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Become A Maternity Mate

The WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services) volunteer Maternity Mates™ project is an exciting and rewarding scheme that provides accredited training to volunteers, enabling them to support women through the latter stages of pregnancy, childbirth and the early weeks of motherhood.

How to enrol on the Maternity Mates programme

WHFS hold open days several times per year to recruit Maternity Mates and where potential volunteers can meet the Maternity Mates team.  It's an opportunity to speak with WHFS staff and experienced Maternity Mates, as well as meet mums we have helped.

Please see the Events page for details of forthcoming open days.

During the open day, you will hear what it's like to be a Maternity Mate and what we expect from volunteers.

Here's how Maternity Mates see their role:

"I saw being a Maternity Mate as a professional job with clear boundaries."

"It was a very special experience for me being a Maternity Mate -
it was a learning curve, it was positive and exciting. I have used it as
a stepping stone and as a tool for my self-education."

"I felt privileged, honoured and anxious because I had the skills
to help the mum and the thought of making a difference made me feel good."

What we expect from Maternity Mates

We expect a high degree of professionalism from our Maternity Mates - this is a very rewarding role that makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of the people we help.  These are much sought-after roles and we have a limited number of vacancies each year. 

Maternity Mates can expect to support up to 2 mums at any one time, depending on their experience.  The length of time each Maternity Mate spends with a mum will vary, but is usually around 2-3 hours per week.  Maternity Mates are expected to:

  • Volunteer for at least 6 months after they have completed their training
  • Support at least 4 mums
  • Attend at least 2 births

We ask all potential volunteers to make sure they are willing and able to make this commitment when applying to become a Maternity Mate.

DBS checks (criminal records checks)

All Maternity Mates undergo DBS checks and need a good command of written and spoken English, as competent record keeping is essential.


Maternity Mates undergo an accredited training course to Level 3 with the Open College Network (OCN), which also counts as 9 points towards the Access to Midwifery course, Doula Skills & Breastfeeding Support (Level 3).  WHFS also provides on-going support following this initial training. 

The Maternity Mates training course consists of the following Modules:

  • Preparing for the Birth - 2 days
  • Breastfeeding - 2 days
  • Child Protection - 1 day
  • Domestic Violence Awareness - 1 day

The following Modules all last half a day each:

  • Induction (including DBS checks)
  • Antenatal Role
  • The Birth
  • Tours of maternity hospitals (currently cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Postnatal Role
  • Course Summary and Next Steps
  • Written Test Presentation

Assessment Interview

Following completion of the above Modules, all volunteers undergo an assessment interview to confirm they are suitable to be awarded the title of Maternity Mate.

Once volunteers have successfully completed their training and assessment interview, they will be ready to help their first mum and baby.


Please click here for contact details for the Maternity Mates team.

Maternity Mates is the registered trademark of WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services)