FULL SPECTRUM DOULA CARE
I first discovered doula care as a college student in 2013 when I was studying medical anthropology. I immediately fell in love with everything birth and on a passionate whim, left the university I had moved cities for and moved to an island to study doula practice. It changed my life. I was surrounded by an incredible sisterhood and knew this was going to be a vocation I never let go of.
I firmly believe that a doula is one of the most valuable tools you can bring with you into your birth space. If you want to create a positive, healthy environment to bring a baby into, and want some help and guidance in finding the strength that you already possess - a doula is the perfect companion. I had been a doula for several years before I gave birth to my daughter, and now that I've been on the receiving end of doula care, I believe in its importance even more.
Currently, I am only offering doula care in the following situations: a) pro-bono care for teenage birthing parents and bereaved parents, b) care for parents that qualify for the BC Aboriginal Friendship Centre doula grant, c) parents that have hired me for birth photography, and d) personal friends and family. If you fall in any of those categories, please contact me!
MY DOULA MANIFESTO
I want you to feel supported.
I want you to feel surrounded by the billions of birthing parents that have gone before you – whose wombs have swelled and rocked with each contraction that you are feeling.
I want you to feel strong, because you ARE.
I want you and your partners to be empowered to make each informed decision in your journey of bringing your baby into your lives.
I want birthing parents all over the world to have access to safe, healthy, and supported birth options. I want to bring back the village that cares for its postpartum families.
I want more education and nurturing around bereavement and the full-spectrum of birth.
This is doula care.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a doula do?
A full-spectrum doula will provide you with emotional and physical support and care during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum - as well as support and care during bereavement and termination.
What are the benefits of hiring a doula?
Some of the main benefits include reduced stress, reduced pain, reduced rate of caesarean birth or birth interventions.
If you hope to avoid the use of pain medication, a doula can help you achieve that with different ways to cope and progress through the labour. No matter what happens during birth, a doula can help you process and encourage you in all your decision making.
Also, postpartum doula care can aid in recovery and less severe postpartum mental illness.
Will a doula advocate for me?
As your doula, I will not speak or advocate for you.
I will, however, encourage you to advocate for yourself! I will help you become informed so that you feel equipped to make each decision from a place of power and consent.
Is it difficult to doula AND photograph at the same time? How does that work?
For me, personally - no, it isn't. In fact, I find I'm a better doula when I'm doing both.
I am fully able to assist you and photograph you. I can help your partner help you. Doula care is not just hands-on, and my past clients have commented on the calming presence I bring to births as a photographer and doula alike.
Do I still need a doula if I have a midwife or if my spouse/partner is there?
Absolutely! A great doula will be an amazing addition to your birth team, no matter who your care provider is or the status of your relationship.
More often than not, the partners and spouses are so thankful they had a doula because it takes a bit of pressure off them. It also helps them feel less scared and more supported. A doula can reassure your partner, give them ideas of ways to help you, and give them a bit of relief when they need to grab a drink of water or nap a bit in the case of a long labour.
With the way the birth system is nowadays, a midwife no longer has much time to be super hands-on like they used to. That's where doulas can come in. Most midwives and many doctors are huge fans of doulas!