report from EDN meeting in Vienna and more
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Autumn newsletter 2018

  • EDN Office News
  • Annual EDN conference report from Vienna
  • Save the Date 2019
  • Welcome our new members!
  • News from Lithuania 
  • Report from Healing from War workshop 
  • Recipe corner 

EDN Office News

Dear Doulas,
This last year has seen many changes as we’ve slowly handed over from Mary & Lisa - massive THANK YOU to you both. It’s been a difficult year, but I’m happy to say the EDN office is more settled now with a good team. 

We’d like to bring up the difficult situation that came conference this year. In Warsaw 2017 it was agreed that Doulas de France would host, in May. But, this year in Vienna it was agreed The Czech Doulas would host in September 2019 in Prague! As you can imagine it caused an emotional time trying to find some balance and restore peace. 
We’re grateful to the patience of Doulas de France and Czech Doulas while this has been going, so thank you. It has caused some questions about planning and decision making, and it’s something we’ll be all discussing going forward into 2019.

Thank you all for your patience and love. This is our organisation and it’s through our contact and working together that we can learn and laugh together. It’s a beautiful thing 💛
Sam Sheppard 

Join the Monthly EDN Zoom webinar 

After our beautiful meeting in Vienna, we have thought of ideas to increase communication between us all to make the best use of our network. Three years ago we chose as our main communication channel, our GOOGLEGROUPS. A representative of each member Doula association or Doula training, will participate and be responsible for sharing news received there with the rest of their organisation. 

We have also decided to make a monthly meeting through "ZOOM" tool open to EDN members

On the first Tuesday of each month at 3pm local time SPAIN, we will be available online via ZOOM to talk.

Our next  meeting is TUESDAY, 6th November

We will send the code to join the meeting through GOOGLEGROUPS & the Facebook group used by your rep - get in touch with them if you want to join! 
Our next EDN Newsletter is due out January 2019. Last deadline for submissions is 30th December 2018. Please send your announcements, news, reports, songs, story and inspiration to putting 'NEWSLETTER' in the subject box. 
Get in touch:
Sam Sheppard (EDN Office) :
Andrea (memberships) :
Florencia (treasurer) : 
Annual EDN conference report

This article was taken from a blog by Hazel Acland Tree for 'Doula UK', you can see the full post HERE

To read the extended minutes of the weekend and Sunday's EDN representative meeting written by Maria Andreoulaki please click HERE 

Every year the EDN conference is hosted by a different member country, often in the capital. This year was no different with doula associations sending their representatives from 19 countries, namely;

Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia,  Ukraine, United Kingdom, and of course many host doulas from Doulas In Austria! 

The weekend conference includes workshops and lectures, but most importantly there are lots of opportunities for connection and communication between doulas. There were semi-formal discussion panels where topics relevant to doulas were discussed in small groups, giving everyone a chance to have their say and share experiences.

There were also plenty of spaces for informal conversations between sessions as well as over meals. In essence the weekend was a rich inter-cultural sharing between doula sisters, who despite differences of language, culture, and legal boundaries around working conditions, found common ground through shared love of birth.

The EDN weekend conference has always been open for any member of a member association to attend, however on Sunday the nominated representatives from each country meet together in a different room to discuss details specific to the running of EDN. The rest of the conference participants engaged in red-tent style workshops.

If you have feedback for the doulas of Austria about the conference please email comments to

for the 2019 EDN meeting in Prague

September 27th-29th, 2019

Dear doulas,
We look forward to seeing you all in Prague next year at the EDN meeting!
We have booked a place for the conference, as well as the accommodation.
It is a very nice place and not far from the airport.
Save the dates, please!
More details will follow...
Zuzana, Vlasta, Petra, Iva and Majka

Welcome to our new EDN members! 
Sweden -- ODIS – Organisationen för doulor och förlossningspedagoger i Sverige

Sweden -- En bra start doula Training.

Germany -- Die Bauchflüsterinnen®

Czech Republic -- Ammadula Akademie,

Latvia-- Latvian Alliance of Doulas

Russia -- Association of Professional Doulas, Russia

France -- Yoga Doula

And NEW EDN friends come from these countries:
  • 2 from Netherlands
  • 1 from Spain
  • 1 from Germany
The network is growing all the time! 

