Are you thrown off by the job title DOULA? Doula is simply the greek word for "woman's servant" but in modern times it means a woman who is trained to assist a family during childbirth and who may provide support to you after the baby is born. I came to the Doula world by default. I was seen as someone who would be "good in an intense situation" given I've practiced and studied yoga for many years, and had reported in some intense environments as a journalist. Thus, I was asked to attend and support a home birth. I had no idea that in attending that birth it would mean the "death" of my News Journalism aspirations and, the "birth" of my new (or did I always know?) calling......birth support.
It has always been an inherent quality of mine to want to nurture. I suppose I thought being a “voice to the voiceless” as a journalist would do that. Journalism absolutely does empower, elicit change and help people. But – after attending my first birth I realized I had an absolute purpose there, my ability to research all aspects of labor and birth were strong due to my background, my audio visual side was being stimulated far more than it ever would be a newsroom, and….my heart opened.
I chose to become fully certified by the governing body of Doulas for North America , DONA. My initial training took place in November of 2011 at Douglas College in Vancouver. I decided to be formally trained as a Doula after assisting a couple of births- though I do believe that much of a Doula’s “worth” lies in her ability to self study beyond the Doula training. I’ve since supported over 70 families in BC. I offer emotional support to the expectant mama and her partner (if she has/chooses one), encouragement and wisdom (knowledge of procedures, positions for birthing, studies etc) throughout labor and birth.
Soon after I became certified, I became a mother (not because I attended births and it made me crave doing it myself-my little one was a complete, yet delightful surprise). My heart opened more when I became a mother. Now, I’m doing all I can to use my skills and training to be an extremely caring and informative doula and pre/postnatal guide. I concentrate a lot on breath, self love, body connectivity and movement in my teachings. I wholeheartedly believe this helps women courageously approach labor and birth with confidence. Having a doula should offer you the space to see and feel the beauty in labor, the beauty in birth (no matter what kind of birth), and most importantly the maintenance of that sensation of beauty and health thereafter.
My favorite things to do are:
- Dispel myths around labor, birth and parent hood
- Practice and teach safe yoga
- Cook delicious, healthy meals for new families
- knit delicious socks for new babies.
Relevant Training/ Experience/ Community Involvement/ What’s that Doula up to?
300 Hr- Yoga Teacher Training- Halifax, 2008
DONA Doula Course- Douglas College- 2011.
CD DONA Designation- 2014 ( Breastfeeding Educator + 40 Births+ Member of Doulas of North America)
85 Hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training- Vancouver, 2012
Certificate: Midwife Assistant Training- Ina May Gaskin, The Farm, TN, USA- 2013
Licensed EMR- Justice Institute of BC- 2013
Certificate of Attendance and participation ” When Survivors Give Birth”workshop- Penny Simkin- Victoria, 2013
Participant and Assistant for Moms Uniting Moms- 2013 http://momsunitingmoms.com/no-more-mommy-wars-a-photo-project/
Attendance at Birthing From Within- Island Mother- May 2014
Attendance at Stop Your Bladder from Running your Life Pelvic Floor and Bladder/ Bowel Awareness- Jodi Ganton- 2014
Facilitator- Mindful Mamas Meditation Group- Current-http://www.elementscentre.ca/story/mindful-mamas
Victoria Focus Group Facilitator- Changing Childbirth in BC Study- UBC Midwifery and Vancouver Foundation
Teacher Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga/ Pilates – Mothering Touch, Victoria, BC
Employed at the Midwives Collective, Victoria, BC
Acupressure for Childbirth- Stephanie Curran- September 2013
Acupressure for Childbirth with Celina Lyons R.AC, L.AC- October, 2014
Circle of Birth Lecture- Kathie Lindstrom ( Perinatal Consultant and Educator, Douglas College, UVIC), Nov, 2014-
Learned normal events of pregnancy, labour and birth, how to identify attitudes and actions that inhibit normal progress, Identify infant’s senses, reflexes and abilities present throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, Recognize the instinctive and intuitive behaviour of labour, birth and the immediate postpartum period, Discuss the importance of uninterrupted maternal/infant contact, Identify the two main reasons women abandon breastfeeding, Identify opportunities to promote, protect and support Mother Friendly Initiatives.
Postpartum Doula Training- Mothering Touch- June, 2015.
Breastfeeding Educator Course for Healthcare Providers- UVIC- Sept 2015