When looking for a local doula, women are frequently directed towards Doula UK (a membership association of birth and postnatal doulas). You will notice however that none of the Greater Manchester Doulas are listed in their ‘Find a Doula’ directory, as none of us are members of Doula UK. We are proud to be independent doulas!
Why are we independent?
Being independent is an important part of our ethos and is very much reflected in the way we work. As independent doulas, we value autonomy, not just for ourselves, but more importantly for you.
When we chose to be fully independent, we chose:
- a commitment to ensure we are completely women-centred: offering non-judgemental support to women remains at the heart of what we do
- to work only with doulas who share our philosophies and ethics
- to take full responsibility the range of support we offer
- to work and grow together, supporting and mentoring each doula with compassion, helping us to be the best we can be.
What does this mean?
As independent doulas, we have no agenda and no interest in serving any kind of authoritative body: we answer to nobody but the women we serve. Rather than trying to balance the way we work with being part of a body that we don’t fully align with, we support women in a way that is completely focused on their needs, with no outside limitations besides the law.
There are many myths about independent doulas, who are often criticised for various reasons, eg they do not follow a code of conduct, are not required to keep their knowledge and skills up to date, are not part of a mentoring program, do not work with insurance, are not part of a membership community where they continually learn and develop.
Whilst we cannot speak for all indie doulas, we can say that every Greater Manchester Doula:
Has completed an initial preparation course, and regularly seeks out CPD opportunities to learn and grow as a doula
We believe that as doulas we are so much more than the courses we have taken, but we are also passionate about birth and all reproductive experiences, and for us the learning never stops.
We are constantly reading new research, and enrolling in courses to further our education, and are more than happy to chat about what we have learned, and discuss any specialised information they may be interested in.
Is not just part of a doula community but one that completely reflects their ethos
Part of the reason we chose to work together is because our philosophies toward the work are very much aligned. We know that when we need support from each other, it will come from someone who really understands who we are as women and as doulas, so we are supported to develop in ways that reflect our ethos.
Values mentoring as a continuous practise
We see value in mentoring not just at the beginning of our doula journeys, but throughout. We continually reflect on the ways in which we work together, and on specific experiences of working with women. We use our individual experiences as doulas to support each other, and we take new learning from every woman that we work with.
Has appropriate insurance
We all have up to date insurance for the work that we do, and use written contracts to ensure that everyone is in agreement about what is expected of them.
Is committed to following Greater Manchester Doulas CIC’s Philosophy and Code of Conduct
Get in touch if you’d like to chat more about our work as indie doulas!