Tag Archives: Vancouver Doula

Tips for Achieving a Positive Birth Experience

***Please be aware that not all of the tips given are necessary or safe for everyone – please talk to your midwife or doctor about all of the information here before using any of it!***

  • Eat well – it is important to maintain a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy.  Frequent, small meals high in protein throughout the day will help minimize sugar cravings and maintain energy levels.  Snacking on nuts and vegetables is a great way to nourish your body.  Fruits and sugary snacks should be kept to a minimum so as not to increase your risk for gestational diabetes.
  • Exercisemaintaining flexibility and fitness levels is important for the work of labour!  Prenatal yoga, swimming, and walking are all excellent forms of moderate exercise.  Exercise can help you maintain your energy levels and improve your sleep and overall comfort throughout your pregnancy.  Be sure to consult your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routines, or if you feel any unusual discomfort.
  • Cervical Ripeningbefore labour can begin, the cervix has to soften and shorten.  Acupuncture, the application of evening primrose oil to the cervix, sexual intercourse, and the use of homeopathics can all aid in the progression of cervical ripening.  Make sure the acupuncturist you see is experienced and specializes in working with ecxpectant mothers, and of course consult with your health care provider before doing anything to ripen your cervix.  Cervical ripening (if approved by your health care provider) is often something that one would begin at around 36 weeks.
  • Perineal Massage - massaging the perineum before childbirth helps to stretch the tissues, and more importantly – creates an awareness of the muscle.  When a baby’s head is crowning, the mother must consciously relax her perineum to help prevent tearing- this can be a challenge unless one devlops an awareness about this muscle, and practices relaxing it even when there is pressure against it.  Ask your health care provider or doula for a hand out with detailed instructions on how to do this and what stage of your pregnancy this is appropriate.
  • Educationgroup or one on one prenatal education classes can make a big difference for people.  Also reading inspiring and educational books can help you gain an understanding about the physical and emotional changes you can expect throughout your pregnancy and labour.  Become aware about common medical interventions and medications – find out the common reasons for their use and the possible side affects.  Ask questions of your doctor, midwife and doula - knowledge is power!
  • Meditation practicing meditation throughout your pregnancy, and particularly leading up to labour can help you stay feeling centered.  Meditation can mean many different things for different people – it can be guided meditation with a mentor, or simply taking 10 minutes out every day to sit and enjoy nature, or some quiet time to connect with your baby and your body.
  • Choose your support team carefully people often envision a bit of a gathering for their birth, it’s important to realize that labour is a very primal experience and one needs to feel comfortable on every level to do whatever it is their body feels.  It’s a good idea to have an extra set of hands because labour can be long and often requires a lot of: massage, counterpressure, the fetching of food and beverages, preperation of comfortable places, photo taking if desired, additional information and suggestions when mom and partner are exhausted, giving the partner a break to pee / eat/ sleep when needed, and of course reassurance and support for the partner as they support the mother.  Choose somebody that you feel comfortable vocalizing around – if the people you have in mind are going to be anxious about seeing you experience intensity, or fearful of possible complications, or tend to ask a lot of questions for reassurance (ie: are you ok? do you need anything?) it may be wise to consider other support people or deligate someone to guide and reassure the people you have with you.
  • Hire a doula doulas are educated and experienced in such a way that they help create a quiet, calm, and confident environment through gentle guidance and reassurance to loved ones and the labouring mother.  A doula can offer updates, reassurance and guidance to family or friends that are present or waiting near by; a doula provides the mother with physical necessities (or guides her partner to) without having to be asked; a doula offers appropriate phrases and statements to mother and partner for the various stages of labour; a doula can provide, and show the partner, acupressure to ease pain for the labouring mother; a doula often carries heating pads, homeopathics, aromatherapy and other tools to help mom cope with the intensity of labour; a doula can help the parents remain calm, informed and empowered throughout even a complicated labour therefore creating a more positive birth experience.
  • Perineal healing – after giving birth many women experience discomfort as a result of hemorrhoids, tearing, or swelling – this can be soothed by applying cold pads soaked in Natural Creation Postpartum Wellness Bath Tea.  Postpartum Wellness Bath Salts can also be added to a hip bath.  Taking homeopathic arnica can also help reduce swelling, and sore muscles over the whole body (again – consult your health care provider).

