News

Hello again 👋

So we know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us! It’s been too long and we’ve missed you! As more restrictions were brought in, we found ourselves inundated which meant we were working in survival mode – just trying to meet the needs of our incredible community. We’re finally starting to find our feet again and are looking forward to keeping you updated once again. 

What we’ve been working on

funded by the national lottery community fundWhat haven’t we been working on?! As you may remember, in May we received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support our COVID-19 response. This has looked like: lots of powerful holding space sessions, supporting wise women through our birth doula support, creating a new offering of virtual birth doula support, birth trauma recovery sessions, and lots (and LOTS) of community groups – all over zoom (for the time being).

What we’ve been up to

two black kittens lying on a bedLori: I’ve been channeling my stress into rearranging our flat – a coping mechanism that started in my teens that’s never left! Creating a “me only” space where I can work, read, meditate, play my piano, hide from the children… Theo and Felix are loving our new family bedroom but single handedly taking down and rebuilding their bunk bed left me very sore for a few days. Oh and we got kittens!!

Elle: I’ve been playing Watch Dogs 2 on PS4, specifically to beat Az from the Ice Shack to get all the trophies first. But the writing is very small, and I don’t make a good criminal so I may concede this win.

amy moving house collage Amy: I moved into a new flat with my sister, Katy, and drove my van on the real roads in the process which was sooo much fun! I’ve been adjusting to life with a very energetic kitten (the kitten came free with the sister) – I’m not adjusted yet.

If you’re local and missing Ice Shack as much as we are, you can still get deliveries by messaging through their facebook page! Berry vanilla cake anyone?

Quickfire questions for the doulas

What has been your favourite thing about lockdown?
L: Being able to work in my pjs!
A: The quiet roads! I’ve still been driving to work at the studio the whole time so I got to enjoy the peaceful traffic-free roads for a while.
E: Finding my health and strength

Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words.
A: Angry but quiet (you wouldn’t have known I was angry, which is definitely not a good thing – this is why I’m enjoying Rage Becomes Her so much!)
E: Emo. Masculine. Insular.
L: Vulnerable, sensitive and shy.

What are you most looking forward to doing as restrictions ease?
E:  Going on holiday.
L: Celebrating my birthday 🎉 I normally shy away from anything where I’m the focus. But I’ve been through hell over the last few years and I’m turning 30 so I’m hoping to do something special for a change.
A: Getting the materials I need for my van conversion so I can go on some trips. And getting to hang out with you two again!

What’s coming up?

Have you heard about our Wild Women Rising Circle with Dance Like a Mother? We’ll be gathering this Friday at 7.45pm so be sure to get your tickets.

We’ll be gathering together to share experiences and hold space for one another. There will be the opportunity to ask us, and each other, any questions you may have surrounding birth and motherhood, and the option of joining us for a relaxing meditation to close the circle. Come as you are, there’s no expectation from us for you to share if you don’t want to, you’re more than welcome to just be present.

We hope you are hanging in there and we can’t wait to start seeing you all in person again soon.

Much love,

Lori, Elle & Amy x

 

 

black Big Lottery Community fund logo banner
Funding, News

COVID-19 response funding from National Lottery Community Fund

This week started off on an incredible high with the news that we are being awarded almost £12,000 in National Lottery Funding for our COVID-19 response project.

This is going to make a significant difference to women in our community and means that we can confidently offer fully funded support to any woman who wants and needs it.

Why have a COVID-19 response project?

It quickly became clear that pregnant women and new mothers are being hugely affected by the new measures put in place due to the pandemic. This includes restrictions imposed by individual Trusts, inconsistently and without first exhausting alternatives, in direct opposition to guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. There are also many doulas who are not able to provide their services to women in our community, and as a result, we have experienced an increase in the number of women asking for our support.

Women have the right to choose where to give birth and with whom, but those options are rapidly being taken away from them or made completely inaccessible, making women believe that they no longer have a choice. Women, now more than ever, need personalised emotional and informational support whilst navigating the maternity services in the state that they are currently in.

Women who report birth trauma are most often not talking about the physical birth process, but the way they were treated during labour and birth. During the COVID-19 pandemic so far we have already witnessed the stripping away of women’s options for labour and birth, and women are fearful of the consequences of the restrictions put in place.

