Press Release 12th May 2022
Doula UK awarded £16,200 funding from the Safer Beginnings programme to provide postnatal doula support to those most in need.
We are delighted to announce that Doula UK have been awarded £16,200 in funding from the Safer Beginnings programme, led by Best Beginnings and the White Ribbon Alliance UK and made possible with funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Tampon Tax Fund.
This grant will ensure that Doula UK can provide postnatal doula support to those most impacted by harm, violence and previous or existing trauma after the birth of a baby. A postnatal doula supports the mother/parent so they can be rested, positive and empowered. This care is invaluable in helping facilitate a nurturing bond with the baby giving them the opportunity for the best start in life. This grant is for postnatal doula support across the UK with a portion of funding reserved for Wales.
Doula UK was founded in 2001 to promote life-changing support for families in the childbearing year regardless of circumstance. Doula UK is a membership community of approximately 650 doulas. The Access Fund has been part of Doula UK’s mission since its inception 21 years ago.
The women and birthing people referred to the Access Fund are typically facing giving birth alone, they may also be a refugee, the survivor of abuse, are homeless or in temporary housing, have experienced trauma, are marginalised due to their ethnicity, have a mental health diagnosis or a disability or are in the care system. In reality the people who are referred to the Access Fund are experiencing many of these challenges concurrently and also have a financial barrier to accessing a doula. The Doula Access Fund removes this barrier and insists that those most in need are prioritised for doula support.
Benefits of doula support
Doulas offer continuous emotional, informational and practical support through pregnancy, labour and after the birth of a baby. Studies show that doula support results in:
- Shorter labours with fewer complications
- Reduced requests for pain medication including epidural
- Reduced likelihood of a caesarean birth or an assisted delivery
- Higher likelihood of establishing and continuing breastfeeding
- More likely to have positive feelings about their birth and postnatal experience
As doulas we are campaigners for the improvement in maternity and postnatal care for everyone. We encourage self advocacy to the people we support by providing them with knowledge to make informed evidence-based decisions about their care. We are protectors, ensuring that women and birthing people’s voices are heard and respected, and we stand up to coercion and obstetric violence.
Press Release from Safer Beginnings: Safer Beginnings programme awards £150k funding to eight organisations across the UK to champion women and girls self-advocacy in relation to safety from violence and harm.
Donate to the Doula UK Access Fund now and help us provide life-changing doula support.
Healthcare professional, charity partners and agencies can check eligibility and make a referral for doula support through the Access Fund here. Apply to the Doula Access Fund
This feedback is shared with permission from a Doula Access Fund recipient who received postnatal support.
“Having Anna visit us for a few hours a week after my 3rd baby was born was incredibly beneficial. She was a great source of practical help when caring for my newborn and other two children and was a calming influence during the chaos! Having her support has assisted us to adjust to being a family of four and I am incredibly grateful to both Anna and the Access fund because without this life would have been a lot harder!”