Tag Archives: doula services

Doula Partnership

The benefits to you having a doula team:

  • If you require physical support from your doula for more than 24 hrs it is often helpful to have a rested doula with fresh energy!  It is wonderful if you have already gotten to know and develop a relationship with both the doulas that may be attending your birth.
  • If your doula is sick or has an emergency, you will need a backup! Again – knowing the person standing in is part of what helps you feel relaxed, and comfortable.
  • Your doula can get in touch with her partner in births where some brainstorming may be helpful – in a partnership you are drawing on doubled years of experience while maintaining confidentiality within your support team.

I worked as a “solo doula” from 2005-2010.  I was on call 24/7 and had a couple of near misses where one client was in labour before their expected due date, another was running late, and I was concerned I’d have to send a back up for one of my clients.  I never want to miss a birth!  I think most doulas would tell you the same thing.  We develop a relationship with our clients, we love birth, and we want to be there to support the people who have given us the honour of choosing us as a member of their support team.

In 2010 I met Jill Colpitts.  What a lovely she is!  A busy woman, running Midwifery Supplies Canada, Mama Goddess Birth Shop, teaching CPR, and a doula.  I was working as an office manger at Pomegranate Midwives, the busiest midwifery clinic in Vancouver, parenting my 2 boys, and running my online business.  We started discussing our passion for birth, our love of doula work, and the challenges that come with juggling other work with being on call.  This was the first time I’d considered partnering with another doula – as we talked I felt that our philosophy in supporting families, our commitment to clients, and our need to find more of a balance in our busy lives would make us a perfect pair.  I asked Jill if she’d ever considered a doula partnership, and the rest is history!  Between us we have supported over 150 families.

Jill and I attend interviews with potential clients together.  Us working on a call schedule means that our clients need to feel great about hiring us both, because either of us could be on call the day their baby decides to make his/her way in to the world.

If a mother and her partner choose to hire us, we each attend one prenatal visit allowing some one on one time to get to know each other.

We provide our clients with a call schedule – we use a Google Calendar, so for those that have gmail we just share the calendar, and those that don’t I send a PDF.

We offer on call support 24/7.  We often have clients calling and emailing as their birthing time draws near.  We welcome any questions or chats, whether it’s regarding a discomfort, a fear, or an excitement and suggestion needed for infant carriers!

When early labour begins we ask our clients to give us a heads up.  We make every effort to have whichever one of us goes, to stay throughout the birth.  One of us is with you from when you feel you need support, until about 2 hours after your baby is born.  If you are birthing at home we tidy and throw on a load of laundry, make you something to eat and make sure you are settled in for some rest.  If you are birthing in the hospital we again make sure you get something to eat, assist with latching baby and help with getting you settled in with everything you need from your car / hospital bags.

We also provide postpartum support.  Assistance with normal infant care, again phone and email support as you adjust to parenthood, and additional resources.  Jill is close to finishing up her requirements and becoming a La Leche League Leader, we are both breastfeeding our own babies and are very experienced in supporting women in breastfeeding.

Our partnership in doula services allows us to offer you experienced and immediate support.  Please feel free to contact us to find out more or set-up an interview!

Emily

 

Posted in Birth and Postpartum Doula, Uncategorized, Vancouver Doula | Also tagged , , ,

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Research on Maternal Separation

Most of my clients are certain of a few things from the beginning – one thing is that they want immediate skin to skin contact with their baby, as long as it is medically safe.  There is always new research and further confirmation to support this basic instinct.

Baby

Sleeping Baby

Ways to reduce the need for your baby to be separated after birth are:

- interview your health care provider

- keep healthy throughout your pregnancy

- hire a doula 

- educate and prepare yourself – knowledge is power

 

 

Maternal Separation stresses Baby, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2011) — “A woman goes into labor, and gives birth. The newborn is swaddled and placed to sleep in a nearby bassinet, or taken to the hospital nursery so that the mother can rest. Despite this common practice, new research published in Biological Psychiatry provides new evidence that separating infants from their mothers is stressful to the baby.