During this pandemic, women are likely to be and are already being subjected to human rights violations and unnecessary interventions under coercion – leading to an increased risk of traumatic birth experiences. There is also the added risk associated with isolation of new mothers, whilst being separated from their friends and family who would ordinarily be part of her support system. These two things will lead to an increase in postnatal depression and PTSD which will have a long term impact on the overall well-being of both the woman and her baby.

Big Lottery Community fund logo

What are you planning on doing?

This funding will be used to deliver one-to-one support sessions and community groups via video chat, for women planning their birth during the pandemic and women who are facing or who have experienced birth trauma as a result of COVID-19. We will be facilitating community groups, and providing Holding Space sessions and birth doula support (both face to face and virtually), free of charge for any woman who cannot afford to pay.

We aim to create a safe space for women to access emotional and informational support and to help them feel less isolated and more supported and empowered in their birth choices. We will help women to navigate the new restrictions within maternity services and support them emotionally through unexpected changes to their birth plans. This will extend to virtual support during labour and birth for women with additional vulnerabilities. For women who are facing the trauma of birthing alone because of COVID-19 restrictions, we will provide in-person physical, practical and emotional support throughout their labour and birth.

We are sending all our thanks to National Lottery players and The National Lottery Community Fund for recognising the importance of our work. It has been a much needed boost being awarded funding during a time that is scary and uncertain for both women and small organisations like ourselves. We hope you are as excited as we are that we will be able to continue to support women, even during a global pandemic! 

If you are a woman who could benefit from this project please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Much love,

Lori, Elle & Amy   

 

 

 

Doulas, News

Humpday Update 🐪

Happy humpday (although every day is feeling like humpday these days!) How are you doing? Lockdown life has us all trying to function in strange and uncertain times and it’s ok to be coping however you need to. Whether you are throwing yourself into sourdough starters and banana bread baking or crying at various intervals and wearing pjs 24/7, you’re doing great!!

What have we been up to?

Lori: I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather over the last week so I’ve been prioritising self care in and amongst my usual day to day responsibilities. Netflix in the bath, early nights, staying hydrated and listening to what my body and soul need. I’ve also started reading a new book: “Everything Below the Waist: Why Healthcare Needs a Feminist Revolution” by Jennifer Block. We’ve had this book for a while but I’ve finally managed to create the space for reading regularly! What are you reading at the moment?

Amy: I finished watching Money Heist so I’m grieving that. I’ve mostly just been at the studio! I cooked quesadillas for the first time – they were really nice. And I cooked a butternut squash and lentil curry, but have decided that peeling and cutting a butternut squash is a full workout and I’m never doing it again. The curry was nice though.

She has also managed to squeeze in some kitten-sitting and we were all very jealous!

Elle: Organised my yarn, made my first sourdough, got my monthly migraine, completed Control. Not much to report!

Questions for the doulas: This or That edition!

Day or Night?
L: Night.
A: Night.
E: Night.

Cat or Dog?
A: Cat…That’s too difficult – I love them both in different moments.
E: Dog.
L: I’m so indecisive, I want to say both! Dog if my only responsibility was to have cuddles. Otherwise cat.

Tea or Coffee?
E: Coffee.
L: Coffee, coffee, coffeeeee!
A: If I’m sad it’s tea all the way. Ahh I love them both (again)

Sun or Moon?
L: Always the moon. I love her. But also, if she’d let me have a decent sleep this week I’d really appreciate it.
A: I’m a bit obsessed with the moon recently!
E: Moon.

Early Bird or Night Owl?
A: Probably night owl
E: Both
L: Early bird. I love it when I’m up before the kids and I get to sit in my sunny living room with a brew, listening to the birds.

What we’ve been working on

This week is UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week so we’ve been joining in with the campaign, creating and sharing posts on social media. We’ll be doing a facebook live later this week where we’ll be discussing all things maternal mental health so keep an eye out for that. 

We’ve also been spreading the word about the support we offer, in particular our Holding Space service. Social distancing measures and ever-changing policies within maternity services have left women facing more challenges, in precarious situations, and without their usual support networks. We are here to support you however we can. 

