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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Choosing a Doula

  • What training have you had?
  • What is your philosophy of childbirth and supporting women and their partners through labour? How do you work with my partner to support me?
  • Tell us your experience with birth, both personally and as a doula?
  • What service will you provide us prenatally?
  • May we call with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
  • When do we call you in labour? How do we reach you?
  • Do you come to our home or to the hospital when I am in labour?
  • Do you work with a back up doula (for times when you are not available or in case of a very long labour?) Can we speak with her if you anticipate needing her?
  • Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labour and answer questions?
  • What is your fee? What does it include?
The above are a list of possible questions when interviewing a doula (adapted from Elmont Professional Birth Services).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Introductory Offer

While I am working on my certification I will offer my services on a karma basis. I ask for nothing, but if you feel like giving a donation it would be greatly appreciated.

In addition to my regular services I will offer to my first 3 mothers a 3-1 hour yoga lessons (private)/or relaxation session free. 

What is a Doula?

"Doula" is a Greek word meaning "servant" or "helper". A doula takes on the role that in more traditional societies is filled by experienced women related to the childbearing woman (mother, aunt, sister). In many of these cultures women remain with their families and are supported throughout their pregnancy and for an extended period of time afterwards. She relies upon her elders for their knowledge as well as their physical and emotional support.

In modern cities we have lost this connection; not that we don't have a loving caring support system provided by our families, but jobs and different life choices have spread us apart.  Many partners move away from their families leaving themselves without direct access to the knowledge gained from these elder females. This role then falls solely on the mothers partner, who unrightfully is expected to know how to care for her in an unfamiliar situation. No one could ever take the place of the partner in the loving support they provide, but the addition of a doula to their team can make the experience less stressful and hopefully more positive. 

A doula is trained on many aspects of pregnancy and childbirth and is knowledgeable on how to initiate breast feeding in those early postpartum hours. Her goal is to help the couple by providing them with the tools they need before they enter the birthing room and the support they may require during this amazing experience. A doula, however, does not have a medical background and though may be able to provide answers to general questions, she is not there to help make medical decisions or give advice. She is there to work with you and your caregiver to give YOU the most positive experience possible.

A doula is there in the wee hours to give you that boost of energy when your partner may be fading. She is there to help welcome your newborn. It is your happiness that we live for. And though many of us wish for the least amount of medical interventions we will support you in whatever decisions you choose.  In the end, we want all birth experiences to feel valid and full-filling and to minimize any feelings of loss that one may experience because the event didn't go as planned. A doula wants to prepare you for the unexpected and to let you know that it's OK.  

Resources and Links

Regina Childbirth and Infant Care Links

CAPPA: Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association -

Whole Birth Yoga (for Prenatal and Postnatal classes) -

Birthing from Within:

Spiralbound Birth Resources (links to natural products related to all aspects of childbirth and early infant care) -

YWCA (health and fitness as well as childbirth education classes) -

Baby Signs (learn to communicate with your baby through sign language) -

Healthy Meals Delivered by Imagine Eating -

Body Fuel Organics: Fresh Food for you and your baby available for home delivery or pick up -

Spinning Babies (information on natural ways to help reposition a baby that is Occiput Posterior) -

Pregnancy and Childbirth Information -

Breastfeeding resources -

La Leche League Canada (LLLC) -
Regina phone contact - 306-584-5600

INFACT Canada: Infant Feeding Action Coalition; Fact sheets on Breastfeeding -

Breastfeeding: Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants (Government of Canada) -

FIRA : Fatherhood Involvement Research Alliance -

Dad Can Do: Resource for fathers and their children (information and ideas for fathers) -

Services - Doula support, Relaxation/Meditation, and Yoga (private or semi-private) classes

Individual packages can be customized, a typical package would include:

- 3 prenatal visits
- unlimited phone and email support
- on-call support in the last weeks of your pregnancy beginning at ~38 weeks until you go into labour
- available throughout late stages of labour and birth 
- remain with you for at least 1 hour following the birth of your baby to help initiate feeding
- remain with you for at least 1 hour following the birth of your baby to help initiate feeding
- 3 postpartum visits (including continuous phone and email support) 

Upon request I can provide extended postpartum care for as long as needed, including:

- overnight stays
- hands-on breastfeeding support
- caring for baby or other small children so you can have some ALONE time
- light housework (i.e. dishes, babies laundry)
- meal preparation
- unlimited email and phone support to answer any questions or just listen

I am also a certified YOGA teacher and although I am beginning to work in the pregnancy aspect of it I can work with you (upon the approval of your care giver) in developing an individual practice:

 - outline positions that are safe and beneficial
- relaxation and meditation techniques (including yoga nidra)
- mantras and affirmations

If you have a group of friends and can provide the space, group yoga classes (semi-private) are also an option.

I will provide you with as much information as you need and would like, if you prefer more individualized instruction (such as yoga meditation or prolonged postpartum care) this will be a charge on top of my regular doula fees. 

Creating a Birth Plan