Hiring a doula is a bit of an investment. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money if you’re not even sure that it’s worth it or that you need it... you want to know what you’re going to get out of that money that you invested. So, I’ve compiled a list of 10 things that you get for your money when you hire me to be your doula (many of these things would be true of all doulas and some are specific to me – my personality, skills, and gifts). Prenatal Meetings – Typically we’ll have two prenatal meetings, lasting about 2 hours each. During these prenatal meetings, you and your partner will have a chance to ask questions, we’ll talk about your hopes for your birth, work towards settling any fears you might have, and just get to know each other better. My hope is that by the end of these two visits, you will: a). feel more prepared and excited for your upcoming birth experience. b). feel comfortable with me. c). feel confident that you, your partner, and I will work well as a team to ensure that you have the best birth experience possible.
Continuous Labour Support – from the time you call me and ask me to join you, I will stay with you, until a couple of hours after your birth. Here are a few examples of things I may be doing to support you during labour for those who have a hard time envisioning what this type of support actually looks like: -holding your hand, putting pressure on your back, or squeezing your hips. -bringing you and your partner food and/or water, making sure that you both stay hydrated. -walking, dancing, or swaying with you. -breathing with you and reminding you of the importance of your breath. -speaking words of reassurance, motivation, and affirmation over you and your partner. -answering questions and helping you wrap your head around what’s going on. -helping you get comfortable. -helping you and your partner stay calm and confident.
Postpartum Visits –after your baby is born, I’ll stay with you for a couple of hours to make sure that you’re able to get breastfeeding started and get settled in and ready to rest with your baby. Once you are home from the hospital, we’ll schedule our first postpartum visit, typically around day 3 or 4. Our second postpartum visit will be around 3 weeks postpartum. At these visits, you’ll have a chance to process your birth experience (I can provide you with a rough timeline of events if you would find it helpful… sometimes the details of birth can be fuzzy and having a record can be nice), ask questions, and get help with breastfeeding. If you and baby are adjusting well and you just need some help with household tasks, I’m more than happy to help with some of those things during our visits. If your baby happens to be the kind of baby who doesn’t want to be put down for more than 30 seconds and you’re just desperate for a shower, I’m happy to hold baby so that you can do that. My knowledge –Since completing my doula training in the fall of 2016 (and really, since I was pregnant with my first in 2013), I’ve been learning – soaking up all of the information that I can about babies, pregnancy, mothering, and all things birth. I’ve read lots of books, articles, and blogs, listened to hours of podcasts, and devoured any kind of birthy learning I can cram into my brain. So, although I still have so much left to learn and I’m always learning more along this journey, there is already a lot of knowledge in this brain of mine and I’m always happy to share it. And, when you ask me a question that I honestly just don’t know the answer to, I will gladly do some research until I find you an answer, which leads to the next point. My awesome research skills and crazy love of digging up information – It is actually a lot of fun for me to find answers to questions that I don’t know the answer to. Think of me as your personal research assistant. I almost never send information to a client without double checking the facts (and often sending the sources). It’s super important to me that you get accurate, unbiased information about all of your pregnancy, birth, and baby concerns. Let’s face it, the internet has some great, useful, accurate information, but sometimes you have to search through a lot of garbage to find it. So instead of asking google, ask your doula and let me point you in the direction of the good information so that you can save yourself some time. My time - Whether I’m doing research for you, chatting with you in person or on the phone, answering questions via text/email, or with you during your birth – you get my time. Approximately 15 hours of my time plus however much time I spend with you at your birth, which obviously can vary drastically. You might have a short labour and only need me for 5hours, or you might have a marathon labour and need me for 24+ hours. Unfortunately there’s no way of knowing ahead of time which end of the spectrum your labour will fall on. What you do know is that even if your labour is long, I’ll be there. My availability –Being a doula means being on-call. This may not really sound like a big deal, but here’s the reality of what that looks like for me: when I’m on call for you, I’m 100% available to you any time, day or night, ready to come meet you at a moment’s notice. And let’s face it, babies don’t always choose convenient times to make their grand entrances. My bag is packed. My gas tank is at least ½ full at all times. I’m within cell service. I can’t go out of town on a whim. I’m sober and able to drive. I have back-up childcare lined up and ready to activate. I have clean clothes to wear (sometimes this one is seriously difficult). I have snacks ready. I’m preparing to cancel any plans that I might need to at the last minute. When I’m on call for you, you are my priority and I am available for you. My skills – Aside from my knowledge and my wicked research skills, I bring to you all of my other skills. I’m ridiculously organized and thorough. I am able to stay calm in an emergency (fun fact: I spent a few years answering police and 911 calls for a living). And then of course there’s my mothering skills that I’ve been developing over the past 4 years. Counselling Superpowers - For those who don’t know, I am a counsellor. I have a Masters degree in Counselling, which essentially means that I have a graduate degree in listening well. Helping people with big and difficult emotions is my jam. I love helping people work through their feelings and make changes in their lives that will help them be healthier and happier. So although as a doula client, I’m not your counsellor, the knowledge and skills that I have as a counsellor absolutely transfer over to my work as a doula. In particular, if you struggle with prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety, you can know that you’ve got someone in your corner who gets it and who can help you walk through the difficult times. My heart – Last, but perhaps most importantly, when you hire me as your doula, you get my heart. My whole heart goes into supporting you and caring for you. It is such an honour to be invited into such a sacred time in your family’s adventure and in the process of supporting you, I am blessed by the footprints your family leave on my heart.