We often get asked what exactly a doula is so let me explain.
Wikipedia writes: A doula (/ˈduːlə/), also known as a birth companion and post-birth supporter, is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, and/or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support. The provision of continuous support during labour is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits, including lower risk of induction and interventions and less need for pain relief. These benefits are particularly significant when continuous support is provided by someone who is not there as family/friend or as medical staff (i.e. a doula). Additionally, a doula is sometimes hired to work with families beyond the postpartum stages, providing continued physical and emotional support, for as long as needed.
While that is the specific details of what a doula does, let me tell you why our clients hire us.
Our clients feel secure in our care. They feel empowered and confident through finding their strength as a woman and partner. They feel supported in their decision making process even when others around them do not agree. They feel a community connection to other birthing mothers and their families. Ultimately they feel that throughout their entire pregnancy and postpartum period they will have a place they can trust for resources, encouragement and knowledge.
As doulas we love what we do and care deeply for our clients.
-Amanda & Jaclyn
Doulas in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack
Jonathan’s Birth in the Hospital Foyer!
Lauren and Jody’s Birth Story
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story Lauren and Jody! What an example of a natural birth with an audience. Your family rocks!
8lbs 1 oz
11:00 am June 24th
When was the last time you loved every part of your body? When you took a moment to appreciate every muscle, visible or not? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and became in awe of your reflection?
Your body’s strength. How it has adapted to life changes. It’s softness. It’s hardness. The beauty it’s made of.
I haven’t always thought this way. It’s been a journey.
In my early twenties I started a dance class at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford. At first I was nervous and self-conscious but the more I relaxed and followed the music, the more fluent my movement became. Catching my reflection in the mirror and appreciating the way my body moves and flowed and pushed through each step. It was amazing and I loved it! After a while I started instructing my own classes and made a point to the women to love what they saw even if it didn’t feel natural at first. Pick a favorite part, legs, shoulders, or even how their hair flipped through the air and just be in awe.
Pregnancy is where the real changes happened. Emotionally and physically. While I didn’t enjoy maternity jeans and giving up my heels, I loved the changes and new shape as I was growing my baby. I was fascinated by how each cell had a job and did its part to nourish and prepare for birth. I loved that my arms were strong enough to grip the squatting bar as I pushed my baby out. I respected how my pelvis expanded to let my baby be born with ease and how after the whole birth process, I had a boost of hormones that left me on a high for hours, unable to sleep.
It was hard at first but I started hiking to regain my endurance and strength after my pregnancies. I guess it was the feeling of climbing a mountain, seeing the view at the top and knowing I did it! The rush of pushing through with adrenalin releasing as I climb over steep cliffs and scramble to the very top of the highest mountains in the valley. Just the other day I took on a new adventure with the encouragement of two sweet women. I kept thinking over and over, how did I get this far? Where did this strength come from? I love what my body can do!!! I was in awe… with very sore legs and a little sun burnt but definitely in awe.
Next time you are looking in the mirror, find something you really love… appreciate a movement your body does… respect the amount of time it took for you to get to where you are today.
Birth Doula and Mother Of Two
More than once I’ve said I applied to nursing school on a whim. When I got accepted, I continued with that whim. I have a clear memory of my first year, first semester, sitting with all of my peers, and being asked by one of our instructors what area of nursing appeals to us the most. Like many of my classmates (most being female), I said maternity. “Who wouldn’t want to be a maternity nurse?” was my thought. You get to see babies every day you’re at work!
Well, almost 7 years after answering that question, I’ve got my degree and a certificate to say I’ve specialized in perinatal nursing. That’s what nursing likes to call it, “perinatal nursing.” It sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Yet, there are people out there who have no idea what “perinatal” means. I once heard of a nurse whose I.D. tag said perinatal on it, and someone thought it was her name. So, when asked what I do, I say I’m a maternity nurse, much like what I thought I would, back in that first year of school.
But what does being a maternity nurse mean? Mean to me, anyways? I’ll start by saying I love and hate my job at the same time. It is incredibly rewarding, but can also be overwhelmingly terrifying. I finished my specialty training close to two years ago (but spent a little over a year of those past two years off on maternity leave- my life revolves around maternity in some capacity or another!). While at work recently, I had the pleasure of working with a mama who was getting ready to have her baby (not her first). From the time I assessed her, to the time I encouraged her through the pushing stage and delivery of her baby, I had this crazy high of excitement. I LOVE being present at a birth-I feel honoured to be by a mamas side, to offer encouragement, to help her understand what the doctor just said if necessary, to help her figure out how to have her best birth. Maybe it’s because I’m still new to the world of labour and delivery, or maybe it’s because I really do just love labour and delivery that much, but I get so incredibly excited to be a part of it all.
