Birth and postpartum doulas services are available in the Ottawa-area only, and please note that I have a limited number of openings for these services.
My online store is currently in development... so please sign up for my newsletter for updates on digital products that are coming soon!
It's widely known that working with a coach can be a game-changer for many people. From life coaching to leadership coaching to coaching during a transformational time (i.e., pregnancy and postpartum), some benefits that clients report from coaching include:
- Increased clarity around goals and actions required to achieve those goals
- Improved ability to contribute and effectively work with others
- Increased self-awareness, confidence and life satisfaction
- Able to learn and process information in a safe environment
By participating in coaching sessions during pregnancy and postpartum, you have the opportunity to:
- Communicate effectively with your birth partner
- Learn essential skills related to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum stage in a safe environment
- Effectively work together to prepare for this life-changing event
Generally speaking, prenatal yoga comes as a highly recommended practice in order to build the strength, endurance and flexibility needed for birth and postpartum. Prenatal yoga also focuses on breathing and relaxation techniques that can support you during delivery, and includes postures that help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Having a regular yoga practice while pregnant also allows for time to bond with your baby, strengthen your intuition, and meet other pregnant people in the community.
Before staring any activity/practice during pregnancy, it is always recommended to get your care provider's approval first.
Postnatal yoga can help to strengthen the core and pelvic floor, and relieve tension from the upper back and shoulders - common areas of tension for new parents. Depending on the practice, yoga can help to increase energy or provide a time to rest deeply. Integrating your baby into the yoga sequence facilitates bonding, and some yoga poses for babies can even help with issues such as colic and digestive disturbances.
It is recommended to wait until your 6-week check up before starting any postpartum exercise program, and always get your care provider's approval first.
Doulas don’t take the place of a birth partner. Instead, they work with the couple to enhance their birth experience. Along with informational and emotional support, doulas encourage the birth partner's participation to the level of their comfort, and can provide a calming and reassuring presence. The doula can also provide support to the birther when the partner needs to use the washroom, eat, rest or communicate with other family members.
Many partners feel that they participated more in the birth than they would have without a doula. In fact, research has shown the overwhelming positive effects of having both a birth partner and doula - see an example of a study here.
Birth Doulas are trained labour companions that support you (and your birth partner) during pregnancy, labour and delivery. This support can be physical, emotional and educational in nature. For example, a doula can provide you with recommendations for prenatal services in your area, listen to any fears or concerns you may have around your pregnancy, and provide - or coach your birth partner on - comfort measures during your labour.
While support is often tailored to your needs, it is important to note what a Birth Doula does NOT do:
- Doulas do not make any decisions for you. Doulas help in getting you the information you need for an informed decision.
- Doulas do not speak to staff on your behalf regarding matters where your decisions are being made.
- Doulas do not perform any clinical tasks, such as taking blood pressure, vaginal exams, or fetal heart checks.
- Doulas do not make any type of medical diagnosis, administer any type of prescription or over the counter medication to you or your baby.
The main focus of postpartum doula care is to provide physical, emotional and educational support to new families, in order to help build confidence and integrate with their newborn. Each visit is tailored to a family's needs, but often includes information sharing, feeding support and household tasks in order to allow the parents time to rest, relax and bond with their baby.
While a postpartum doula can help with a variety of tasks, it is important to note what they do NOT do:
- Doulas do not make any decisions for you. They can help in getting you the information that you require to make an informed decision, but they do not speak on your behalf.
- Doulas do not perform any clinical tasks, make any type of medical diagnosis, administer any type of prescription or over-the-counter medication to you or your baby.
- Doulas do not do any major housecleaning duties, take over the care of the baby or any siblings, or transport any member of the family.
There are numerous studies that have documented the benefits of having a doula. Here's a few researched benefits of birth doulas:
- Decrease in the risk of Cesarean births
- Decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labours
- Decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
(For specific numbers,studies and references, check out Evidence Based Birth. )
Families who have worked with postpartum doulas report feeling confident caring for their newborn, good communication with their partner and improved feeding success. For an example of the positive effects of postpartum doulas, click here.