A Doula” (pronounced “doola”) is a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver”. It now refers to a trained and experienced person who accompanies a woman through pregnancy and childbirth and the first few weeks of family life.

The development of Doula’s  has been associated with people  who could afford to pay for a private service – but services have developed in England that provide volunteer Doula’s to women from a variety of backgrounds. The results sound impressive

  • 84% breastfeeding initiation rate
  • 55% breastfeeding rate at 6 weeks
  • 18% caesarean section rate

A Volunteer Doula Project  this link will give you details of a Civic Conversation event being held in Musselburgh in February, entitled  ‘A Volunteer Doula Project: Could it work here?’ You will here the manager of the Goodwin volunteer Doula project based in Hull talk about her experience, and have an opportunity for discussion following the presentation.

Some research links

Continuous support for women during childbirth (review)

Social support by doulas during labour and the early postpartnum period

A chicago based young mother project






Public Health Report

Chief medical officer launches annual public health report at First Step community project in Musselburgh

The chief medical Officer came to First step community project in East Lothian to launch his annual public health report. This years report has a focus on the importance of early years to good health and Dr Burns was keen to launch the report in an early years facility in the the east Lothian equally well test site area.

Dr Burns read a story to children attending the facility and talked with parents and grandparents about the contents of the report and his views about how health inequality can be addressed.

Here is the Chief Medical Officer – Dr Harry Burns’  Annual Public Health Report

And the slides of his presntation can be viewed here


Learning, Emotions and Wellbeing

Here is the feedback from the Learning, Emotions and Wellbeing conference held in Prestonlodge School on 26th October 2009. The feedback has been broken down by workshop or session. Participant were asked to note what they would be taking away from the event and what if any impact they thought it would have on their practise

Active Bodies, Using Art to Develop Emotional Literacy, Attachment Theory, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Dealing with Self Harm, Developing Emotional Literacy, Dr Harry Burns, East Lothian’s Behaviour Strategy, General, Growing Confidence, The Importance of Nurturing Relationships, Mental Wellbeing in the Curriculum for Excellence, Using Music to Develop Emotional Wellbeing, Using the Outdoors to Promote Emotional Wellbeing, Promoting Positive Behaviour, Restorative Practice, Support from the Start, They’re our Bairns

Kings Fund Top Managers Programme

Support from the Start recently hosted a visit from NHS senior managers known as the Kings Fund Top Managers programme. 

Hopefully the managers found it beneficial – I think lots of positive ideas and feedback came from the discussion held over the course of the day that the managers were with us. The contents of the feedback will be discussed at the Joint Health Improvement Planning Board which provides strategic leadership for Support from the Start and the operational steering group.

Here is the report from the Kings Fund Top Managers’ briefing held in the Townhouse, Haddington on Wednesday 7th October 2009


Autumn Training at Children in Scotland

Posted on behalf of Helen Duncan:

Brighten up your autumn

with Children in Scotland


Don’t head for hibernation once the summer is over. Children in Scotland has a wide range of training workshops and seminars, to stimulate, motivate and meet your CPD needs.


With so much on offer between now and December, whet your appetite with these hand-picked highlights – or download a copy of our Training and Conference Guide for the full schedule –





Building attachment: theory into practice

Resilience and Coping, Additional Support Needs
Secure, insecure and disorganised attachment and understanding ways of working with and caring for children who have experienced loss, separation, abuse and neglect.
25/9/2009, Edinburgh

Transforming early years spaces on a shoestring

Approaches to Education

Practical ideas on providing a quality education environment without breaking the bank
29/9/2009, Glasgow

Group work with young people
Working with Young People
Theoretical and practical groupworking skills with young people
1/10/2009, Edinburgh

Working with drug and alcohol misuse
Health and Wellbeing
Examine the use and misuse of non prescribed drugs and alcohol and the skills required in working with young people involved in misuse
2/10/2009, Edinburgh

Infant mental health and wellbeing
Health and Wellbeing, Resilience and Coping
Influence in very early life for future mental health and wellbeing and practical assessment and solutions
5/10/2009, Glasgow

Risk assessment, analysis and management in child welfare and protection
Child Protection

Providing an accessible, evidence based risk framework that can be applied in day to day practice
6/10/2009, Edinburgh

Promoting positive behaviour in young children
Managing Behaviour

An introduction to managing behaviour in the early years
7/10/2009, Glasgow

Dealing with conflict, anger and aggression (over 12s)
Managing Behaviour, Working with Young People

Explore strategies for communicating effectively with young people who display challenging behaviour
8/10/2009, Glasgow

Empowering change: an introduction to solution-oriented approaches
Working with Young People, Additional Support Needs
Help young people and workers develop goals and solutions rather than analyse problems
9/10/2009, Glasgow


For these and a wide variety of other courses, download the Children in Scotland Training and Conference Guide http://www.

or go online to

Book online today – prices from £90 for Children in Scotland members





Alison Rowan, Training Development Officer

Children in Scotland, Princes House, 5 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RG

Phone: 0131 222 2405 Fax: 0131 228 8585