VBAC

I had my first child in 2007, an innocent completely uninformed first time momma who wound up being induced at 10 days overdue.  Laboured for 20 hours or so, with an epidural, and it wound up being a csection.  Over the years between my son being born and when I got pregnant in 2012 with my second, I got to know the incredible Shannon Stark.  Even before I was pregnant, she was encouraging of trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  When I did become pregnant, I knew I would want her to be there for us during childbirth and hired her to be our doula.  

During labour Shannon was invaluable in helping me get through each stage.  Her different positions and encouragement to keep switching it up helped my body prepare itself to bring my daughter into the world.  I was under the care of a midwife but unfortunately the midwife I had during pregnancy was with another mama and I was put under the care of another who was not a good match for me.  I am so thankful I had Shannon there, she was the one who got me through and she is the one who never gave up on me even after the midwife as well as myself had.  Because of Shannon I was indeed successful at my VBAC.  It was truly because of her that my body was given the chance to do exactly what it was meant to do.  I will always be grateful to her.

Thanks to the BN team!

I would like to take a minute to thank Babies Naturally for their amazing support. After I had my son back in July 2012, I had a really hard time nursing. He didn’t latch on for the first 5 days, despite receiving all kinds of assistance and advice, from midwives, nurses, and lactation consultants. Then my midwife suggested I attend the breastfeeding clinic at Babies Naturally. I almost didn’t go; I was so tired of receiving all kinds of contradictory advice, none of which worked for us. But I did decide to go. I am so glad I did! Enter Carol Peat: within minutes she had my boy latched on and feeding, for the first time! I’m pretty sure that if I had not attended the clinic that day I would not have continued trying, and failing, to breastfeed my son. So thank you Carol!

Approximately 9 months later I found out I was pregnant again. My first birth experience was not what I had wanted at all. I had succumbed to the epidural because I had had unceasing back labour and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I then had trouble breastfeeding and bonding with my son. I decided that this time I wanted things to go differently. It took me a while to convince my husband, but eventually he agreed that we could hire a doula for this birth. I really wanted to go unmedicated, and of course I wanted the right breastfeeding support from the get-go. So we hired Shannon Stark. Throughout my pregnancy (and for the first number of months afterwards!) she was always available to answer my questions, as ridiculous as they were at times. When I went into labour, her support was even more amazing. She came over to our house and made me assume all kinds of weird and wonderful positions to make sure the baby could be in the best possible position for the birth. My husband was able to relax and watch the Leafs win a game, because he knew Shannon had things under control, and we both trusted that she would know when it was time to page the midwife and get to the hospital. She timed it so well in fact, that we arrived at the hospital at midnight, Isabel was born at 2am, and we were back home by 4:30am! What an experience! Thanks to Shannon, I was able to have my unmedicated birth, and then bond immediately with my baby, who proceeded to nurse beautifully (again, due to Shannon’s assistance; she literally took Isabel and latched her on, and then moved my arms into the right spot!).

Hiring a doula, specifically Shannon Stark, was the best decision we could have made. I’m not sure I would have been able to persevere were it not for Shannon’s continued encouragement and insistence that I could, and would, accomplish the birth that I wanted.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Jackie

Last December our beautiful son arrived one month early – a wonderful surprise! Throughout my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, and I thought with the help of my midwife and nurses, it would be no problem. I had no idea the challenges that lay ahead with a premature baby.

 

Many nights my husband would wake to find both our son and myself crying tears of desperation. Nothing could have been worse for me at the time, than the feeling that I did not have the ability to feed my baby the way I wanted to and felt instinctively designed to. I felt like I was failing as a mother. It was at this point Carol came into my life.

Carol calmly and tenderly helped my family begin to understand the process of breastfeeding. Carol showed us a variety of positions to try, helped us to understand a baby’s perspective, and helped me to believe in myself. Every time Carol came over, my son nursed. It was amazing to me. Carol’s warm and nurturing personality and wealth of knowledge was exactly what I needed to persevere.

The story does not end there. Carol and I decided to save a session for the future. As my son got older, he continued to wake often in the night and still nursed frequently. Tired and frustrated, I called Carol for advice. To my amazement, Carol came over, assessed our routines, and helped me to develop sleep strategies for him. I am so thankful for her ongoing support.

Today, our baby boy is 11 months old and continues to nurse wonderfully. Nursing went from being something I dreaded, to the most natural and wonderful bonding experience for us. The more I get to know Carol, the more I realize that her knowledge and instincts about babies is vast, she is truly passionate about what she does, and her support comes from her heart.

Carolyn

I was very lucky to be introduced to Carol after the birth of my first son. Unfortunately, due to poor post natal care and bad advice, I had been struggling for three weeks to breastfeed my baby. That experience left me tired and frustrated so when I met Carol, her calm and caring demeanour was a welcome change and allowed me to feel an instant connection. To my amazement, she was able to accomplish in less than an hour what half a dozen health care workers had failed to do in three weeks. Carol has a wealth of knowledge that she uses to instil confidence and empower women. She truly loves and believes in what she does. I have found Carol to be a tremendous support who is always advocating for women and their children. She has a special gift and touches the lives of everyone she comes in contact with. I am grateful for Carol’s instrumental part in helping me to successfully breastfeed my children. She is a beautiful person, a wonderful resource and I would highly recommend all that she has to offer!

