Not a Nurse, Not a Midwife; She’s a Doula.

I think more and more people are learning what a Doula is, but for some it’s still an unknown. We are trained, we are experienced, we are passionate, but we are somewhere in between the nurse and a midwife. Nurturing, caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, but we do not perform clinical tasks. That is something different….a Montrice… You can look that up if you like. A Doula provides emotional, mental and physical support that the other healthcare workers may not have time for.

Below I have provided a link to a website with a great article titled: What is the difference between a doula and other healthcare providers? Its from New Beginnings Doula Training out of the US.

http://www.trainingdoulas.com/uncategorized/what-is-the-difference-between-a-doula-and-other-healthcare-providers/

Rewards

When I discovered the Doula program, I thought it might be something that would fit for me. I realized through out my third pregnancy how passionate I was about the concept of helping other women feel empowered through their birth experiences.  This was a role that I also felt very comfortable in rather quickly and it didn’t scare me. That’s what happens when you do something you love and are passionate about. It’s not work at all. When I took my course I was so excited through out the weekend, never did I feel tired or overwhelmed or scared or bored, I just couldn’t wait to learn more, and I still find my-self feeling the same way. I want to expand and grow in my knowledge and the services I provide to help people.

Doing something I love and that works with my life style is truly rewarding, but I wasn’t aware of the other rewards it would bring.

Being there during the moments a couple become a family is the most amazing experience. It is a privilege and an honour and it warms my heart.

Recently one of my Clients had this to say….

You truly are a great doula my dear….an angel.

Christa was a terrific doula! She not only helped me, but helped out my fiance Jason and my mom by answering questions they had. If it weren’t for her helping me focus on my breathing and reassuring everyone along the way, I’m sure my experience would have been not so great. She is amazing! After all, she did help out another mommy the day before and I’m sure she was exhausted, but very, very strong! Yay for doulas!!!

Thank you Amberly. It brings joy to my heart to read things like that, for that is the true reason I love being a Doula so much and am glad my life has lead me down this path. That is all the reward I need : )

Videos and Books

As a Doula, one of the things I would like to do is help educate people about choices, options and their rights. And we live in a world of information. You don’t have to look far to find a blog, a website, and some really good videos too,  but sometimes picking up a decent book can be just as good or a better source of information.

So here are a few recommendations:

Video – Netflix – Business of Being Born- A documentary by Ricki Lake – I think Everyone should watch this movie, not just expectant parents. It is filmed in the US, but still much of it applies to Canada too.

You Tube Video – 90 seconds to change the world: Alan Greene at TEDxBrussels – This is a great 15min clip about the benefits of Optimal Cord Clamping, something I myself hadn’t even heard about till I was pregnant with my third, and something I’ll tell all my clients about.

Books: I could go on and on about books, but here are few favs:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin – Truly any book by this women is worth reading.

B.A.N.I – Birthing as Nature Intended – Teresa Van-Zeller

The Birth Partner – Penny Simkin – Again another great advocate in the Birth world.

Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn – Simkin, Whalley, Kepler – A good all round pregnancy and birth book.

Birthing from Within   Pam England, Rob Horowitz

The list could be pages and pages long, I still have a stack of books on my shelf I’d like to read, but just cant read fast enough….. It might have something to do with all the extra kids in my house….no???  ; ) Regardless of where you decide to get your research,  Knowledge is Power. And if you know what your options are then you can make informed decisions.

 

World Doula Week March 22 -28th

I am excited to be part of this.

I am excited that my life has lead me down this path.

I am excited to be helping women in their own birth journeys,

And this week I’m going to celebrate!

I know this blog is more for personal writing then business, but this week I’m going to use this blog to celebrate my role as a Doula. I want to help educate, inform and get the word out about what Doulas do, and the benefits of having a Doula no matter what type of birth you have.

So what is a Doula?

n –DOULA: A women experienced in childbirth who supports the Mother and Her Partner both physically & emotionally before, during and after childbirth.
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A Doula does not replace a Doctor or Midwife, we do not perform medical  or clinical tasks, rather we work with the medical community and help the parents make their wishes known, protecting their space to have the best birth possible.
A Doula is about support. They are about education and information. They have knowledge and experience and want to help guide you to have the birth you want. I’m going to repeat that again….. THE BIRTH YOU WANT! It’s not about me, it’s about the parents and their baby and their birth experience. A good Doula can support all births and birth choices, but a good Doula also helps educate about those choices, so parents can make informed decisions. Recently I read a book that explained it like this: “A Doula is like the sherpa that guides people up Mt. Everest. You clearly walk to the top on your own two feet, but it sure is nice to have a guide that knows the trail, the tricks and can support your endeavor.” Experienced Doula – Cassaundra Jah
 And this is my goal as a Doula to help guide and to support ALL women, in ALL types of labour. Period!
I hope you will enjoy celebrating World Doula Week with me. I have met with three clients these past few weeks and am so happy to be working in my passion. The joy I get talking to these families and knowing they have asked me to be a part of something so special. It truly is an Honour, a Blessing and a privilege.

