Karolina Hardy Memorial Tribute

I first met Karolina at our local children’s centre in North Kensington in 2010. We were both attending postnatal depression classes and we instantly clicked.

Over the years we found ourselves on several training courses together that included LLL (La Leche League -breastfeeding councillor training) and IAIM (international association of infant massage). We became breastfeeding peer supporters at Queen Charlotte’s and St Mary’s Hospital. We also created a local women’s group in our neighbourhood where mothers had the opportunity to leave their children in the creche provided, whilst they were treated to massages, interactive discussions, laughter and so much more.

Karolina never stopped being part of her community. It was her passion to support people in need and she was always looking for solutions to meet those needs.

Together we trained as doulas though Nicola Goodall’s Red Tent Doulas and the Doula UK recognition process.

It became very clear early on that we wanted to reach out to women and birthing people who were in unforeseen circumstances.

Neighbourhood Doulas was birthed with a vision that no one should go through pregnancy or birth alone, afraid and without an advocate. Our focus are with people who do not have the means to pay for a private doula.

Karolina never wanted any thanks or recognition. Women and birthing people having dignified and respectful antenatal, birth and postnatal experiences were her top priorities.

Over time our ND family began to grow with similar and like-minded doulas and it still continues to grow today.

Tragically Karolina passed of cancer in June 2020 . This was a huge loss, both personally and for all who knew and loved her.

She is much loved and respected for the person she was and for creating such an organic and caring community to come alongside people that often fall through the cracks in the system.

Her legacy lives on in each woman and birth attended, each baby arriving, each visit, each effort to deliver culturally appropriate and relevant support.

Karolina is hugely missed and will always be lovingly remembered. I miss you terribly my beautiful and soulful sister.

You planted a seed, now you can smile and watch it grow..

Carolyn Ouladzahra