 

Erin

 

 

After seeing Carol for breastfeeding help with my first son, I soon learned that she was someone special. I like to refer to her as the baby whisperer. She is someone who understands the birth process from conception to delivery, and most importantly, how birth affects your body and your baby. When I became pregnant again, Carol was one of the first people I told, because I wanted her at my birth. We had a planned homebirth, and Carol’s presence made it unbelievably wholesome and unforgettable. She was there when I needed her most, and she exceeded my expectations with her postpartum and breastfeeding support. My birth team wouldn’t have been complete without Carol’s presence. I am forever indebted to her.

Lisa

Our daughter was born January 2010 & our birth experience was exactly what we wanted. One of the most important aspects for us was to have a support during the birth. Enter Kristi who helped us achieve our goal – a totally natural birth – drug & intervention free. We were lucky enough to also meet Carol after the birth for breastfeeding support. As someone who has always believed birth was a natural process, I was totally surprised to find such little support in London when I was pregnant. Now Babies Naturally will help fill that void. Education & empathy are critical to positive birth outcomes. These ladies have it all. We feel very blessed to have met them & shared our birth story with them.

 

Aurora

My name is Amy and I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I have always believed that God has beautifully equipped the female body to develop and deliver babies naturally, and in most cases, without medical intervention. I had the pleasure of experiencing care from a very holistically-minded doctor when I walked through my first pregnancy. Being in Yellowknife, there was not access to perinatal specialists or midwives and my options were very limited. Although my first birthing and postnatal experience was mostly positive and one I look back on with fondness, I was very grateful when I was given the opportunity to walk through the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal period of my second daughter, with the care, support, and gentle education of Kristi Waun.

Despite the fact that miles separated us and that my little girl had a mind of her own and decided to stay in-utero 11 days past the expected date of arrival (long after Kristi had boarded the plane on her way back home), Kristi was available, attentive, sensitive and extremely knowledgable in every area surrounding child birth and postnatal care. I was completely at ease each time we spoke and as she educated me on how to prepare my body for a natural birth, or how to overcome nursing difficulties, she never once made me feel defensive or inadequate. She had a way of communicating in an affirming, caring manner and she also let me know she respected my decisions and trusted who I was as a mom. Having lost two babies myself, I am very excited and relieved to here the support that is being offered to moms through Babies Naturally “Mark the Moment” seminars. It’s such a comfort to hear from one who has walked the difficult road herself.

Having the support and care of a perinatal specialist is a comforting, empowering and extremely positive experience. I would highly recommend the services of any of the women on this team, without any reservation, because of their ability to focus a mom’s attention on the beauty and natural attributes of birthing a miracle.

Amy

Carol helped me welcome all three of my children into the world. I cannot imagine how different (and probably not as pleasant) my birth stories would be without her. She has cried with me, laughed with me, and jumped for joy with me. I have leaned on her, stared at her, yelled at her, chatted endlessly on the phone with her. She has given me a foot massage, helped me handle castor oil, introduced me to babywearing (my best parenting decision by far), kept me in shape, and helped me figure out nursing, bundling, diapering, bathing and endless other baby details. She is a birth and baby goddess.

My husband is one of her biggest advocates as well and tells every co-worker or friend to head her way. He believes that hiring Carol was the best decision we made concerning any birth/baby purchase or choice.

Even though they are now 11, 8 and 6 years old. I still call Carol a friend; and, I am grateful to her husband and her children for sharing her with my family and I. I am forever indebted to her for her time, her energy, her enthusiasm and the sharing of her soul.

Julie

 

 

Upon preparing for the birth of our first baby, my husband and I came to learn about the role of a labour support person (doula) and what the statistics suggest about having one at a birth. Because we had our hearts set on natural childbirth, we decided that in order to increase our odds, we really had to have one, and so we started our search. We were very fortunate to be introduced to Allison, who had just completed her labour support program and was quite eager to get her first hands-on experience. At our initial meeting, we knew we did not have to look any further- she was the perfect person for us.

 

We were truly blessed with a wonderful and rewarding birth experience and Allison far exceeded our expectations. She was instrumental in achieving our goal and provided us with great support and knowledge during and after labour.Today, as we await the arrival of our second baby, we very much look forward to sharing the experience with Allison again. It’s very reassuring to know that she’ll be there with us. Thank you, Allison.

Laura

 

 

While my midwife team was an excellent support group, Shannon and Carol were there EVERY step of the way. Questions, education class, labour coaching and post-delivery lactation support – they helped build my confidence. I can’t articulate how much it meant to have knowledgeable, reliable and compassionate professionals guide me along my journey.

Tania Testa