We had some great news this week that we were granted some additional funding from Tesco to support our communities through this pandemic. This means that we are still able to continue to offer funded Holding Space sessions to any woman who could not afford it otherwise.

Funding is still a challenge however and if you are able to donate anything, it would be very much appreciate and will help to support women in difficult situations. Our Aviva crowdfunding project is still live and accepting donations. Reaching our target and being able to access this money will make a huge difference to women in our community so please keep sharing in your circles.

What’s coming up?

We have The Wild Mothering Circle on Friday afternoon and Home Birth Group on Sunday Morning.

We’ll be doing a Facebook Live later this week about Maternal Mental Health so follow our page for updates about that.

We also have some availability for Holding Space sessions so please get in touch if you would like to book a session. It doesn’t have to be birth related. You don’t have to be a mother. We’re here for any woman who would like our support.

Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Lots of love

Lori, Amy & Elle x

international day of the midwife
Birth, News

International Day of the Midwife 2020

Today is the International Day of the Midwife 2020. Whilst we are not midwives, our roles often sit side by side and our missions closely aligned. We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate midwives around the world whose life work is to truly be ‘with woman’.

In a world where women live and birth within patriarchal institutions and normal, physiological birth is unnecessarily pathologised, traditional midwives can play such an important role. Their knowledge and wisdom is a much needed reminder that industrial birth is not our only option. They are a wonderful support that women can look to on their journeys to powerful, ecstatic births.

international day of the midwife

Today we celebrate and hold space for midwives who are choosing to create new paradigms, rather than engage in futile fights with broken systems. Heart led midwives who serve the woman above all else. Protectors of physiological birth. Birth keepers who trust women all the way, and know in their hearts that we are the ultimate knowledge when it comes to our own bodies and babies. In particular we hold those midwives who have been persecuted for believing in women and providing women-centred care despite the risk to themselves. Thank you.

Sending you all so much love and respect!

Lori, Elle & Amy x

Days of the week on wooden pegs
News, Uncategorized

Weekday read 📖

It’s definitely a weekday, but we can’t be more specific at this point! We hope you are coping, and that you know you can always reach out to us. We are only a text away.

What we’ve been up to

Amy has been extremely busy in the studio, fulfilling orders at Clara and Macy. They are Christmas-level busy, but without any of the prep that they usually do year round. 
As well as that she’s still running her Meetup group, and of course being a badass doula with us.

Lori has been doing lots of yoga and reading this week.
She’s “eating more biscuits than any human should”, her laundry basket is empty 🥳😱, and has dyed her kids hair (on purpose) and house (by accident).

A quote from the book 'Pushed' by Jennifer Block
From ‘Pushed’ by Jennifer Block

Elle is getting into the world of podcasts. Two of the stars of Scrubs have started a twice weekly podcast about making the show, and she’s lapping it up. Every episode is soon to be on All 4 – watch-along anyone?
Her unbuzzed hair is now comically long and is crocheting herself a hat.

It was our birthday this week! We had drinks, got frocked up and had a Zoom party. You can watch it here (it’s long and rambling!)


We are so proud to have been here for two years, responding to the needs of the community, growing as an organisation, and learning just how much we can do when we need to! We have developed new skills and new ways of working, and we hope we always will. 
Thank you for supporting us and building our village with us.

Quick questions for the doulas (by Ember)

What’s your favourite breakfast food?
L: Vegan fry up or leftover curry
E: Defo vegan fry up, but at the moment I’m on a health kick and it’s porridge and seeds with fruit every day.
A: Chocolate.

What are you watching in lockdown?
L: Killing Eve, Gangs of London and everything on Disney+
E: The Comeback (Lisa Kudrow is more talented than I ever knew!) and Devs.
A: Just finished Season 2 of Money Heist and it was AMAZING.

What do you like to sit on?
L: On the beach somewhere sunny ☀️ These days my armchair with my feet up will do.
E: Those therapy chairs where you can lean forward and rest your arms and legs. Don’t know what they’re called but they feel good!
A: The floor, usually!

What we’ve been working on

We have been busy busy busy! Enquiries have gone up over 65% since lockdown, and we are doing everything we can to meet the needs of local women. This means being even more flexible in our approach, and applying for lots more funding. It’s more important than ever that we are able to provide emotional support at low to no cost, as barriers to this are mounting.

