Doulas are as much of a support to your partner as they are to you, the labouring and birthing partner. My services let your partner focus on you instead of logistics, and I help you connect intimately with one another through this important and life changing experience.
Midwives are doing incredibly important work, and we are privileged to get to work alongside them. Midwives are responsible for the health of the birthing person and babe, however, so they must prioritise medical tasks, charting, and other essential duties while attending a birth. This means that a midwife’s ability to stay focused on the emotional needs of a client, on what the laboring person needs during each contraction, can be limited. Doulas and midwives work very well together and compliment each other, and allow a holistic and comprehensive support system for the birthing person as well as the partner, if the birthing person has one present.
Absolutely! How and where you choose to give birth is up to you (although doulas do not support planned unassisted births). And remember, what we want doesn’t always work out in labour and childbirth. Whatever happens and whatever you decide, I am there to provide you support throughout the birth process.
That is a decision for you to make. Whatever your preferences, I work with you to ensure that, with accurate information and good support, you feel able to make the best decisions for yourself and your baby. I know that women have fought for the right to have pain medication during labour and childbirth, and that women have also fought for the right to birth naturally. Similarly, folks have fought for the ability to birth in a hospital, and at home with midwifery support. My job is to give you accurate information to make informed decisions about the kind of birth you want.
Unfortunately, no—there are so many variables in birth, and no one can guarantee any outcome, regardless of what you do to prepare. The only thing you can truly control during labour and birth is how you feel, and a doula can be instrumental in helping you to stay focused and connected to yourself and this truth. Critically, a doula is also incredibly useful to have as a support to help you adjust as and when circumstances change, and help remind you to ask the questions you want in order to be an active participant in decision-making around what happens to your body and your babe.
Doulas are an important service that should be available to everyone. Unfortunately, doulas are not yet covered by OHIP and so the cost of this invaluable expertise must be covered another way. Every birth that a doula attends and makes a more positive experience helps build the case for the value of our services.
And we are working on it…some wonderful doula colleagues and I are proud to have started a nonprofit, the Doula Support Foundation, that seeks to provide sustainable doula services to all those who would like them but can’t afford them. Check out the Doula Support Foundation for more info!