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
 
full moon in the clouds
Doulas, News, Uncategorized

Saturday send out 📫

full moon in the clouds

Happy Saturday! And happy full moon weekend 🌕This snow full moon will be the first super moon of the decade and we’re certainly feeling her energy! Despite that, we hope you’re able to have a relaxing peaceful weekend.

It’s that time again. Here’s our Saturday Send Out 📫. Grab a cuppa and get cosy…

What we’ve been up to

It has felt like a really productive week this week. Working on various funding applications, facilitating groups and connecting with wonderful women. It seems like winter hibernation is still calling lots of us and the need to turn inward and rest is still great. But the beautiful sunshine and blue skies over the last few days has certainly given us a new energy as the season begins to change.

Lori and Elle with the Community Champion at Asda in RochdaleElle and I had a huge surprise this week as we were asked to go and collect a cheque from Asda in Rochdale. We knew we were part of their recent green token giving but had no idea how we had done or how much we had won. We could not believe it when we arrived to find that not only had we won, but the amount had been doubled because we were in store over Christmas! This money will help us to set up a free pool hire service that will sit alongside our existing Holding Space service – accessible pool hire with valuable emotional support to help you prepare for and debrief your birth. We are super excited so watch this space!!   

Questions for the doulas

Favourite Ed Sheeran song?

A: ‘You need me’ because I know all the words and it’s great to rap really loud in the car!
L: Depends on which mood I’m in. I like singing ‘Gold Rush’ 
E: I’m a big fan of the brief silences between his many songs

Hufflepuff socksWhich Harry Potter house would you be in?

E:  I don’t know, the only thing about Harry potter I like is Wizards Unite.
A: Hufflepuff 
L: Hufflepuff for sure! Never part of the cool crowd but patient, loyal and all about fair play. Elle won’t play but I think she’d be Ravenclaw; so wise with a sharp wit and love of learning. 

How have you been looking after your mental health?

L: Reaching out for help when I’m struggling and reminding myself that the hard days won’t last forever.
E:I just bought myself a PlayStation Now subscription, so my mental health is taken care of for the next year.
A: Getting lots of fresh air and taking time to myself.

Do you consider yourself and introvert or an extrovert? 

A: Introvert definitely.
L: Highly introverted!
E: The introvert-est.

Are you usually early or late?

E: Don’t think I’ve ever been early, except by accident.
A: I would much rather be really early than a minute late
L: As much as the people pleaser in me wants to be early, I’m often running late!

Lori lying down with two dogsAre you a cat or a dog person?

L: An animal person?! I love dogs 🐕 but I have so much love for my childhood cat Teddy.
E: Getting dogs has made me appreciate cats more.
A: I’m more of a cat person because I love their independence, but Elle’s dogs are winning me over.

What’s coming up

Next week we’ll be diving deep into planning and preparation for exciting projects we’ve got in the pipeline. Hopefully connecting more with our volunteers and keeping the productivity flowing!

It’s our monthly home birth group tomorrow morning for anyone interested in home birth. Whether you have questions or want to share your story, you and your family are welcome. There will be biscuits and brews and toys for any little ones who come.  

The Wild Mothering Circle will hopefully be meeting again on Friday. We’re looking forward to reconnecting with this sisterhood after a couple of cancelled meets! If you are a woman who wants to be part of this village we would love to see you there.

wild mother circle details home birth south manchester details

This Friday there is also an event inviting those who have used maternity services in the last couple of years to talk about their postnatal experiences. This is part of the work to improve maternity services in Greater Manchester. Sadly our little ones have an inset day so Elle and Lori won’t be able to make it but you can reserve your space here

How can you help at the minute?

women in a birth pool hugging her husbandWe are keen to get our pool hire service off the ground as quickly as possible. If you have a pool or any accessories that you would like to donate, they would be hugely appreciated. Our first pool Nell was donated by a wonderful family after their beautiful home birth, and has already been used by two other families 💕.

Are you a Jigsaw Homes resident? If so you can vote for our community project on the Jigsaw Rewards website. Your votes will help women and their families in Miles Platting and surrounding areas to access much needed support around pregnancy, birth and beyond.

As always we’d love to hear from you so tell us how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to. If there are events you’d like us to share, or there’s a topic you’d like us to shine a light on get in touch

Lots of love,

Amy, Elle & Lori x

silly faces

amy elle and lori
Doulas, Funding, News, Uncategorized

Saturday shout out 📣

Happy Saturday! It’s finally the weekend and the end of the longest January in existence. We’re all relaxing after a long week and hope you are too.

It’s that time again. Here’s our Saturday Shout Out. Grab a cuppa and get cosy…

What we’ve been up to

A couple of wonderful interviews reminded us of why we do what we do, and how much connecting with women feeds our souls.
We facilitated three free community groups this week, and we’d love to see them grow.

Also Amy drove inside a building for the first time (with a jolly Elle inside)
and Lori got stranded with a flat tire (with a less jolly Elle inside).

We enjoyed our first few days of working together as a team, and had our first slumber party!

Questions for the doulas

Top three bands/singers?
L: Lizzo, Stormzy, Beyonce.
A: Eminem, Ed Sheeran, and McFly.
E: Bjork, Weezer, Panic! at the Disco.

Movie you’ve watched more than any other?
L: Harry Potter. Maybe Stealing Beauty… So cheesy, but I used to be obsessed.
A: Definitely Harry Potter, and Avengers: End Game.
E: The Princess Bride.

All time favourite TV shows?
L: Gilmore Girls, Grace and Frankie, Game of Thrones (before it ended the way it did – still haven’t forgiven the writers for ruining it).
A: Friends, Scrubs, and Gilmore Girls.
E: Adventure Time, Mr Robot, and Scrubs.

