The Doula Issue 39 Autumn 2020 - Flipbook - Page 13
HAZEL ACLAND TREE
The European Doula Network (1) was born from a
vision in 2005 to connect doulas across Europe to
establish standards in doula formation and practice.
This has evolved in the last 15 years to become a
strong international network of support, information
sharing and friendships across 24 countries; from
Denmark in the North, to Ukraine in the East, to
Turkey in the south, to Portugal in the West. Despite
Brexit looming the UK continues to be a strong
member of the EDN as membership is not linked to
In April, the EDN office team worked hard to uphold its
mission of ‘connecting, supporting, informing’ despite also
being caught up in the wave of disruption in C-19 tidal
wave. A statement in the April newsletter (2) pulled together
information from each country about the C-19 situation and
how doulas were responding to the crisis.
There was a wide range of new normal, with some countries
denying access to any kind of birth partner at birth, not
even husbands were allowed even though this was against
the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.
Doors were firmly shut, and birth options were limited,
with home birth illegal and also the alarming separation of
mother and baby if C-19 was implicated. And even then,
there were many regional variations within each country.
Doulas worked hard to mobilise awareness and organise
campaigns to alert governments of the infringements on
Anita Budak is in Croatia.
She shared a diary from 11th
March – 2nd April in the EDN newsletter (3),
here is an excerpt:
I switched my prenatal visits online. All are happy with the
result, looks like this could work.
March 22nd 6.24h am
I’m in my bed sleeping. Shaking and loud noises enter my
sleep. Earthquake. I’m jumping on the floor and crawling
as fast as possible to get to my kids. My husband is behind
me. The shaking is constant. Kids are in their beds, alive!
10 longest seconds of my life! Apartment looks destroyed,
Walls and ceilings have big holes. In about 6 minutes we
were outside. 30 minutes later another big earthquake.
People standing outside but keeping distance. Kids want to
hug our little neighbours, but nobody lets them. It’s starting
to snow; it is freezing cold.
Images from Petrova hospital near us are flooding the
media. The biggest maternity hospital has sustained
major damage. Mothers holding their newborn babies
are standing outside of the hospital in their nightgowns.
The hospital is in a very bad shape, women are being
transferred during labour to the ambulance car parked in
front of the hospital to give birth. Babies in incubators are
quickly being transferred to the other hospitals.
Everybody is wearing masks and constantly yelling: “Keep
Keep your distance,
suppress your need to hug
another human being.
So many old traumas from
the war are surfacing again.
We are back home;
earthquake damage is
temporarily fixed. Social
distancing measures still on,
no birthing partners allowed
in hospitals. Still some
quakes, little ones. I am
ready to support my birthing
mothers as best as I can, but what that will be,
Some doulas also shared their personal accounts of birthing
experiences, here are two.
Preparing birthing mothers for the uncertainty of birth,
I think we got that covered.
© Doula UK | Autumn 2020 | The Doula 13