I am available as a postnatal doula for new parents and families in Nottingham.
what is a postnatal doula?
A postnatal doula is not a nanny, a babysitter or a cleaner. A postnatal doula is a friend, is someone to be there on your journey into parenthood with you. To witness you, to see you, to support you and to hold space for you. You can have a postnatal doula even if you have not had a birth doula and no matter what type of birth you have had. A postnatal doula can give you suggestions, advice and support but also just be a listening ear, someone to put the kettle on and bring some food! A postnatal doula will talk through your needs with you and tailor the support and options to exactly what you need and use experience and knowledge to help you find you find your rhythm and your community.
what is body of wata?
Body of Wata is my doula journey. A space for me to offer doula services and to map my journey and create a place to bring awareness to the importance of antenatal, birth and postnatal care within our communities. You can find me at @bodyofwata on Instagram for more regular(ish!) updates. I have just completed the Postnatal Sankofa course with Abuela Doulas.
what do I offer?
I want to be able to use my training and skills to support people within the community who may need emergency postnatal care, support with adjusting to parenting life and to nourish, give love and hold space for new parents.
My focus is on working with marginalised communities and those who are often do not have as easy access to this kind of support. Offering support to people heavily targeted by the state to try to ensure that families can stay together and be brought into the community if not already and supported by the community. I work in a culturally competent way, whilst also being aware and supportive of trauma, mental health and difficult situational circumstances.
I am here to support:
- Both the birthing and non-birthing parents, including adoptive and birthed through others parents and parent/family structures of all kinds, including polyamorous, throuple, co-parent and other family dynamics.
- Black parents and parents of colour, including mixed race and multi-race parents.
- LGBTQIA+ parents, including trans, non-binary, intersex and other gendered parents and lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer and other sexualities parents.
- Sex working parents, including full service sex workers, strippers and other forms of sex work.
- Disabled parents, including invisible disabilities. However I do not know sign language and I am disabled myself, so if I feel I may need additional support or that I am unable to support, I will signpost appropriately and with your consent.
- Asylum seeker, refugee and migrant parents.
- Working class and underclass parents, including homeless parents.
- People with no recourse to public funds.
Some of the things I'd do:
- Work with you to build your postnatal plan.
- Offering advice and information to the parents around the postnatal period.
- Signposting to local services.
- Home visits to be there to hold space for your parenting journey, help facilitate your postnatal plan and be a friend.
- Listening and witnessing pregnancy, birth and postnatal trauma. Note: I am not a trained therapist and will offer therapist suggestions if needed.
- Healthy, vegan and nutritionally considered meals, either fresh cooked or batch cooked to freeze.
- Vegan meal plan and nutritional advice.
- Herbal advice for parents.
- Short rest time, looking after baby to allow you to sleep.
- Welcoming your baby into the community through giving you options for local baby groups, networking with other new parents and bringing intergenerational love with passing on elder's advice and offering you access to support and care from people within the community who are already parents or grandparents.
- Be with you for your first (or second or third!) outing with your baby.
"it takes a village to raise a child"
what does emergency postnatal care look like?
Emergency postnatal care is an open term for parents who were not prepared to have a postnatal doula (so have not booked in advance) that can be for a number of different and ever evolving factors. Whether you didn't know you were pregnant and now have to enter the world of parenting for the first time or again unprepared, whether your baby came early, you are experiencing birthing or new parenting trauma, you have a mistrust of state support, you don't have community support or you have no financial support.
Emergency support can come from self-referral or being referred from one of the many local organisations I work with through Body Of Wata and my other community care projects.
I can only offer emergency postnatal care to people who fit the criteria listed above.
I can only take a couple of paid bookings a year, this allows me the flexibility to be able to take unpaid bookings with marginalised families and emergency bookings when needed.
Paid bookings are on a sliding scale.
For the more drastic emergencies, I can offer limited but last minute availability. Please contact me via email asap if you need emergency support. I can only offer emergency postnatal care to people who fit the criteria listed above.
Please contact me directly to find out more and to talk through your options.
I will be continuing my training with Abuela Doulas, taking the Birth Preparation Course to become a birth doula and learn a skill that is so important for all communities. With medical negligence and racism rife in hospitals and the medical institution, having an advocate for your birth, someone to ensure that you get the care you need and to help create birth plans, talk through your options and support home, hospital and emergency births is so important.
I will also be self-training to be an abortion, miscarriage and baby loss doula. Bringing non-judgmental, caring support to people who have carried babies, even for a short amount of time and helping through the transitioning bodies and minds go through with abortion, miscarriage and baby loss. I want to be available to be hospital support and a chaperone as well as at home or virtual support before and after.