News from Lithuania
by Vilma Kraelskaitė and Lina Gabrijolavičienė from Lithuanian Doula Association

We would like to share with you the news, which has been kind of a breaking point for the Lithuanian Doula Association. As organization, we took courage and addressed a very acute problem of obstetric violence, when the police was called to calm the birthing woman. We wrote letters to the President, the Minister of Health and other responsible authorities. We spoke to the press and for the TV journalists. We hope that this incident will open the public discussion and will serve as a good start for major change in Lithuanian hospitals. 

Let us tell you the story. In Šiauliai, a town in North of Lithuania, two police officers attended birth in hospital and physically held woman on a birthing table. Hospital staff said they called officers because woman was "inadequate and aggressive". Gynaecologist in charge said, she refused to have vaginal examination and climb on birthing bed and there was the risk for her and the baby. The TV got interest in incident after official statement of Lithuanian Doula Association. Police and hospital made official replies that "problem was solved properly" and there was no birth violation or abuse of informed consent, as woman signed obligatory entry form at arrival and therefor agreed in advance with all medical decisions. Head of hospital was asked to give message from doulas to the woman (and said she did it), but she did not reached for help. We have contacted Human Rights in Childbirth and we are thinking to follow their advice to wait for woman to respond, and if she does not do that in the following week, to address CEDAW (The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women). We have sent an email to them, but have not got any answer). For now, hospital is the only place in Lithuania where woman can have legal medical help at birth - the alternative at home should be available from 2019.

Click HERE for TV report with subtitles in English from 1 min 06 sec

For any feedback, please contact Lina Gabrijolaviciene:

Report from Healing from War workshop 
by  Maria Andreoulaki, Athens, Greece

Dear sisters,

I have just returned from a workshop in Poland on the termination of war. This workshop is being organized in Poland every year for the past 15 years by the International Re-evaluation Counseling Community (, aiming to raise awareness on the hurts that we all have from wars, and for taking steps to terminate it. During the workshop, we get to visit the death camps Birkenau and Auschwitz. 

Participants at the workshop were people whose lives have been touched by war, directly or indirectly: descendants of Jewish people killed during the holocaust, descendants of Nazis and fascists from the WWII period, a Vietnam veteran, African people who were born and raised during local wars and genocide, descendants from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, descendants from the Minor Asia genocide and the Greek civil war, people who lived during the occupations in the eastern European countries, and from former Yugoslavia countries wars. You can read more HERE.

The leader of the workshop, Julian Weissglass, urged all of us to take active steps towards terminating war. 

So I, in turn, urge you all to take a close look at how our lives, as well as the lives of the women and families we support, have been affected by the hurts of war, genocide, immigration; to listen to stories from people we have around us; to recognize and discharge the emotions around this issue; to inform ourselves; and to take active steps in putting an end to this irrational human activity.  

A quote from a Japanese author that was mentioned in the workshop stays in my mind:
"Listen up! There is no war that will end all wars."

**Recipe corner** 

Butternut squash Soup recipe
by Sam Sheppard, UK. 

This recipe I use a lot due to it being warming, hearty and vegetarian (seems to be more the trend these days!)... it’s super easy and so tasty!


2 butternut squashes
2-3 red onions
Vegetable stock

I start but cutting the squash into quarters (leave skin on) and then scoop out the seeds and score the thicker side so it cooks evenly.

Then peel and halve the onions.

Lay the veg on a baking pan and lightly drizzle oil over them. I season and add some herbs of choice (I love thyme or sage)... pop a few garlic cloves in their skins in too. 

The last thing is do put a whole chilli in. Leave it whole and the flavour mellows!

Roast them for about half hour at around 180’c... let the squash guide you! When it’s darkening and soft at the thicker end you’re there.

Take it all out and scoop the warm squash from its skin and discard the skin. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin too... cut the stalk off the chilli, add all to a big pan and blitz with a hand blender, while adding vegetable stock, until it’s at a consistency you like.

Then it’s done! Lovely with some fresh bread or cheese scones.

*please send in your favourite recipes to share in our next newsletter in January*
Copyright © 2018 European Doula Network (EDN) All rights reserved.

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