What’s on your bucket list?
L: Getting fat exploring Koh Phangan and having a beach house so we can be awesome old crones together like Grace and Frankie.
A: There’s a lot of things on my bucket list! Mostly visiting countries I haven’t seen yet, and skydiving which is too expensive and scary, but one that will be ticked off soon(ish) is converting a van into a camper so I can travel more.
E: Getting a scooter.

What’s coming up?

Next week is all about funding. Some deadlines are approaching, and we’re meeting face to face with a funder for the first time.

On Thursday we have our first Free Birth Meeting of the year. It’s so important that women know about all their options during pregnancy. Especially if you’re thinking outside the box for your birth, it’s so reassuring and inspiring to hear the tales from the women who did the same and had a beautiful time.

The Wild Mothering Circle is now open to all women, because if we want to see a village built in our lifetimes, it needs to be made up of women of all ages and stages of life. We meet every Friday afternoon so come along and be part of this growing sisterhood.

On Saturday we’ll be taking part in a flash mob to raise awareness of how the systems women rely on for support are often the systems that make our lives difficult in the first place.
You may know the video from Chile which spread over the world. Watch the powerful anti-rape demonstration in its original language here.

A week today it comes to Manchester. Anyone is welcome to take part, but full details have not yet been confirmed. Feel free to message us about this.

How can you help at the minute?

We have a few suggestions this week!

We have just started writing our antenatal course which covers as much as a regular one, but focuses on human rights in pregnancy and childbirth.
We got partial funding from Lush, but we are £1000 short, and are looking to raise the rest by crowdfunding.
Here’s a link to the Just Giving page Lori made last night. We’ve never tried crowdfunding before so would really appreciate your support with this!

If you haven’t selected us as your chosen Local Cause with the Co-op, there’s still plenty of time.

Share your story with us for National Storytelling Week. It can be about anything, and as short or long as you like. What’s important is that it’s yours.

Thank you for supporting us and having our backs, it makes such a difference to know we aren’t doing this by ourselves.

Lori, Amy & Elle x

Doulas Elle and Lauren
Doulas, News, Uncategorized

Saturday Scroll – an update on our year so far

Doulas Elle and Lauren

Hello lovely supporters!

Following some feedback we’ve decided to give our supporters more of an insight into what we do, keep you up to date with community events, and offer a glimpse into our free time. We’ll also let you know what you can do to help us and how to get involved.

So here’s our Saturday Scroll. Grab a cuppa and get cosy…

What we’ve been up to

Our working year only started this week, after nearly a month off. We got straight into it with a wonderfully productive meeting with Lucy Green, a champion of ours and a whizz at business. We highly recommend her whether you’re starting out, stuck, or wanting to expand. If you join her Facebook group you’ll be offered a free video chat so you can see whether working together is the right move for you.

Birth doulaing will always be at the heart of what we do, but we can also take those skills and apply them in other situations, to help more women to feel heard and supported. You asked, we listened – introducing our newest service, With Women!

If you’d like to talk to us about this (or anything at all) you can email or message us on Facebook. Being able to offer this, with funding where possible, takes us one step closer to our vision of the village we all need.

We are growing! Bit early for deets, but in order to support more women we need more doulas with the GMD CIC ethos, so watch out for more news in future round ups.

Aside from that, we’ve just been playing catch up after the Christmas break, at the same time as completely rejigging the way we work! You can expect lots more from us this year.

Quick fire questions for the doulas:

What are you watching at the moment?
E: My laptop is on its last legs but I’m looking forward to watching Grace and Frankie with Lori at the weekend.
L: The Crown, I’m learning so much about history! You season two, which is even better than the first, and Power.
What are you listening to?
L: I’m discovering Billie Eilish, but the Frozen 2 soundtrack is pretty much on repeat round here.
E: I’m enjoying the quiet, but also missing Christmas songs a bit.
What have you been up to this week apart from work?
L: Doodling in my bullet journal, and baking vegan banana muffins.
E: My tax return 🙁

Vegan banana muffins
What’s on your mind?
E: How to support women facing or experiencing baby loss. This article got me thinking more about the reasons women get PTSD following a loss, and what happens when we aren’t allowed to grieve.
L: Amy’s latest blog. It made me think about how valuable doula support is in so many areas of a woman’s life.
What are you feeling grateful for?
L: Sisterhood and the women who help me to keep going on hard days.
E: Lori’s muffins.

What’s coming up?

The Wild Mothering Circle meets every Friday. We haven’t settled on a topic (or location!) for the next one yet, but we’re hoping for it to be more of a women’s circle than we can usually achieve in the cafe where we normally meet. It’s closed this Friday so we’re having to get creative – join the group for news, and to connect with other women.

Local birth worker Natalie Qureshi just told us about an event in February for new parents about their postnatal experiences, we’ll let you know more details as we get them.

What’s going on in your world, and in your communities? Tell us, especially if you want them sharing

How can you help at the minute?

Yesterday Elle went into one of the Co-ops we’re featured in and discovered we are way behind the two other local causes, so we would love your support with raising that number!

If you’re a Co-op member just login to your account (or give them a call) and select us as your nominated cause to automatically contribute to our work whenever you shop there, at no extra cost to you. If you aren’t a member it’s really easy to join.

choose us as your co-op local cause

We still have funding for women in Greater Manchester who are experiencing, or who are at risk of, birth trauma. If this sounds like someone you know please pass along our details. We work with women in a few different ways, so you don’t need to mention any particular service. We can start things off with a Skype call or a face-to-face chat and take things from there.

Finally, we’d love to hear from you. If there are events you’d like us to share, or there’s a topic you’d like us to shine a light on let us know. Please tell us how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to.

elle
and Elle
Lori
Lori