Dear AFPB doulas, let’s recollect what our professional path of 364 days was like, of which a long 330 days we testified Life in the midst of war. For all of us it became a period of challenges that a war brings. We were nor ready either prepared for such tragedy. But we survived. And we keep carrying faith, care, support and love into the world of childbirth and motherhood.
We started January with the broadcasts of the RIGHT OF BIRTH project with our doulas who live and work abroad. Tatyana Gamet and Aliya Altinaeva informed us about childbirth in France and the UAE.
We celebrated Christmas, ❄️🤱 prepared the practical part of the Doula winter group and released the newborn profesionals 🧚 ♀️💕 into the world.
FEBRUARY 2022 began with an interesting and inforative meeting on the topic “DOULAS AND THE MEDICAL SYSTEM” presented by Elena Zaretskaya, Marina Shymkova, Svetlana Kresina and Galina Mukha.
No less useful were the subsequent BROADCASTS, conducted by Oleksandra Tymoshenko 💙with obstetrician-gynecologist Alexander Kobasa REGARDING support in childbirth and innovations in the medical protocol, Also Yulia Shushailo, head of the AFPB, gave a wide and deep lecture on the topic “SAFE CHILDBIRTH WITH YOUR OWN HANDS”. ON FEBRUARY 23, Diana Rybchyk held an important MEETING with Alexander Voloshin, a psychoneurologist and osteopath about OSTEOPATHY for pregnant women and newborns.
At that stage we kept on planning… But on February 24, in the morning, we all woke up from the explosions. RUSSIA has started a full scale violent WAR against Ukraine. We were all desperate that day. But there were people out there with incompatible rate of vulnerability and in great need of support. Pregnant families and new moms.
From the first hours of war, WE ORGANIZED A SERIES OF SHORT SUPPORTIVE BROADCASTS about helpful body practices to ease the tense and released several RECOMMENDATIONS on self-help and support in the event of childbirth in the extreme circumstances. They are available in the RECORD and you can find it at our educational platform on Instagram @doulaua.
On the second day of the war the support chat “SAFETY FOR PREGNANT WOMEN” organized by Svetlana Kresina, was launched. https://t.me/bezpekavagitnihua The team of AFPB doulas and specialists of various profiles provide answers to dozens of questions every day and continue to work for our pregnant women and mothers. There are more and more of ✨ us in the chat.
We made great volunteer contributions such as FREE childbirth preparation courses (numerous of them), practices of self-regulation, yoga and gymnastics classes. Right from February 2022 to the present day these classess are held by Oleksandra Tymoshenko, Svitlana Kresina, Shimkova_Marina, Elena Zaretska, Olena Duda, Maryna Sydoryaka, Myroslava Ostrohlyad – for the pregnant Ukrainian women all over the world.
Some of our doula comunity became refugees. They founded a volunteer CHAT rooms of support and non-medical counseling for pregnant women abroad in countries such as the United Kingdom (Elena Zaretskaya), Italy (Miroslava Ostroglyad), Germany (Marina Sidoryaka), Switzerland (Alexandra Tymoshenko).
There was created a channel for mothers and children by doula Galina Gonchar – “AUDIO TALES and Stories” https://t.me/+DkJB61IAHxY1YWYy. Also we talked online on the topic of fairy tales as a source of therapy. Despite everything, we also continued to meet with pregnant women in different cities of Ukraine and abroad within the framework of the project 💝 “GATHERINGS WITH DOULAS”, organized by 30 DOULAS of our association this year.
Our Association, as doing it yearly, took part in international actions online and initiated traditional events in honor of 💝 WORLD DOULA WEEK 2022 from 22 to 28 March 💝 International Breastfeeding Week August 1 – 8. 💙Our Doula Natalia Bohonko spoke on local television in Lutsk with the topic of the benefits of breastfeeding, 💛Svetlana Kresina in Dnipro told in an interview about childbirth during the war, 4 editions invited Svetlana to share her experience, two of them of international level.
Broadcasts on the topics of childbirth, ✨ways of self-support during pregnancy, ✨hypnopologists, ✨and postpartum recovery was carried out by 🌟Diana Rybchyk and 🌟Oleksandra Tymoshenko with 💙Olena Zaretska, Oleksandra Kondrasheva, Myroslava Ostrohlyad, 💛Lidia Konovalenko, Yulia Shushailo, 💙💛💙💛Maryna Shymkova.
