To achieve equitable maternal health and wellbeing for all by providing and advocating for respectful pregnancy, birth and early parenting support for people experiencing social and financial disadvantage in Melbourne, Australia
We believe that no one should birth alone.
Many pregnant women and gender diverse birthing people face complex barriers to seeking the support they need throughout pregnancy and early parenthood. We are dedicated to providing free birth support to people experiencing social or financial disadvantage.
Lower appointment attendance, limited accessibility to appropriate information, difficulty accessing interpreters, inability to access continuity of care and lower familial or emotional supports are just some of the factors that can affect maternal health outcomes in the Australia. We provide tailored support to people who may be facing some or many of these barriers.
Our programs include:
Doula support – skilled birth and postnatal support professionals (doulas) provide continuous personal, physical and emotional support, delivering more than 200 services per year.
Education resources – targeted pregnancy and childbirth education in community languages to increase preparedness and confidence for birth and early parenting and support women to navigate the Victorian maternal health system.
Research and advocacy – influencing the maternal health system to better support communities experiencing disadvantage through research, programmatic evidence and advocacy.
Professional training – foundational doula training for bicultural women and professional development training for maternal health workers to provide improved support for women experiencing systemic disadvantage.
We receive referrals from major hospitals in Melbourne as well as self-referrals.
Who we support
The people we support may be facing a range of interconnected barriers to accessing equitable care. This includes those who are:
- experiencing family violence, trauma or abuse
- experiencing or at risk of perinatal depression or anxiety
- experiencing homelessness
- socially isolated with no other support person
- experiencing or have a history of alcohol or drug misuse
- new migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- under 25
Many people we support have diverse cultural backgrounds and speak many different languages. We have a number of bicultural doulas and can help facilitate interpreter support at appointments, where possible.
Our approach to gender inclusivity
At Birth for Humankind, we provide safe, compassionate and personalised support to all people who are pregnant and birthing. And we recognise that transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people face unique challenges when pregnant and birthing.
Our language and organisational practices aim to include all gender diverse birthing people. We are committed to actively listening to the wider transgender, non-binary & gender diverse community as well as those using our services, and will continually re-evaluate our practices whenever necessary.
When working with clients or telling their stories, we always use their preferred pronouns and gendered language. When referring to external aspects of our work that uses gendered language, we use current terminology (for example, the maternal healthcare system) but apply our gender-inclusive principles. While we prioritise using gender affirming language, we also acknowledge the importance of sexed language and sex-specific clinical care.