Doulas are independent birth (and often end-of-life) supporters who are trained to provide independent care, offering empathy and education alongside signposting towards informed decision making.
Doulas Without Borders (DWB) offers a grassroots response to a systemic crisis, supporting women giving birth alone, often without shared language or a home, and with complex needs. A pregnant woman in disadvantage is more likely to experience further infringements on her human rights. Emotional and physical violations during such a vulnerable time impacts greatly on the mother and her emergent baby, further traumatising and bringing a sense of disconnection, at a time when bonding and attachment is crucial.
Continuous support given during pregnancy, birth and in early motherhood helps break down the cycles of inter-generational trauma and in some small way, contributes to a more connected and healed future society.
Covid-19 has highlighted some of the underlying crises for those within the maternity care sector: an extreme lack of interpreters (who are untrained as birth supporters); overly busy healthcare practitioners without a trauma-informed and responsive practice; inappropriate, non-consensual touch and violating interventions, for example. Women are isolated and traumatised at a time when robust support and advocacy are most needed.
We encourage women to inhabit their birth story in whatever way most empowers them, within the confines of their own particular narrative. This narrative is affected by, for example, the environmental and physical displacement experienced by a refugee, or the lack of genital sovereignty which a survivor or victim of sex trafficking or female genital mutation might feel.
Offering a collaborative approach, we believe in encouraging mothers to (re)develop their intuitive values, to engage with their pregnancy and birth and to begin to inhabit their power as the caretakers of the next generation.
We are committed to addressing the brokenness which currently surrounds the mother-to-be in disadvantage, by bringing care, education, advocacy and nurture, as we know that a ‘healed Earth begins at Birth’.