If a doula were a drug, it would be malpractice not to use it.” Dr. John Kennell, Pediatrician
Childbirth is an amazing process; an adventure like no other! The role of the doula is to offer nurturing support and guidance through the birthing process – to ensure that the birth experience is the best that it possibly can be by making certain it is approached with confidence, joy, and preparedness.
Helping women through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum is my passion. Presently I am a prenatal instructor at Okanagan College, Parkinson Rec, Johnson Bentley and privately, a certified DONA International doula, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, the mother of five precious children and have been married for over thirty-five years. Ever since my Registered Nurse’s training where I discovered my love for maternity nursing, I have enjoyed being involved with pregnancy and birth. The whole birthing process is so amazing and wonderful to me. As a doula and former maternity nurse I have taken part in hundreds of births. After the birth of our first child I began providing labour support for friends and my husband’s colleagues. In 2005 I decided to become DONA certified and attend more births. Whenever learning experiences come around, I try to take part. In recent years I have taken an 18-hour breastfeeding course, continuing education seminars for doulas, one day workshops at Douglas College, as well as attending, both physically and virtually, the annual DONA International and Lamaze conferences where we learn about interesting new research and resources. In 2010 I completed the Neonatal Resuscitation Program so I could become a Second Attendant at home births for the local Midwives.
As a doula, I usually meet with clients once to see if we are compatible, then one or two more times to discuss your birth preferences and goals as well as to plan how we will best work together. I will want to become familiar with your desires, including your preferred labour management options, the use of pain medications, helping you formulate a birth plan or care guide if desired and your preferences for newborn care. Also important is for me to learn your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue. Informational/educational support is another aspect we usually cover. Many families want to review comfort measures, breastfeeding and/or baby care. I am available by phone or email if you have questions or need resources from my lending library: books, videos or online references.
Once you enter your possible “due” time, I have my cell 24/7, can usually be with you in 40 to 60 minutes and will remain with you until two to three hours after your little one is born and well settled with you. During labour I will support you and your partner through the intense process of giving birth, comforting and soothing, helping you recall what you have already learned through reading and classes, as well as continuing to provide information and suggestions. Physical support may include massage, position change suggestions, heat or cold, counter pressure, use of a rabozo, the shower or whatever we find that helps you through. Reassurance that you are safe, strong and capable is also important. As well, I can provide the rental of a Labour TENS if that is a preference. Usually moms find it useful to have me visit in the hospital or at home a day or two after the birth for help with breastfeeding. We always meet one more time to make sure things are going well and to give you your “Birth Story”, a record of your birthing process, if you wanted one.
My goal is to help you both have the best labour you can, according to your preferences, given the specific labour you find yourselves experiencing.
Doula Services include:
- Meeting to discover if we are compatible
- One or two meetings to discuss preferences and a care guide
- Use of my lending library
- Availability for phone or email questions
- 24/7 on call from 3 weeks before your due date until Baby is born
- Support throughout your labour and birth
- Two visits after Baby is born
- Backup doula support in the case of illness or family emergency
- Your ”BirthStory,” a written record of your birth process, if desired