When doula services first come up, an automatic thought that a lot of people have is the cost, which is understandable.
In Canada, we just aren't used to spending money on our births. We pay our monthly MSP premiums and that is it. Maybe a few hundred more for a private hospital room or for the birth supplies at a home birth. That is what is our normal. Ask our cousins to the south, where the average birth costs at least $10,000, and they would definitely say we have it good here.
But when the average cost of a Canadian wedding is $30,000 - does it make sense to not invest money for probably the MOST important day of our life - the birth of our children? We spend on talented wedding planners to make sure everything goes smoothly, on wedding photographers to capture those special moments, on bakers and chefs to feed our guests and DJs to dance the night away to in order to celebrate the start of marriage. Shouldn't we also invest in experienced birth support doulas who can help us achieve a positive birth experience, on prenatal classes to help us be informed on our choices and birth photographers to capture those unforgettable moments in order to celebrate the start of your new family?
Your wedding day was beautiful and unforgettable. Your BIRTH day can be too.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Maya's Nest Doula to chat birth and how we can help you make your birth story a happy one to share.
By Olena Guseva
With caesarean births relatively common, it is easy to forget that it is still surgery and taking care of your self postpartum is very important. Here are 10 tips to help you have a smoother postpartum after caesarean:
1. Get up and move within the first 24 hours after surgery. This prevents blood clots, helps with digestion and promotes healing.
2. Take a shower! Do not be afraid of water. You can shower 48hrs after your surgery and it is a wonderful experience!
3. That first bowel movement can be scary. Yes, even if you did not have a vaginal birth, going poo after c-section is a bit terrifying. You just don't know which muscles to strain. Eat prunes, dried apricots and other food with lots of fibre to avoid constipation.
4. Take it easy at home. No vacuuming for you! Don't lift anything heavier than your baby. Ask for help, hire post-partum support, give your mom a job. In short, get people to help you.
5. Watch for sign of infection/complications:
- too much bleeding
- pain that gets worse
- bad smell
- general feeling that something is not right.
Get yourself checked out if any of these raise some red flags.
6. Expect pain. Your just had major surgery; expect pain and discomfort. Know that it will get better; however, seek help if it does not improve and seems to worsen.
7. Coconut oil DOES NOT fix everything! It is good to use oils a little later in the game to minimize your scar but avoid any oils for now. Your goal is help keep your incision as dry as possible.
8. Nude it up! Give your incision some air time. Let it breath, dry and heal. After the shower gently pat the incision dry and then go streaking through the house (if you are up for it and if you don't have any guests that is).
9. Have a nursing "vacation." It is not as relaxing as it sounds. Essentially, take your baby to bed with you and stay skin to skin all day (or as long as you want). This will help your breastfeeding relationship, promote bonding and help your milk supply.
10. Embrace your birth! The birth culture is a funny place. We focus so much on "natural" birth (whatever that is) and forget to celebrate those that brought forth humans in other ways. Celebrate yourself! You did amazing!
Olena Guseva is a birth doula and birth photographer serving families in the Lower-Mainland and Fraser Valley in British Columbia
by Samantha Garcia Gagnon
Something that often comes up for seasoned moms who are planning their home birth is "What do I do with my older kids?"
Instantly people have this image of their children seeing them working hard at their birth and making some strong sounds and are so scared they will terrify their child. This is a totally normal thought to have. After all, for most of us, seeing someone give birth was NOT part of our childhood - so it is hard to imagine what it would be like to be part of our kids life.
Here are some tips to help get your children ready to welcome their new baby at home with you:
1. Watch Videos and Read Books
It is very important that you educate your children on what normal birth sounds are and what sort of things they can expect from a birth. A great way of doing this is through reading books and watching videos.
Here is some recommended reading:
We're Having a Homebirth by Kelly Mochel
Hello Baby by Julie Overhand
Our Water Baby by Amy MacLean
Check out our YouTube Playlist for terrific home birth videos
2. Get Your Child Involved with Your Pregnancy and Preparing for Your Birth
A great way for your child to get excited and feel comfortable with the upcoming birth is by keeping them involved as possible. You can bring your child along to a few midwife appointments where they can hear baby's heartbeat - which is super exciting for every body! You can also ask your midwife if she would be open to showing your child some of the things she may bring to your home so that he feels prepared.
