Save Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Support Service in Hull
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Hull City Council are proposing to cut all funding to the Goodwin doula and breastfeeding peer support service in Hull as part of the public health budget cuts. The project relies on council funding to coordinate the hundreds of volunteers who give up their time to help women across the city.
The doula and breastfeeding peer support project was designed to improve the health and skills of pregnant women and to address the historically low levels of breastfeeding in Hull. Support is targeted to the most vulnerable women in Hull and referrals are received from a range of professionals.
Without this project most of the women it serves will end up requiring more expensive health and social care interventions thus creating extra and additional costs that far outweigh any short term savings.
The project also benefits its volunteers who have achieved 38,000 volunteering hours in its 12 years of running and 15% of those volunteers have been supported to move into permanent careers in midwifery, nursing or social care, including graduate study.
“Volunteering has made me feel like im making a massive difference to peoples lives! I run the helpline and i have such a happy feeling when a mum tells me how helpful i am and i literally cannot get over how much more confident i feel in myself! I never sought any support through the service myself but having been on a journey of premature babies and expressing and different feeding methods i joined to give out education i learnt so mums wouldnt feel alone!” - Claire Smith breastfeeding peer supporter.
“I first had experience back almost 10years ago now with the doula project when I had a doula support me through my pregnancy, birth and antenatally with my eldest son and being a teenage mum my doula was like an angel for me!! She helped and gave me the emotional support that I needed and helped me through the first experiences I went through as a first time mum....which leads me into becoming a doula myself! I always wanted to give back what I got and to be able to help vulnerable mum's the way I was helped and give them the support I recieved and to just make these precious moments the best they can be in any situation and make sure that these mum's don't feel alone, I loved the training meeting so many new friends and I am now loving being out supporting mums and it really is the best feeling in the world.” - Gemma Adamson Doula.
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