When looking for a doula locally, women are frequently directed towards Doula UK, a membership association of birth and postnatal doulas in the UK. You will notice however that none of the Greater Manchester Doulas are listed in the Find a Doula directory of doulas, 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 that we work. As independent doulas, we value independence and autonomy, not just for ourselves, but more importantly for you too.
When we chose to be fully independent, we chose:
- a commitment to ensure that we are completely women-centred; offering non-judgemental support to women remains at the heart of what we do,
- to work with doulas who shared the same philosophy of reproductive experiences and how this impacts the support we offer,
- to work alongside like-minded women who will support and mentor each other with compassion and without judgement, helping each other to be the best doulas 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 you. Rather than trying to balance the way we work with being part of a body that we don’t fully align with, we are now able to support women in a way that is completely focussed on their needs with no outside limitations.
There are many myths about independent doulas and they are often criticised for various reasons – they do not following 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 reproductive experiences and for us the learning never stops. We are always reading new research and taking part in courses that support and expand our knowledge, and are more than happy to talk about this.
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 philosophy of reproductive experiences and the way in which we support women is very much aligned. We know that when we reach out for 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 and grow in a way reflects our views and ethos.
Values mentoring as an continuous practise.
We see a value in mentoring, not just at the beginning of our doula journeys but throughout. We continually reflect with each other on the way in which we work and on specific experiences of working with women. We use our individual experience as doulas to support each other and 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 the Greater Manchester Doulas’ Philosophy and Code of Conduct.
The Greater Manchester Doulas Code of Conduct.
Greater Manchester Doulas are a group of women who are passionate about reproductive experiences, individual choice, and autonomy.