Our Doula Support Program builds our clients’ confidence, resilience and social connection and complements the clinical care provided by the public maternity system.
Our Doula Program Supervisors personally match each of our clients with professionally trained volunteer doulas, who provide free continuous pregnancy, labour and/or extended postnatal support.
Evidence suggests that continuous support can result in more positive parent and baby health outcomes and birthing experiences, especially for those experiencing social and economic disadvantage.
About the program
Pregnancy and labour support includes:
- Two to three prenatal visits (including one appointment with the midwife/doctor), which might include preparing a birth plan.
- On-call 24/7 support from two weeks before the estimated due date until two weeks after.
- Continuous support during labour and birth.
- At least two postnatal visits.
Extended postnatal support includes:
- 12 hours of support within the first six weeks following baby’s transition to home to help establish bonding, feeding and good self-care practices.
- Assistance with connection to other professional and social support services.
These programs aim to:
- Increase clients’ confidence and preparedness for birth and parenting, by creating a safe space where they are free to express any concerns.
- Support clients with answers to any questions about pregnancy, childbirth, the health system and parenthood.
- Reduce social isolation, by building trusted personal relationships and connecting clients to appropriate professional and social support services.
- Support bonding during early parenting, by visiting parent/s and baby after birth and continuing to provide emotional and practical support, such as feeding advice and information.
Our programs are provided for free to people who meet our eligibility criteria. Clients are referred by midwives and social workers at public maternity hospitals around Melbourne and Geelong. We do not provide any financial assistance for maternity care or costs.
Eligible clients can also refer themselves via our online referral form.
Please note: We are now fully booked for January, February and March 2024 due dates. We are unable to accept any further referrals for birth support or extended postnatal support, for people who are due to give birth in those months. Our Volunteer Doula team is at capacity.