As I mentioned earlier though, I also hate it. Labour and delivery comes with so many unknowns. When you come to the hospital to have your baby, most likely you’re just thinking of meeting that baby. Your nurse is thinking of how you get to meet your baby, but also is thinking of what could go wrong. I won’t get into details, but there are a myriad of things that may go wrong (more often that not, though, things go smoothly), so we’re constantly prepared for any outcome (but of course, we’re always rooting for a screaming baby at delivery!). Those unknowns are really the only part I hate.
I’ve done a fair amount of rambling, for which I apologize. So I’ll finish with this-I love being a maternity nurse. It’s an honour to meet someone and help them navigate through one of the most important moments of their life. That moment they meet their baby, both moms and dads, whether it’s their first baby or their tenth. Becoming a maternity nurse is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even if it did all start on a whim.
Perinatal (Maternity) Nurse
May 5, 2015 by Heidi
So you are pregnant…perhaps you are feeling a bit run down, tired of sitting at your desk or on your couch binge watching Netflix, and just needing to do something good for yourself. Well boredom be gone! Here are 20 things to refresh your mind, body, and spirit right here in the Fraser Valley that are doula and preggo-mom approved!
1. Walking is so good for you and your baby so take a stroll down the Vedder River Rotary Trail. This Chilliwack favourite is a flat, dog and stroller friendly trail that runs for 8km along the Vedder River. But have no fear, there are picnic tables, benches, portable toilets, and 5 different access points/parking lots along the way so it’s easy to just do a short section and return, or go for as far as you can and call someone to pick you up at the next stop!2. Need some veggies or a hand made gift? Check out the Eco Market at Sardis Park! Every Wednesday evening from May to October, you can experience live music, yummy food, fresh produce and local artist sharing their crafts!
3. A La Leche League meeting is a great way to prepare for your baby and to meet other mom’s who have been where you are now! Questions are welcomed and you can know you are getting the best breastfeeding support from the lactation experts and experienced moms.
4. Rainy Day? Need to float? Head to the Chilliwack or Mission Leisure Centres for a dip. Swimming is an amazing way to stretch and gently work your muscles while taking the pressure off your back and feet!
7. Need a perfect fitting nursing bra? Want to pick up some lovely things for baby or postpartum momma care? Head to With Child Birth and Baby Boutique and Nicole will set you up with all the goodies you need!
8. Don’t forget about prenatal fitness! Stay healthy and enjoy some time stretching and moving your body at Nurture You Prenatal Fitness Classes at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford.
9. Capture this precious time as your body grows and changes with a beautiful maternity photo shoot with Roxanna J Photography.
10. Looking for some baby swag?? Head to the Baby and Tot Show this October at the Tradex!
13. Have a Blessingway lovingly orchestrated by Miranda from Elderberry Birth. Gather the women in your life to soak in their wisdom and blessings for your journey into motherhood whether it’s you first or fifth baby.
14. Let the pampering begin! Head to Gentebella Salon and Spa for a prenatal massage, and while you are there you might as well throw in a mani/pedi or facial!
15. Reconnect with your partner with a Babymoon at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. Walk the beach, enjoy the natural hot springs pool, and indulge in a delicious meal. Take this time to relax and dream about your birth and your growing family.
16. Don’t have time for a weekend getaway? Enjoy a coffee and dessert date at Decades! Choose an intimate table and comfy chairs and let the conversation flow!
17. Take an afternoon and go antiquing in Fort Langley. Find that vintage high chair you’ve always wanted, or a new treasure in one of the many local shops!
18. Take a picnic to Heritage Park in Mission. Bring a kite for the kids (or yourself!) and take some cute selfies in the gazebo or on the bridge.
19. Take advantage of the nice weather and go to the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove! Bring some lawn chairs or cuddle up in the car. The drive-in is always a fun night, and the kids love it too!
20. Have a date with your Doula!! Get ready for your birth and ask all those burning questions in the comfort of your home. It’s never too early to learn how to use your breathing and birth ball for a joyful birth! <3
-Amanda & Jaclyn
Birth Doula’s in the Fraser Valley.