A unique SURVEY on support in childbirth was conducted by the deputy chairman of the NGO AFPB and the coordinator of the doulas Marina Shymkova in different support groups. Also in May we helda new project with a series of broadcasts 💙💛 about childbirth “FREE BIRTH”, organized and spoken by Anastasia Pasenova and Alla Lezhneva, Natalia Rainish and Natalia Bohonko, Alexandra Tymoshenko and Elena Zaretskaya, Svetlana Kresina and Diana Rybchik. As well as a team of speakers of this series of broadcasts, a layout of the notebook “Give birth freely” was developed, with instructions for expectant mothers regarding childbirth At the same time Ukraine was under constant missile attacks and violent war at its bloodiest scale made our hearts broken this hot summer, both inside the country and abroad. And yet we didn’t stop.
WE LEARNT TO WORK IN NEW CONDITIONS AND STRENGTHENED OUR OWN RESOURCES AND CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COLLEAGUES. AFPB doulas together with doulas of other strengthened their professional qualities at webinars:
🔹SOMATIC TRAUMA THERAPY. Self-help for everyone who helps. The event was held with the assistance of Anna Gedre and led by trauma therapist Babette Rothschild: June 29 – July 1
🔸”BIRTH OF A NEW PEACE” with the world-famous midwife Naoli Winnaver in Paris and online with the assistance of Elena Filipchuk and Renata Konstantinovoi, July 23-25. Our doulas Oleksandra Tymoshenko, Olena Zaretska and Roksolana Savylo were present in person.
🔹 August 16 with Michel Auden on the topic: “WAR: THE IMPACT OF STRESS AND JOY ON PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH” and a series of webinars with the assistance of the NGO “Safe Childbirth”.
🔸 September 2 with Victoria Nesterova – high-class perinatal specialist and breastfeeding consultant, representative of the International Medikal Corps organization on the profile for doulas, we investigated “ORDINARY breastfeeding IN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES”. Organized by Yulia Shushailo and Diana Rybchyk.
🔹Alonside with the head of the project “ForBirth” Yulia Strelchenko we organized “SUPPORTING FORUM FOR PERINATAL SPECIALISTS” from professional psychologists, trauma therapists and psychotherapists of Ukraine, including psychologists and psychosomatologists of AFPB Maryna Cherednyk and Evgenia Mogilevskaya. The forum took place on September 24 and 25. A special guest was a unique specialist obstetrician and mediator Paul Golden.
SINCE the beginning of the war, AFPB💛 initiated:
🔹 Meetings with colleagues of the European Doula Network and the Project for the integration of doulas of Ukraine, who went abroad.
🔸 A survey was conducted and lists were created for the coordination of specialists in Ukraine and abroad.
🔹 An appeal to the perinatal community of Ukraine and the doulas of the European Doula Association to stop interaction with Russian perinatal communities.
🔸A creation and signing the Resolution “On support of the world policy of deterring the aggressor state of the Russian Federation and exclusion of Russian organizations, representatives, as well as citizens who do not support sanctions against Russia from the Ukrainian perinatal circle and international perinatal communities”.
🔸 Support for the petition of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Ukraine regarding the exclusion of Russian medical associations from international medical and scientific circles in the doula and perinatal community.
We enthusiastically and gladly testified the further steps in reforming the obstetric care system in Ukraine, supported and popularized meetings and events organized by the initiative group and the Association of Midwives of Ukraine, NGO Safe Childbirth, NGO Docudays.
💙💛 Our doulas, midwives and nurses – Olga Goncharenko, Anastasia Pasenova, Anastasia Pylypenko were trained together with other midwives of Ukraine in Poland at the invitation of the NGO “GOOD BIRTH”, initiated for Ukrainian specialists Tetiana Chervyak and Polish colleagues. We also held several important professional and supportive events for the AFPB doulas, including:
💙 CIRCLE OF SUPPORT about the experience of the first months of the war. The story of each doula was heard.
💛 October 13 and 20 Profilab: ACCOMPANYING CHILDBIRTH IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD DURING THE WAR. Experience of Ukrainian doulas. The coordinators of the profile are Tetiana Sharlay and Olena Zaretska.
💙 November 17 Profilab: EXPERIENCE of supporting CHILDBIRTH DURING THE WAR IN UKRAINE. Profilab coordinator Svitlana Kresina, who also developed a visual presentation “Bomb shelters in maternity hospitals in Ukraine “.
💝🤰The achievable SURVEY on support in childbirth was conducted in support groups by the deputy head of the NGO AFPB and the coordinator of the doulas Marina Shymkova.
✨Doulas AFPB, Cherednik Marina and Eugenia Mogilevskaya in Kyiv, during the war, are conducting a joint project with the maternity hospital in Kyiv, courses to prepare women for childbirth. 🤰🏼
✨Doula AFPB Maryna Kobylchenko, took part in an educational event for future parents in Kyiv with the support of UNICEF, on the topic of quality breastfeeding.
