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Why do I Doula?

Have you ever considered becoming a Postpartum Doula? AJ Hadfield, our friend, Postpartum Doula and Doula Trainer has written a guest blog post explaining her love for her job. We have a Postpartum Doula Training happening here at Mothering Touch with AJ in June.

 

My name is AJ Hadfield and I am a postpartum doula.  I have been fortunate enough to do this work for the past 13 years.  When I first started, I had a vague idea of helping mothers and snuggling babies.  I didn’t understand how much my clients would teach me and how being a postpartum doula would shape and define the second half of my life.  Why do I doula?

  • Because I understand now that good support at the right time can make all the difference for a new family
  • Because helping couples adjust to parenthood is important, valuable work
  • Because being around new babies all the time is the best!
  • Because watching people become parents is about the best thing in the world
  • Because I am constantly humbled by the power and strength of new mothers
  • Because I recognize the value in giving a parent permission to take a breather
  • Because I get to watch a big brother meet his baby sister for the first time
  • Because I recognize that guiding a new mother on her breastfeeding journey is never the same experience twice
  • Because being part of a family’s postpartum journey is a privilege
  • Because sometimes a mother needs someone by her side to say it’s OK when she’s making the hard choices
  • Because sometimes a new dad needs someone he can cry with, who won’t be sitting across from him at Thanksgiving.
  • Because sometimes, in my small way, I know I have made a difference
  • Because it always makes me smile to get a text with a picture of a poopy diaper and the question ‘is this normal’?
  • Because I know helping to normalize what is overwhelming to new families is important and,
  • Because I know that celebrating what is trivial to most people is also important
  • Because watching a baby latch on and suckle for the first time never gets old
  • Because I know that sometimes, my training and observant eye can help a mama get the support she needs when she needs it most
  • Because helping a parent figure out the intricacies of their baby wrap is always fun
  • Because even on the hard days, when I question whether I’ve supported in the best way I can, I still can’t wait for tomorrow and the chance to do it all over again, and
  • Because I love getting the email two years later, asking what I’m doing in 9 months and knowing I get to be with this family all over again

I am a postpartum doula – I love what I do.

 

If you have questions or are interested in registering for the Postpartum Doula Training happening June 1st to June 4th, 2018 go here or give us a call!

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Why do people take a Birth Doula Workshop?

Why do people take a Birth Doula Workshop?

Well, of course, many people come because they want to be professional doulas. They want to accompany and support new families through pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-partum period. They want to make this a new career. These new doulas want lots of information about the business and practical side of being a doula, how to keep track of expenses, what to charge, where to advertise and how to find clients.

But that’s only about a third of the people who come to the workshop.

Another third is made up of professionals or pre-professionals. Some are nurses or nursing students who want to learn a more holistic, client-centred model of care. Some are aspiring midwives who want some experience with births and being on-call before they apply to midwifery school. Some are massage therapists or chiropractors or acupuncturists. They are wanting to add doula skills to their resume. Some will go on to work as professional doulas for a while. Some will provide doula services to occasional clients from their massage or acupuncture practice.

The last third is made up of people who just want to talk about birth. Some of these are older women who have finished having babies, and remember those experiences fondly. Some are people who had not so great, even horrible birthing and post-partum experiences. Some of these people also want to be able to support a sister or daughter or friend who is about to have a baby. They don’t want to be professional doulas, but they want to learn about it, and maybe even try it out.

In this last third, are also some young people in their late teens or early twenties who can’t stop thinking about getting pregnant and having babies, but who feel they don’t want to or can’t or shouldn’t do that right now. My daughter Hannah, who took the workshop with me when she was 19 or so, said it was a lot like “Sex Ed – the Sequel.” She felt all young people should learn about birth long before they are ready to have babies of their own. I think she might be right!

Of course, people being what they are, these three categories overlap. Almost everyone has more than one reason for being at the workshop. And that makes it a rich and satisfying weekend. So many experiences, so many ideas and perspectives. And everyone is so generous about sharing their thoughts and their feelings. I always feel filled-up and satisfied when I finish teaching the workshop.

Why do you want to take the Birth Doula Workshop?

Whatever your reasons, you are welcome to join us November 3-6, 2017! Find out more about our DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop.