This week we hosted the Manchester Birth Workers Circle, and have Women Reclaiming Birth coming up, as well as our weekly Wild Mothers Circle .

We have extended our funding deadline with Aviva, which you can donate to here. We are hoping this extra time will allow us to reach our target and unlock the donations we have received so far.

What’s coming up

We are excited for the release of Dr Jess Taylor’s new book, ‘Why Women are Blamed for Everything’:

‘Based on three years of doctoral research and ten years of practice with women and girls, Dr Jessica Taylor explores the many reasons we blame women for male violence committed against them. Written in her unique style and backed up by decades of evidence, this book exposes the powerful forces in society and individual psychology which compel us to blame women subjected to male violence.’

Every weekend we are taking it in turns to choose a different workout video. We set up our phones and put YouTube on another screen, to cheer each other on (and secretly laugh). The videos we are choosing from are free, and if you’d like to join us (cameras on or not!) you are most welcome. 11am Saturday we’ll be attempting this one and we’ll nudge on FB beforehand too. In previous weeks we’ve tried Zumba, and Bhangracise. What other suggestions do you have?

We are working on some new fundraising ideas and hope to have more news on that next week. In the meantime, you know where we are, and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Much love and stay safe,

Elle, Amy &

fight sexism grafiti
News

Another Sunday Scroll 💌

Hello everyone! How are you? We hope that you’re taking every day as it comes and being kind to yourselves. We know that during lockdown it’s difficult to balance working from home, childcare and trying to have some time to yourself when your movement is limited. So if all you achieved today was getting dressed – you’re smashing it! And if you didn’t, that’s fine too – you had a PJ day and we hope you loved every second of it.

What we’ve been up to

Elle got the last bag of flour in Aldi today after the shelves being empty for weeks, and Rosie just ate the whole thing! (Rosie is one of Elle’s dogs, in case you’re a newcomer)

Lori has been busy! She went to an amazing birth last week, and she and Amy have been doing some postnatal visits. Today she took her boys for a picnic at wood school where they are able to book in slots to hang out in nature whilst nobody else is there – such a good idea.

Amy got wolf-whistled at this morning and wrote an angry blog post about it. After calming down, she plucked up the courage to turn her van around in her little car park for the first time since the day she bought it! She’s super proud of herself.

Quick questions for the doulas

Have you ever slept outside? Where/why?
E: Sleeping outside is the best. I’ve slept outside in the desert, the forest, and once, on a roof.
L: Does sleeping in a tent count? I like my home comforts… I’ve been glamping in Norfolk and Ormskirk!
A: I love sleeping outside, my two favourite times: in a hammock by a lake in Vietnam, and on a brownie camp a few years ago (as a leader, not a brownie) we slept on mattresses that we dragged outside!

What’s the most recent thing you bought online?
L: An embroidery hoop kit. I’m going to journal 2020 in stitches!
A: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez – I’m enjoying it so far!
E: Dog treats. I have to give my dogs a treat for having a wee outside before I go to bed, or they won’t do it. They have me well trained.

If you were to get a(nother) tattoo, what would it be and where on your body?
A: I have a design of a stack of books turning into flying birds, which I wanted on my side but I’m too short, my side doesn’t have enough space! So I’ll have to rethink it.
E: I have a mandala on my thigh that isn’t finished. I didn’t notice until someone else pointed it out months later. I would like to get the missing bits done!
L: Too many ideas to choose just one! I’m feeling very connected to the cycle of the moon right now so maybe something relating to that. On my wrist or the back of my arm 🌒

What we’ve been working on

We are now successfully hosting all of our existing community support groups online via Zoom and it’s feeling more and more natural (without being too nervous or sweating too much…but still a little bit). These include Wild Mothering Circle, Women Reclaiming Birth, a homebirth support group, a freebirth support group and a birth worker’s circle! To stay up to date with any or all of these groups, you can join our ‘Wild Women Rising’ Facebook group. We’d love to see you there!

