 'Make It Happen' - and NHS Change Day on March 11th, Doula UK is giving away 10 delegate places at 'Positive Birth. Supporting Families: The 2015 Doula UK Conference' to deserving recipients who are making things happen to improve women & families' experience of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

The delegate place giveaway was open to student midwives, volunteers and doulas.

On NHS Change Day, we are delighted to announce the second and final round of winning recipients:

Janey Ashton . . . read more

Doula UK comments on Building Great Britons Report

Report welcomed, but more emphasis on birth and infant feeding also needed

The ‘Conception to Age 2: First 1001 Days All Party Parliamentary Group’ today published their report ‘Building Great Britons’, making recommendations to enable children at the end of their first 1001 days to have the social and emotional resources to form a strong foundation for good citizenship.

The report concentrates on the provision of perinatal mental health resources and preventing & identifying maltreatment. The cost of failing to deal adequately with perinatal mental health and child maltreatment has been estimated at £23billion each year

Kicki Hansard, Doula UK spokesperson, commenting on the report, said today: . . . read more

All That Matters: Women's Rights in Childbirth, by Doula UK Director, and co-Chair of Birthrights, Rebecca Schiller published today

All That Matters cover

"I want to say that a healthy baby is not all that matters and that, resoundingly, it all matters. This is the story of women, of why they matter too, and the things that happen when they are pushed to the bottom of a hierarchy in birth.” (All That Matters, Guardian Shorts, copyright Rebecca Schiller) . . . read more

Doula UK issues statement on unassisted births with doulas present

Doula UK has released a statement on Unassisted Births with Doulas Present. This is in response to confusion following the publication of the (2014) updated Doula UK Code of Conduct for doula members, which no longer specifically mentions unassisted childbirth, and subsequent erroneous public statements about Doula UK.


Unassisted childbirth – the process of intentionally giving birth without the assistance of a medical or professional birth attendant – is a decision made by a very small percentage of parents. . . . read more

Increased Breastfeeding Rates Could Save Millions

Could Doulas Be Part of the Solution?

Doula UK welcomes the publication of a report making clear that the NHS would save millions if women were supported to breastfeed longer.

Currently, 81% of new mothers start breastfeeding in the UK, but only 7% are still feeding with breast milk alone at four months. The researchers behind the new report pointed out that surveys have shown that most women stopped before they would like to because of problems. . . . read more

Doula UK welcomes the publication of updated NICE Guidelines on Care During Birth

New NICE Guidelines Offer Women Much-Needed Choice

Today NICE publishes its eagerly awaited updated guidance on 'Intrapartum care: care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth'.

The guidance includes recommendations that commissioners should ensure that all 4 birth settings (homebirth and free-standing midwifery led centre, as well as hospital and alongside midwifery unit) are available to all women, that low-risk women should be advised that birth outside of hospital is particularly suitable for them and that in all birth settings there is a culture of respect for each woman as an individual undergoing a significant and emotionally intense life experience. . . . read more

Infant Feeding Survey to be cancelled

Doula UK understands that the Infant Feeding Survey for 2015 is to be cancelled, a move that is shocking and disappointing.

The UK Infant Feeding Survey (IFS) has been conducted every five years since 1975. The 2015 IFS would have been the ninth national survey of infant feeding practices to be conducted. The main aim of the survey was to provide estimates on the incidence, prevalence, and duration of breastfeeding and other feeding practices adopted by mothers in the first eight to ten months after their baby was born. The IFS provides hugely important information for anyone needing to develop policies or do research on infant feeding in the UK, as well as providing an update on how policies and the state of the UK are impacting on infant feeding. . . . read more

Doula UK calls for more investment in NHS Maternity Services as Midwives Strike

Midwives have gone on strike for the first time in 133 years

Doula UK is calling on the UK Government to put more investment in maternity services, as midwives strike for the first time.

Today, midwives have joined thousands of other NHS staff in in a four-hour walkout, in a dispute over the Government’s decision to deny NHS staff an across-the-board 1-per-cent pay rise this year.

It is the first time members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have gone on strike in the 133-year history of the organisation. . . . read more

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