Exercise in Pregnancy Part One: It Does Your (and Your Baby’s) Body Good!

As a fun addition to my doula and childbirth education work, I have recently been training to become a pregnancy fitness educator. Pretty soon I’m going to start offering classes for moms who want to stay fit and limber during their pregnancies, and who want a little guidance, as well as a group to join, in order to do it. All of the reading that I’ve been doing as part of this training has made one thing abundantly clear – exercise during pregnancy is (for the vast majority of women) a good thing. Today I’ll be talking about the physical benefits of exercise for mom and baby (mom may be doing the exercise, but everybody wins!) and then in part two of this post I’ll delve into the less well-known, but equally important concept of body trust and why it matters for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Continue reading

Warm and Fuzzy: New Client Testimonial

Another testimonial from a wonderful client. There’s nothing like the privilege of being invited into someone’s birth experience.

We looked at a number of Doulas before selecting Heather. She provided exceptional care and support throughout our unexpected excessively long labour. Her skills and wisdom, especially in regards to pain management were especially helpful. Over four days she became part of our home and helped us to welcome our little girl into the world. We would highly recommend Heather as a Doula, she offers exceptionally good value, especially considering her extensive knowledge base.

 

Birth Without Fear

'They felt comfortable knowing that they had two knowledgeable and experienced midwifes and a doula to support them,' explained Ms Dives

Photo credit: Jackie Dives

I came across a beautiful set of photographs this morning, in the UK Daily Mail and wanted to share them with all of you. Check out the full article and photo series here.

Taken by fellow doula, Jackie Dives, these pictures really capture the beauty of a home birth. There is a level of bliss that seems only attainable in birth when a woman is truly comfortable, cared for and respected. It’s a pretty hard thing to achieve in a hospital setting but I see it every single time at home.

Obviously, home birth is only right for those who really want it – in other words, if you’ve done your research and you feel you’d be more comfortable in a hospital, then that’s where you should be – but for those who prefer it and who work with their midwives and are deemed good candidates for home birth, let no one call their choice “wild or erratic” again.

To learn more about home birth and the studies that have been done to determine its safety, check out my post (Home)Birth. Is. Safe.

Available Now: The Link’s Summer Solstice issue …

…which contains an article I wrote on doula support!

If you live in Northumberland, Peterborough, Hastings or Prince Edward Counties pick up your copy today! If not, check it out online, here. My article is on page 24 and my gorgeous new ad, courtesy of Shoshana Coodin is on page 25.

Summer Solstice issue - click to view online

Now Serving Northumberland County!

Happy Saturday everyone!

I’ve finally done it! At the beginning of July I officially moved to Cobourg. I am so thrilled to be here. Cobourg is such a lovely little town; I’m going to the beach every day and we have bunnies in the yard. What’s not to love?

I’m still working with clients in the east end of Toronto (I’m on-call for a couple of Toronto clients right now as a matter of fact!), but will now also be serving clients in Northumberland County and surrounding counties (e.g. Peterborough County, Prince Edward County and eastern parts of the GTA such as Oshawa and Ajax). I will also be continuing to teach group prenatal education classes – primarily weekends in Toronto, along with weekends and weekday evening classes in Cobourg, Peterborough and possibly other nearby towns as well.

I’m not taking on any more clients for the summer or early fall at this point, but if you or someone you know is expecting October through February, I have availability at those times. I’ll keep you posted on my group classes once I’ve got myself a teaching space.

REMINDER: BirthFire is this Friday!

 

 

BirthFire_banner

Don’t forget that BirthFire – originally scheduled for May 10th, but postponed due to rain – is this Friday, June 14th at 7pm in Dufferin Grove Park. We’ll be at the main campfire site (the one nearest the rink house).

Check out the website for more info. Remember, this is an event for anyone* with an interest in birth, not only those who have given birth themselves. All are welcome, regardless of whether you wish to share something or simply to listen and support others. I hope to see you there!

*We would like to remind expectant mothers that there may be upsetting stories and information shared at this event. No one will be turned away, but we do not encourage pregnant women to attend, out of concern that negative birth stories may adversely affect your mindset as you prepare for your own labour and birth.

FAQ Fridays!

As you may have noticed, I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. It’s been a busy time for me, with classes and clients, as well as other life-stuff going on (nothing major, just moving to a new town and getting married!), and I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to.

As I don’t see this trend reversing any time soon, I thought I’d try my hand at a short (haha), once-weekly series to keep me honest. Hence, FAQ Fridays! Every week (on Friday, obviously), I will tackle a common (or ‘frequently asked’) question about doulas, birth, babies and what  have you. Feel free to drop me a line if you have a question you’d like me to answer!


FAQ #1:

How is a doula different from a midwife? Continue reading

New testimonial!

Another heartwarming client testimonial. I feel so honoured to have been a part of this birth.

Hiring Heather was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy. I had thought about a Doula early in my pregnancy, but hesitated because I didn’t know much about what she did and I didn’t know where to find one. About two weeks before I was due, a friend suggested I consider a Doula and gave me Heather’s number. After a brief conversation on the phone with Heather, I knew I had made the right decision. She made me think about things I hadn’t previously thought of and encouraged me to ask questions at my next doctor’s appointment.

I was very impressed with her prenatal knowledge as well as her experience with delivery. She always made me feel like I was in control over what would happen to me during delivery, but I was confident that she’d be the advocate I needed in the delivery room. Her calm demeanour and soft voice carried me through every contraction and provided the encouragement I needed to have a natural, drug-free birth. Even though I had only met her twice before the birth (baby decided to come early) I felt like I’d known her for years. Her presence at the birth offered a great deal of relief to my husband, allowing him to take care of logistics, all the while knowing that I was in good hands.

One of the things I appreciate most about Heather is that she goes out of her way to find resources to support us, whether it be how to deal with baby’s first infection or community groups for mom and baby. She is a wealth of information! Thank you for everything, Heather.

It’s MINE! Shared decision-making and evidence-based practice in childbirth

This is a brief, but interesting interview with Maureen Corry, MPH, Executive Director of Childbirth Connection on the subject of shared decision making.

Right off the bat, Corry mentions exactly what came to mind for me when I was confronted with the term “shared decision making”. She says,

…we’ve heard some concerns from women that shared decision making means giving up some control of decision making to the care provider – essentially a move away from informed consent and refusal. Because of the history of childbirth in the United States, and many troubling practices that still happen today, childbearing women are justified in being concerned about their rights.

Continue reading