Doula

Pregnancy Care.

Doula Services in Nanaimo:

A doula is someone who specializes in helping women through pregnancy and childbirth, one of life’s most beautiful transitions. Historically, women from all cultures have assisted and cared for mothers through their pregnancies, births, and post partum transitions, regardless of whether it is a mother’s first birth or one of many. These tender times are a special opportunity for families to bond, and to grow together in love and understanding.

A doula offers her experience, knowledge, and training as support as you go through your own unique birthing experience. The transition to motherhood begins well before the baby is born and a doula’s role is to help prepare you for this, to answer questions during your pregancy, and to provide emotional and physical support. This special relationship of trust helps you experience this amazing milestone in a natural, satisfying, and healthy way. The role of a doula during your pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum are flexible and you determine the involvement you prefer.

What to expect for your first visit.

Your first visit is an opportunity for you meet the doula at Reed Family Wellness Centre, and to see if the relationship feels compatible. This visit is primarily a consultation, not an examination. You’ll be asked to complete an intake form with some information about you, your general health, and some obstetric history. As the nature of the doula relationship is quite personal, it’s important that you and your partner feel comfortable so that you can ask questions freely. If after the consultation you feel comfortable to continue, we’ll talk about your pregnancy so far, and what kind of birthing experience you’d like to have in order to help you lay the ground work for a birthing plan.

Although we can’t plan for the birth of your baby with absolute certainty, we can anticipate the atmosphere you’d prefer, whether you plan to have your baby in the hospital or at home, and address any concerns or fears that you might have. Your experience is unique and your doula can help you feel prepared in a way that lets you feel supported physically, and emotionally.Your doula works with you to alleviate your concerns and help you to anticipate your baby’s birth in a positive and healthy way.  She is available by telephone or email and can provide you with well researched information to answer any questions you have along the way.

The number of visits you want to schedule with your doula is up to you, but generally begins in the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy. Some of the skills you’ll learn are calming techniques using breath control, comfort poses, and practical tips that can be helpful in each phase of labour. Other topics you may want to talk about with your doula include knowing your feelings about medical procedures such as episiotomy, epidurals, or c-section. You can also talk about whether you are wanting to have someone documenting the experience through photos or video, whether you want to have music playing, or maybe some alternate lighting choices.

What are the Benefits of Having a Doula?

A doula can play an important role during your pregnancy for both you and your partner.  The relationship between a doula and a mother-to-be is a special bond, and offers a safe place to share your feelings about the pregnancy and the changes that are happening to you both physically and emotionally.  The training that a doula receives gives them a very unique and thorough understanding of giving birth, and they are able to answer your questions that may come up between appointments with your doctor.

The time you spend with your doula during your pregnancy helps you and your partner prepare for this life changing experience. Your doula can help you to plan for the kind of atmosphere you’d like to have during the birth, and will work with you to understand your preferences. A doula can provide positional coaching to support you during labour, the comfort of massage, emotional support, and an objective opinion that can make you feel more secure. A doula can also be there for partners who may appreciate having some guidance to  participate in the birth in way that’s comfortable for both of you.

A doula’s focus is not limited to the birth itself, but continues to focus on the mother’s health and wellness through the first few weeks.  Just as it did during pregnancy, your body goes through tremendous changes after the birth. A post partum doula helps to ensure these days are a special time for mom and baby and is there to support you as your body and your emotions adjust to changes in hormones, expectations, depression, breast-feeding challenges, new sleep patterns. With your wellness in mind, she ensures that you are eating well, getting enough rest, and feeling comfortable caring for your new baby as you recover.

How many visits should I plan on?

The number of visits you have with your doula is up to you.  Some options include:

Consultation: This is a meet and greet kind of introduction to see if the doula is the right fit for you and you feel comfortable with them.

Reed Family Wellness Centre Visits:  Once you’ve selected your doula, you can schedule meetings at the centre to discuss your health, your obstetric history, lifestyle and lifestyle changes. We’ll also discuss the birth plan you envision, and talk about techniques that can reduce stress, and relieve discomfort.

Appointment with Your Caregiver: Once you’ve met with your doula, you’ll want to share your birth plan with your doctor or midwife to ensure that it is supported by their facilities and policies to avoid surprises or disappointments later.

Support During Labour: Your doula provides support during your labour, and is your advocate during that time to ensure that the preferences of our birth plan are being respected. It may also include support to help with  breastfeeding and bonding support.

Postpartum Visits: Having a baby can feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster, and it can help to have someone to provide support as you and your family adjust to having the new baby at home.

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