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.
“Compared to other courses, I felt this was a safe space for me to talk, share and learn.”
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.
“The first day of the course I noticed I was in a room filled with women of colour, and different cultural backgrounds, here to learn the wisdom of the Abuela Doulas. The knowledge was good, all the standard material and information you gain at a Doula prep course, but the difference with this course was that I learnt more about different cultural traditions around pregnancy, birth and post-birth, African, Caribbean, Chinese, Asian and more. I am so glad that I went on this course! This course takes you back to the times when Granny Midwife was around, I learnt so many things that I can bring into my world as a doula, as a mother, as a sister and as a friend.”
“I felt you made the course for us as individuals, you brought things out of each of us.”
Most postnatal courses concentrate on the household chores that doulas perform and getting parents back into ‘normal’ life. Abuela Doulas are there to teach you how to truly nurture and nourish women where they are, enabling healing and restoration. You will honour your clients.
We emphasise the need to be culturally safe and to move beyond mere competence to true, unbiased support. We will dig deep into cultural support and care – it is the perfect compliment to the Red Tent practical postpartum course.
Cultural Competency Course
Cultural Competency is a set of behaviours, policies and attitudes that form a system that allows cross cultural groups to effectively work individually and within organisations where mutli-cultural situations are present. In changing the colour of the landscape, we need to be able to live and work effectively within it. Without cultural competency we find health disparities, service users turning away and complaints.
This workshop aims to work through the way we work culturally and how to implement best practice when working within the birth world. Looking at our language, awareness of self and ways of working, this is going to be a full day with role play as well as individual and group work. We look forward to your active participation. On occasion this workshop is available to travel to you – please be in touch to discuss this.
Wisdom of the Abuelas Course
This 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.
The day will include:
Storytelling – traditions and ceremonies – cultural backgrounds
How does your ethnicity affect your birth?
Who am I, the doula?
What in the world is birth?
Wisdom of the Abuelas
There will be a shared lunch. Please let me know if there are any allergies/intolerances so that other participants can be made aware.
8th-11th October 2020
Doula Preparation Courses:
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
Watch Mars speaking at the Doula UK Conference, 2016
I have 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 me and the passion that I discovered for birth and supporting women has fired my soul ever since. I joined Doula UK and have had the privilege of working with hundreds of women.
My work with pregnant women and their families has led me to speak at conferences and to lead workshops, namely Loving The Multiple Mamas. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at Mumsnet’s Bumpfest, twice, the Doula UK Conference (2016) and Feminism In London, twice.
Lorna brings a wealth of experience to her work as a birth and postnatal doula and this makes her one of the most sought-after doulas in Birmingham and the West Midlands. She also provides a number of complementary therapies and postnatal services alongside her doula work.
Qualifying as a nursery nurse in 1987, Lorna has almost 30 years’ experience of supporting young children and their families. Fast forward to 2019 when Lorna accepted an invitation to become a doula mentor for the Abuela Doula Preparation Course and is now the Birmingham facilitator for both the Abuela Doula Preparation Course and the Abuela: Postnatal Sankofa Course. She is firmly embedded in the Abuela family and is passionate about Abuela’s mission, to make black birth better.
For more information about Abuela Doulas or our courses please contact us using the following form: