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Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Get To Know Our Team! Pt 5

by Heidi

Candace is the newest member of our team! Not only is she bringing her amazing doula skills to our team BUT she is also going to be bringing her AWESOME photography skills too! We are so excited to announce our new BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY add-on to our doula services. Stay tuned for more information on this! But for the meantime lets get to know Candace <3

Tell me about yourself:

I’m  a full time mom, but I like to include my family in as many of areas of my life – being anywhere outside, road trips, travelling anywhere in the world, photography, surfing. I also enjoy a glass of red wine and a good board game.

What is your favourite meal?

Real, authentic, northern Chinese food. Or Thai food. Or some real street tacos.

What is your spirit animal and why?

I have no idea. I’ve always been drawn to lions – strength and courage, loyalty and protection.

Favourite Colour?

Blue

If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

Pay off student loans, put money away for kids, design my dream home, travel to a new country every year. Secretly deposit money into peoples bank accounts who need it.

What are you watching on Netflix right now?

At this exact moment, Jane the virgin. When I’m editing- how i met your mother.  Stranger things & Australian Instant Hotel

What as the last book you read?

Rising strong by Brene Brown

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

My great Grandma – people say we are a lot alike but I only had met her when i was a young toddler

What would you do if you knew you could not fail ?

Write a book

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

My camera – being able to capture real and raw moments, brokenness, smiles, joy, laughter, tears – everything.

What makes you felt most empowered?

Being with people who believe in me and what I do. Looking back on hardships I’ve been through and how strong they made me.

How did you know you wanted to be a doula?

– oh man – I just KNEW.  After the first birth I was part of, I was hooked. The intensity, the love, the teamwork, the strength, just, ALL OF IT.  After I had my first baby, the support I had was the driving force that held me up when I felt like giving up, and i wanted others to have the same.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

When the first cry is heard! The post birth talk – “wow, I didn’t think I’d get through , but look, I DID IT”

What is the hardest part of your job?

Being on call with kids is hard! When I’m on call, my kids are on call, my husband is on call, my mom (the babysitter) is on call.

How do you wind down after attending a birth?

 A bath, cuddling my own kids, and sleep.

What is crucial for every woman to understand about her birthing experience?

You have options options options. Have a support team that doesn’t have hidden agendas or a biased opinion on birth – a team that supports you and your birth plan. Your body was created for birth – from conception, to nourishing and growing a baby in utero, to labour – every part of the journey is meant to happen and your body was made for it.

Get To Know Our Team ! Pt3

by Heidi

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

Favourite Colour?

Green

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?

Educated

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

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Get To Know Our Team ! Pt 2

by Heidi

Danika … words just don’t do justice to how passionate and driven this woman is about her clients! She loves on her birthing mommas so much! She wants to ensure that each one of them know that they are her priority and feel supported. She loves empowering her moms and cheering them on when things start to get tough during labour. When you become Danika’s client, you become apart of her extended family <3


Tell me about yourself:

Hi everyone! I’m Danika, one of the birth doulas with Yellow Bird Birth. I’m 34 yrs old and I’ve been married to my husband James for 10 yrs this September (together for 16). We have 3 awesome kids, our oldest son Liam just turned 9, our middle guy Ben is 6 and our little girl Mya is 3 (so we are knee deep in the parenting trenches, lol!). Other than having those 3 monkeys, being a birth doula is absolutely the best thing I have ever done with my life. I have also been a Youth & Family Worker for 12.5 years. I am contracted by the Ministry of Children & Family Development to support high risk teens who are in need of safe, suitable housing. 

What is your favourite meal?

 Hands down my Mum-inlaws roast dinner. My husband is from England so my MIL makes a mean roast dinner complete with homemade yorkshire pudding and gravy *insert heart eyes here*

What is your spirit animal and why? 

I have always loved Mountain Gorillas. I’m not sure if they’re my spirit animal, but they’re super cool all the same. 

Favourite Colour? 

Green

If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

Oh man my answer is so boring and adult, haha! I would pay off my mortgage, put some money away for my kids to go to post-secondary, and go on a super fun family trip! 

What are you watching on Netflix right now? 

I just finished season 2 of Good Girls. It was awesome!

What as the last book you read?