For more information on how to help achieve a positive birth experience please contact a doula in your area Vancouver –  Kelowna —  Victoria for a free consultation.

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Event this Tuesday!

Come to the Pomegranate Open House this Tuesday from 6:30pm-9:30pm

 

Pregnant in East Van

I will have Natural Belly Bars on sale for $9 (reg 13.95)

Home Birth kits on sale for $22 (reg $28)

Postpartum Bath Teas on sale for $5 (reg $8.95)

Serious savings at this wonderful community event!  That’s just from Natural Creation – meet and explore the amazing support for growing families in the Vancouver.  Hope to see you there!

Emily

 

 

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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

 

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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.

IMG_3638

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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Monday Morning Inspiration

“Take risks, you can never discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Found this quote this morning and had to share!

Happy Monday!

Emily

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Ethan’s Birth Story

At 37 weeks I went to my midwife and we discovered my very large baby was breech.   I was scared and sought out natural solutions to help turn my baby!  I found Liza Shibata - a registered acupuncturist specializing in working with pregnant, labouring and new moms.  I went for a couple of sessions, and she provided me with moxibustion sticks – my friend helped me by holding the moxabustion sticks slightly away from the outside of my pinky toe while I lay upside down on an incline.  We watched my belly move and crossed our fingers.  Sure enough he turned!  My baby was head down and everything was looking good for my planned home birth.

The next scare was when it appeared that my amniotic flulid was low.  A consultation with an OB brought up a concern that possibly my placenta was not working efficiently anymore and that an induction would be necessary.

The hospital became very busy that week, and my “urgent” induction was pushed back – I was fortunate.  My body went into labour on its own.

It was Tuesday night at 9pm. I was 40 wks and 6 days.  I was going to the bathroom more frequently, and the cramping I’d been experiencing for the last 2 weeks was intensifying and becoming rhythmic – I was in labour.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up because I had been experiencing a lot of cramping for quite a while, but when I couldn’t handle lying down anymore at 10pm I allowed myself to feel the excitement!  I ran a bath and tried to relax myself and ease the contractions so that I could sleep.  The bath helped somewhat, and I was in and out of bed for the rest of the night, catching little bits of sleep when I could and getting up when the lying down and rocking wasn’t enough to cope.  I called my midwife at 9am on Wednesday to let her know I’d been in labour all night, and that I would likely be calling her later when things picked up.  I called my doula (and now business partner) Chelsea Lafrance and told her I’d need her to come by later that afternoon – I was ok for the time.  I took a short walk and tried to carry on with my day.

Chelsea arrived around 3pm and my friend Dahlia came by shortly after that.  We made cupcakes, but by that point I spent most of the time leaning against the dining room table rocking my hips and breathing through the waves of intensity.

Night came and things felt like they were picking up.  My contractions were requiring all of  my concentration.

My midwife Lorna McRae and (then student midwife) Leah Seibert arrived sometime that evening – I think it was 8 or 9.  I was working hard, rocking on the ball, sitting on the toilet, candles were lit through the apartment and I felt pretty good.  They checked me and I was about 5 cm.  I was discouraged by this discovery – (I didn’t know then what I know now – that the progression to 5cm is generally slower than that from 5 -10, and having your first check at 5 cm is pretty good!) and simply continued on with how I was labouring.  My midwives were encouraging and proud of how I was managing, and of how calm the atmosphere in my apartment was.

Around 10pm things were getting much harder.  My back was hurting terribly – my midwives and my other supports took turns applying very firm counterpressure to my back and soon they realized my boy was posterior.  I moaned through the intensity, and felt like I could handle things as long as someone was there pushing on my back.  I was amazed that I had so much energy despite having been up for 24 hours.  Our bodies provide amazing hormones!  In an effort to try and turn Ethan, my midwives had me walking up and down the stairs, doing lunges through the halls of my apartment building, and working through contractions with one leg up on a chair.  I carried on, but was becoming more tired and the back pain was becoming harder and harder to cope with.   I was only 6 cm 3 hours later, and this realization was a disappointment to everyone – my labour pains were intensifying, but my baby wasn’t turning and my cervix wasn’t opening as much as one would like to see.  We tried position changes for another hour.  I began vomiting from the intensity, and moaning loudly.  I had the urge to push a couple of times and began to feel discouraged that my body was no longer progressing.  My midwives were concerned by the fact that I had been leaking amniotic fluid for almost 24 hours – to my disappointment – it was time to head to the hospital.

