A birth doula is like the sherpa that guides you up Mt. Everest. While you walk to the top on your own two feet, it is easier with a guide who knows the trail, the tricks of the trade, and can support your endeavour. This is the role of your birth doula - to guide, serve and support you during labour and childbirth.
- Recognize childbirth as a life experience that women remember their entire lives
- Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional and physical needs of women in labour
- Can help women achieve a more satisfying birth experience
- Can help women make the most out of their birth experiences, no matter how they unfold
Birth doula - $950+HST
- 2 prenatal home visits
- Preparation of your birth plan
- 24-hour on-call availability from 37 weeks
- Attendance at your birth
- 1 postpartum visit
- Loan of a TENS machine
After filling out the online doula request form, you will be contacted by one of our doulas to arrange a no-obligation interview.
Benefits of having a birth doula
Research has found that when a doula attends births, labours are shorter, there are fewer complications, and there is less need for oxytocin, forceps, vacuum extraction, pain medication, epidurals and cesarean deliveries.
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
50% reduction in the caesarean rate
mothers feel more in control and less anxious
increased chances of successful breastfeeding
reduced incidence of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders
greater satisfaction with childbirth, resulting in a more positive birth experience
(from "Mothering the Mother" by Marshall H. Kalau, M.D.; John H. Kennel, M.D.; and Phyllis H. Klaus, M.Ed., C.S.W.)
As your birth doula I will...
Meet with you prior to your birth to identify your personal priorities for the birth
During two prenatal visits, we will become acquainted and develop a relationship. We will explore and discuss your priorities, fears and concerns.
Assist you in making a birth plan
I will need to know how you cope with pain and fatigue, as well as your preferences with regard to your labour and birth.
Be on-call for you from 37 weeks, and be present with you throughout your labour at home and/or in the hospital
Provide you with emotional and physical support during labour, including:
Offer you objective information to help you and your partner make informed decisions
Act as an advocate within your team of clinical care providers; facilitate communication between you, your partner and your clinical care providers
Support you in all your choices
Provide postpartum support
After the birth I will remain with you for an hour or two, until you are comfortable and ready for some quiet time alone. I will also assist with your baby's first feed.
Provide home support
I will visit you at home, the day you are discharged from the hospital, or another day you choose, to help you get settled, and address baby care questions, breastfeeding, or other concerns.
Always work with a team of back-up doulas
As your doula I am working for you, not the hospital or your clinical care providers.
Why do I need a birth doula if I have a partner?
Some women feel that if they have a partner (spouse, friend, sister, mother… anyone you choose to accompany you during labour and childbirth) who plans to be involved in the birth of their baby, the services of a birth doula are unnecessary. The birth doula is sometimes thought to be needed only by women without partners.
Today, a partner's participation in prenatal classes, their presence at prenatal appointments and in the delivery room are familiar occurrences. Yet, the additional role of “partner as labour coach" may be difficult to fulfill.
The partner today is expected to emotionally and physically support the birthing woman, as well as become familiar with the process and language of birth, understand medical procedures and hospital protocols, and advocate for their partner in an environment they are often unfamiliar with (and possibly intimidated by). The birth doulas' role can enhance the birthing experience for the mother and ease the partner’s burden.
During pregnancy, your birth doula meets with you to discuss your priorities, fears and concerns, and plan how you will all work together effectively. Both your and your partner’s thoughts and feelings are addressed.
At the onset of labour, your birth doula will come to your house and assist you through labour until it is time to leave for the hospital or have your midwife attend. The presence of a birth doula can be reassuring and helpful before the need for your clinical care providers.
Upon departure to the hospital, your birth doula can help in practical ways, such as packing suitcases in the car, making phone calls, etc.
As labour becomes active, at home or in the hospital, your birth doulas' role with your partner becomes significant. It may be difficult for your partner to witness your instinctual behaviours during childbirth, and not recognize the normal process of birth. Your doula understands the physiology of birth and is well versed in your options if your labour is not progressing typically. Your birth doula can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions and can facilitate communication with your clinical care providers.
You may fear that the presence of a birth doula will interfere with the unique intimacy between you and your partner. In reality, most couples are very relieved to have an experienced birth doula join them on their journey. Your clinical care providers may have others to attend to, always have paperwork to complete, and are commonly in and out of your delivery room.
Your birth doula will be in constant communication with you, and can readily assure you that your labour is progressing normally. If it is not, she can give you a clear understanding of what is happening. She can explain medical procedures to you, and gather further information from your clinical care providers.
Partners often feel uncertain about what to do during labour. Your birth doula can give encouragement and suggestions to your partner to help them participate within their comfort level. When your birth doula supports both of you throughout labour, your partner is able to fully support to you. The presence your birth doula complements and strengthens your partner's role.
Your birth doula will also have one-on-one contact with you, massaging you into relaxation, talking to you softly though the pain, encouraging you to vary your position, which can speed up labour and decrease pain, and provide support between contractions. Your birth doula and your partner can use their strength together to help you.
Upon delivery, your partner may want to observe your newborn's first medical assessments. Your doula will remain with you unless instructed otherwise. She can assist with breastfeeding and help make you comfortable.
During your postpartum visit, you and your partner may have questions about the birth. Your birth doula will help you both understand your baby’s arrival.
Is listening… not judging, it is hearing your story.
Is not offering advice… it is offering a tissue, a touch, a hug.
Unconditional support is caring.
Birth doulas help women discover what they are feeling… they do not try to make feelings go away.
Birth doulas help women identify their options… they do not tell women which options to choose.
Birth doulas discuss steps with women… they do not to take steps for them.
Birth doulas help women discover their inner strength.
Birth doulas help women learn to choose… they do not make it unnecessary for women to make difficult choices.
Birth doulas are not only for natural, unmedicated births
Even if you are planning to have an epidural or use other forms pharmacological pain relief during your labour, you will have to cope with pain before you get to the hospital. A birth doula can meet you at your home and help you stay comfortable and coping with your pain until you receive the pain medication you desire. A birth doula will also provide you with physical, emotional and informational support about the birth process, your labour and the choices available to you. You may not be allowed to have the pain medication of your choice early in labour, or near the end. If you choose to have an epidural, it often takes time for the anesthesiologist to arrive. Some women report that their epidural did not work fully or was "patchy". A birth doula can help you achieve a satisfying birth experience.
All doula services are subject to availability.
Personalized gift certificates are available. The perfect baby shower gift!
We will confidentially consider requests for alternative payment as we believe every woman deserves a doula!