The Pilot’s Wife. An oldie but a goodie.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

 I would love to have dinner with my maternal Grandpa and Grandma together. My Grandpa passed away when I was 11 and we were so close. My Grandma is still with us, she will be 83 in September! I would just love to sit with both of them together and listen to all the stories of when they were my age raising 4 kids.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail ?

Quit my day job and go full time working as a doula.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

If we’re being silly – coffee. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. #coffeeislife. If we’re being serious – my support network. My husband, my children, my family, and close friends. Nothing is worth anything without them.

What makes you felt most empowered?

Being a good advocate. Advocacy is the piece people often don’t know as much about when it comes to being a doula. It’s not just all rubbing backs and filling up the essential oil diffuser, haha! (All though that part is important too!). I am so passionate about informed consent. It is so important to me that the people I support know what their options are, they’re well informed of the benefits and potential risks, and they are able to make a decision that works best for their family. Advocating on behalf of my clients is something I’m proud to do and it definitely makes me feel empowered. 

How did you know you wanted to be a doula?

I attended my first birth nearly 13 years ago and it sincerely changed my life. I was with a great friend while she gave birth to her daughter and every aspect of it was so incredible to me. From that moment on I knew birth work was something I felt so connected and devoted to.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I never grow tired of witnessing women become mothers. There are so many things about being a doula I absolutely love, but holding space with someone while they walk such an amazing journey and seeing a women’s strength despite how vulnerable she may be feeling, it never gets old. 

What is the hardest part of your job?

 Never knowing when the babies will arrive! Haha. Honestly, I love the unpredictability of birth work, but my husband is a planner so I won’t lie, it stresses him out a little when I’m like “Gotta go!”. He has gotten much better at adapting to my schedule as I have become busier. I am so grateful for him, I couldn’t do this job without his support. 

How do you wind down after attending a birth?

Depends what time I’m leaving the birth, lol. If it’s 3 am, I go home and hit the hay. If it’s during the day I may grab a coffee,  have something to eat, debrief the birth with my husband and most likely have a nap. 

What is crucial for every woman to understand about her birthing experience?

You. Can. Do. This. Whatever “this” looks like for your birth, you can do it. You are so unbelievably resilient. There is a strength inside you you never knew existed and you will find it. 

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

Its YOUR Birth.

by Heidi

 

You will have the birth you and your baby both need.

That statement resonated with me as I was preparing to birth my third and final baby. I was starting to get discouraged, here I am planning on having a Vba2c ( vaginal birth after 2 caesarians) and I was overdue. My first darling baby was born promptly on her due day ( 56 hour labour ending in a C-section), my second was born 11 days early ( 36 hrs of labour ending in a C-section), I knew the longer I went over due the chance of having a 3rd C-section loomed over my head. The odds were against me and I wanted to prove that I could have a vaginal birth, I wanted to prove to all the nurses and the obstetricians that I wasn’t crazy for attempting.

I was trying every which way to induce labour. I ate my 6 or 7 dates diligently since I was 35wks, I ate all the spicy food, climbed all the stairs until my legs turned to jello, drank litres of red raspberry tea, kept up with my evening primrose capsules both orally and vaginally, and even had sex every day… sometimes multiple times if my husband was lucky. Nothing worked.

It was when I was at my acupuncture appointment that I realized I needed to stop being so uptight about trying to get this baby earth side and start focusing on what I needed from this birth.  I needed to have confirmation that I didn’t take the easy way out with my previous births by consenting to a caesarian. I needed a reminder that each baby came the way they were meant. I needed to trust my instincts and my ability to make informed decisions about what steps to take during birth.

My c-section scar started having shooting pains like I never felt before, I KNEW was time. I had to make my trek down the highway to the neighbouring city as my local hospital was on diversion. I was triaged, baby was being monitored, and the OB came in to make sure my uterus wasn’t rupturing (that’s the risk when trying for a vaginal birth after a c-section). Everything looked fine. He asked me if I wanted to have a baby tonight. I looked at my husband and with a clear mind I said yes! I didn’t argue or fight for a VBA2C. I knew in that moment I needed to have my baby in my arms. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, 6 days overdue was long enough.