Previously we had set up a Crowdfunder page with Aviva to raise funds for our Wild Girls Rising project. We are still working on this project but it is based on face-to-face girls circles so we have postponed it for now. Instead, we decided to change the Crowdfunder page to go towards supporting women in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue supporting women during pregnancy who may be struggling to navigate the maternity services at the moment, or who have maybe suffered trauma because of the pandemic. We also want to offer this support to women who are isolated for any other reason at this time and are in need of support or just someone to talk to. We have already seen a huge increase in the need for this kind of support, so we’re keen to be able to support as many women as we can. 

We have until Tuesday 21st (only 2 days away) to hit our target, otherwise, we don’t get any of the money pledged so far! So, if you are able to pledge anything towards our goal, it will go towards supporting women in Greater Manchester and further afield (the benefits of working online!).

To pledge, or just to read a bit more about our project, click here!

Have a great week! 

Amy, Lori & Elle x

amy lori and elle in ice shack
A chalk rainbow
Doulas, News, Resources, Uncategorized

Slow Sunday Scroll ☀️

How is everyone doing? Lately we’ve seen so many people respond with how productive, or unproductive, they have been. But really, how are you? You are not the stuff you achieve – or don’t – you are a person, surviving an unprecedented period in history, and it’s okay to feel however you’re feeling, and to talk about it.

A chalk rainbow
A rainbow found on Lori’s walk

What – and how – we have be doing

Elle: I have developed a rigid daily structure, and have discovered life feels more manageable under lockdown. I’ve found a balance between all the aspects and roles of my life for the first time, and I suspect I will miss this when it’s over.

Lori: I have surrendered to not being able to balance it all! Developing new, creative ways to support women and single handedly mothering two high needs children are in themselves full time jobs. I’m trying to use this time to practise radical self care – resting when I need to rest, crying when I need to cry, reminding myself that whatever I am able to give to my children and my business is enough, and focusing on our basic needs. Oh and I’m loving working in such comfort! I never thought I’d be doing Zoom calls with clients in my pjs…

Take what you need poster by @lorithedoula

Amy: I have found it tricky to figure out working for Clara and Macy from home/at the studio in isolation (especially because we’re weirdly really busy right now!!), and for adapting how GMD is functioning, but it feels like it’s coming together now. I live alone so I’m finding the lockdown pretty difficult mentally, my anxiety is on a high and I’m definitely having more down days than usual – I’ve also realised that I really am a hug person and now I’m having hug withdrawal symptoms! A positive – the local wildlife seems to be thriving without humans everywhere! Something people should remember – don’t judge others, everyone’s necessities are different and people will be missing different things. Just be understanding!

Amy working in the studio for Clara and Macy

Collectively, we have been supporting the many pregnant women who have been directly affected by the pandemic. Our mission to defend women’s human rights, provide holistic support and accessible education, and to build sisterhood between women has never been more relevant, and we are extremely glad to be here to support women through this.

Our virtual support is available in private 1:1s (well, 3:1s!), and we are making videos on subjects suggested by women whose birth plans have been upended by the virus.
If there is a subject you’d like to see covered (or covered in more detail, please get in touch.

FiLiA asked us to make a podcast on what’s currently happening in maternity regarding women’s rights and options, and we were happy to oblige.

Quick fire questions

In World Doula Week we faced our fears, and finally started doing live videos! So far we have discovered what’s in our doula bags, what’s not in our doula bags, how to mentally prepare for birth, freebirth, and a live version of our quick fire questions!

What we need help with

We are currently writing to potential funders, and funders who have already contributed toward projects we are now unable to run, so many things are up in the air.

The best way to help us at the moment is to add us as your local cause with the Co-op, and to donate to our ko-fi fund if you are able. Every penny will go directly to supporting women in our community, and beyond.

What’s going on online for free?

Lori has made a GMD colouring book, and we are compiling a list of free resources, and if you have anything to add please message us.

Please don’t forget it’s okay to slow down during this time – it’s enough to “do” nowt and to survive.

The networks you’ve been relying on for support might be missing from your life temporarily, or you may be having to access them in an unfamiliar way, for example by Zoom. This might take some getting used to, but research shows all the same places of our brains light up when we talk to someone by video and in person.

