Doulas provide emotional, physical and informational support to women during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. While the practice is not very common yet in Belgium, it’s possible to find trained and experienced English-speaking doulas who can accompany you on your journey into parenthood, while always respecting your choices and wishes.
This section looks at:
What can a doula offer me?
Having a doula by your side can bring a great deal of comfort and reassurance, whatever stage you are at in your journey. And most doulas are happy to support you in all kinds of situations, including:
- pre-conception, before you even start trying to conceive
- trying to conceive (including after a loss)
- having difficulty conceiving
- undergoing fertility treatment
- loss of a baby
- elective termination
- pregnancy, including birth preparation
- labour and birth – read more here
- postpartum period
Read more about the many ways a doula can support you during pregnancy, birth and early parenting in our article When and how can a doula help me on my journey?.
Curious what the research says about doula support? You can find out more in our article What does the research say about doula care?
Finding a doula in Belgium
While doulas are not yet so common in Belgium, the following doulas offer various kinds of support and services in English.
Doulas providing pre- and postnatal support AND birth support
- Belgian mums Julie Denil and Sophie Fraschina run So Cocoon. They offer a whole range of birth-related services, in English and French. They are based in the Jodoigne area but also serve mums in Brussels. Because they have lived as expats, they know the feeling you can experience being a far from home, especially during the particular time of pregnancy and early parenthood.
- Brussels-based doula and mom Emily Gold has supported births in the USA, Canada and Belgium. As a doula, she supports people from fertility challenges through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Emily works specifically with birth clients who previously went through fertility assistance or are specifically dealing with anxiety, loss or trauma (whether birth-related or otherwise). Her doula background is further supported by her background in psychology, public health and yoga therapy.
- Mum and pregnancy, birth & postpartum doula Johanna Tilly (see Johanna’s village profile and Facebook page) is a doula who can offer support from before conception all the way through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. She speaks English, German, French and some Japanese and often supports births at Delta CHIREC hospital (other hospitals are also possible). She is also a pre- and postnatal yoga and hypnobirthing teacher. Post-birth she specialises in postnatal depression, breast-/ bottle feeding, better sleep for the whole family (newborn stage to 4-year olds), newborn-sibling relationships, couple relationships and the postpartum body (healing and getting back in shape). Johanna can also support women/couples considering abortion or having already decided on or gone through abortion. As well as supporting parents night and day in and around Brussels, Johanna also supports parents further afield online via Zoom/Skype.
- Wezembeek-Oppem-based mum and doula Nathalie Berg supports women and couples before, during and after birth. Nathalie also offers life coaching, photography, and relocation advice to families moving to Belgium.
- Belgian mum and doula Audrey Laviolette is based in Braine l’Alleud, but also covers the Brussels area. She offers consultations at the CHIREC clinic of Sainte-Anne Saint-Rémi in Anderlecht every Friday morning, and is accredited with the CHIREC hospital in Braine-l’Alleud and Delta hospital in Brussels.
- Brussels-based Brazilian mum and doula Thainy Macedo speaks English Portuguese, Spanish, French and Dutch, and supports families in the Brussels area. She has accompanied dozens of births in Brussels hospitals and also offers breastfeeding support, general babycare and postpartum support, reiki, rebozo, and aromatherapy. Website / Facebook / Instagram
- Brussels-based mum Celine Angelici loves to help other woman to listen to what they really want for the birth of their babies. She she really enjoys meeting parents from different cultures. She has supported births in many Brussels hospitals, including Delta CHIREC, Anderlecht Cocon and Saint Elisabeth.
- Rixensart-based mum and doula Nadège De Bonte provides emotional and logistical support in Brussels, Walloon Brabant, and Namur. She accompanies births in many Brussels hospitals (she’s accredited at Delta, Braine-l’Alleud, Ixelles, Erasme, Le Cocon) as well as births at home or in birth centres (Eclore, Arche de Noé, La Bulle). She provides birth preparation sessions and postpartum support at home. She also offers celebrations (mama blessing), massages and rituals (Rebozo) around all stages of parenthood, as well as mother-baby discussion groups and baby workshops (baby sign language, massage, sleep). Facebook / Instagram
- Laura Alexandre-Cieza speaks English, French and Spanish and serves parents in the Brussels area. Facebook
- Lise Diez speaks English and French and works in the Brussels area. Website
- Chelly Ferryn is a midwife and doula. She speaks English and French and works in the Brussels area. Facebook / Instagram
- Cristina Oliver speaks English, French and Spanish and works in the Brussels area and Rixensart. Website
- Valentine Pasin is a midwife and doula. She speaks English, French and Spanish and serves parents in the South Brussels area. Website / Instagram
- Laurence Verdonck speaks English and French, and supports parents in the Brussels area. Website
Doulas providing pre- and postnatal support but not birth support
- In her Antenatal doula guidance sessions Sophie Girard-Sequeira offers a safe and compassionate time and space for you to talk about your experience of pregnancy, any worries or questions around labour and birth and the time beyond. Sophie helps you reflect on elements of a birth plan which would best suit your needs, such as choice of birth environment, pain management techniques, interventions, etc. This will also help you ask the right questions to your (medical) care providers. In the process, you’ll learn a lot to empower yourself into a positive pregnancy and birth experience. Each session is 1 hr 15 long, and Sophie offers packages of 1, 3 or 5 sessions.
- Jessica Gramegna speaks English, French and Dutch and works in the Brussels area. Facebook / Instagram
- Cindy Gutierrez Silva speaks English, French, Spanish and German, and supports families in Brussels. Website / Facebook
- Laura Lacrosse speaks English, French, Spanish and Dutch and works in the Brussels area. Profile on doulas.be
- Magali Nerincx speaks English and French, and supports families in Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Flemish Brabant. Profile on doulas.be
- Amandine Schneider speaks English and French, and works in Brussels and Walloon Brabant. Website / Instagram
- Through Full Spectrum Journeys, American mum and IBCLC-certified lactation consultant Taz Twells offers doula support to women / couples who find themselves ending a pregnancy, or suffering pregnancy loss. Taz works in English, French, Spanish and Italian in the greater Brussels area.
Flemish-speaking and French-speaking doulas have their own associations, through which you can find a doula, and many of these doulas will also speak English.
Get in touch with a doula to find out if she serves your area and which languages she speaks.
- Association francophone des doulas de Belgique – francophone association of Belgian doulas
http://doulas.be/wp/trouver-sa-doula/ (in French; possible to search for doulas in Brussels and Wallonia, by region)
- Vlaamse Federatie van Doula’s – Flemish doula federation
https://doulasite.be/vind%20een%20doula/index.html (in Dutch; possible to search for doulas in Flanders)
You may also be able to find a doula:
- by asking friends, colleagues, acquaintances – if you’re a member of the BCT, ask your local group
- by asking your independent midwife