BIRTH DOULA SERVICE
Doula comes from the greek word “Caregiver”. A Doula is a woman that serves women during their labour. She gives continuous emotional, physical & mental support to women and her partner during the birthing time. She is someone that provides non-medical support to women and their families during labour and childbirth, and also the postpartum period. In the old times, women gave birth at their homes surrounded by the women in the community. This women where Birth Doulas. In modern days, this tradition has been lost. But now, Doulas are coming back into the big picture of birthing.
Clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
tends to result in shorter labours with fewer complications.
reduces negative feelings about the childbirth experience.
reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans.
reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.
Research shows parents who receive support can:
feel more secure and cared for.
are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
have greater success with breastfeeding.
have greater self-confidence.
reduce the possibility of postpartum depression.
have lower incidence of abuse.
I offer continuous physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual support to you and your partner while in labour. I will provide reassurance, make suggestions as labour progresses. I will do my best to create a safe environment so that you can fully relax, let go and go into your intuitive flow of birthing. I will offer hands on techniques like massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and other body centred tools to help you move through labour. You are free to accept or deny at anytime. I will also offer body-mind therapeutic techniques like visualizations, meditations, breathing techniques and self inquiry to help you move through your fears, and doubts that may come up during the birthing time. As your doula, I’m working with you and your partner and I will try my best to incorporate your caregiver and the hospital staff so that we can all work as a team for you. My goal is for you to have the best birthing experience possible so that you can look back and have positive & empowered memories. I like to reassure your partner that my role in no way takes away or replaces their role as your main support partner. Rather, my presence allows the him/her to be involved to his/her own level of comfort and participation in this most amazing miracle that is the birth of your child.
AS A DOULA I DO NOT:
Perform any clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others. I am there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support.
Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision about your care. I will honour your birth plan and will use that to assist you in making your decisions.
Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options but you or our partner will speak on your own behalf.
The services for Birth Doula include 2 prenatal visits. The first prenatal visit would be at 36 weeks. The next one at 38 weeks. During this prenatal visits I like to ask questions regarding your birth plan and any concerns that you and your partner may have. As well this visits are excellent for building trust between us and cultivating our relationship. After our first prenatal visit, I am available to you through email or phone if you have any questions or concerns, as well for information and referrals to wellness practitioners or other.
I would like you to call me as soon as you are in labour, your water breaks or you know you are going to be induced. This allows me to make my arrangements and be available when you want me with you. Except in extraordinary circumstances, me or my back up doula will remain with you throughout your labour and childbirth.
AFTER THE BIRTH:
I usually remain with you for one or two hours after the birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for some quiet time. You are welcome to call me at any time before our postpartum visit with any questions or concerns you may have. One postpartum visit will be arranged at a mutually agreeable time. The purpose of this visit is to review the birth and provide any assistance I can to help you in your adjustment to parenthood. I will provide one bodywork treatment that consists of acupuncture, moxibustion and holistic massage. This bodywork helps the process of integration of the birthing experience in body-mind-spirit.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a non- invasive, safe method of pain relief that has been successfully used by pregnant women worldwide to treat labour pain. The TENS machine works by applying small electronic pads to your back. These pads will send electrical impulses which will in turn stimulate nerve cells that will interrupt the pain signals from the uterus from reaching the brain. By introducing a different sensation at the same time as the contraction, the brain has to divide its attention. By doing this, the intensity of the painful stimulus is diminished. Don’t expect a TENS machine to take the pain of labour away. But it can be a wonderful tool to help you get through the toughest part of labour. It is important for you to familiarize with the TENS machine before your birthing time. That is why it is recommended for you to have it at your home at least 1 week before your due date.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR LABOUR SUPPORT
Acupuncture provides a gateway to both the uterus and cervix. Treatments can produce an effect on blood flow to the uterus, cervical dilation, movement of the baby, the release of endorphins, as well as helping mother to relax. All these things can encourage a spontaneous labour, reduce pain, and help push that baby out.
Eating your placenta within the first 2-3 days has been found to help increase breast milk production, boost energy, regulate hormones, help with pain relief, reduce insomnia and the risk of postpartum depression. I prepare this at your home. I use vegan ingredients like: almond milk, bananas, frozen berries, dates & gou qi berries. I will bring you a dose of smoothie right away after you birth and the rest are frozen in ziplocks or mason jars depending what you provide, so that you can have a smoothie per day. Usually one placenta can make aprox 4-6 smoothies. Moms love these smoothies, they love the taste and they love how they feel with them. I highly recommend you considering taking this medicine made by you for you!
FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES:
I will make every effort to provide the services described here. There may be circumstances, yours or mine, that do not make this possible. If failure to attend your birth is my circumstance, there will be no charge and I will refund the retaining fee. If it is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control or your failure to call me, I will keep the retaining fee, but there will be no further charges.
"Giving birth can be the most empowering experience of a lifetime - an initiation into a new dimension of mind-body awareness."
- Ina May Gaskin
"As first time parents, my wife and I wanted someone that had the knowledge, experience and energy that would put our minds at ease and so Irene was the perfect doula for us. Irene was incredibly helpful and attentive to our needs both leading up to the birth and again during labour. She was eager to contribute but not smothering or overbearing in any way. Irene's positive energy and love of the birthing experience was infectious. We cannot imagine our son's birth without Irene's support and are forever grateful we found her. Thanks Irene!" ~ Daniel Sioui