When I welcomed my daughter into the world, I had my best friend by my side, keeping me breathing, focused and assisting me in whatever way I needed. My birth experience was wonderful, and I owe it to the unwavering support of another woman. On that beautiful, winter day in 2009 I was inspired. I knew that someday in the future, I would find myself working with pregnant women, in one way or another. One year later, I began my training as a doula and have been immersed in birth culture ever since.
So what is a doula, exactly? In ancient Greek, the word “doula” translates to “a woman who serves”. In modern times, the term doula has come to denote a non-medical caregiver for expectant mothers, and their families, throughout their pregnancy, birth and beyond. In Klaus, Kennel and Klaus’ book, Mothering the Mother, a doula is described as “a woman experienced in childbirth who proved continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.”
When I attend a birth as a doula, I support the mother in any way she needs. This may involve things such as assisting with comfort measures, position changes, breathing, massage, touch, vocalization and more. Some people may wonder if having a doula takes the place of a mother’s partner in the birthing room, however, the exact opposite has been proven in many situations. A doula works hard to assist partners in supporting the mother. In fact, a birthing mom’s partner often feels more able to participate in her labour and birthing experience with a doula present, because of the supportive suggestions that a doula will provide. Since most partners are not experienced with the details of childbirth, it can be an immense relief to have the calm and steadfast support of a doula who is well versed in the birth process. Having a doula takes the pressure off of any other support person in the room, be it the mother’s partner, friend, sister, mother, or anyone else who has been welcomed to the birth.
I absolutely love supporting women in birth and it is my goal to have my clients, and those who take my childbirth classes, experience birth in a way which is positive and fulfilling, no matter the outcome. I strive to eliminate suffering in birth and to ensure that women and their families can make the right choices for them during and surrounding birth. Mamas need to be in the driver’s seat of their own birth, and I absolutely love helping to show them the tools to get there.
As a birth doula, I attend all sorts of births. No matter who your primary caregiver is, a doula is able to attend alongside your partner, in whatever your chosen birthplace may be. I have attended home births and hospital births, births attended by midwives, doctors and obstetricians.
Each new birth a attend is a complete honour for me, and my knowledge of birth expands with each baby I watch enter the world. Birth is beautiful, incredible and I may never reach the day where I don’t tear up, at least a little, when I see a mother hold her child for the very first time.
Birthwork is and always will be a part of me.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit my website at desireefawn.ca or email me via my contact page. Peace & happy birthing to you all.