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 financial 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 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: Due to very high demand for our Birth Support and Extended Postnatal Support services we do not have capacity to accept any more referrals (birth or postnatal) for clients with December 2022 or January 2023 due dates. Please explore alternative support options for these clients. Our Volunteer Doula team is at capacity. Thank you