"Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart."
~ Unknown

Friday, November 13, 2009

Honouring Birth

"Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom on your time line." — Gloria Lemay

A doula friend of mine shared this wonderful quote with me today.  I can't think of a better attitude to have as a birth professional.  Birth is meant to be honoured as an emotional, spiritual event that has it's own timeline.  To force it is to go against the very core of nature.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Difference Between Doulas and Midwives

Probably the most common question I am asked, as a birth doula, is whether I deliver or, catch, babies. While the answer may seem simple enough, no we do not catch babies, it is easy to see how one can be confused. After all, doulas are wholistic, as are midwives. Midwives promote breastfeeding and natural childbirth, as do doulas. The difference is, midwives are clinically trained to provide medical care to healthy expectant mothers and their babies. Doulas are non-clinical professionals who provide emotional, physical and informational support to expectant mothers and their families. The following video starring a midwife, explains perfectly the difference in our two roles.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Breastfeeding & Healthy Portrayal in the Media

In honour of Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary, enjoy the following clips of breastfeeding portrayed in a healthy positive light!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Doula's Focus - Is your doula putting you first?

You are the reason a doula does her job.  Her responsibility is to "mother the mother."  Is your doula putting you first?  Here are some things to look and listen for:
  1. Your doula leads in gently, asking you how you found out about her practice, etc.  Not pressing for too much information too soon.
  2. Your doula asks questions beginning with - Who, What, Where, When, How
  3. She does not ask leading questions with the answer "built in," i.e. "You're not going to do that are you?"
  4. Your doula offers the information you request.
  5. Your doula does not offer her own story unless requested by you, but may give insights when appropriate.
  6. She is a reflective and interpretive listener.
  7. She offers helpful feedback always keeping you and your desires at the forefront.
  8. Your doula does not overwhelm you with what ifs, too many statistics or technical jargon.
  9. She is supportive, positive and caring.
  10. She is humble, genuine and empathetic.
In short, you are the primary focus of your doula.  Her opinions, desires, etc. do not come into play.  She is 100% focused on you and your experience.  She is there to listen, comfort, inform and gently guide you through your birthing journey ~ honouring it as your precious life experience.