Find out more about Doula Access Fund
Morton Michel are proud to work in partnership with Doula UK! Doula UK tell us more about the Doula Access Fund and how you can help...
The Doula Access Fund provides free support during pregnancy, labour and after the birth of a baby to those experiencing disadvantage, crisis and financial hardship. At Doula UK we believe everyone has the right to a positive and supportive birth and postnatal experience.
Each applicant is referred to us by a healthcare professional, social worker or charitable partner. Many of those helped by the Doula Access Fund are at a crisis point in their lives and are facing incredibly challenging situations. Whilst we can’t disclose real case studies the below illustrates a distillation of the referrals we receive.
‘’Marie is a care leaver and is living in a hostel for homeless mothers having escaped from an abusive partner with her two year old son. She is 30 weeks pregnant and has no support and is very fearful of giving birth alone. She suffers from depression and anxiety and is very vulnerable at this time. Marie is 18 years old and desperately needs emotional and practical doula support.”
Once an application has been approved, an experienced and trained birth doula will visit them at home during pregnancy and be their companion during labour and birth as a constant support. This is particularly impactful to the majority of applicants who are facing the trauma of being isolated in their pregnancy and would have given birth alone.
Alternatively an applicant may choose to select a postnatal doula who will support them and their baby in the first six weeks following the birth. The doula can help with breastfeeding or support in other ways to help facilitate a nurturing bond between the parent and baby.
The doula is there as a continuous emotional and physical support and gives kind and respectful non-judgemental care. The aim is to empower and give confidence to the parent to make the best, informed choices about how to care for their baby. Doulas have a wide network and can signpost new families to free services in the area such as baby groups and postnatal depression services. Doula UK Access Fund Doulas have all completed approved Doula UK training and have a current DBS.
Since the Access Fund relaunched in January 2020 we have received 265 applications with demand ever increasing. We are solely reliant on the generosity of our donors and supporters.
Feedback received in 2021 from Doula Access Fund supported parents:
I feel that having doula support:
■ helped me to have a more positive birth experience
■ enabled me to give my baby a better start in life
■ helped me to bond well with my baby
■ increased my confidence with looking after my baby
■ improved my mental health and well-being in pregnancy and after my baby was born
■ Helped me to feel less isolated
The information in this article is provided by Doula UK and does not represent Morton Michel.