We were all nervous about moving from face to face meets to video calls and it felt so weird at first! We got used to it surprisingly quickly though and it’s nice to be able to connect with others from the comfort of our homes. Whether you’re in your pjs, haven’t touched your hair, or are joining from your bed, you’re welcome! Just come as you are.

If you need some help with getting online, we are happy to help. Connecting to our sisters has never been so important!

We hope to see you online soon.

Elle, Amy & Lori x

Doulas we can do it
News, Uncategorized

Monday magic 🔮

Hey all, did you miss us last week? We’ve got a bigger update than usual to more than make up for it! We hope you had a wonderful mother’s day and are keeping well given the situation we’re all dealing with.

What we’ve been up to

Our IWD2020 event was a huge success – thank you to everyone who came and everyone who helped. We think we’ll make it an annual thing!

Doulas we can do it

We met with some formidable women who work in human rights, and are passionate about reproductive rights, which was a very useful connection to make.

Lori enrolling at collegeLori enrolled at college! She’s going to study to become a counsellor, which we are certain she’ll be great at.

Elle is trying to move house. She saw a really nice one the other day and is hoping for a mutual exchange.

Amy took 19 kids to Brownie camp! She came back frazzled but glad they had a fun time. 

We introduced ourselves to Jane at Leech’s Funeral Care in Moss Side, as we are one of their Co-op Local Causes. She was so unbelievably kind, and offered us a lot of support. We see a future collaboration there, so look out for that.

Questions for the doulas

drunk elephantsWhat’s made you smile this last week?
E: The story about the wild elephants raiding the corn wine and falling asleep in the crops. 
A: The three old women who are self-isolating together – I imagine we’d be doing the same thing!
L: Seeing all the community support for women planning last minute home births.

Marmite?
A: Ew.
E: Love it. On buttered toast, with peanut butter, and to flavour soups and stir fries.
L: Mar-WON’T

What’s something others would be surprised to learn about one of the doulas?
L: Elle is amazing on the ukulele and it always makes me tear up!
A: That Elle used to collect mugs with the queen on, apparently she had quite a few!!
E: Both Amy and Lori are excellent at rapping.

How we’re currently working, and what’s changed

First and foremost, we’ve made the decision to keep what we share positive. There is so much information out there, and opinion, and articles that start out lighthearted but end up doom and gloom, and unasked for advice. That stuff is there if you want to read it, but we won’t be adding to that noise.

Birth doulaing and all one to one support will continue, as long as we are all well. We will continue to respond to and meet the needs of the women of our community, whatever they may be. We can offer phone and video calls for anyone isolating or distancing.

Pool hire We have just started our hire service, which has built in support sessions for anyone who wants some extra support before or after they give birth.
We are already getting booked up, so if you’re considering a homebirth, either very soon or later in the year, please send an enquiry asap.
The service is conducted by email, and it now shares a Facebook group with our home birth support.

greater manchester birth pool hire

Many women are facing unexpected changes to their birth, and we urge anyone to contact us who is facing a lack of support, or being forced into a situation you don’t want, or if you’re are still wondering what your options are.

Holding Space sessions can be booked separately or as part of our birth pool service. These can be used for any reason, not only birth, and can take place over Skype etc.

Community groups will all be taking place online for the foreseeable future.
We have decided to regroup some of our online groups into one larger one Wild Women Rising, which will be a source of sisterhood and strength. 

Many women are choosing last minute home births and free births, over going to hospital, which is understandable. We can support this in so many ways that we still have funding for. Please spread the word – we are not going anywhere. 

For everything else, including girls circles and antenatal classes – watch this space.
There’s lots more to share, and so many ways you can help us, but for now, please tell everyone we’re still here, and that we can help, and that we have funding. We want women to know – now more than ever – that they still have options, still have rights, that they still deserve the very best support, and that they matter.

Please also donate if you can, and take a moment to share it in your circles.
Every penny we raise from that will go toward providing birth services to women who would otherwise not have the option.

What is going on in the near future?

We’ll keep our ears to the ground so we can share events, ways to stay happy and healthy, and to keep little ones entertained. We will be posting positive news, and things that have made us smile. 

Gemma from Yes Matters has started making short informational PSHE  videos for kids and their parents, along with homework. This is an area she has so much expertise in, and we want them to be watched and shared as much as possible, because this subject is just so important for young people.

