Here are some useful sources of info for the most relevant pregnancy, birth and motherhood questions. These links come from trusted organisations and are widely used by many doulas and other birth workers to help provide credible and evidence based sources of information for new mamas and mamas to be.
*updated to include info on Covid-19
UPDATED MBRRACE Report Regarding Maternal Mortality 2020
Full report conducted between 2016 and 2018
This years report details the reasonings and lessons to be learnt through enquiries into Maternal deaths through 2016 to 2018.
In this period 217 women died during or 6 weeks after pregnancy. The report highlights that there is a concerning increase in the number of deaths due to Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy. It also addresses that systemic biases prevent women with complex issues, getting the care they deserve. The report also highlights that there are still significant ethnic disparities in the mortality rate with Black women x4 more likely to die than white women. This is an improvement from previous report HOWEVER is still a significant difference. There is also an increase in the mortality rates on mixed ethnicity and Chinese groups. To read the full detailed report, see the link below.
Leeds Hospital Updates
Do you have questions about your care and hospital policies during the Covid-19 outbreak? Leeds Teaching Hospital has a really useful 'virtual midwife' that helps to answer your questions and it is easily accessible through Facebook.
A campaign to return birthing rights to the birthing person
As you will be aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has put restrictions on so much of our normal life. Unfortunately, the restrictions applied to our pregnancy and birthing experience is creating increasing experiences of trauma and birthing people to birth on their own.
This campaign, asks for the government to ease the restrictions on birth partners being able to attend scans with their partner and to allow birth partners back into the birth room from the start of labour. To find out more about the campaign and how you can help to make a difference, see the campaign details from BirthBliss.
Results of UKOSS study of pregnant women and their babies during Covid-19 pandemic
RCOG and RCM responds to study and outlines the results
A large study of more than 400 pregnant women and their babies was conducted by UKOSS (UK Obstetric Surveillance System). The study supported that pregnant women were at no greater risk of severe illness than non-pregnant people in regards to contracting Covid-19. The study did reveal, however that certain groups including black and ethnic minority mamas and mamas with pre-existing illnesses were more likely to be admitted to hospital.
To find out more about the results of the study take a look at the response from the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and RCM (Royal College of Midwives) below.
Q&A Guidance on Covid-19 for pregnant women and their families
RCOG- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
The guidance in this link answers questions about how Covid-19 could effect pregnant women and their babies.
Last updated 24th July 2020
Breastfeeding and Covid-19 Guidance
La Leche League International
The La Leche League have shared this guidance on breastfeeding during the coronavirus outbreak based on what research has been carried out and their extensive knowledge of breastfeeding.
Last updated 19th February 2020
ABM- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
The guidance is echoed by the ABM on their site too: https://www.bfmed.org/abm-statement-coronavirus
Birth support during Covid-19 Outbreak
With lots of mixed reports on hospital visits and birth partners for labouring women, the birthrights team have pulled together how coronavirus may affect maternity care.
It is important to note that there is not one mode of birth that should be favored over another and your birth choice is still important.
Last updated 18th April 2020
Coronavirus and your maternity care
AIMS- for a better birth
This AIMS information helps to answer some of the most often asked questions about the effect Covid-19 is having on maternity care and what to expect during the outbreak.
AIMS is also a great source for evidence based pregnancy and birth information and the latest news on maternity matters.
MBRRACE Report Regarding Maternal Mortality 2018
Info-graphic from full report conducted between 2015 and 2017
This report highlights the need for a wider focus on pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postnatal care throughout the health service, and not solely in maternity care, in order to prevent women from dying. It gives details of the causes for the 209 maternal deaths seen between 2015 and 2017. It also details that black women have more than five times the risk of dying in pregnancy or up to six weeks postpartum compared to white women, women of mixed ethnicity three times the risk and Asian women almost twice the risk.
A doula's support
What do doulas do?
Well, that is a long list of things so maybe we should start with what we don't do.
We don't take your partners place.
Instead, we work with your partner to support you in whatever way you need us to. We also support them too. This is an important, life changing journey for both of you. We never replace, we are a wonderful addition.
We don't only support 'natural' births.
As your doula, we support your choices no matter where or how you decide to give birth. We care that you are able to make informed choices and will be at your side whether you birth in hospital or at home, with all the drugs or in a pool.
We don't replace your midwife.
And a midwife does not replace a doula. Instead we play different roles in supporting your needs. While a midwife will focus on your medical needs, a doula will be there continuously to support your emotional and physical wellbeing.
We don't only support breastfeeding.
When it come to feeding, informed and fed is best. Knowing that you have of the info, support and freedom to make a decision that works for you and your baby, is what really matters to us. We support your choices.
A doula supports your individual needs so the support they give is different for everyone. But every doula will listen to you and give you time and a non judgemental space to talk about how you feel. Sometimes this is all we do and it is often the thing that matters to clients the most.
We have also been know to cook, clean, fill birth pools, offer massage, take the dog for a walk, take the baby for a walk, make cups of tea, put the washing on, take the washing out and always remind you how amazing you are!