It is World Doula Week and we are busy on call, meeting new doula clients and planning dates for our "Do You Need A Doula?" program for the rest of the year. We are birth doulas and also postpartum and family doulas. We support you physically and emotionally. We advocate for you, we educate you, help you understand community standards, policies and procedures and how to understand what changes are happening to your body and with your baby in labour and birth. We support all of your choices, make sure you have informed choice and we hold space. For everything.
When we hold space for you, we are protecting your innate power as a birthing human. We never empower you- you are so innately powerful, and we protect your birthing power by watching the minutia of your body and listening to the journey of you and your tiny human as you get closer to birth. We have spent many many hours watching birthers and we have come to know the outward signs of inward sensations, how pressure affects the body, how the 4 bones of the pelvis move and what to do to help you feel more comfortable through labour. We focus a lot on creating an environment of safety for you- and we oscillate through the dance of labour with you- showing your partner how to place their hands for relief of pressure, dancing with you in hallways, reminding you to keep your knees bent so you can relax your bum. We hear you when you tell us "I can't do this anymore" and we tell you "I hear you, this is so much right now. You are doing beautifully and you are so strong." We offer you ice water, place a cold washcloth on the back of your neck, hold styrofoam cups for you to vomit into and tell you that you are really bringing your baby down when you dry heave. We sing to you and do horse lips with you, we massage your back, your shoulders, your arms. We hug you and you press back into our knees as you do do hip circles on the physio ball.
When your partner needs to nap we bring them a warm blanket. We keep Intended Parents in the waiting room aware of everything you need us to when you are giving your baby up for adoption. We help you partner gown up and wait with them while you are prepped for a c-section. Once your partner is situated, we wait for staff to bring us into the OR and remind staff of your wishes for immediate skin to skin because we have covered all of the possibilities of birth with you in our prenatal meetings. We help get your tiny human latched onto your breast.
We support you from the time we agree to work together until you decide you are comfortable with your day to day in the postpartum. If you want support in attending your prenatal meetings we go with you. We help you decide on birth pools, stools, peanut balls, breast pumps, styles of bottles and how to tell the difference between visitors and helpers. We are on call for you in your last month and are always just a text or phone call away. We talk frequently in the last month and ask lots of questions about your prenatal meetings with your primary care provider. GBS, prophylactic Pen-G, encapsulation, delayed cord clamping, transition, lightening, kick counts, GD, stages of labour, dilation, effacement, stretch and sweeps and induction are all part of our every day vocabulary. We walk you through NSTs, BPPs, foley catheters and ARM as well as what PROM means. When we don't have an answer, we try our hardest to find out for you.
We are, in essence, one more person in the room loving you. We have an emotional connection with each one of our families and provide full spectrum care. Our spectrum includes support through loss, termination and fertility treatments. We hold space for each and every individual and family experience and are so fortunate to be able to do work that we love every day.