Re-blog of Renegade Mothering.

Here is a link to a wonderfully written blog that speaks of the powerful transformation that takes place when your first born arrives into this world. I don’t usually talk about topics like this, but this blog hit a home run for me.

Recently I came across a letter I had written to myself in early 2005. As I read it, silent tears ran down my face.  It was a reminder of a sad time, a time of mourning and loss, and yet I had been given so much.  But as I read my own words, my tears turned from sorrow to joy. How is it that just 8 years ago I was soo far away and now I have discovered a passion for birth; that I want to make a career out of helping other women make the beautiful transition into motherhood?? Wow I am truly blessed to have come so far. And I could not have done it without my husband. He was and still is my rock. He was always there and supported me as I transitioned into my role as a mother. And now I see the joy in his eyes as I pursue being a Doula. His support is strong.

Now I will probably never share my own letter, but this lady’s blog mimics my letter. She shared those things  most women hardly dare to think and it is wonderfully written. Thank you Renegade Mother, for sharing this with us. I believe all women should read this to know they are not alone, and it is okay to grieve for you loss in a time of great joy. Thank you so much. I feel like a part of me has healed even more after reading this.  Click on the link Below.

I became a mother, and died to live..

Renegade Mothering –  http://www.renegademothering.com

It’s Starting.

Well at the end of this Sunday, I feel pretty good. I feel like this week was much more productive then they have been in a long time. Although my goal of getting up early everyday didn’t always happen, I managed to find a few minutes each day to accomplish a small project that I wanted to do. I’ve discovered this is very important to my emotional and mental health. I am a lists person, and when I can’t seem to get anything done on my lists, then I start to stress out. And a stressed out mom makes for a very grumpy house. And this house has been quite grumpy as of late. So I’ve started to change that, and it’s going to get better.

Each day as I give myself a few minutes to do a task or project, I feel more productive, and these tasks are not just household things, they are projects that I have been thinking of for a long time. Things like sorting family photos, working on my Doula Certification, reading a book, sewing projects, exercising and the such. They are things that engage my creativity and for me heal my soul per-say. They make me feel rejuvenated and give me energy to be the Mom and Wife I want to be. It makes me feel like I can accomplish what I set my mind to, and not just do the things necessary to get my family through the day. In a sense they remind me that I am a person with hobbies, passions and goals.

Recently I felt a little like I had lost myself, that I only had one role and was beginning to feel trapped in that role. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, but with it’s challenges and not outlet for myself, I was beginning to feel sad. Then I remembered I do have things I love to do, but somehow I need to find the time to do thoses things again. If I just have a few minutes each day, I could maybe get some satisfaction knowing that I have something that is for me. And so I did just that, a few minutes each day.

What developed in the course of the week is I found myself spending more and more time working on my Certification. Research, websites, pictures, reading, all to do with my DONA Doula Certification. This passion is growing in me, and it’s starting to surface more and more. I think it about it more often, catch my self getting caught up in a blog about someones birth story, joining groups, following blogs and magazines and making contacts with people.

I knew 8 years ago after the birth of my daughter, that a spark had been lit, but I didn’t know that I would feel this passionate about birth choices, birth coaching, women’s rights and being an advocate for empowering birth experiences. I want to learn more, read more, grow my library of resources, and ultimately figure out how to someday reach my goal of becoming a Midwife. It’s a dream that is growing and one that both me and my husband are excited about.

So maybe with a little time each day, I can build a foundation for my dream, re-awaken some hobbies, get back in shape, and feel more satisfaction. I think everyone in my house will benefit from that.

Oh and if you know anyone in my area who is interested in a Doula, please let me know!

2013 – Hello, Good-bye.

Today is January 1, 2013, and I’ll admit I am quite happy to say Hello to the New Year and Good-bye to the Old one. Although 2012 brought many wonderful things into my life, it’s been filled with small challenges that I am glad to be rid of. But I’m choosing not to dwell on those things and to instead remember the positive memories of 2012 and what is yet to come.

Amongst the best parts of 2012 were the birth of my baby boy in May, and the beginning of my Doula journey, Renovations on our house and the feeling that I am right where I’m suppose to be. Another way to say it is I finally feel like I’m coming into my own.  My cooking/baking has much improved, and my daughters are benefiting from my time at home with them, as is my husband. I guess it hasn’t been that bad of a year after-all eh?

As I was gathered with friends and family this New Years Eve and New Years Day, I felt truly happy and truly blessed. I have a wonderful family, both natural and “adopted”, and wonderful friends both close and far-away. And I am very thankful to be surrounded by love. To see the smile on my friends face, to hear a child giggle, to share stories from the past,  snooping through old photos, seeing life take shape in a growing belly and to watch my 8month old try to walk. These are joys you can not buy.  These are beautiful blessings.

