Good thing we are a team of experienced Doulas! We are used to practicing patience as we wait for babies. That being said, never in our wildest dreams did we imagine practicing our "pause" for COVID-19.
Since mid March our profession has been on quite a rollercoaster! Pre-COVID Birth Doulas were welcome in all area hospitals, with all the unknowns of the novel coronavirus we were out, and currently we are back in!
If you have been considering Birth Doula support but weren't sure of our status here's what you need to know about in hospital support.
Birth Doula Support
re: Maternal Anxiety as a Risk Factor for Preterm Birth
Did you know Pregnancy-specific anxiety (PSA) is a risk factor for preterm birth (PTB)? Mamas with anxiety during the prenatal period, specifically concerns such as fear regarding the pregnancy, delivery, and health of the child, have a higher risk of delivering their baby before 37 weeks gestational age.
Just like how births are all different, research studies also have their own differences. Different processes and different outcomes. The study my research team worked on was a Systematic Review and Meta Analysis on studies that looked at anxiety in the prenatal period and the outcome of preterm birth (PTB).
We took these studies and their results and not only compared them but also combined them to determine if the relationship between PSA and PTB remained statistically significant, and it did.
While working on this research project and during the process of writing the manuscript to be published in a scientific journal, I was not aware of the work of Doulas. My research does not look at Doulas and their work impacting PSA, however, with my knowledge and experience since that time I can see that Doulas really matter!
The prenatal visits, continuous support, the ability to provide information to the client, and suggestions for prenatal classes and a Birth Doulas knowledge of childbirth gives pregnant Mamas the confidence they require to care for themselves and their babies during the prenatal period.
There are many risk factors that can cause preterm birth (PTB), but in helping alleviate pregnancy-specific anxiety (PSA) we may have a hand in decreasing their risk for PTB, and in turn preventing health issues that plague babies born too early.
Gianella Pana is a Birth Doula serving Chestermere, Calgary and Airdrie families. To read her published research paper <<click here>>
Share Your Passion
Who knew? In fact, if someone would have told me this would be my life, I undoubtedly would've laughed out loud.
As a small child I was "sick" if I had to speak or perform in front of any one. In high school, I skipped every class that I needed to present something in. Just the very thought of standing at the front of a classroom made my knees weak, my palms sweat and my heart race. Frankly said, it was crippling!
Fast forward to today... NEVER, I repeat.. NEVER in a million years did I imagine I'd be the one educating parents-to-be in group childbirth education classes, training aspiring doulas as a DONA-approved Birth Doula Trainer or most recently, that I'd be called on by peers to apply for a Board of Directors position with DONA International the world's premier doula organization.
I know, I know! How did this happen? Honestly, my answer is straight forward. I am living my dream and sharing my passion. When we are called, we go! It's just that simple.
If you are interested in learning more about Erin Moyen <<click here>>
There seems to be so much conversation about postpartum mental health and the challenges of motherhood circulating. Even with so much talk one essential ingredient is always missing. The importance of a POSTPARTUM DOULA
Postpartum doula support, from birth, is an essential ingredient for women's health - emotional, physical + mental!
Starting out well as new parents (or "new parents again"), no matter who you are, can make a world of difference! Who doesn't want to start well?!
Professional in-home support gets new families started on the right foot by promoting greater self-confidence, and less postpartum stress for the whole family.
If you don't have family near this is an ideal option for you. If your parent(s) have passed on postpartum support would likely be welcomed support. If parents, or other family, is close but you don't want them to "take over" or share their well meaning (yet outdated) advice a postpartum doula will be a wise alternative.
So what exactly is a Postpartum Doula?
...let me begin by saying it is NOT your mother, friend, sister, neighbour, cousin, etc.
A postpartum doula is an experienced maternal-infant support professional that will provide you with evidence-based information, non-judgmental support and companionship, assist with newborn care, family adjustment, meal prep, light household tasks and information on infant feeding and community resources when needed.
