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Bradford Doulas

Bradford Doulas

Offering practical and emotional support to pregnant mums six weeks before the birth, during labour and six weeks after the birth, through trained volunteers.

Doula is the Greek word for wise-woman. Acting as a ‘professional friend’, volunteer doulas help women to make positive choices, accompany them to appointments, provide practical support at the birth, build positive relationships with other services and offer emotional support.

Our Bradford Doulas project supports women to make the best choices for themselves and their babies, helping them to achieve a positive birth experience and building their knowledge to enable them to make informed decisions about childbirth, nutrition and breastfeeding. Support from volunteer doulas can also connect families into network of other support services.

Families are carefully matched with volunteer doulas who are best suited to them (dependent on the woman’s needs, requests and circumstances).

Who will benefit? Over the first three years the project will aim to train at least 50 women to become accredited volunteer doulas, who will go on to support around 200 pregnant women in the Better Start Bradford area. The service is suitable for women who require support regarding maternal health and social wellbeing. Evidence tells us that where a woman receives support before the birth, during birth and after the birth,  she is more likely to have a natural birth and a more positive birth experience.

Who provides it? The Bradford Doulas service has been commissioned by Better Start Bradford to run the project in the Better Start Bradford area.

Where and when is it delivered? Most support is in the home and volunteer doulas also accompany women to appointments, antenatal classes and hospitals for birth. Training for volunteers doulas is held at Carlisle Business Centre.

How do families register? If you are over 28 weeks pregnant and feel that you would benefit from the support of a doula, you can ask for free help by contacting Bradford Doulas on 01274 223 232 or email [email protected] for a referral form. Women can also be referred by their midwife, doctor, health visitor, early years staff, social care, children’s centre, voluntary and community sector organisations or other Better Start Bradford projects.




More information:

Bradford Doulas train Bradford women as CERTA accredited volunteer doulas to provide non-judgmental, consistent, tailored information and physical and emotional support six weeks before the birth, during labour and six weeks after the birth.

What the Bradford Doulas project offers:


  • Building a relationship with family
  • Weekly home visits / contact via telephone
  • Accompanying to GP or midwifery appointments, antenatal classes, visits to Maternity Unit
  • Helping develop a birth plan – assist with choices around birth
  • Encouraging active birth
  • Assisting with packing bag for hospital
  • Discussing benefits of breastfeeding
  • Providing emotional and practical support through the latter stages of pregnancy

At the birth:

  • Assisting with the practicalities of birth
  • Accompanying as a birth partner
  • Hand and back massage
  • Encouraging an active and natural birth (keeping active / using balls / getting in and out of pool)
  • Supporting within the home or hospital
  • Assisting in creating the desired birthing environment
  • Working professionally at all times with maternity staff to provide the best birthing experience as is possible
  • Assisting with skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding at birth

Support in the first six weeks of family life:

  • Weekly home visits
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Referral to other organisations for support
  • Accompaning mums and babies to Family Hubs or make necessary referrals
  • Emotional support, looking for signs of baby blues and postnatal depression

Volunteer Doulas are trained to understand the limits of their work. Doula’s do not give clinical or medical advice or interfere with medical or clinical aspects of labour and are not trained as interpreters.

The Bradford Doulas project is one of more than 20 projects being provided by Better Start Bradford for pregnant women and families with children under four in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.