We’ll be making lots more videos too, so let us know if there’s any burning questions you’d like answered – whether it’s birth related or personal, send us a message on FB or email us. We’ll be going live on facebook every evening at 8.30pm so stay connected and join us if you can.

Elle, Lori & Amy x

rainbow ball pool balls
Doulas, News

Sunday Circular ⭕

rainbow ball pool balls

Happy ‘it’s-almost-the-end-of-half-term’ weekend! Soft play, birthday parties, cinema trips, museums, raiding hobbycraft… loving the extra time with the little ones, but girl are we tired! 

It’s that time again. Here’s our Sunday circular . Grab a cuppa and get cosy…

What we’ve been up to

This last week has been half term for Lori & Elle so it’s been a week of squeezing in work whenever we can. There was some last minute postnatal support, and more work behind the scenes for our new antenatal workshops and circles for girls. 

In addition to being an amazing doula, Amy has been a busy bee doing extra support worker shifts and working for her sister’s local biz Clara and Macy. Here she is working hard in the studio!

 

Elle and Lori met with a funder for the first time! We were so incredibly nervous but Amy doulaed us from afar and hopefully we did a great job of sharing what we do and explaining how our project with benefit communities in Manchester 🤞.

We also blew up Nell the pool so we could give her a clean, and test out a new universal liner for our pool hire service. We really hope to get the scheme up and running soon and will be providing liners and other accessories, free of charge to anyone who would otherwise struggle to purchase them.

Elle and Lori in Home Community Cafe
Elle and Lori feeling nervous
Elle sat in a birth pool
Ahoy there!
Questions for the doulas

What do you do when no one else is around?

L: Get cosy and eat snacks in bed, with Netflix on.
E: Eating in bed, definitely. Or the bath, while watching TV with my little bath table Lori got me.
A: Sing really loud (usually in my car so not even my neighbours can hear me).

How do you like to be comforted when you’re sad or upset?

E: I like to be alone.
A: A cup of tea, a hug and just letting me be sad until I’m ready to not be sad anymore.
L: For someone to offer me a hug and to listen.

What’s your favourite thing you own and why?

A: My passport because it’s almost all I need to see the rest of the world.
L: My electric blanket because cosiness is life, and a crystal Elle gave me, it gives me strength and helps me feel grounded.
E: My nanna’s keyboard because happy memories.

lesbian communeIf money was no object, what would you buy?

L: A beautiful island to start a community of badass women.
E: A ticket to Lori’s utopia.
A: Probably everything I need to convert my van

Where do you want to travel the most?

E: New Zealand. Some of my favourite comedy and music is from there, and it’s so beautiful. It’s the land of Xena, what else needs to be said.
A: Everywhere! But probably Australia if I had to choose.
L: The Pacific Islands 🏝️

What’s coming up?

manchester birth workers information circleOn Tuesday afternoon we are hosting the next Manchester Birth Workers Circle at Ice Shack in Withington. It’s a great opportunity for local birth workers –  anyone working, or with an interest in working in, pregnancy and the childbearing year-  to support one another and to network.

The Women Reclaiming Birth Circle was due to be on Thursday, however we have decided to postpone this one until we can confirm a more accessible venue.


The Wild Mothering Circle will be getting together again on Friday afternoon. Join our facebook group to keep up to date with topics and the venue as we’ve had some unexpected changes for the last couple of meets.

How can you help at the minute?

We are on the lookout for spaces to hold drop-ins for women in the community to access our support, in particular Holding Space sessions. If you know of anywhere or you work with pregnant women and new mums and would like to chat about a partnership, we’d love to hear more!

Fancy buying us a coffee? We are incredibly passionate about the work we do. Whether it is in our local community, working directly with women, in online forums, or at the variety of community groups we facilitate, we’re here ready to hold space and support women however they need us to. If you believe in what we do and think it is important or if you have benefitted from our support in any way and want to give back, we would hugely appreciate. Every contribution is another way we fill our cups and helps us to keep doing what we’re doing. Huge thank you to everyone who has bought us a coffee so far!

