I have been working as a Doula for the past three years and I decided to pursue the HE Cert in Maternity Care at Swansea University to see if my studies would lead me in a specific direction.
The HE Cert in Maternity Care includes modules tailored for students of midwifery so you gain insight into their profession. The lectures are very well-structured and we had the opportunity to access tutors or additional help whenever we needed. The course is also flexible and many of the girls on the course had families themselves so being able to choose their hours gave them a chance to work around their commitments.
Whilst on the course, I became a Facilitator for the first Swansea Positive Birth Movement Group. The Positive Birth Movement has over 400 groups around the world aimed at making the birth experience positive for as many women as possible. As a Doula, I have always had a sense of community and I felt that there was a desperate need for a local Positive Birth Movement group in Swansea as the nearest one is about 30 miles away.
We immediately received support from the Welsh Doula Network and a local Swansea café who offer a toddler and breastfeeding friendly environment. The group is open for anyone who has a keen interest in improving pregnant woman’s health by simply empowering their choices and supporting a positive attitude towards birth culture.
As well as being very busy with my Doula work and in running the PBM group once a month, I utilise my ability to sign language and work with the deaf community alongside Action on Hearing Loss. When I realised there was no additional support for deaf couples who are expecting a family, I had an idea for a unique project, one which combines my experience as a Doula and my ability to communicate with deaf people, and involves providing support and assistance for these families.
As a result of this Swansea University course I am now able to offer a higher level of counselling and breastfeeding support for first-time mothers and I am excited about taking my new project working with the deaf community forward.