Come hear me speak tomorrow evening!

I will be speaking tomorrow evening at the Centre for Community Learning and Development¬†in Regent Park about the importance of a satisfying and empowering birth experience, doula support and how it can help get you there, and options for those in financial need who would like to have doula support. The talk is free and begins at 6pm. There will be tons of time for questions, so come armed ūüėČ

Come down and say hi!

Check out the poster for details

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Where Have I Been?

Wow, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted! Things have been busy, both personally and professionally and I’ve been neglecting my poor little blog.

In an attempt to remedy that, I thought I’d write a quick update post to let you all know what’s been going on in Doula-la Land…

  • I’m teaching a fabulous prenatal series at the Centre for Social Innovation. Yesterday was class 2 of 6 and I’m already having lots of fun with this group. I’ve got another series coming up in August that is only 1/3rd full so far, so if you’re expecting this fall, drop me a line for more info!
  • I’ve just formed a brand-spankin’ new partnership with Spadina Chiropractic Centre. Drs. Beth Croszman and Eva Chan are experienced chiropractors who are passionate about working with moms prenatally and postpartum, as well as with newborns. Hip pain? Back pain? Colic? These docs’ll sort you out in no time!
  • I’ve got several doula clients in the queue and am looking forward to being back on-call as of mid-June. If you’re looking for birth support for August, September, October and beyond, I still have some availability depending on your EDD. Remember, a preliminary meeting to discuss your options and individual needs carries no obligation!
  • I just recorded my first podcast yesterday! The brilliant and talented Desmond Cole is producing these for me and I’m super excited about the whole thing! I’ll be posting the finished podcast here once it’s ready for your listening pleasure. Hopefully this will become a regular feature on my site.
  • I’ve got a couple of community presentations coming up this month and next that I’ve been preparing for. I’ll be speaking to women in Regent Park (at the Centre for Social Innovation, Regent Park) on June 28th about the benefits of labour support and accessing doulas for reduced cost or for free. I will also be speaking at LAMP Community Health Centre in Etobicoke on July 9th (their July calendar hasn’t been posted yet, but keep your eye on their site for details). These talks will be specifically geared to women who want to learn more about what doulas do and why and who may be facing financial constraints in their ability to pay for labour support. I will also be touching on issues facing women who are uncomfortable with receiving care from male healthcare practitioners for religious or cultural reasons. If you’re interested in attending, drop me a line and I’ll send you more details, or you can get in touch with the powers that be at either of those two organizations for more info (see websites for contact info). Both talks will be free to attend and questions will be most welcome.
  • I’m also excited about a new cross-promotional partnership with Lila Yoga¬†in the Annex. Prepare your body for childbirth and meet other mothers-to-be in a safe space at prenatal yoga, or bring your baby for postnatal yoga to build strength and enjoy freeing movement while connecting with other moms and babies!

That about sums it up for me…good thing too, because I’m officially out of time. Off I run! Hope you are all well and enjoying the Spring!

Sometimes moving forward means taking a step back…

For quite some time now when a woman was nearing the end of her pregnancy and the baby was known to be in a breech position in the womb, her doctor automatically scheduled her for a Caesarean. Even in cases where the woman was seeing a midwife, that breech presentation led to a transfer of care and a scheduled Caesarean. It was believed that, despite the risks of major surgery, a birth via Caesarean was the safer choice for both mom and baby. In many cases, women were able to get their babies to turn – by using acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, moxabustion, pelvic tilts, swimming (complete with headstands in the pool!), visualizations and/or external versioning. Sometimes those stubborn babes would just turn right back around though, frustrating their moms who were hoping to avoid surgery. No one really knows why, but some babies just don’t want to come out head first. Sometimes they’re curled up and their bums present first (frank breech), sometimes their feet are the first thing to emerge (footling breech) and sometimes they lie sideways (transverse breech), but no matter what, if their heads weren’t positioned to come out first, their moms were booked in for surgery. Continue reading

In the news…

Check out this¬†article from yesterday’s Star about Birth Centres in Ontario.

Glad to see this issue getting such mainstream attention. Send an e-postcard to the Premier here!

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Get It Covered

Doula Fees and Health Benefits plans

This is a topic that I am actually hoping to write a longer piece about, hopefully for publication in a parenting magazine of some variety, but until I get around to finding someone who wants to print it, I figure a short post might get people talking and thinking.

Given what the research on doula support has¬†unequivocally shown – that women who have doulas for their births have significantly higher rates of satisfaction with their births, fewer unnecessary procedures or medications and lower rates of postpartum mood disorders – there are many people out there, myself included, who believe that every birthing woman should have a doula, just as every birthing woman in Ontario has a doctor or a midwife to attend their births. In addition to a woman’s feelings of satisfaction, and no doubt in some cases, connected to it, is the fact that doula-attended births also have significantly lower rates of medical intervention. Statistically speaking, women who have doulas have shorter, less painful labours and are significantly less likely to request pain medications, require assistance with forceps or a vacuum extractor or have Caesarean births. Obviously, first and foremost, this is great for the women (and their babies) who can afford to hire doulas, but it is also great news for the health-care system.¬†The cost of administering an epidural is about $2000.00 and a Caesarean birth costs two to three times more than a vaginal birth. When you consider that most doulas charge a fee that is somewhere between $500 and $1000 per birth, you can see how they could potentially save our healthcare system a lot of dollars, even if that healthcare system were paying for them. Which, in Canada, it is not.

When midwifery was first legislated and regulated as a profession in Ontario in 1994, one of the criteria that the groups who had been fighting for it were insistent upon was that it be accessible, meaning that there could be no restrictions based on a person’s financial constraints. In this province (though not in every province with regulated midwifery care) regulation came hand in hand with provincial coverage, meaning that women now have equal access (from a financial perspective) to both midwives and obstetricians. Now there are hopes that a similar arrangement might be developed for doula care. This would make the profession much more visible, as well as accessible. In the meantime though, what are you to do if you want a doula, but can’t afford the fees? Continue reading