It's been proven over + over that postpartum support promotes the following:
Motherhood shouldn't equal sleep deprivation that threatens your sanity or the continuous sacrificial act of neglected self-care like brushing your teeth, showering, and getting dressed.
You and your family deserve quality nourishment + hydration, gentle guidance, peace of mind from an up-to-date baby guru and evidence-based information for this important stage of life.
Did I mention our postpartum doulas offer day, night and multiples (twins + triplets!) support? To learn more click here
Chrissy is a busy momma of 4, Registered Nurse and former birth doula. We are excited to have her share her mompreneur side and the reason why ELLIE EARS were created.
Guest blog by Chrissy Mouland
There are so many things to do and know as a new or expecting parent, and a ton of new products out there designed to “make life easier”. But how do you know what you really need, how do you know what will “work” as it is promised, how do you know what to spend your money on? At Ellie Ears we strive to make it easy for you, to answer all your questions, so that you may make the decisions that fit best for your family.
We have created a product that blends function with style. As a momma of four, I understand the difference between WANTS and NEEDS. We WANT those essential items to be beautiful and fun and reflect the style of families today, and NEED them to be safe, practical and durable. Our iconic Ellie Ears positional support pillow leads the way in all these departments. We use 100% cotton fabrics, designed in Canada, and Ellie Ears are manufactured right here in Calgary.
My eldest daughter had plagiocephaly, “a flat spot”, which was not noticed early, and later considered minor, it went untreated. Seemingly minor to most, this was unfair to a preschooler who loved to play dress-up but could never “complete her outfit” as she has never been able to wear a headband with comfort.
After my third babe was born I was gifted a support pillow by our chiropractor. With long drives to and from the family farm and what would be 2 babies who hated their carseats, the pillow became a blessing in assisting them to be more comfortable. After gifting a few to friends and hearing their satisfaction, I researched everything similar in function on the market. There was nothing readily available, made in Canada at a reasonable price point, and backed with research. I gathered feedback from moms and pediatric professionals, including chiropractors, physiotherapists and midwives, and designed a pillow to meet multiple needs - with the purpose of preventing conditions such as “flat spots” and “tight neck muscles” (torticollis) by providing positional support head, neck and spine, with the hope that every little girl will be able to wear her crown proudly and comfortably.
Shari Franks from Earthside Journeys sheds light on the other side of support in this post. She shares snippets from her personal travels through infertility and provides helpful tips on how to support families undergoing fertility treatments and yearning to be parents.
Guest Blog by Shari Franks
Support from friends and family while maneuvering through the journey of infertility and fertility treatments is essential in order to help smooth the path of uncertainty and fear. It helps keep the hope alive when faced with the various obstacles and struggles individuals and couples encounter throughout every test, medication and procedure. Unfortunately, the kind of support needed is often not what is given.
For the most part, my husband and I had amazing loving support throughout our 4 year journey of fertility treatments but we were taken aback when the lack of support was present from various people we assumed would be the light in our darkness.
It was my summer off work, yet my brain was stuck on repeat reciting the Canadian breastfeeding statistics and our local challenges over and over and over again...
I lay on my camp bunk, my 3 children sleeping around me. "Lights out" seemed like forever ago, what time was it? Why wouldn't my brain just shut-off?
Like a ninja, trying not to wake children, I reach for my phone. Knowing Melissa is just as passionate about maternal-infant health I type my thoughts and hit send.
That night she did more than understand my late-night madness, she jumped on board and together we "birthed" a Breastfeeding Circle via text message! You can meet Melissa and learn more about the original Breastfeeding Circle here
Since then, we have both relocated and the original Breastfeeding Circle of Grande Prairie is no longer.
However I am still committed to providing breastfeeding support to mothers and mothers-to-be.
I facilitate the Breastfeeding Circle, in Cochrane, on Friday mornings at the Parent Link Centre and offer private Breastfeeding Support on Tuesdays from the Shifra Centre for Wellness.