Postpartum Doula Training

I am organizing a DONA Postpartum Doula Training workshop here in Lethbridge.  It’s happening May 29th-June1st.

When I had my third baby I was in need of a postpartum doula.  I posted on a local baby group forum searching for a pp doula and the reply I got was, “What’s a postpartum doula?”.  Now, the group is well versed in the area of birthing and doulas etc., so this reply did shock me a little.  But… it is what it is, and Lethbridge does not have ONE postpartum doula.

So, I am super excited to be offering the workshop and also to take the workshop.  And really, this is my style.  If I want something myself and it’s not available, I then vow to make it available for other people.  This applies to numerous instances in my life.

Taken from DONA.org:

A Postpartum Doula

  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary

If you are interested in taking the workshop, please contact me at andrea.johnson@telus.net

What’s in my Doula Bag?

Well, I’m pretty sure every doula has a few tricks in her doula bag, so I thought I’d share a few of the treasures I stock in my bag.

  •  Heat bag with straps
  • Click heat packs, smaller for more local pain relief
  • Birth Ball
  • Emergen-C – for me, for Dad, for mama, for whoever needs a little more energy.
  • Gardening knee pads – these are great for use in the shower or if mama needs to be on her knees for a while.
  • Massage oil – for hand and arm massages, or neck and shoulders, whatever really.  It’s an unscented oil.
  • Clary Sage – said to help with respiratory, muscular, and uterine body systems during the labour process. Many people believe that it also helps to facilitate birth because it causes contractions to become more regular or intense to move the labor along.
  • Reflex balls – great for mama to hold on to or to put pressure on lower back.
  • Rolling Pin
  • Rebozo – A Rebozo is traditionally a Mexican shawl, used for many purposes, including carrying babies, as well as being used to help support women during the birthing process.  Traditionally Midwives, Mothers and Doulas around the world use the Rebozo to wrap around the pregnant mother in a way that serves as a support to her during labour.
  • Gum – for whoever needs it!  As a doula you should always have nice breath!!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – I have a few different toothbrushes, one for mama, one for myself and one for anyone else who might need it.
  • Hair elastics and brush
  • Chap stick
  • Bendy Straws – seriously, these are my most used items, LOL.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – This is nice added to a cool washcloth during pushing.  It has a very refreshing scent that can re-energize the whole room.
  • Rescue Remedy – helps to alleviate stress, fear and anxiety during labour.
  • Labour Ease Tea (Earth Mama Angel Baby)
  • Camera and batteries – and extra batteries
  • Pen and paper

Extra items if attending a home birth or a waterbirth:

  • Birth pool and liner
  • Air pump
  • Hose to fill pool
  • Drain pump and hose

Each birth is completely unique and requires something different from me, sometimes I go through all the items in my bag and then other times I hardly use anything!!  Either way, as long as mama has my full attention and compassion, we find ways to work through her labour.

What is a Birth Doula?

Taken from the DONA website:

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level

A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.