Are you considering a doula in Kitchener-Waterloo or the surrounding area? The Doulas at Balancing Birth To Baby support both hospital births, as well as medically attend home births.
As birth experiences and preferences can be so vastly different, support can look very different from family to family. As Doulas, 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.
Your doula can guide you and your partner regarding different positions for comfort, or simply offer encouragement. We will always provide evidence-based information.
The first twelve weeks with baby, also known as the "fourth trimester", can be hard. You and your partner are likely to feel overwhelmed as you step into your new roles. While the feeling of overwhelm is normal with new parents, we, as Postpartum Doulas, help to ease that transition.
We come armed with experience and insight to address your concerns, answer your questions and lighten the load as you begin your journey into parenthood.
Without Bronwyn and Kathy's support, we would not really know what to do. Despite reading and watching all videos there are things you don't know or won't remember when the moment strikes. They helped both of us remain sane even after delivery.
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.
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.