The Scottish Doula Network (SDN) was originally founded in 2001 by experienced childbirth companion, Lesley Ann Patrick, as an informal peer support group for the handful of women undertaking her doula preparation course. As a committed gentle birth supporter, Lesley mindfully laid the foundations for the way doulas work in Scotland today. It was with her blessings therefore, that ex-midwife, educator and then new doula Adela Stockton of Birth Consultancy Services took over the Scottish doula ‘training’ programme in 2003.
By 2007, with Scottish doulas numbering around 40, SDN members took a vote to formalise the group with a yearly membership subscription. The idea was to generate funds for a website and some advertising, thereby promoting the role of the doula in Scotland. An ethical statement was mutually agreed and currently anyone working as a lay childbirth companion in Scotland or cross border with the north of England is welcome to join. Criteria for membership is based on our commitment to peer support as much as training or experience. As a new doula, support is offered through mentorship from an experienced doula, or as an experienced doula in partnership with a doula buddy.
Once a year, SDN members gather for a retreat in the wild Scottish countryside. The weekend is also open to others working in the field of childbirth support such as midwives and educators, or mothers considering becoming doulas. We run workshops, tell stories, craft, sew and knit, share food and open our hearts with laughter, tears and hugs. If you are a Scottish birthworker and interested in participating, please contact us via our Facebook page.
There is no hierarchy within the SDN, every member’s voice is counted and heard in all decisions. We do have three admin volunteers, a webmistress, a treasurer and responder for [email protected] enquiries. We also support our ongoing learning through conferences, workshops, seminars and complimentary CPD courses. We are pleased to link with our doula sisters across Europe as supporters of the European Doula Network.
For further information about the Scottish Doula Network and doulas working in Scotland, contact us.