It is standard practice in a hospital setting, particularly among Western cultures, to separate mothers and their newborns. Separation is also common for babies under medical distress or premature babies, who may be placed in an incubator. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically recommends against co-sleeping with an infant, due to its association with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

Humans are the only mammals who practice such maternal-neonate separation, but its physiological impact on the baby has been unknown until now. Researchers measured heart rate variability in 2-day-old sleeping babies for one hour each during skin-to-skin contact with mother and alone in a ….” Read More

 

Posted in Birth and Postpartum Doula, Uncategorized, Vancouver Doula | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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A Doula’s Massage Oil

I am always amazed how scent can transform a room, especially the labour and delivery room at a hospital. Generally, the smell of the hospital is sterile and unpleasant. When I open my Labour of Love Massage Oil to use on my labouring clients, the nurses and doctors in the room remark on its lovely scent. The atmosphere in the room becomes calm, and everyone breathes a little deeper.

I find myself using the Labour of Love Massage Oil, most often, in early labour. It helps the laboring woman relax her mind and release the tension in her body. Massage with this oil is also very useful when a woman has chosen to have an epidural. A massage can reconnect her to her numb limbs and quiet her mind so she can sleep and regain her strength.

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Our Labour of Love Massage Oil contains essential oils of Rose, Basil, Frankincense and Juniper Berry. These essential oils are known to reduce pain in labour and regulate contractions. They ground the mind and can lower anxiety.





I often use this oil on clients who have gone passed their due date to help prep the body for labour. Due to the nature of these essential oils we recommend it not be used until forty weeks gestation.

labour of love

I never leave this massage oil at home when I head to a birth! It is one of my favourite tools to use with my clients.

~ Chelsea

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“Birth with my Doula” – Livvy’s Birth Story – Shared by Allison

My first pregnancy was very easy. I decided not to have a doula – against the advice of my friend (who is a doula). I didn’t want to have “other people” invade my private experience, but I was more than fine going with a doctor, in a hospital, and going the medical route of labour and birth.

When I started leaking some fluid, I had to go to the hospital to confirm it was amniotic fluid and not mucous I was leaking. When that was confirmed, I wasn’t allowed to leave. I was induced less than 6 hours later because my labour hadn’t yet started on it’s own. Because of the induction, the contractions came hard and fast with no rest in between and after about an hour or two and being only 2 cm dilated (I was 1cm before even going to the hospital) I opted for an epidural. My mother and husband could only sit by and rub my hand, no idea how to help or what to say. The epidural was a lovely feeling but I had no idea the consequences of the epidural or the induction on my body or on my baby. Another couple of short hours later, they discovered my baby was breech and a c -section would have to be performed.  All of this lead to a very dopey, unfocused birth with many “other people” coming in and out and not knowing what was going on or where my baby was and not really participating much at all in her entry into the world – something I was not prepared for and not even aware that I would feel so badly for it.
Because of all of these “snowball” effect events, I decided next time would be different.
My second pregnancy consisted of reading material such as Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth and the video “The Business of Being Born” and had my husband do the same. I went to a midwife and asked my friend Emily to be my doula. I was going to attempt a VBAC.
There are so many things I was happy about with my above choices. 1) I would not be medically induced because of the stress it puts on the body, it risks opening the uterine scar from my c-section. 2) Epidurals were an options, but not recommended because then I wouldn’t be able to feel if my scar did open during labour. 3) All of my labour partners were in full support of a natural birth and would be coaching me to stay as close to that goal as possible.
When I did go in to labour, I called my doula first. My contractions had been going throughout the night, and were about 5 mins apart, but only lasting about 30 seconds at 5.30am on Monday morning. She came over around 7am and chatted, did our dishes (!), made sure we had food for labour for both me and my husband, and made frozen tea pads for perineal healing after the birth. She left for a few hours, calling to check in, to run a few errands, and returned around 4pm,  My contractions still weren’t longer or closer together, but they were more intense, and I was having to moan through them instead of just breathing. She would moan with me, time my contractions, make sure I was getting fluids between them, make food for me, suggest other positions to help the pain, and by 6 or 7pm, when they were getting longer and more intense still, she would apply counter pressure to my back and hips and sway with me while we moaned together to keep the tones low.
When it was time to go to the hospital, she was right there with us, knew where to go, helped put bags away in a corner, grabbed a birthing ball for me to sit on, and prepared beverages and cloths to help keep me cool and hydrated. Every time I had a long or intense contraction she would help keep my tone low when it needed to be lowered, and assured me when I was doing well. She helped prepare the shower for me to sit in while Andrew ran warm water over me, and made sure there were warm blankets around when I got chills.
She also supported Andrew. She made sure he was getting enough rest and food to be there for me, guided him to massage and provide counter pressure through contractions as well, and reassured him while I was groaning like a slow-motion football replay :)
I could not imagine labouring without Emily. Every time I thought “oh it would be great if someone could….” she was already doing it. And even when I thought “that’s not necessary,” like doing our dishes or making frozen pads…..it was the biggest help in the world! I just didn’t know it. It was great to come home and not have to clean dishes to make a meal and the pads have really helped sooth my tender bottom.
From the bottom of my heart Emily………thank you!