We’d love to know what you think of our weekly round-ups. Let us know and we hope you have a wonderful week. 💖

Amy, Elle & Lori x

 

stormy sea
Doulas, Funding, News, Uncategorized

Saturday sound off 🗣️

stormy sea

Happy Saturday! We hope you all survived Storm Ciara and her wild ways, and are hunkering down, hiding away from Storm Dennis this weekend. It has certainly been a whirlwind of a week over here.

It’s that time again. Here’s our Saturday sound off 🗣️. Grab a cuppa and get cosy…

chalkboardWhat we’ve been up to

This last week has been another week of spinning plates but we wouldn’t have it any other way! At the moment our work is a real balance of grassroots work with women and growing the organisation so that it remains sustainable and we can continue to offer the support that we do.  

The full moon energy had Elle and Lori both supporting warrior women through births in the last week or so. Despite both being birth keepers for a number of years now, the strength and resilience of the women we serve never fails to amaze us!

woman sat in a van smilingAmy took a huge step closer to one of her bucket list dreams this week! She is now the proud owner of a van, ready for converting into a camper for more exciting travels. We’re all excited to see what she does with it.

We’ve booked tickets to some great looking festivals this summer. Are you off anywhere nice? Early bird tickets for SolMas Fest 2020 end tomorrow so be quick if you don’t want to miss out! We are so looking forward to spending the weekend reviving our bodies, minds and souls.   

Greggs giftcardWe also celebrated galentine’s day yesterday in our own ways. Messages proclaiming our love for each other and… a Greggs gift card so Elle could buy ALL the vegan steak bakes!

Questions for the doulas

What song do you love so much that even if next door woke you up by blasting it at 3am you wouldn’t even be mad?

A: C’est La Vie – B*Witched
E: Say It Ain’t So by Weezer
L: Too hard to just pick one song… Although I think I’d always be mad about being woken at 3am unless it’s a woman asking for my support!

Would you rather spend a week at the beach, forest, or city, and why?

E: I grew up by a quiet beach in Blackpool so that feels like home to me.
L: Beach 🏖 I feel called to be by water. I find it very calming and grounding.
A: Forest! It’s nice and quiet and I could camp with a nice fire and a good book. 

First and most recent video game completed

L: Maybe Mario Kart on the N64 and the Wii
A: Probably Lego Harry Potter for both 😂
E: Sonic 2 and Lego City Undercover

wonder womanWhat do you love most about being a doula?

A: I love being able to support a woman through the whole journey and then still see her afterwards! It’s such a lovely bond.
E: Women.
L: Being able to witness and hold space as women discover their power. I love being able to be among strong, badass women every week!

What did you want to be when you grew up? (Before you realised you were always a doula!!)

E: I didn’t know but I just trusted that one day I would know. I didn’t want to throw myself into anything until I was sure that it was my thing. 
L: A ballet dancer, then a primary school teacher, then a play therapist, then back to primary school teacher. I’m so grateful to have found this calling though. 
A: Originally I wanted to be a firefighter, then a midwife, but after some hospital experience I realised that I was meant to be a doula!

What’s coming up?

Next week is half term for Elle and Lauren so their week will mostly be spent entertaining little ones (and counting down the days to some peace and quiet!)

The Wild Mothering Circle will be meeting again on Friday afternoon 1:30pm – 3pm so if you are a wild woman wanting to connect with other women, please come along. We will be getting together upstairs at Healthy Spirit, a beautiful woman-led local biz across the road from our usual meeting place. 

What are you all up to next week? We’d love to know.

birth ballHow can you help at the minute?

This week we managed to pick up an unwanted exercise ball from a local facebook group that will go into our library for women to borrow. If you have any pregnancy and birth resources that you no longer need we gladly take donations. We want to ensure that women have access to all the support they need, be that emotional support, information or practical items so all donations are hugely appreciated.

Another reminder to choose us as your Co-op Local Cause if you haven’t already. It’s just £1 to join as a member and every penny will support local women to access doula support.

choose us as your co-op local cause

Finally, if you’re a woman in Manchester wanting to connect with other women, join our facebook community! It’s a quiet group right now but we would love to see it grow🌕🐺🌈

Hope you have a wonderful week and Storm Dennis doesn’t cause you too much trouble!

Lori, Elle & Amy

amy lori and elle in ice shack