At 2 am we arrived at the hospital – my incredible support team encouraged me as I did lunges up the stairs to labour and delivery in another attempt to help my baby turn.  I was exhausted and discouraged, and pouted at them as they urged me on.  I didn’t have the energy to speak.

When we arrived at the hospital things happened quickly – there was meconium in the amniotic fluid now, and it was apparent that Ethan was still posterior and was also asynclitic.  This means his face was pointing towards my front (baby’s preferably face mom’s back) and his head was tilted on an angle.  I breathed some nitrous oxide and Chelsea coached me to deepen my tones as I panicked at the pain in my back.  Upon an examination by an OB it was suggested I have an epidural in the hopes that my body would relax enough to allow Ethan to turn – I had been in labour for a long time now, and I was still reluctant to have the epidural.  I had so badly wanted to have an unmedicated birth, but this seemed to be the only solution aside from a cesearean delivery.  I was started on antibiotics because I had developed an infection from my waters being broken for so long, and was given an epidural.

I cried.

With the epidural, I lost my good hormones that filled me with fight – at this point all I felt was exhaustion, defeat, and completely disconnected from my baby.  The nurses told me not to cry, that I needed to save all my energy and to sleep.  Chelsea talked calmly to me and reassured me I’d gone as long as I could without medical interventions.  The interventions we have are tools that can be incredibly useful in situations such as this.  Dahlia stroked my hair and tried to help me sleep…it was so soothing to have my friend there with me, calming me.   My support team reassured me that this was my best chance for a vaginal birth, and the OB told me we should really be heading for a cesearean now given the size and position of my baby.  My midwives, doula, and friend stood by and pushed for me to have the opportunity for a vaginal birth – to wait it out and see.  I tried to rest, but I was a mess of emotion, and I was terrified by the pain I still felt in my back.  Despite the epidural I still felt sharp pain in the same spot in my mid back with every contraction.  It was later discussed that this may have in fact been a muscle spasm.  I was amazed that a muscle spasm could be so severe it outweighed the pain of my contractions!

The sun rose for the second time in my labour, and I asked how long I’d been doing this.  My support team encouraged me to rest and discouraged me from thinking about the time – it was good advice – labour knows no time!  By 2 pm I was fully dilated.  My midwives said they thought my baby may have turned and that I could start pushing.  The nurse moved to put some pitocin in my IV and I yelled that I didn’t want anymore drugs – my midwives gently reminded me that with a labour this long there was a higher risk of hemorrhage, the nurse also insisted that my contractions weren’t strong enough to push my baby out.  I relaxed as I realized the validity of this intervention and got focused on pushing my baby down.  I found a strength from somewhere deep inside – I don’t know where the energy came from.  I remember locking eyes with Lorna and finding determination in that look.

I pushed hard, I couldn’t feel anything because of the epidural so I kept asking “am I doing it right? is it working? am I pushing the right way?” Yes! Everyone encouraged me and then they brought me a mirror so I could see what I was doing.  By this point the OB was back, as was a pediatrician (they were concerned about Ethan because of the length of the labour and the meconium in the fluid) and a student pediatrician, there was of course my midwife and student midwife, a nurse and student nurse, and then my doula, friend, and son’s biological father.  It was quite the crowd, and a far cry from the intimate home birth I had envisioned for myself!  Remarkably, in the moment – when one is working hard to push a baby out, eager to meet them, and exhausted from the hours of hard work, one has little care for how many people are watching ones efforts.  I looked in the mirror and saw my vulva bulging with every push.  Lorna pointed something out between contractions – a piece of my baby’s hair was hanging out for us to see!  He was close!  I pushed harder, I drew every ounce of strength up from my toes and moved my baby down.  I talked to him in my mind, and told him we were doing this together- he needed to work with me.