I do not think I would have stayed at home as long or stayed as calm or been as comfortable with my decisions if you weren’t there providing the support that you did.

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Connect with expectant and new parents in Victoria!

A big part of getting through the difficult times of pregnancy and parenthood is creating a good support network.  Meeting other parents that are experiencing the same joys and challenges is helpful in making the journey into parenthood smoothly.  It’s important to know that you aren’t the only one having challenges coping with sleepless nights, and breastfeeding struggles, and natural worries.  It’s also great to have other parents to get excited with you about a 5 hour stretch of sleep, or a sense of accomplishment at learning to breastfeed in the dark, or excitement about the next stage of development.

Early parenthood can often leave one feeling isolated.  It’s a relatively new concept; living only with our immediate family.  It used to be (and still is in many countries) that there were aunts and grandmothers to help and share with.  We are not meant to do it alone!  Many people get the physical and emotional support of a postpartum doula to ease the transition.  It’s also important to have a friend to call and chat with, or meet for a walk with your little ones, or enjoy the sunshine at the park with – this opportunity to connect with people experiencing similar changes in life makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable!

Having parents at varying stages to you is helpful too!  It’s wonderful at 36 wks pregnant to be able to chat with a mom who has recently given birth, and hear about her experience.  It’s great when you have a 4 month old to be able to reassure the mom with the 2 week old that things do get easier!

These are a few reasons for  Sarah and Emily hosting get togethers for our clients and anyone else interested!  As the summer approaches we are hoping to have about 2 a month and hopefully hold some outside in this beautiful weather.  Our goal is to promote a sense of community among parents, provide an opportunity for our clients to meet their back up doula, and offer a casual setting for expecting parents to hear first hand from our clients about our services and ask us questions.

Please contact us for more information about the next event!

Emily - Birth & Postpartum Doula Sarah Atkinson - Birth & Postpartum Doula

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Chelsea Lafrance – Calgary doula

Chelsea is a Birth and Postpartum  Doula servicing Calgary, Alberta.

ABOUT CHELSEA

I have always known that I wanted to work with women and children. It wasn’t until I first heard the word doula and began educating myself about natural pregnancy and childbirth that I knew I had found my path: I am currently working as a birth and postpartum doula.

I am a certified massage practitioner and an aromatherapy student with a focus on easing the discomforts of pregnancy and postpartum.

I believe in supporting families through this important time, and empowering them to trust their natural abilities to give birth and raise happy and healthy children.


Testimonial:

“I wanted a drug free delivery, and I’m sure that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Chelsea there! I loved her calming presence, and supportive nature…. She was so encouraging and most importantly, she really believed I could do it, which helped me keep going.”

Click to learn more about my Birth Doula Services

Postpartum Doula Services

Contact (403) 589 – 7672 or email chelsea@naturalcreation.ca

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