The Mental Health Forum

We operate in SHSCT area, and offer information, and advice about mental health issues, services, & community supports, and specialise in providing peer-led services and

The Larder

We provide food, support and hope to thousands of people living through financial distress in Inner East Belfast.   Services: Join The Larder and shop

Tullysaran Community Association

As a community organisation we are dedicated and focussed on improving services and facilities for our local community by organising community events and activities.  

Together NI

Dealing with the challenges of today sometimes requires helping hands who bring different perspectives and are willing to go that extra mile. If you are

Mid Ulster Agewell

Mid Ulster Agewell is a local Partnership aimed at improving services for older people in our Community.   Services: Good Morning Telephone call (Free, Confidential

What is Doulas NI?

What is Doulas NI? 

Doulas NI is a collective of professional doulas dedicated to giving you and your family the care you need throughout the birth of your baby.  There are four of us in the collective – Sara, Anne, Tara and Alison. Bringing together our knowledge and various skills and talents to provide the best care for you.  We have supported hundreds of families over the last seven years and, between us, have almost 20 years experience.  We are all members of Doula UK and abide by their code of conduct and philosophy.

Doulas NI page: A pregnant woman and her doula.

What’s a doula?

A doula provides continuous emotional and practical support to a family as they prepare for the birth of their baby.  We give our all to supporting women and birthing people in whatever way they need. We acknowledge that they are all individuals with different ideas and aspirations. 

How are doulas trained?

Doulas can opt to train with a reputable course provider, such as a Doula UK approved course.  Doula UK is a not-for-profit membership association of doulas. They ensure its members go through a rigorous mentoring, recognition process and comply with their code of conduct and policies.  Doula UK is committed to continued learning and professional development; ensuring equality, diversity, inclusivity and belonging amongst each other and to those families we serve.

The training courses include birth physiology, your rights in pregnancy and birth, pregnancy variations and complications, preparing for your birth and your baby, comfort measures, listening skills, feeding your baby, babywearing, safe sleeping, soothing baby, postnatal depression, the fourth trimester and lots more!

Doulas NI post Image: Close up of babies feet

What do your doula support packages offer and what can I expect?

You choose your doula. We always recommend you chat to a couple of doulas before making your choice, as it is so important to have a doula that you feel a connection with. Furthermore once you have decided on the right doula for you, then you and your doula can come up with a package to suit your own personal circumstances. Your doula will help you to navigate the maternity system, to think about your own birth preferences, consider various comfort measures, plan for the early days with a newborn, including feeding, sleeping, babywearing, etc. 

With the support of Doulas NI collective, you will never be let down as we can cover for each other in times of sickness or unexpected eventualities; your back up would be agreed with you in advance.  

How can the support of a doula help me?

A doula takes time to get to know you and your family, so they can best support you to feel confident and safe in your pregnancy, birth and your journey into parenthood. We offer a variety of packages to suit everyone, according to the needs of your own wee family. There is research  to show that having a doula with you continuously through childbirth can reduce the length of your labour, your risk of interventions and assisted birth further increase your chances of breastfeeding and increase your overall birthing experience.

Doulas NI quote text: Having a doula with you continuously through childbirth can reduce the length of your labour, your risk of interventions and assisted birth, increase your chances of breastfeeding and increase your overall birthing experience.

How much does it cost?

We offer five various birth packages, ranging from £300 up to £850. All other services are priced individually by the doula providing the service.

If I’m in financial hardship, what are my options?

1. Doulas NI provide support to everyone, whatever their financial situation.  We will always find a way! Please never hesitate to get in touch if you want to have a doula, but don’t think you can afford one.

2. Doula UK has an access fund which provides free support during pregnancy, labour and after the birth of a baby.  As Doula UK members, we can provide free support to you using this route if you are experiencing financial hardships. Referrals are made direct to Doula UK by a health professional, social worker or charitable partner – 

3. We are registered with a local charity, Birthwise providing funding for families to have doula support ‘Birth Support for Parents-to-be’ 

Visit Doulas NI for more information on their services and how you can register for support. You can also visit their directory listing here.

Eva Swanston
Author: Eva Swanston

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