My son was crowning when the nurse realized she’d forgotten to start the pitocin dripping.  I laughed and felt such pride that my body HAD been able to bring this baby down despite the certainty that I wouldn’t be able to without the pitocin strengthening my contractions.  Some panting, and then one more push and my son was born.

It was 2:55pm on Thursday Feb 8th.

He came out wailing, face up, and 9lbs 6oz.  The OB was astonished – such a tiny woman giving birth to a large posterior baby?  and with less than an hour of pushing!  I’m sure he thought it was a miracle.  Ethan’s head was very molded from sitting with his head on an angle for so long.  He had a huge lob sided cone head.  After a thorough examination he was brought to me and placed on my chest.  My baby.  My boy.  We did it together.

When he had nursed, and I’d been stitched and cleaned up, we were wheeled over to mom and babe – the nurses stood up at the station and gave me a standing ovation as we went past – I felt incredible.  I held my baby proudly in my arms and glowed as they congratulated me.

It’s too often that posterior babies are assumed to be unable to come out and mom is sent for a cesearean.  Our bodies have AMAZING capabilities if we can just give them the time.  We tried everything we could to turn Ethan – and in the end I believe he simply wanted to come out posterior!  Pushing him out was quicker than many first time moms pushing out anterior babies – we cannot assume that we know how every baby should be born.  Indeed we see that generally speaking there is an “ideal” position, but then there are always exceptions to the rules, and some bodies and babies choose another way.  We just have to try what we know, and then have the patience, and faith for a mother’s body to allow the process to unfold as it should.

I will never forget those first moments of having my baby boy in my arms.  My life was changed instantly.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

—-  Elizabeth Stone

Ethan

Ethan

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The tremendous 2s!

What could be more fun for two 2 yr old boys than jumping in mud puddles?  It was a beautiful day – the rain from the night before left plenty of mud puddles, and the sun had come out to keep them warm while they played – perfect!

Family time is so important.  Most weekends we’ve had something major we were preparing for or participipating in, but this weekend we had nothing!  It was glorious! The weekend started with a date night at Horizons Resteraunt followed by a morning of puddle jumping in sunshine – the boys got suited up in their rain gear and had such an amazing time!

muddy puddle jumping

muddy puddle jumping

We took them home for their snack and quiet time before heading out to another park to look at ducks and swing on swings.  The whole weekend they were sooo good!  It’s amazing how much easier toddlers are when your focus is simply finding parks and playing with them.  It’s not that the age itself is difficult – it’s that getting things done with a child that age is difficult!  If one can focus on them and their interests it’s a piece of cake!  So here I am in this familiar place of contemplating and altering my parenting according to the age and stage.  Parenting is the most incredibly dynamic and challenging thing I’ve ever attempted – and I love it!  It keeps you on your toes – when they are babies our challenge is getting enough sleep and food while tending to their shorter sleep cycles and seemingly constant need to eat, as they get older the challenge moves to keeping them safe as they explore their boundaries and focused when they’ve developed the ability to wander off in the middle of getting them dressed etc. and keeping them entertained while getting our own tasks done because a set of keys is no longer a source of entertainment!  It better involve gross motor skills for the better part of the day, and intellectual stimulation for a good portion as well.

Ethan at 2.5 yrs can now count to 12 and point out most of the letters in the alphabet and relate them to words -” ‘m’ is for mama, ‘e’ is for Ethan, ‘g’ is for granddad, ‘n’ is for nana, ‘p’ is for pee pee, ‘s’ is for sophia, ‘k’ is for keida…”  and it goes on!  I’m also so happy to hear him singing Twinkle Twinkle all by himself as we drive to the grocery store.  He spends most of his play time at home “fixing” things as he uses a wooden hammer and screwdriver to fix all his toys, he engineers train tracks, and often picks up a bag and grabs Aiden’s hand saying “we’re going to get groceries, come on Aiden”.  When I ask what he is buying he tells me “cereal, milk, and grapes” – all the important foods of course!  If he’s not going to get groceries he’s going to work – he leaves the room for a few minutes telling me “good bye, I’m going to work” and then returns shortly with a very excited “I’m back!”

