Where Black Birth Matters



There is a wisdom in the stories that our grandmothers tell us. It’s the medicine of generations.  The stories of our collective pasts, and the hope for our future. The world of birth is not new and neither is the work of the birthkeeper.

When you decide to become an Abuela doula, you will be encouraged to reach back into your cultural heritage to bring forward the traditions of your mothers and your mothers’ mothers. The role of a doula is to support and to be with women as they travel through pregnancy, birth and those early postnatal days. To sit in and share the wisdom of the Abuelas, the grandmothers.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson

Doula Preparation Course

Knowing what a doula is, and knowing what it is to be a doula, recognising that the preparation course is precisely that. Preparation. An Abuela doula should seek to learn more, network and engage with other birth and postnatal professionals and hold herself to a good personal code.

This is a four day, interactive course. An application form will be sent and the course explained to enquirers – this includes structure and fees. The pre-course module will be sent with the application form and is expected to be completed before starting. The post course module should be completed within 9 months. COST: £500 CLICK FOR MORE INFO

Wisdom of the Abuelas Course

A one day workshop is a CPD course for doulas, birthkeepers and other birthworkers who have already done a doula preparation course, and/or have been working in the birth world for some time. CLICK FOR MORE INFO



We believe that there should be a doula for all women. Each woman should be able to look within her own community and culture, as well as beyond, to find her doula. It is a very special and intimate time, so becoming a woman’s doula is a privilege.  Abuela doulas bring a sense of home.

Being a doula does not start and end with birth. It’s about supporting each family for as much of the journey as they wish. On completion of this course, Abuela doulas should be able to:

• work with a base set of values and principles
• network and build links within the local birth community
• build a greater knowledge of birth support and what it means to be a doula
• develop insight into personal motivations with a sense of not imparting these onto others
• encourage the practice of taking personal responsibility and informed consent
• list the benefits of antenatal, birth and postnatal support
• set up, network, market their doula business


Working as a doula leaves a lot of space for self-reflection. Just as you journey alongside your clients, a mentor will walk alongside you. A mentor gives you space to debrief and process.

It is wonderful to sit at the feet of any wiser, older, sister. There you will find accountability, empathy, honesty, reliability, a critical friend who will challenge you, give you faith, push you along and help you with your boundaries.

Mars Lord

Abuela courses are facilitated by award winning doula Mars Lord. She has been a birth keeper for over a decade. After attending the Paramana Doula course with Michel Odent and Lilliana Lammers, a spark was lit within her and the passion that she discovered for birth and supporting women has fired her soul ever since. She has had the privilege of working with hundreds of women.

As a founding member of Birth In The City alongside Maisie Hill and Nicola Mahdiyyah Goodall, she delights in working with other doulas and sharing our collective stories and skills.

Her work with pregnant women and their families has led her to speak at conferences and to lead workshops, namely Loving The Multiple Mamas. She has had the privilege of speaking at Mumsnet’s Bumpfest, twice, the Doula UK Conference (2016) and Feminism In London, twice. She also ran the inaugural Reproductive Justice Retreat (Nov 2018).

Watch Mars speaking at the Doula UK Conference, 2016

Reclaiming Your Ancestral Birth Retreat

Black women are 5 times more likely to die within childbirth than white women. Studies talk about the need to develop and evaluate services to mitigate the risk of dying that are associated with being of black Caribbean or African ethnicity.

You are going to change that. Join us for a weekend retreat of CPD, workshops, discussions, ceremonies & rituals as well as activism.

Reproductive Justice Retreat

In 2018 we hosted our first Abuela Retreat. A weekend retreat of CPD, workshops, discussions, ceremonies & rituals as well as activism for black birth keepers, doulas, midwives, natural health advocates and women’s wellness practitioners who know our clients deserve excellence.





Abuela Retreat


8th-11th October 2020


Doula Preparation Courses:


2020 Dates
Friday 24th January – Monday 27th January 2020. London
Friday 31st January – Monday 3rd February 2020. Birmingham
Friday 8th May – Monday 11th May 2020. Leeds
Friday 5th June – Monday 8th June 2020. Birmingham
Friday 12th June – Monday 15th June 2020. London
Friday 11th September – Monday 14th September 2020. London
Friday 25th September – Monday 28th September 2020. Birmingham


Speaking Dates
Let’s Talk Birth Tour: Bath – 20th March 2019
Let’s Talk Birth Tour: London – 21st March 2019
Make Birth Better – 3rd April 2019
La Leche League Workshop – 13th April 2019
International Day of the Midwife, Kings College – 3rd May 2019
Yogabirth Study Day – 23rd June 2019
Breastfeeding Festival: Milton Keynes – 14th September 2019
Cultural Competency Workshop: London – 5th December 2019











Abuela Blog


MBRRACE 2019 Mars Lord 17th December 2019 So, the MBRRACE report was finally released after being put in ‘purdah’ (a problematic phrase - think appropriation) and having an embargo on the results. What we’ve learned is that things are not improving for Black women and...

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Be KindMars Lord24th November 2019''It’s been a funny few weeks. Sadly none of it left me laughing. I’ve been wanting to put my thoughts down for the longest time, but it keeps making my heart feel heavy. However, the need to keep the conversation going is important....

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