Childbirth Doula Kitchener-Waterloo

We provide doula support and advocacy for moms and partners in Waterloo Region

Pregnancy, birth and the early days and weeks of parenthood can be a vulnerable and emotional time. Everyone has an opinion (along with a horror story) of what your plans should be. Due to the range of emotions and overwhelm that being in labour creates, it is important for you and your family to feel safe and supported during this process.

You may have heard the word DOULA before, but like many people not know exactly what this means.

To understand what a Doula does during birth, imagine going on a safari. You would not go to a wild game park without a tour guide. You would most likely meet with the guide first and let them know what animals you hope or prefer to see. The tour guide will do their best to help you only see the monkeys and giraffes and avoid the lions. If you do see the lions, your tour guide will reassure you and keep you as comfortable as if you only saw the monkeys and giraffes.

As birth experiences and preferences can be so vastly different, support can look very different from family to family. As birth tour guides, we spend time with you during your pregnancy to get to know you and what your preferences and hopes are for birth and early postpartum. In addition to our prenatal appointments to prepare for birth, we offer unlimited phone, text, and email support.

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Is A Doula Right For Me?

Do You Feel...

Nervous or anxious about your upcoming birth? Worried about how your birth journey will unfold?

Do You Want...

Someone who knows you well and will be by your side for the duration of your labour?

Do You Crave...

Feeling calm, supported, prepared, and ready for birth?

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We bring two “toolboxes” to assist at your birth.

One is our Doula bag that has massage tools, rebozo scarves, essential oils, TENS machine, and many other items that can offer natural pain management and support.

The other “toolbox” is our knowledge of birth, different positions and movements for labour, mindfulness and breathing techniques, and ways to reassure mom and partner. What we use is different and unique to each birth. We may crack jokes with one couple while massaging moms lower back, and sing lullabies and give foot rubs at the next birth.

The guidance and advice we received from Bronwyn and Kathy were invaluable - both leading up to labour and also postpartum. I had the birth that I wanted and the support I needed afterwards which was amazing. Would 100% recommend everyone to have a doula for their upcoming birth.

- Jennifer R.

Our Role

As Doulas, we see our role as working with both mom AND partner (or other labour support people such as close friends or family who will be present at the birth). During birth, we make sure that both of you are staying hydrated and nourished, and that the partner can take breaks as needed. If either of you is nervous or unsure of what is happening, we offer explanations and reassurance. By working with us, the partner can participate in the birth as much as he or she feels comfortable while knowing that mom feels supported through the whole experience.

Our Care

Doulas offer a different type of care than that of medical caregivers. We provide emotional, physical and informational support. We do not do any medical checks, procedures, or deliver babies. Often we are the first to support our clients. Clients can call on us to come to their birthplace whenever they feel they need assistance whereas medical care providers attend once the client is in active labour. We are comfortable attending hospital or midwife-attended home births.

Our Support

We provide support no matter what your birth preferences are or how your labour unfolds. We will never tell you what you should or should not do, but will tell you the pros and cons for each option based on evidence-based information. We can explain further, what is happening in any given situation and provide information to encourage you or your partner to ask the right questions, ensuring everyone is on the same page and you feel empowered in whatever decisions you need to make.

Let's Connect

We know that selecting a Doula is a very personal decision. That's why we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. We connect via phone or video chat to discuss what type of support you are looking for and how we can help. It's your opportunity to ask questions and get a sense if we're a good fit.

Bronwyn and Katie were supportive, respectful, and made both my husband and I feel comfortable. They found a beautiful balance between inspiring confidence in my ability to have my desired natural birth while also instilling confidence there would be full non-judgment and support if I chose an epidural for any reason.

- Hannah S.

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Learn more about the Balancing From Birth To Baby Team

Our Team

Our Doulas work in a “shared-care” team model, rotating on-call time for births with client appointments. By working with a team of two doulas, you have the benefits of the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of more than just one person. You also have the benefit of knowing that someone is always on call in case you need support earlier than your due date. We take turns being on call for several days at a time so you always have a refreshed doula available to attend to you during your labour. You will receive a copy of our on-call schedule for the time period when your labour will occur as well as an invite to our google calendar that features this schedule.

Communication: All text and email support are done as group communication with your team. Both of us respond therefore giving you different perspectives and wisdom to help you make decisions and feel more comfortable with any issues that may arise during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. 

Appointments: We attend your pre and postpartum appointments equally, giving you an opportunity to know us individually. Again, we update each other on any appointments with you so that each doula is informed about your needs and care.

Hands down, I'm super happy that we use Bronwyn and Kathy for our second birth. We didn't have a doula for our first child so it was very clear to us the second time around how big of an impact having a doula can have.

- Jake W.

Let's Connect

We know that selecting a Doula is a very personal decision. That's why we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. We connect via phone or video chat to discuss what type of support you are looking for and how we can help. It's your opportunity to ask questions and get a sense if we're a good fit.