I had the birth I needed, not the birth I planned and dreamed of. I experienced the weeks of false labour that some women get and the frustration of the contractions not turning into anything significant. I experienced the frustration of being overdue. I knew healing from a 3rd caesarian was going to be hard, I knew baby needed to be born this way… I just didn’t know why. I trusted my instincts, no one forced me to have the c-section. I chose it and I’m proud of the choice I made.

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

Dear 3rd trimester Momma

by Heidi

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s hard looking down and seeing what once was ankles, are now unrecognizable and have been consumed by these thick puffy cankles. Those sexy little sling back sandals you bought to match your dress are now impossible to fit, you might as well try and place a whole cow into a single sausage casing.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are tossing and turning each night trying to get to a good night’s rest. Sleep has become a foreign concept, and if another person comments on how tired you look, you may just burst into tears. Don’t they know that you now have a worn out path where your new hardwood floor once was because you have been pacing back and forth all night long. Pregnancy insomnia is such a struggle.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That there is nothing glamorous about the end of pregnancy. There is no shame in wearing those adult diapers or thick panty liners you are trying to hide under your jeans! Can’t be caught unprepared for a miscalculated sneeze or cough accident or better yet, JUST INCASE your water breaks in public? No one wants to be THAT pregnant lady.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are wanting to hide away in your home. If you receive one more text you or call you asking if baby is born yet, you will take a sledge hammer to your phone! And if another stranger (or friend) comments how huge you look, they may be unapologetically drowned in an unholy dose of pregnancy hormone rage that can’t be tamed.

WE UNDERSTAND:

The spilt juice on the floor will most likely be there tomorrow. After all bending, down to clean it may mean you’re on the floor for an extended amount of time, so you want to plan your day around cleaning that spill so you can be prepared to clean the baseboards, cupboards and fridge while your down there.

WE UNDERSTAND:

Waddling is no longer left to the penguins.

WE UNDERSTAND:

A crowded room is now your nemesis. No one likes sweat dripping down their back. Even if you had flashing lights and a wide load sign above your head, there is no way you’d be able to squeeze through the crowd, the classic “turn sideways, hold your breath and slide through” technique is no longer your friend. You either strategically find a space to spend your time (one that’s equally close to the food and beverages as it is to the bathroom but still in the cross breeze of the open windows), or your just ram your big O’ baby belly into people (making them feel as though it was they’re fault they bumped you) as you make your way across the room.

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s frustrating waiting to see if every Braxton hicks you feel is going to be “THE REAL DEAL” this time, or that you have inspected that toilet paper you wiped to see JUST MAYBE you lost your mucus plug or had your bloody show.

WE UNDERSTAND:

All these things listed above will only be a faint memory the moment your babe is placed on your chest for the very first time.  Those sling back sandals you never really liked anyways. Lack of sleep was just building up your endurance for all those late night feeds. Those adult diapers and panty liners, just gave you extra cushion when you sat on a hard chair, that’s the real reason you wore them. You’d never ACTUALLY take a sledge hammer to your phone, after all how else would you be able to baby spam all your friends and family?  Your fridge and floors has never been cleaner since being pregnant.  Who ever said you waddled was jealous of your pregnancy swagger!  Crowded rooms just gave you an excuses to get out of those non-essential events that where going to bore you anyways. And really, inspecting your toilet paper after ever use of the bathroom just gave you something to do to pass the time.

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

Prenatal Classes and Dads

by Heidi

“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!

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

by Heidi

We all have those mile long lists of things that need to get done before baby arrives, you know the one, it includes painting the nursery, making sure all the shelves are secured to the wall and cleaning supplies are out of reach of small children, stocking the freezer with ready-made meals, buying the newest and greatest baby gadget on the market, and packing the hospital bags.  Often we can get consumed by the ever growing list, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. We forget to take a deep breath, relax, and indulge in some self-care. For those of you who know me personally, know that I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third and am currently in the midst of buying and moving to a bigger home around the same time baby is due; the stress and anxiety going through my brain is ridiculous. The irony of this blog post is definitely not lost on me, I’ve been actually laughing at myself as I wrote this. So how can we as pregnant women de-stress and relax? It’s not like we can grab that glass of wine anymore..