For our clients with younger kids, we do offer to have them present at prenatal #2 which is when we go over the physical comfort techniques. In this prenatal, we will make some of the sounds that you may be making during your labour so that your children become aware that these are healthy noises you are making. We can also do a bit of role playing and show them ways they can help support mama (dependent on age of the child of course) and give them some ideas of nice things they can say during the birth. It is really important for us to not just get to know you and your partner, but also your children. We want them to feel comfortable enough with us that when we arrive at your home for your birth, they will know mama is in good hands and if needed, we will be able to support them too!
Another easy way for them to get involved is preparing the birth supplies!
3. Share the Story of Their Birth
We all love to hear the story of our birth. It is after all, where we began! Share with them the story of their birth and let them know how excited you are to have them be a part of the story for the new baby.
4. Have A Dedicated Support Person
On the day of the birth it is will be a very good idea to have a dedicated support person whose only concern is for your older children. Most children are great at self-regulating. If they are feeling uncomfortable with what is going on, they will leave the room. It is important to have someone whom they trust and have a good relationship with be there for when the child does not want to be present. Some kids are perfectly happy hanging out in the birth pool the whole time and others would prefer to leave the house all together. Be ready for any scenario.
Often the older children may want their co-parent to be with them. This can be hard if the co-parent is the only support person for mom - which is another great idea to have a doula present. That way if your partner needs to tend to your older children, you will still be well supported by your doula.
5. Have Your Camera Ready (Or Better Yet, Hire a Birth Photographer!)
This is a moment that not only you, but your child will cherish forever. Make sure you have someone ready to snap some shots of the support your child is giving you during your birth, and most especially, the moment they meet their new baby sibling.
Samantha Garcia Gagnon is a birth doula and birth + newborn lifestyle photographer serving families in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in British Columbia.
by Yvette Stephens
In a global community, new information and studies are shared faster than ever and have resulted in some important changes to some old standards in maternal health care in recent years. Is your care-giver up to speed?
When we were kids, antibiotics were doled out for every little sniffle and scrape. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? As you’ve probably heard in the news and in many public service announcements, we know now that in order to prevent anti-biotic resistant bacteria from developing globally, we need to be very careful about only using antibiotics when necessary. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Erythromycin eye drops routinely given to babies after delivery have been proven not effective or necessary, yet many care-givers are still administering them.*
In every movie, the baby comes out and the cord is cut “stat,” right? Well, according to WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations since 2012, delaying cutting the cord until pulsation stops (usually 1-3 minutes) contributes to improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes, like reducing iron deficiency in infants for up to six months!**
Moms everywhere will be happy to know that starving away during labour is no longer seen as beneficial! While it has been the prevailing view for a long time that moms in active labour in hospitals should just have little sips of clear liquid and ice chips to prevent aspiration in an emergency C-section, a recent Canadian review of over 300 studies, shows that moms could benefit from the caloric intake, and, in most cases are at low risk for aspiration in the event of a caesarian, because of anesthesia being delivered by epidural and spinal block, rather than something requiring a mask.***
If you’re hoping to benefit from these positive changes in maternity care for your upcoming delivery, chat with your doctor or midwife to share your views! Talk to us: did your recent delivery experience include Erythromycin drops, early cord-clamping or fasting?
Yvette Stephens is a birth doula, placenta encapsulator and infant massage instructor serving families in the Lower-Mainland and Valley in British Columbia
Inundated with scary stories of difficult births? Experiencing fear or anxiety about your birth, or just wanting to hear a fresh perspective?
Join The Maya's Nest Doulas, new moms and other pregnant families in your community for a casual gathering to discover how birth can be powerful and beautiful. Leave with a tool-box full of inspiration and skills to create the environment for a positive birthing experience.
Positive birth stories shared by new moms
Opportunity to ask questions about pregnancy, birth and parenthood
Ways to increase connection with the Baby in your belly
Strategies to deal with birth fears and anxieties around birth and parenting
Time to meet other like-minded individuals who want to be excited about their birthing experience
CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR SPOT on EVENTBRITE
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
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New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.