My job title is 'doula', but being a doula isn't really like many other jobs. It isn't left at the office at the end of the day and it is definitely not separate to the rest of my life.
I try to get involved in as many aspects of my community as I can, and thankfully my community makes it so easy. I have been invited into my local primary school to talk about infant feeding and am keen to continue this with other schools. I am working with health visitors and local women's groups to help improve access to resources and bridge the gaps between certain areas of our community and those delivering support. I also talk with oragnisations and individuals striving for gender equality and better representation of LGBTQ+ individuals and families.
All of these and more are hugely important to me, and I have met some incredible people along the way. Long may the journey continue.
Working for positive change is an integral part of who I am and what Unicorn Doula stands for. Voluntary work has been an important and consistent part of my life since I was a child, and thankfully I have a job which makes giving back relatively easy and genuinely enjoyable.
My first baby was in special care and we did not have an easy start to feeding. After 14 weeks of excruciating pain, facing one problem after another, each more draining than the last, I had a consultation with an IBCLC who turned our feeding experience on its head. She had time to spend with me, really look at my baby in detail and explain what she was seeing. Most importantly she said this, and I will never forget these words, "The most important thing I need you to know is this is not your fault. You could not have fixed this by yourself." I left armed with information and uplifted by her compassion and expertise.
In a world of families trying to do right by their children, without the close network our ancestors had to support them, compassion and expertise made sense to me. I started training and reading and learning. I spent time with lots and lots of mums who were struggling to feed their babies, I tried to pass on what I could.
And I will keep trying...
If you are involved with a project or cause that you think I, or other doulas, might be interested in hearing about then please get in touch.
We doulas are a pretty approachable, caring bunch, but we know that there are areas of the community that just aren't being reached and people who aren't having their voices heard.
If there's something you want to raise awareness of I want to hear about it! I'd love to see if we can work together on something amazing, or even simply interview you to find out more about your experience and write a blog post about it.
Let's talk, drink tea and change what we can.
I work in and around Newport, Cardiff and Bristol, so give me a call for a no-pressure, non-judgemental chat. I look forward to hearing where you are in your journey and finding out if I'm the right doula for you. Ella.x