FAQ

A Doula is a trained, non-medical, emotional, and physical labour support person who assists you and your family during your labour, birth, and the early postpartum period. To learn more about what a Doula is, read our blog post HERE that answers this more in-depth.

A Doula offers emotional, physical, and informational support for their clients. A midwife offers many of these same qualities, however, it is the midwife that will deliver the baby and perform the necessary medical examinations throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. A Doula does not do any medical checks or procedures (such as fetal heartbeat checks, blood pressure checks, vaginal exams, etc). Depending on your labour, your Doula usually arrives at your birth before your midwife does. You can call on your Doula to come to your birthplace whenever you feel you need her whereas a midwife attends to your needs once you are in active labour.

We see our role as working with both mom and partner (or other labour support people such as close friends or family members) before, during, and after labour. During prenatal sessions, we help our clients try different positions and natural pain management techniques so that you have a good idea of what works for mom and how the partner can support her. During birth, we make sure that both mom and partner are staying hydrated, nourished, and that partner is able to take breaks as needed. If the partner is nervous or unsure of what is happening with mom we can offer explanations and reassurance.  By having a Doula the partner can participate in the birth as much as he or she feels comfortable while making sure that mom feels supported through the whole experience. During the postpartum period, our Doulas are able to help partners process the birth experience if they need, give tips on supporting mom with breastfeeding, and teach about baby care. Some of the partners we have worked with before have felt initially skeptical about having a Doula. All of them have later shared with us how helpful it was to have her with them during the labour.

As a Doula, we have two “toolboxes”. One is our Doula bag that has massage tools, rebozo scarves, essential oils, a TENS machine, and many other items that can offer natural pain management. Our other “toolbox” is our knowledge of birth, different positions, and movements you can use to get through labour, mindfulness and breathing techniques, and ways to reassure mom and partner if needed. What we use at a birth from these toolboxes is different and unique to each experience. We may crack jokes with one couple while massaging moms lower back, and sing lullabies and give foot rubs at the next birth. 

We do not offer discounts or variations from our packages because on-call time is the same whether we offer pre and postpartum care. It is very important for our standard of care to include the prenatal appointments as we practice what labour will look like and this gives our doula team, as well as the clients, a good sense of what works specifically for them. This eliminates guesswork during the actual labour. It is also valuable to have the postpartum care to help support you in whichever way you may need while you get to know your new baby.

You will need to check your insurance package. Many benefits programs that have flex packages will cover all or a portion of the Doula fees. We always ask that clients submit our invoices either way. The more often that insurance companies see this as a need the sooner it will be included in benefits packages.

Doulas are not regulated in Canada. However, most Doulas are trained and certified by recognized organizations.  You can learn more about our Doulas backgrounds and training HERE.

We have liability coverage for both our Birth and Postpartum Doula services.

At the two prenatal visits that our Basic package offers, your Doula will spend time trying out different natural pain management techniques, movements, positions, and mindfulness techniques to help in labour. This gives us a good sense of what works well for you and your partner and how she can best support you when the big day comes. She will also explore your birth hopes and fears as well as discuss any other issues that may come up. 

Postpartum visits can vary. We can discuss how you feel about the birth. We can take care of your baby so you can sleep or get a shower, help with breastfeeding, or teach you how to care for a baby. We will also do light housework such as dishes, and laundry.

While a Doula is an advocate for you, we are unable to speak on you or your partner’s behalf to your medical caregivers. We can explain further what is happening in any given situation and provide information to encourage mom or partner to ask the right questions, ensuring everyone is on the same page and you feel empowered in whatever decisions you need to make. As professional Doulas,  we will never tell you what you should or should not do, but will tell you the pros and cons for each option based on evidence-based information.

In many cases, you are not always able to get an epidural as soon as you want one. While you are waiting, your Doula is able to continue using natural pain management techniques to help alleviate your discomfort. Once you receive the epidural she will continue to provide emotional support. She will also help mom move from side to side for optimal fetal positioning and do massage for mom as her skin can get dry during an epidural. Your Doula can continue to offer informational support if any other decisions arise. 

Whether a cesarean birth is planned or not a Doula can still help. Your Doula is able to stay with you before you are taken to the OR. She can keep you and your partner calm and answer any questions you have. This can be an emotional time period. After the cesarean, she will be in the recovery room and can help with breastfeeding and bonding with the baby. If the baby needs to be taken to the NICU your Doula can stay with mom while the partner goes with the baby so that mom is not alone.

We take turns being on call for several days at a time so you always have a refreshed Doula available to attend to you during your labour. If your labour is longer than 24 hours, the other Doula will take over, ensuring that you always have a rested Doula that you know and feel comfortable with to support you. We still retain the services of a backup Doula in the case that we are not able to attend your labour right away. We will share your back-up Doula’s contact information and bio so that you can meet with her before your birth if you so wish.