I’m loving this new age and stage.  I’m thankful for the support and help I have, because as enjoyable as it is, one must not neglect to mention the effort it takes to answer the many questions of “why?”, “what’s that?”, “what you doing?” and so on, and repetitions of such questions until one gives a satisfactory explanation.  I’m also thankful for the help because there is of course the sore back that comes with carrying a 50 lb child on ones hip – because at 2 they still need that up time and I just happen to have a very solid 2 yr old!

What a gorgeous child he is – what a beautiful joyous gift to be given – the honour of being a mother, the privelege of caring for an individual as they grow and change, the joy it brings me to provide a safe and loving space for this incredibly unique person to grow and discover himself, his boundaries, his independence, and his place in the world.

The tremendous 2s!

The tremendous 2s!

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The Birth of The Doula Within Me

It was 2004 and I was ready to figure out my calling in life. I knew I wanted to be in some area of medicine, but how does one choose which area? I decided to go to overseas and do some volunteer work. There I would get some exposure to a variety of areas of medicine and hopefully I would be able to narrow it down.

I made a spontaneous decision. I traveled to Uganda with an organization called Friends of Mengo to do the groundwork for a study on how selenium supplements affect the quality of life in AIDs patients. This turned into an incredible 6 month adventure. I was given the opportunity to sit in on many surgeries, work with TB patients, do home visits to AIDs patients, and work in an orphanage with several infants as well as toddlers. It was at Sanyu Babies Home where I discovered my maternal instinct. I had no experience with newborns before this trip, and there was a couple of days where I was alone in the nursery feeding and changing 5 babies under 3 months. I quickly learned how to help care for these babies, and grew very attached to many of them.

At Sanyu Babies home in Uganda 2004

At Sanyu Babies home in Uganda 2004

I traveled to Kitgum in northern Uganda. Here, I had the honour of shadowing in a maternity ward at St. Joseph’s Hospital. I participated in rounds with the Dr.s and deliveries with the midwives. I was given the opportunity of checking dilation, starting IV’s, and participating in many other medical tasks that helped me to gain a great deal of background knowledge about the process of birth, the physical changes and possibilities in the birthing mother’s body, and a tangible understanding of the changes that occur throughout labour. I watched women labour with such strength, and I saw the ways in which they coped and moved through the intensity.

I was in awe when I saw my first birth. I was amazed at the abilities a woman’s body has to accommodate another being both in pregnancy and in childbirth. I knew then that working with labouring women was my calling.

When I returned to Canada I started a Bio-Psych degree with the goal of going to med school, and I began researching ways to get involved in childbirth. I discovered the role of a doula, and I was fascinated. After much reading and studying, I began my work as a doula. I volunteered at a few births where I gained experience in the emotional and physical support techniques by learning from midwives and nurses.

In June of 2006 I became pregnant with my own son.  I chose midwifery care and a doula for my birth. Without the support of my midwives Lorna McRae, and (then student midwife) Leah Seibert, and my doula Chelsea Lafrance – I know that I would not have succeeded in having a vaginal birth of a 9lb 6 oz. posterior, asynclitic baby. I gave birth in the hospital with obstetricians and pediatricians present, and I saw how well the midwives and the hospital staff worked together with my doula.  It has now become my longterm goal to attend the midwifery program, and my interim goal to offer my extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise to help families to achieve their own unique goals in the birthing process. I work well with doctors and midwives, and I am experienced in home births as well as hospital births.

I am here to provide resources and information, choices and solutions, tools and techniques. I am available for your emotional and physical needs, to gently guide partners and loved ones in supporting the labouring mom, and to help you achieve a positive journey.  It is my role and my joy to empower you in the birth experience, and ultimately as parents.

Birth Doula Services ~ Postpartum Doula Services ~ Contact Me

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Women Empowered By Motherhood!

I was talking with a good friend of mine last night.  She also happens to be the very talented graphic design artist who helped us achieve the look we wanted with our labels, and has now created for me a beautiful portfoliio so I can better share my experience and the doula services I offer with expectant families here in Vancouver!  Nadine Staaf is a mother, and an entrepeneur,she works both as a graphic design artist and a remarkable life coach.  She is a talented, strong, driven, and inspirational woman!  In our conversation last night I was feeling such excitement for her and the graphic design work that is coming her way, we were discussing a book she has been working on.