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Special Event – Pelvic Floor Health

Applications of physiotherapy in the re-education of the pelvic floor and abdominals in the perinatal period (and beyond…)
Laura Werner MPT, BKin Registered Physiotherapist
Sponsored by the Doulas of Victoria
Friday January 15, 2016 at 7pm
Mothering Touch Centre
975 Fort street, Victoria BC

Admission $5 (Doulas of Victoria Members – Free!)

All birth workers, doulas, midwives, physicians, nurses, anyone interested in the perinatal period, Welcome!!
OBJECTIVES

  • review the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor and abdominals
  • identify common, but not normal, dysfunctions of the pelvic floor and abdominals that can occur in the perinatal period
  • indicate appropriate referrals for physiotherapy assessment and treatment
  • discuss an evidence based approach of physiotherapy for pelvic floor and abdominal dysfunction
  • identify appropriate referrals for physiotherapy assessment and treatment

BIO

Laura Werner is a Registered Physiotherapist with specific post-graduate training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor, abdominal, pre and post pregnancy, uro-gynecological and lumbopelvic dysfunction. She earned her Masters of Physiotherapy Degree from University of British Columbia in 2008 and her Bachelor’s of Kinesiology Degree in Athletic Therapy from the University of Calgary in 2002. Laura is an active member of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia.

After taking postgraduate courses in pelvic floor rehabilitation, she sought the training of Marcy Dayan, who has taught and worked extensively in this field. Laura mentored intensively with Marcy and was asked to join her practice. She worked at the highly regarded Dayan Physiotherapy and Pelvic Floor Clinic for over 5-years. Laura has also worked for the renowned Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program at Vancouver General Hospital.

Laura balances her professional life with her family of 5 (husband and their three children). Laura is a great advocate for lifelong learning and appreciates the challenges of work life balance. She is an avid yoga practitioner and former instructor. She is also a Certified PhysicalMind Mat Pilates Instructor.

Laura Werner
Registered Physiotherapist
Shelbourne Physiotherapy – Cook Street Clinic
308-1175 Cook Street Victoria, BC
250.381.9828
www.physiotherapyvictoria.ca/laura-werner-pelvic-floor-physiotherapist/

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My First OFFICIAL Blog Post

Well, of course, I have been blogging for years: writing short essays for my website on topics that I hoped would be useful to my clients and my colleagues.  But now Mothering Touch has an actual Official Blog.  This is a little intimidating.  And yet, so much happens here every day of the week, I should never have trouble finding something to write about.

Right now, in the big activity room, Do Stier, a Doula Trainer for Vancouver, is running our annual DONA-International Post-Partum Doula Training.  Fifteen enthusiastic and caring women are learning how to help mothers and families in the Post-partum period (the first six weeks after birth).  Last week I ran a DONA-International Birth Doula Training and twelve new birth doulas have now joined our birthing community.  One of my trainees, came from as far away as Edmonton!

A couple of moms with their babies, on a stroll downtown, have popped in to nurse on the comfy brown couches in our smaller back room.  That back room – officially called the Resource Room (now "The Nest"!) – is one of my favourite things about this place.  We planned it as a room for breastfeeding consultations and private prenatal classes.  It houses our lending library which contains books and DVD’s on pregnancy, breastfeeding and early parenting.  The room also gets used for meetings of local community organization, like the Doulas of Victoria or Breastfeeding Matters.  And on most days, a few mothers and fathers and babies find their way there for a quiet time and a peaceful breastfeeding moment.

Tonight, when we’ve tidied up from the four-day doula training, there will be a prenatal yoga class in the Activity Room.  Elke will lead the lovely round-bellied moms through invigorating and then relaxing poses.  After that, I will teach the fourth class of six-week Childbirth Preparation Class for Doctors’ Patients.  Having spent the last three weeks learning about childbirth and natural self-help and coping measures for labour, tonight we will examine pain medications and other medical interventions.  I look forward to seeing this group of excited parents-to-be, whose questions and curiosity always make the evening lively.

I hope this this blog can become an extension of our store – a place where new and expectant parents can be sure of a friendly welcome and balanced information.  We hope you’ll visit us often.

– Eva