Birth Doula Companioning
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Whether this is your first pregnancy or beyond, a VBAC, a cesarean, an assisted pregnancy, a surrogate pregnancy, a pregnancy following a loss, a high or low risk pregnancy, an anticipated NICU baby, a hospital, birth center, home or unassisted birth, you deserve support where you feel heard, respected, informed of your options and are able to stand in your power to achieve the birth that is right for you and your baby.
I recognize that reproductive experiences, including pregnancy and birth, can be overwhelming for many reasons, that every person is an individual, with their own life and previous birth stories, and live life in their unique type of family. All of these factors influence the way in which we individually interact with healthcare systems and receive care, therefore the support I offer recognizes, validates and respects individual differences and is trauma informed.
As your Birth Companion, I work for YOU! Building a meaningful relationship with you, getting to know you and learning what you want and need is what my companion support is all about! I trust that you are the expert in your own life, and the support I provide aims to equip you with the skills and information needed to actively take ownership of achieving your birth goals, based on the things that are import ant to you, in the moment. I purposely support you in a way that hands the power of owning your experience back to you, using the Keeping Your Power for Families ®️ concept.
I believe that you can find your power and voice, and will support you to gain self advocacy skills, to think deeply about your options, to make informed decisions that are right for you, and to build positive relationships with your provider(s) so you can effectively communicate what you want. I also believe that you can only know what you know, and that the implementation of knowledge is power, therefore preparation and knowledge building are key to navigating your care and building relationships with your provider and care team.
We will work together to enrich your knowledge of pregnancy and birth based on what you identify you need to know, and I will support you to apply this knowledge to your own unique experience. I work closely with birthworkers/educators that I respect, trust and who share my philosophy, and I am excited to work collaboratively with them and you, as you prepare for the birth of your baby.
Vitally, the support I provide is not driven by my beliefs or bias, nor the expectations of your provider or birthing facility. l center YOU – your choices and preferences at all times. I can provide prenatal and birth support in person or virtually, or a combination, based on your individual needs and preferences. Let’s talk about what you need!
What My Support Includes:
- No cost virtual consultation to chat about your needs and to establish if I am the right birth companion for you.
- Keeping Your Power for Families ®️ Workbook – you will learn this approach as a foundation to your self advocacy. It will enable you to make independent, automomous decisions by using a thought process that acknowledges your self importance, understanding of perspective and use of your own critical thinking skills.
- Unlimited prenatal visits (in person and virtually) after the signing of our contract, based on individual need, to buid a relationship with you, to learn what you want and to support you to achieve your goals.
- 24/7 support through email, messaging and phonecalls, after the signing of our contract, until your postpartum visit has been completed.
- In depth exploration of your beliefs about birth, your expectations of care, your needs and options, and anything that is of importance to you.
- Exploration of key topics to compliment your childbirth education and prenatal preparation classes, and to apply knowledge to your personal circumstances and birth goals e.g. birth physiology, the labor process, comfort strategies etc.
- Printed educational handouts – your rights, factors that influence maternity care, informed decision making, advocacy, routine care practices, evidence based practice, the hormones of labor, the labor and birth process, the induction process, tips for labor, pain management techniques, birth partner tips, breathing techniques and more!
- Support to learn self advocacy skills that will enable you to have productive conversations with your provider(s) that focus on your expectations of care and goals for your birth.
- Support to create both a birth plan, outlining your care expectations and birth goals, and an advocacy plan that identifies your expectations around self/partner/companion advocacy, so that your needs are met.
- How to “Count the KIcks” from 28 weeks of pregnancy so that you can learn what movement pattern is normal for your baby and how to identify early changes that might indicate the need to seek medical care.
- Incorporating your birth partner as a key support person in your labor and birth.
- In person support during prenatal appointments with your provider, to facilitate your self advocacy and communication of your care expectations and preferences, if you identify that this support is needed.
- An angel card reading and suggestions of crystals to support your wellbeing and flow of energy during your pregnancy and birth
- I will be on call for you, 24 hours a day, from 3 weeks before your estimated due date (EDD).
During Labor and Birth:
- Support to decide when to call your provider to attend you (homebirth) or when to decide to move to your place of birth (birth center or hospital).
- Ideas of early labor comfort measures, and the ways in which your birth partner can support you.
- Arrival at your place of birth whenever you need me.
- Unlimited, in person physical, emotional, informational and advocate support during the full duration of your labor and birth – I do not charge an additional fee if your labor is prolonged.
- Support for your birth partner to take an active role in meeting your needs during labor to the level they feel comfortable, and support to ensure their own needs are also met.
- Preparation and protection of your birth environment to support your labor and birth to progress.
- Support to ask questions and have productive conversations with your care team throughout your labor, based on what you want for your birth, and your needs in the moment.
- Physical, practical and emotional support during labor, through a range of non medicalized comfort techniques, and support to apply skills learnt during your childbirth education and spinning babies preparation classes.
- Suggestions to help your labor progress if needed, in collaborative discussion with your care team.
- Provision of evidence based information that you may need to make informed decisions in the moment.
- Support to avoid medically unnecessary interventions or interventions that you do not want, but are provided as part of standard care.
- I will remain with you after your baby is born to ensure you are settled and comfortable – this is typically around 2 hours.
- Support to initiate chest/breastfeeding with additional input from your care team and/or referral to a lactation specialist if required.
- One postpartum follow-up session at your home, in the hospital, or at a mutually agreed upon location, typically 48 hours after the birth of your baby to debrief your birth and talk about your postpartum healing/wellness, baby’s feeding, and general newborn care.
- Referral to community based resources and sources of information as needed, to support your transition in to parenthood.
Birth Companioning Fee
The full cost of my birth companioning package is $1500. I offer 2 fixed price access points as part of a sliding scale. Please click on “My Companioning Fees” below, for details of my sliding scale options.