What would a birth doula do for me?
Another way to ask this question is to ask what a birth doula does. A birth doula works to support you in making sure you have an empowering and positive birth experience. This is the case even if things may not go to plan. A birth doula does not make decisions for you.
What makes you unique as a doula?
It is the combination of my comprehensive services that makes me unique.
1. I am a Body Ready Method (BRM) certified professional. This means that I specialize in preparing you for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery according to the law of specificity. The law of specificity demands that a body should be prepared for the task at hand. Simply doing squats or kegels is not the philosophy of BRM, nor is it tailored to your body’s needs. I believe in understanding your body’s alignment and dynamic movement patterns in order to determine the right exercises and lifestyle changes tailored to YOU.
If you want to increase your chances of attaining the birth experience you desire, have less aches and pains during pregnancy and more functional strength, decrease your chance of complications during birth, and have a smoother postpartum recovery experience, then a BRM pro is right for you. In addition to having a deep understanding of pelvic and whole body dynamics during birth and knowing what to do when, I can also support you in preparing for birth during pregnancy. See my Services tab for more information.
2. My second niche is in infant mental health. Are you uncomfortable with the idea of leaving your baby to cry on their own for sleep training, but also want to get your sleep and maintain your sanity? There is a third way. Developed by Dr. Aletha Solter, developmental psychologist and author of five books, the Aware Parenting philosophy recognizes and explains the neurobiology of emotional stress and trauma, how it impacts infant and child behaviour (including crying and tantrums), and the role parents play in coregulating their babies’ emotions and nervous system. If you wish, I can support you in preparing for this journey.
I have completed Dr. Aletha Solter’s six-hour workshop in helping babies and children heal from stress and trauma, and have been implementing this philosophy with my own family in addition to helping other families. I am currently working towards getting my certification with the Aware Parenting Institute. For book lovers, I highly recommend “The Aware Baby”.
3. My care to you is holistic. Should you desire it, I can support you in making this a spiritually fulfilling experience as well.
I am with a midwife. Would I still benefit from a birth doula?
In Ontario and the rest of North America, midwives generally show higher rates of physiological birth and less complications than do obstetricians. This may also be attributed to the fact that they see low risk patients. A midwife and OB’s main priority is to get the baby delivered safely for mom and baby. Safety should be the baseline of societal standards of care. A doula will work to support you and your partner so that in addition to safety, you have a better chance of leaving your birth feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically empowered.
How do I know hiring a doula is worth it for me?
You can read some powerful evidence about how doulas help improve birth outcomes by clicking here (Evidence Based Birth).
At the end of the day, believing something is worth it is based on your priorities. The answer to this question is uniquely yours. Some questions you and your partner might want to ask yourselves before making a decision are:
- How much do my partner and I value having someone work only for us, versus being in a setting with professionals who work primarily for the hospital or clinic?
- Would my partner and I benefit from having a doula in a way that is of significant value to us?
- Am I comfortable in my planned birth setting without a birth professional who is accountable for my physical and emotional wellbeing above all else?
- Do we or can we somehow have a means of making our budget work for this?
- Do I jive with any of the doulas I contacted?
- Would I feel comfortable about allowing a professional to support me in a more intimate way?
Keep in mind that your answers to these questions will be relative and unique to you. There is no right or wrong answer. The evidence-based benefits are there, no doubt, but only you can decide whether a doula service is right for you under your circumstances.
Do you offer any financial assistance?
I offer the option for you to make payments in instalments if paying it in lump-sum is difficult. You may contact me for more details.
You may also choose to include one of my bundles as part of your baby shower for loved ones to gift you.
Sunlife Insurance covers doula costs. I can give you the invoice for your payment so that you can get reimbursed by the insurance company. There may be other insurance providers who cover doula costs. It would be worth it to ask them if you do have private insurance.
My pregnancy is considered high-risk. Is it safe for me to have a doula?
Absolutely. Doulas are especially helpful with high-risk pregnant women, because there are important decisions you may need to make with your doctor for your pregnancy and birth. These decisions will impact your birth outcomes and possible long-term health of you and your baby.
It is important that you feel confident and at peace with every decision you make for one of the most important experiences of your life. As a doula, I can support you in feeling empowered in being an active decision maker for your birth.
Shouldn’t I trust that my doctor or midwife will do what’s best for me?
Working with a care provider that you trust is crucial for your wellbeing. They are an excellent and reliable source of support for you. In fact, all else equal, having a provider you trust is an excellent determining factor to getting the birth you want.
It is also important to take several factors into consideration:
- Care providers have advanced knowledge of medical interventions to help make your labour more efficient. They use the science of technology to make this possible. The nature of these interventions can be invasive and may have unknown side effects. For example, evidence shows that there is an alarming increase in rates of cesarean birth in Canada from 1969 to 2009. Growing evidence shows us ways to use the science of physiology to make way for an easier and smoother labour outcome. This includes using preventative measures to balance your body during pregnancy (such as bodywork and daily activities), various positioning techniques to attain optimal fetal positioning during labour, and various pressure techniques to release soft tissues which in turn allow for a healthier and smoother delivery. As shocking as it sounds, many OB’s, nurses, and midwives do not have training in this area.
- Your care provider’s primary responsibility is towards the hospital, if that is where you plan to birth. While this seems completely reasonable on paper, this also means that they may give priority to making sure they make decisions that will protect them against malpractice lawsuits. Evidence shows that hospital liability policies do not necessarily serve the optimal wellbeing of babies and their mothers. It tends to create a culture of unnecessary interventions that may complicate outcomes. While interventions can sometimes be lifesaving and absolutely necessary, many times, there are ways to help labour progress more smoothly that work with your body (through the use of physiology) instead of against it.
- Unfortunately, evidence shows that maternal and fetal health outcomes are significantly worse for women who are visual minorities. It is important that you are respected without being subjected to micro-aggression or subtle patronizing behaviour by your care providers. A doula can support you in advocating for yourself in the event that this may become necessary for you. This can be done in a way that keeps the peace and comfort level of everyone in the room.
I am interested in the spiritual component of your services, but I am not Muslim / I am not religious.
Everyone, especially parents, deserve to have spiritual wellbeing, regardless of the faith they subscribe to or their level of religiosity. I use tools to support your specific spiritual needs. These can help you during your pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Please get in touch if you want to talk about this further. I’d love to chat.