Joining forces with amazing women!
There have been some big and exciting changes over the last 6 months.
Get comfy and I'll tell you all about it...
Early last year, when I was on-call for my very first client, I went to the South Manchester Home Birth Support Group meeting run by Greater Manchester Doulas. I went there to learn more about home birth and the kinds of questions women might have around planning for one, but I also really wanted to meet Elle and Lori!
Being a doula on your own is tough! It's a little lonely, and when you're anxious about a birth (which of course I always am), there's no-one to really talk to about it. Not having a back-up is stressful too, because even though childcare isn't an issue for me, I'm a human and sometimes I get sick. I also found that I wasn't hanging out with many people who had the same views as me when it came to women's rights and birth - this is so important!
After meeting them a few times, I felt such a strong connection with them - we have the same ideas and values, and all care so much about women having the power in the birth room. I remember thinking every time I left their company - I have to spend more time with these two!! Because every time we met, I left feeling lighter, stronger and freer than I had felt before.
They contacted me in October last year to ask if I was available to support a woman with them as they were over-booked and felt like I had a really similar ethos to them. And so began our journey! I can't even tell you how glad I am to have met these amazing women, and it's escalated since then - I am now an official part of Greater Manchester Doulas CIC, and I couldn't be happier.
What does this mean for Amy's Birth Support?
Well, it means that I will no longer be working alone, and so will be able to support more women. My website and Facebook page will still exist, although they'll probably be less active, but rest-assured if you do contact me through either of those I will still receive it and get back to you as soon as possible!
When I do take on a client it will be as part of GMD - this means you will get three for the price of one! So you will get a chance to meet all of us, and know that you have a supportive team of doulas behind you.
Being a doula with a Community Interest Company means that we have funding to support women for whom money would normally be a barrier to accessing doula support - this way we can break down that barrier! Because there are three of us, we are able to support more women, and be each other's back-up too so that women feel at ease knowing that they will definitely have a doula with them, that they have met and gotten to know during our antenatal sessions.
As well as taking on more birth doula clients, we are doing tonnes of other things!
Here is a quick rundown;
(hold on to your hats, it's one hell of a long list!)
+ We run support groups for women interested in home birth and free birth, birth workers, and all wild women - we usually meet face-to-face monthly but currently we'll be doing our meetings via video chat, and we have active Facebook groups already set up for any questions/discussions
+ We have just launched a birth pool hire service with built in support sessions for women including birth planning support and birth debriefing afterwards - if you're planning a last minute home birth due to the recent changes, have a look at our website page and booking form
+ We offer miscarriage and stillbirth support, at any stage, giving you emotional, physical and informational support during your loss
+ We are in the process of setting up a 6-week antenatal workshop called 'Reclaiming Pregnancy and Birth' that will fully inform women of their choices and human rights in childbirth, and how to navigate the system
+ We offer abortion support, providing informational, emotional and practical support during any or all of the abortion process, and being there for you afterwards as well
+ We are also in the process of setting up Wild Girls Rising circles for young girls aged 8-12, for them to learn the skills and knowledge needed for their journey toward womanhood
+ We also offer 1.5 hour 'holding space' sessions where we will just listen, offer emotional and practical support, with a follow-up email with a run-down of what we talked about and any useful resources
Yep - we really are full-spectrum doulas!
And the best thing is, we have funding for lots of these projects (although we still do a lot of the legwork unpaid because we love it), which means we can offer all of these things to all women, regardless of their income, meaning we can reach those women who would most benefit from an extra layer of support!
GMD is where I'm meant to be.
Elle and Lori are friggin' amazing and I absolutely love working with them!
All of the pink text above will take you to the relevant website or facebook page :)