✨The doulas of AFPB Tymoshenko Oleksandra, Olena Zaretska, assisted in establishing professional communications with colleagues in different countries.
Also in May we produced a series of broadcasts about childbirth “FREE BIRTH”, organized and spoken by Anastasia Pasenova and Alla Lezhneva, Natalia Rainish and Natalia Bohonko, Alexandra Tymoshenko and Elena Zaretskaya, Svetlana Kresina and Diana Rybchik.
THE NGO AFPB certified two groups of doulas during the war and continues to teach the third 💙💛 with the constant mentors and organizers of the course Yulia Shushailo, Marina Shymkova, Alexandra Tymoshenko. There are doctors among our graduates ✨ ❤️ 🩹🆘
In August-September, at the initiative of Galina Mukha and Svetlana Kresina, flashmobs were held in support of the captured pregnant military doctor MARIANA MAMMONOVA. DOULAS NGO AFPB wrote numerous posts, appeals, joined the flashmob on all social networks. On September 17, in LUTSK the AFPB doula Natalia Rainish and co-founder of the NGO “Eleos Volyn” doula and activist Natalia Bohonko with other citizens, members of administrations and pregnant women and mothers organized a LARGE-SCALE action in support of Mariana. She had been in Russian captivity for 6 months and was at the 9th month of pregnancy 🆘☮️🤰🙏✌️. And on September 25, Mariana gave birth to a daughter in her native Lutsk.
In the fall we resumed broadcasting of the BY RIGHT OF BIRTH project and covered some interesting topics. It is continuing now. ✨💙💛
In October, Oleksandra Kondrasheva and Diana Rybchyk had a live talk about supporting families with perinatal losses. The psychological support groups were announced for parents experiencing a loss, in which Oleksandra and Diana are also facilitators (NGO “Guardianship of the Angel”)
🙏❤️ 🩹 🇺🇦✨Alexandra Kondrasheva also received gratitude and a Diploma for her contribution to the Victory and active volunteering. 🇺🇦✨
Each of our doulas has contributed to the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, internally displaced persons and people affected by the hostilities. ✨💙💛 Many doulas provide free consultations, accompany them in childbirth free of charge or for donation, and participate in social projects of other organizations where pregnant women and mothers are supported. 💝🙏 With sadness and pain, we remember the losses in the families and circle of friends of our doulas. With hope and faith, we look forward with our doulas the return of their male protectors, and every warrior, alive and unharmed. 🙏🇺🇦
At the end of the year, THE ASSOCIATION’S ASSET participated in the ANNUAL MEETING OF EDN with doulas from 12 European countries, where we PRESENTED a REPORT with the results of Russian terror over ukranian women and children. We do not stay away of politics. The volume and depth of the tragedy in Ukraine is not the responsibility of solely politicians. The terror towards Ukraine is strongly supported by russian population.
Julia Shushailo, Alexandra Kondrasheva, Svetlana Kresina, Diana Rybchik WITHSTOOD this emotional and powerful performance with the support and reliable rear of other members of the asset Marina Shymkova, Elena Zaretskaya, Alexandra Tymoshenko, Marina Kobylchenko and the WHOLE INCREDIBLE TEAM DOULA AFPB! 💯 🇺🇦✨
We also became partners of the SOCIAL SURVEY within the framework of the project DOCUMENTING UKRAINE from sociologist and public health specialist Maria Schwab. At the initiative of Svetlana Kresina and Olena Zaretska, dozens of groups of pregnant women and communities, as well as specialists – midwives and obstetrician-gynecologists, who assisted in childbirth in Ukraine during the war, were involved in the survey.
The history of childbirth of our pregnant women in Ukraine and abroad is our common evidence of Russia’s crimes against humanity and the Power of Woman, Mother, Ukraine. 🇺🇦❤️🇺🇦 We survived. We survived. We go on. 2022 has come to an end, 10 months of which we lived in war, fighting for peace and choosing Life, Dignity, Freedom. We are tired and exhausted by time, many of us have traveled around the world, many have stayed at home. But we all stayed with Ukraine in our hearts, thoughts and deeds. 💙💛
There is no light and electricity in our houses sometimes due to constant missiles attacs, but we guard the light inside ourselves and hold it fearlessly for one another. We have a lot of plans for next year. And many challenges. But there is one desire for all – the VICTORY OF UKRAINE and the improvement of our lives in it through SAFE, FREE CHILDBIRTH. With love and care for a woman, a child, a Family. Your DOULAS OF UKRAINE.