 

Breathing Exercises

Its amazing how deep intentional breathes can relax your body and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. The best part is, breathing exercises can be done at any time or anywhere. When taking those deep through the nose breaths, you are increasing blood flow, improving posture, calming your nervous system (reducing the fight or flight response), and pausing in the midst of chaos to become focused and grounded. Bonus is, if you can learn to take deep intentional breathes while pregnant, it will become second nature and will help when you are riding those long waves of contractions when it’s time for labour, WIN- WIN!  Here is a very easy Breathing Technique I have been using called the 4-7-8 Method.

Get Outside and Exercise

Sunshine and Vitamin D is essential. The more fresh air you take in the more “clean” oxygen you are taking in which increases the serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, the happier you become. Going for a walk or any sort of exercise helps get those muscles moving, blood pumping, and help decrease any discomfort you are feeling such as backaches, relieves stress, and builds up stamina that is needed for the labour and delivery of your little on. Fresh air also gives you more energy and a clearer mind. After spending a few minutes outside you may notice an extra pep in your step and ready to take on the task at hand that was bogging you down a few minutes before.  Being able to get outside may not always be possible when we need it the most, so opening a window and taking some deep breaths while standing beside it is a great compromise.

 

Take a Bath

This one is my favourite. While it’s recommended not to take a bath that’s hot enough to raise our body temperatures to 102.2 degrees for longer than 10 minutes, a bath is a great way to wash all the anxiety and stress away. Turn the lights off, light some candles, play some of your favourite music, read a book or watch a movie, pour yourself some bubbly (bubble bath that is), and just relax back. Turn your mind off! Ignore the doorbell, and your phone. Soak in the ambiance, romance yourself. If you have any other children, this may be difficult, but I have had great success using this technique after mine have gone to bed for the night. My husband knows I needs a “mommy time out” and he is “mom duty” for the next hour or so!  

 

Be Productive

Sometimes getting down on all fours and scrubbing those stubborn stains off the baseboards or making some delicious backed goods (after all stressed spelled backwards is desserts) can be the best way for a person to work through their stress and anxiety. Bonus is if you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy as it’s said that being down on all fours can help shift baby into a great position for birth. It’s amazing how therapeutic scrubbing a floor or pounding down some risen dough is, for me at least, it’s when I do my best thinking, and am able to more often than not work out a solution for what is causing me to be stressed out or anxious. 

 

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why does the nursery have to be Pinterest perfect? Self-care is so important in any stage of life. If you can learn a way that works best for you to de-stress now, it will become a lifelong skill you can fall back on for the years to come. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women, but it also is a beautiful time to reflect and start bonding with your unborn child. So don’t let stress and anxiety control your pregnancy, take some time to enjoy the dessert 😉

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Why Write a Birth Plan?

by Heidi

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:
  1. What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
  2. Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
  3. Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
  4. Who do you want present at the birth?
  5. What positions do you want to labour in?
  6. Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
  7. Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
  8. In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
  9. Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
  10. Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
  11. Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
  12. Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
  13. Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
  14. Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
  15. 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.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Supportive Companions

by Heidi

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!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

 

Exciting Surrogacy News!

by Heidi

 

Exciting News!!

Hopefully you have been following along on Kara’s (YBB Part Owner/Manager) surrogacy journey on our Facebook/Instagram over the last few weeks.  After months of preparing with hormone injections, medications, blood work and ultrasounds it was finally time for the embryo transfer to happen! Amanda & Kara traveled down to Las Vegas to one of the best fertility clinics for the week.

We began with a very early morning of more blood work and then the actual transfer happening at noon! We posted a few videos of the procedure on our Facebook Page so everyone would understand all that goes into this process.  Honestly, it was quite quick AND the clinic Skyped in the Intended Father so he could be there to watch his little embryo start it’s journey.  It was a beautiful moment and we could actually see a flash on the ultrasound screen as the doctor made the transfer take place.  Truly magical!

A tradition following an embryo transfer for surrogates is to grab an order of McDonald’s fries on the way home! It’s said that it helps the embryo stick.  Who knows though?  Except….

IT WORKED!!  After spending 48 hours on bedrest following the procedure, we flew home and waiting for the day to find out the news.

More blood tests occurred and the news came in, Kara is officially pregnant with her first surrogate baby!!!!!! We are beyond excited for the family and that we are encouraged to share her story along the way with all of you who may be going through surrogacy or IVF journeys of your own.

Check out our Facebook Page for a video from Kara coming soon!

Yellow Bird Birth Series

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram