If I had to describe Brenna using 10 words or less I’d would use: Soft spoken, Empathetic, Strong, Driven, and Full of Passion. She builds relationships with her birthing mommas with such easy. We love having her be a part of the Yellow Bird Birth team <3
Tell me about yourself :
My husband and I live on his family’s dairy farm in Greendale. He works with the cows and I do the bookkeeping. We joke that he’s a doula for cows and I’m a doula for humans. We’ve been married three years, and in that time, we’ve built a house and have two children. We love to garden, hang out at the river with our dogs, and be home bodies. Our daughter is two years old and is beautifully independent and wild and keeps us on our toes! Our son is two months old and is so squishy and cute.
What is your favourite meal?
If you were to ask me this when I was a kid, I’d say my Grandpa’s spaghetti. Now I can’t really pick one thing. Anything spicy! I love Mexican and Indian food. I also have a major sweet tooth!
What is your spirit animal and why?
A cat… They’re lazy and independent. They only really want to interact when they feel like it but are so lovely and kind natured at the same time. lol
If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?
I’d take my husband travelling.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I just finished watching Black Spot and When They See Us
What as the last book you read?
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
My Grandma, I have so many questions about her life.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail ?
I’d go to school to be a Midwife and deliver babies in third world countries.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Honestly, my husband (so cheesy I know) but he takes care of me better then I can take care of myself!
What makes you felt most empowered?
Jesus. Knowing that I’m valuable and worthy and that He covers all my dark stuff makes me know I can do anything.
How did you know you wanted to be a doula?
I’ve always known I wanted to work with women. I nannied for a family when I was just out of high school and the lady, I worked for had just been certified as a Doula and wanting to go to school to be a Midwife. The way she described advocating and supporting women in their most vulnerable moments I knew I wanted to do the same.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Seeing that look of “I did it” on a woman’s face right after she’s had her baby. Seeing families be born. It is the most raw and beautiful thing I’ve ever been apart of. It never gets old.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Being on call
How do you wind down after attending a birth?
I sleep! And hang out with my family.
What is crucial for every woman to understand about her birthing experience?
That she has a voice and can birth however she wants! That fear has no right to be in her space and that her body knows exactly what it’s doing.
Heidi, Owner , Yellow Bird Birth
“When we talk about the birth process, dads discover what it means to really be there for their partner. You don’t need to know every detail about what happens in labor or get a degree in obstetrics. Being present means you’re there to fully share the birth experience with your partner. In concrete terms it means you talk to her, comfort her, reassure her, stay beside her throughout labor (if that’s what she wants), and respond to her requests.” –Babycenter.com
We LOVE this! Why should partners/dad’s be left out with everything from the birthing process? When honestly, they are one of the most important people on the team and should feel confident on their stance in the room! This is exactly why we cover so much on how partners play a key role in the birth you both envisioned together. In our prenatal classes we practice hands on techniques, we chat about tips and specific ways that dad’s can comfort, support and love on their birthing women. It’s a beautiful thing to see this partnership working together to welcome their baby into the world.
What things did your partner do to help you feel connected and confident during your birth?
Prenatal classes in Abbotsford and Chilliwack are offered every month by our expert team of instructors! We have the skills, knowledge and humor to make you feel ready for birth!
What is Delayed Cord Clamping?
Delayed cord clamping is a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut beyond 30 seconds of baby’s delivery. Many times, the cord will be clamped and cut after the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating or after the placenta has been delivered.
Here are some benefits to this birth practice!
1. The Placenta Contains a Third of Baby’s Blood
Research shows that when we delay clamping the umbilical cord, the baby will receive up to 30% more of the fetal-placental blood volume than it would have with immediate cord clamping.
2. Baby Receives an Increase of Oxygen
A full count of red blood cells provides the increase of oxygen to baby for the transition to life outside of the womb. Not only is baby receiving extra oxygen but he also receives the millions of stem cells and immune cells that are inside the umbilical cord.
3. Prevention of Iron Deficiency/ Anemia
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists state that waiting just 3 minutes may prevent iron deficiency (anemia) during the first year of baby’s life. Babies receive a huge influx of iron-rich red blood cells when the umbilical cord can continue pulsating. What’s interesting is that, Mom’s breast milk has been shown to be low in iron levels. Research has shown that this extra increase of iron storage lasts in baby up to 4-6 months which is about the time that iron-rich foods are being introduced.
4. Benefits for Preemies
Of course, some preemies need to be rushed to NICU or receive immediate medical attention right after delivery. But for infants born before 37 weeks, the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada state that, cord clamping should be delayed by at least a minute after birth to reduce the need for transfusion and the potential for bleeding in the brain. It’s also been shown that preemies have fewer heart problems, better blood pressure, and less anemia.
5. Uninterrupted Cuddles
Last but not least! Delayed cord clamping promotes bonding between Mom and baby just by the fact that they are still attached to each other and forced to cuddle and get to know each other. Those first minutes of skin to skin between Mom and baby release several different hormones that create the everlasting love and bond that is so important. These first cuddles also encourage early breastfeeding!
If delayed cord clamping is something you choose to do at your birth make sure to tell your birth team (partner, doula, sister, etc.) and have it written down in your birth plan. Those first moments after delivery can be fast-paced and it’s always good to have someone on your team remember to tell your care provider your wishes in case you can’t.
There are always risks to any birth practice and it’s always a great idea to talk the benefits and risks out with your care provider to decide what is the right choice for you and your baby.
Researching decisions like this can have a big positive impact on your birth and baby!
Birth Doula & Prenatal Instructor
Yellow Bird Birth Doula
Birth Plan, Birth Preference, or Birth Map, whatever you choose to call it, writing down your ideal birth is a great way to communicate with your birth team. Before I elaborate, it’s important to know that birth plans should have flexibility and not all births go according to plan.
Birth plans are great opportunity for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what your birth wishes are, and what you want to avoid; it encourages you to be educated and responsible for your care (also known as informed consent). It encourages you to make clear goals and allow changes to be made if needed (not wanting to use any pain management vs receiving an epidural because your exhausted for being in labour for a while and need a few hours of sleep). If you and your birth team know what your preferences are in different scenarios, then everyone is on the same page and help you best articulate your desires accordingly. Don’t shy away from having a few copies with you at your birthing location, they can easily be lost or misplaced, and review with each of your support team (doula, partner, mom, sister… whoever is going to be out your birth).
Some things you may want to include in your birth plan:
- What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
- Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
- Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
- Who do you want present at the birth?
- What positions do you want to labour in?
- Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
- Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
- In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
- Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
- Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
- Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
- Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
- Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
- Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
- Do you have any plans for your placenta?
And let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with questions and having to make decisions when you are in active labour and exhausted, so if there are others who can answer questions on your behalf the more time and effort you can put on focusing to bringing your bundle of joy earth side.
Side note, we cover ALL of these topics in our Prenatal Intensive Classes and we’d LOVE for you and your partner/support person to join us! Click HERE for more info.
Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
Labor and birth can be an uncomfortable and oftentimes unpredictable experience. Becoming educated on the options available to you can make the process seem less scary. The support of a labor doula can bring you reassurance, comfort, and an endless source of information when you need it most.
Doulas focus on providing relevant information, hands on comfort and non-judgmental support throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth.
Hiring the supportive services of a doula will allow you to feel supported and confident, every step of the way.
Research has shown that the support of a doula during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period can help growing families feel more confident and lead to a more satisfying birth experience and enhanced parent and infant bonding. During pregnancy and birth, labor doulas provide education, reassurance, and non-judgmental support. After birth, postpartum doulas provide ongoing education, emotional support and expert advice on all things baby!
The physical comfort measures that a labor doula can provide can help reduce pain and increase comfort during birth.
You don’t need to navigate the uncertainty of labor, birth and parenting a new baby alone. Your doula can be there with you, every step of the way.
Yellow Bird Birth
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Why I’m hiring a Birth Photographer, Finally…
So this is my 3rd pregnancy/birth. It’s coming up fast next month and we’re planning a home birth this time around. Midwives, doula, family, the whole works will be there in our home. Now why can’t one of these people simply grab a camera and take some photos during my labour? Sounds like it would be easy enough, especially with technology these days even on our cell phones!
I want to capture those very special once in a lifetime moments of my baby entering the world as I’m sure you do as well. But after my other two births I realized that I shouldn’t leave it up to an amateur. While my family and friends tried their best and grabbed my camera out of my labour bag to snap some pics, they mostly turned out blurry and grainy. Strange angles and poor lighting. I loved that they also wanted to save these memories for me but I shouldn’t have to put that responsibility on their shoulders.
So this time I’m hiring a… BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER!
I want a professional, practiced and trained in low lighting (because let’s get real, most babies come at night) with high quality equipment. It makes a difference! If you’ve ever been to a birth with a photographer you will be amazing by how sneaky and quiet they are, they creep around the room finding the best angles and making sure to capture all the special moments of your strength bringing your baby into the world. It takes skills to do this! Trust me… you want someone who knows birth and understands the phases of labour so they can be one step ahead at all times.
I wish I had realized all this the first two times around but for my 3rd birth I am ecstatic that I can look back in years to come and see my strength, struggles and how my birth team surrounded me to bring my baby earth side.
I want photos of my mom holding my hand.
My husband whispering loving words to me while I lean on him.
My sisters boiling water in the kitchen to make tea.
How our living room looked with a birth pool set up and twinkle lights surrounding us.
My midwife calmly watching with assurance of my ability to birth.
These are important to me, I want to remember these things and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Also, my very favorite local birth photographer is Dori Marie Photography. She was kind enough to share her work with us and I highly recommend this sweet woman! I know you will LOVE her.
Yellow Bird Birth Services
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Two births (First in Philippines, second in Canada) and midwifery clinic in a rural village.
“I went back to work when he was 4 weeks old and started attending births, mostly doing prenatals in our midwifery clinic in the rural Philippines. I watched one birth with him on my back and quickly asked if I could take a couple more months off because it was still too fresh. But he was on my back constantly while I did prenatals and did postpartum and then I started attending births when he was 4 months old, catching again. It was a whole different experience and it was still very fresh even though it had been a couple months. I found my empathy for these women was through the roof and it definitely changed how I practiced midwifery. Once you have been through birth you’re like.. oh yes, I get it, I understand what you are feeling.
One month we had 39 births at the clinic where I attended at least half of those. Sometimes as an assistor, sometimes a charter or primary. It would get intense. It’s different when you have a kid as he was still nursing. My husband would bring him in and I would quickly nurse him between contractions if I was the primary in the birth room. Sometimes it would be 20 hours of birth before I would get to see my 4 month old again so there was definitely an aspect of sacrificing time with my son in order to do it but my husband was awesome. He filled in, took up all the slack that I was giving in the mothering aspect.
Having my newborn around the clinic was awesome. It was a big family, all the midwives there were family so there was always someone there to play with him. Someone to hold him, even at 2am because he was a night owl. Especially if I was in a birth then I could always hear him in the hallway which was the hardest part for me. Being in an intense birth and it’s so emotional, then hearing him cry and knowing I couldn’t go to him because I had a responsibility in the birth and I had to be a midwife first before I could be a mother. That was hard and something I didn’t expect.”
Yellow Bird Birth Series
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Let me introduce you to Edolbina. She is the sweetest, seriously guys, the sweetest! Her spirit is gentle and caring, she loves people and has a fierce passion for birth. Rightly so that she would choose midwifery for her career and mission. She enjoys watching her little boy explore the world, loves supporting her husband through life and will be there first one there if someone needs help. Plus she has a love for iced coffee as much as I do!
This weekend was a day that we could surprise and pamper her! Edolbina is expecting her second sweet little babe and we couldn’t be more excited.
If you aren’t sure what a Mother Blessing (Blessing Way) is then come take a look into our lovely gathering of women.
Basically, it’s a way to honor, encourage and love on a women at her time prior to giving her. It’s showing her that she has a strong village of support from the women around her. Spending time reading beautiful words to her, pampering her with relaxing foot baths, painting affirmation flags for her birth space and so much more! Oh and of course, delicious food!
Rather than the usual focus on materialistic items (baby gifts) and games about the baby, this is a time to spend in connection to prepare for birth. Positive stories are spoken and lots of love given!
We are wishing you all the best in your beautiful birth Edolbina.
You are a rockstar!
Also, want to give a shout-out to Lydja with Hourglass Birth Photography for using her talents to capture this event!
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Agency providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
On Saturday we picked Oakley up and we went to one of the trade shows at Tradex. We walked around there for 2 hours and I was definitely contracting, but I was fine. I figured, awesome, early labor, my body is going to do this on its own this time! Woohoo.
So on Sunday, we went for lunch with my family, I was still contracting, but whatever right… Ross suddenly was feeling sick, and started being a grouch. Great, an annoying sick husband, and I’m the one in labor! Day continues on no difference, but still contracting randomly.
Monday comes, we had no plans, we just hung out at home. But wow, Oakley was SO CLINGY. She would not leave my side! I can’t remember anything that happened that day except that Ross was man sick and Oakley was crazy.
By 10pm my contractions were coming about 10 mins apart, they were a little more painful then before, but I was still cool. Ross and I got into a big argument at 1am, mostly because he was man sick and Oakley was STILL AWAKE.
I called Miranda (my doula) to come over, I don’t really know why I called her, because I wasn’t even convinced I was in active labor. But because my emotions were overboard, I figured I needed someone to talk to and vent to and I also figured she would know if this was the real deal, or still early labor.
Miranda arrived about 2:30am. We went for a walk, I vented, she made me laugh, she let me decompress and I felt better. But still contracting. But I was still able to laugh, walk, talk, etc. We thought Ross might be able to get Oakley to sleep while I was gone, but nope, she was still awake. All 4 of us went for a walk, how funny would that be, look out your window at 3am and you see 3 adults and a 1.5 year old just walking around like it’s the middle of the afternoon….
Anyways, we return home and Miranda convinces me that I need to get Oakley to sleep, once she is asleep, and I get some sleep, and relax… then hopefully my body will ramp up and maybe tomorrow labor will start. So I laid in bed with Ross at 345, I nursed Oakley, it was awful. My aversion with her was so bad. I had to grit my teeth and bear through it. All of a sudden I had 2 back to back very bad strong contractions. I had to squeeze Ross’ hand, and I said to him “OMG THIS IS IT, and if THIS IS IT, I CAN’T DO IT, this HURTS”.
It must have calmed down for a minute because I posted on FB at 4am on the dot… and then Oakley let go of my boob.. and my water broke!!!! Right there in bed. I must have yelled or something because Miranda came running in, and she helped me get through the next contraction while my water was breaking.
I got out of bed and into the bathroom, and within minutes I told Ross and Miranda that I had to PUSH! I think we were all in shock at this point. Miranda got Ross to call the midwife, and then 911. I reached in and I could touch his head, he was right there!
I asked Miranda if she ever delivered a baby, and she said not yet! And I said me either but lets do it. I don’t remember very much after this, I remember Miranda was talking to me. But I have no idea what she was saying. I remember Ross rushing in and out of the bathroom because he had no cell service in there!
Weirdest but most awesome thing was when I got down on all 4s, I could feel Cyrus coming down, and then going up with contractions. It was the most amazing feeling. I didn’t experience that feeling when I pushed Oakley out, probably because I was on my back (ps– that’s just a dumb pushing position!!!).
I wasn’t even pushing, he was just coming !!! Next thing I know he was out! Ross caught him, and then Miranda pulled him up front onto my chest. He didn’t cry for a split second and I worried.. and then he cried. It was awesome. He was perfect. A few mins after he was born I said WHAT TIME WAS HE BORN!!!? haha, we all guessed 4:32am, so that’s what we went with.
911 showed up and said Happy Birthday to little Cyrus. they clamped his cord and Ross cut it. Then we just hung out in the bathroom, waiting for Heather the midwife.
She came, and then we moved to the couch, where I nursed Cyrus for the first time, and Heather gave me a stitch.
My mom showed up… she was called when my water broke. She thought she was coming to watch Oakley because my water broke. She was confused why she wasn’t meeting us at the hospital, Ross forgot to tell her that the baby was coming NOW. So when she walked in, I was butt naked on the couch, holding my baby!!! She waltzes in with her coffee, and was shocked.
Then after a few hours everyone was gone, and it was just me and my little family.
I never imagined having a home birth, but it was amazing. I don’t have the words. It was unbelievable. You’d think this situation would be scary, but it wasn’t. it was calm, it was relaxed. It was perfect.
Cyrus Charles Slater