I hope that 2013 is filled with those blessings and many many more, for me, my family, my friends and for you. Happy New Year!

Miracle of Life

This past weekend I stepped into a role that I never dreamed I would do, and I have never felt more honored in my life. This weekend for the first time, as a Doula, I shared in the incredible miracle of life and witnessed two beautiful babies come into this world. There is nothing more amazing than seeing the strength and courage of a women as she goes through the sacrifices and challenges of birth to bring her baby to this world.  I’ve seen some really wonderful things in my life, but there truly is nothing more beautiful then watching a laboring women sleep and rest in-between her contractions. There is peace on her face that I have never seen before. I felt so extremely honored to share in such a personal and sacred moment.

If there was any doubt in my mind before about being a Doula, it has been completely blasted away. My goal as a Doula is to help empower women in their birth experience. To help them trust themselves and find their confidence. I believe I did some of that this weekend, but more than that, each time I felt like I was protector of the memory of childbirth. I was the keeper of the journey for each mother and father as they became parents, and I could help them remember and understand their own birth experience later.

I worked hard to be who and what each of those families needed, to see the need and then fill it no matter how big or small it was. I was able to provide some comfort as they went through their labors, and yes I cried with joy when I saw those babies for the first time.  My heart was overjoyed as I witness a family being born for the first time and I was humbled when I was able to hold each of those precious babies. I am so thankful to those families who let me be a part of the birth of their children and  I am looking forward to seeing them again as a family.

When I got home last night, I thanked my husband for his constant support, I cuddled my own little baby whom I just birthed myself a short time ago, and I kissed each of my girls goodnight. It truly is a miracle that we can give life to another, that we can create such a beautiful thing and find the courage to raise a child.  I think about my own birth experience and I know that no matter what, my kids were worth everything and much much more.  My heart grew bigger with love for each of my children, and now I get to witness the same thing in others.  I feel very encouraged after this weekend that this is where I am meant to be, that if its meant to be it will work out and that God still has big plans for me. This could be the beginning of a truly beautiful thing.

mommy blahs

We all have days where we wake up and think, I don’t want to get up today, I just want to stay in bed all day and feel sorry for my self. It’s cold outside and the weather is Icky and I want to stay under the blankets. Yesterday was that day for me.

I was tired, cold, I had a sore hip and a mild headache. I just didn’t feel like me. I was short on patience, generally grumpy, and easily annoyed. Now for some women we just call that PMS and move on, but this was different, It’s more like mommy blahs, a condition that occurs after many many days of only doing mommy stuff. Oh I don’t know, I’m just being silly, but I know it wasn’t the same as my pre-baby PMS days. I started to contemplate just what was bringing me down. I think there are many factors adding to my blahs from yesterday; Lack of sleep with a nursing baby, kids vying for my attention, a big stack of laundry, finding clothes that fit my post-baby body, missing my husband, and the weather too.  But all those little things start adding up until one day, it just becomes too much all together and I get grouchy.  My poor kids and hubby……

Also contributing to my mood; The Year of the Dragon, or so I’ve been saying. I don’t know how much of that stuff is true, but it seems this year has been one of those years.  It  feels like there have been lots of things happening to people I know that just don’t seem fair, or are unfortunate. I know I can’t control those situations, but my heart goes out to them and I can’t help but feel a little sadness for them. It’s part of what makes us human, to feel sympathy for others who are struggling or sad, or like me, just having one of those days.  But sometimes those  feelings just hang on a little longer or bother you a bit more then normal and it takes more effort to let go.

Now I probably didn’t help my own mood by watching a documentary the night before, which is sooooo fabulous by the way, called The Business of Being Born.  As I watched it, I was so shocked and yet encouraged. I felt that my goal of being a Doula will help women, that it will empower women to overcome some of the fears and issues of medicalized births. I wont get into the details of the film, because it actually make me very passionate and physically upset, but it does make me feel that my role as a Doula is part of something special. That Doulas are part of a important movement for our women. I was actually upset that I could not do more to help these women and I’m sure that added to my mood yesterday. I know it’s not realistic for me to think I can help everyone, but maybe I can change the world, one birth at a time!  I also watched Pregnant in America,  well done, but The Business of being born I enjoyed more.

Which brings me to the main reason I believe I was grouchy, I’m not a really patience person to start with, and being a Doula means I have to wait for the call. I hate waiting. lol. However, I know that when the call does come, it will be very rewarding experience indeed.

I did end up having an okay day yesterday, I had a visit on the phone with a friend, talked to my mom, watched Deanna read to Caitlin, crossed some things off my to- do list and found some jeans that fit me thanks to a friend of mine. So today I am going to follow the  advice of that friend.  I’m going to put on my jeans, do my hair and makeup, put supper in the crock-pot and shake off the mommy blahs. Maybe I’ll book a hair appointment and make myself feel like a women again and not just a mom today, maybe today I’ll get lucky and my client will call. Now that would be a wonderful pick me up, don’t you think?