Research shows if a woman feels well-supported during pregnancy and birth, she is better able to look after her baby, and her child’s outcomes are improved.
Birth Companions has been providing specialist support to pregnant women and mothers for more than 25 years. Our services in prisons and the community are delivered by staff and volunteers expert in supporting women in the most difficult circumstances. Our work is woman-centred, trauma-informed and non-judgmental, and we build packages of support unique to each individual.
- One-to-one practical and emotional support for women during pregnancy and throughout early motherhood.
Our staff and volunteers help women develop their birth preferences; support and advocate for them during appointments with professionals including midwives and obstetricians, social workers and the family courts; provide support with breastfeeding and caring for new babies; make referrals to other support agencies and spend time with women, listening to them, supporting them and being there for them.
- Birth support for women who might otherwise give birth on their own.
Women or their supporters can phone our 24/7 birthline to mobilise our specialist volunteers who offer practical and emotional support and advocacy during labour, birth and the immediate post-partum period.
- Practical essential items.
We provide a full range of high-quality recycled items for mothers and babies, and help women with other needs, such as maternity/ breastfeeding bras, safe transport in labour, a hospital bag for birth, topping up phone credit and purchasing groceries for when they come home from hospital.
- Trauma-informed antenatal courses designed specifically to meet the needs of women in prison, and those experiencing disadvantage in the community.
- Mother and baby groups where women can make friends, take part in activities and access support from staff, volunteers and peer supporters.
- Support for women experiencing bereavement and loss through miscarriage, stillbirth and separation from their children.
- Support for women accessing abortions.
- A peer support programme.
We train, supervise and support women with lived experience to help others facing difficulties during pregnancy and early motherhood.
“The list of services that Birth Companions provides on the website is, I would say, wildly incorrect. Because they do way more than that. They go above and beyond. They do not just do what’s on the tin - they do way more than that. We are so blessed to have a service that never limits what they think they can do. And if they can, they will always go out of their way to exceed all of our expectations.”
A member of Birth Companions' Lived Experience Team.