It just so happens the author of this book is a friend and doula client of mine.  New mom Kyla Plaxton has recently published her first book: The Little Women’s Guide to Personal Power: How to Turn Your Monthly Menstruation into the Biggest Blessing of Your Life! A book created to empower young women.  Another strong and inspirational woman with a beautiful vision and the drive to succeed.  A mother, who found the epowerment to create this vision of hers after the journey into motherhood.

Another good friend Caitlyn Letson is a strong woman who found empowerment after the birth of her child to become a business founder.  She has created a wonderful children’s consignment store with another mother as her business partner.  Together they opened the doors to Izzy and Ollie’z Childrens Consignment less than a year after the birth of their children.  They carry Natural Creation products from Belly to Baby!  Another link in this amazing circle of mom entrepeneurs supporting and building businesses together and side by side in this incredible journey of empowered motherhood.

I’ve now moved to Vancouver and am reconnecting with yet another good friend who has also started her own business.  Fantasha Kassam is an empowered mother who is an inspiration and personal trainer to many!  She runs Fantasha’s Family Fitness encouraging families to excercise together helping moms get back in shape, and encouraging an active lifestyle in our children.

I simply had to share my excitement as I watch these wonderful friends (and myself :) ) build businesses and empowering lives for ourselves by following our passions and sharing our talents.  Perhaps it is because of my line of work – working with families through the transitions of welcoming new babies – but I can’t help but grin at the correlation of these women stepping boldly into motherhood, and at the same time leaping into self-employment, and achieving the fine balance of building a business, and raising a child.  The two have so much in common really, I suppose it only makes sense – we give birth to our children, and with a different kind of labour our businesses are born, we feed, nurture, love, give space, and pour passion in to the hours we spend with both.  We balance strength and gentleness, drive and patience, we learn every day of new challenges and more so of new joys!  Each one of the women I’ve mentioned is striving to contribute positively to society, to our world, and to our children’s futures.  There is something so powerful about what we are doing.

Here’s to the empowerment of motherhood, and the positive changes instigated by that empowerment!

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Vancouver Doula – Birth & Postpartum Services

I am happy to be offering my services to families all over Vancouver!  Here’s a few of the things you can expect when you hire me as your doula!

As your Doula, I Provide:

  1. 2-3 prenatal visits in which I offer extensive knowledge about the stages of labour, what you can expect, and coping techniques – in this time we talk about your goals for your birth and together prepare your birth wishes
  2. on call support – I’m available 24/7 for questions and concerns
  3. books and additional resources that help you feel prepared for, and empowered in the time leading up to your labour – I guide you in ways you can prepare your body for labour

Throughout the Entire Labour:

  • I am on call 24/7
  • I am available to discuss the changes your body is experiencing leading up to the birth, and help you to determine when you are in labour.
  • I am there from the moment you begin labour, through until 2 hours after your baby is born.
  • I support you and your partner physically and emotionally.
  • I take photos/ videos of  your labour and birth if  you desire.
  • I encourage position changes and other coping techniques.
  • I provide and show your partner acupressure and massage to help you to cope.
Once baby has arrived:
  • I provide and prepare remedies for healing after the birth.
  • I provide 2 postpartum visits.
  • I provide educated support for breastfeeding.
  • We discuss yours and your partner’s experience of  the labour.
  • We discuss the possibility of  additional postpartum visits if  needed.
  • I offer resources and information on any concerns you may have with normal infant care.
  • I provide additional resources as needed.
  • On our second visit I provide a birth story from my perspective.

I am always sure to gain a deep understanding of my clients’ wishes for their birth – I am your advocate, and your guide.  I am also there to offer reassurance.    The predictable thing about labour is that it is unpredictable – people often feel a disappointment with their birth experience if they feel there was something they missed, that they could have tried something more, and that they did not have an understanding of what was going on.  I help you feel empowered in this experience by helping you exhaust all possible resources for achieving the birth experience you want, and I am there to help you understand and make empowered choices if complications arise.    I am there to empower you in your birth, and ultimately as parents.

Emily

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