We are so pleased to be offering Labour Support Services again! We are available to support families giving birth within the HRM at the IWK Hospital or at home. Shannon provides labour support as a Registered Massage Therapist and as a Certified Birth Doula with DONA International.
What is a Birth Doula?
The word “Doula” originates from ancient Greece and traditionally means “woman who serves” and referred to woman who help other woman during childbirth and postpartum. Historically, birth and parenting took place surrounded by community. Woman and parents learned about birth by seeing it or helping with it themselves. Currently, with around 99% of birth happening privately inside of hospitals most parents enter it with minimal experience and are told stories about birth. Now the term doula, according to Christine Morton Ph.D author of “Birth Ambassadors”, refers to “a companion who supports a birthing person during labor and birth. Birth doulas are trained to provide continuous, one-on-one care, as well as information, physical support, and emotional support to birthing persons and their partners”. A doula’s role is uniquely tied to the interest of the birthing person. Their primary interest and responsibility is that of the family and, not to a hospital or care provider. They are not there to provide medical care. We will remain with you continuously for the entirety of your labour.
- Physical support – hands on techniques, massage, positioning and movement provide comfort, pain management and facilitate progression of labour.
- Emotional Support – feeling calm and supported by the nurturing presence of a doula during the emotional intensity of birth can improve outcomes and satisfaction.
- Partner Support – a birth partners’ role is unquestionably valuable and their experience is deeply impacted by feeling supported also. Doulas provide support to partners encouraging them and allowing them to be as involved as they’d like to be.
- Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy – doulas connect families with evidence-based resources and ease communication with providers and translate difficult medical terms to empower clients to advocate for their preferences and their best birth care.
Benefits of Labour Support
"If a doula were a drug it would be unethical not to use it!" - Dr. John H. Kennell DONA International Founder
Persons supported by doulas have shown to experience numerous benefits to parent and infant. The use of continuous support for women in childbirth has been published and updated in most recent Cochrane Review in 2017, Bohren et al. The results show:
- increased spontaneous vaginal birth
- shorter duration of labour
- decreased cesarean birth
- decreased instrumental vaginal birth, vacuum or forceps
- decreased us of analgesia; narcotic, regional epidural or spinal
- improved 5 minute Apgar scores
- decreased negative feelings about childbirth experiences
- no evidence of harm from continuous labour support
Our Labour Support Package includes:
- 2 Prenatal doula visits at your home or location of choice
- On call support from 38 weeks
- Continuous support during labour including massage
- Minimum 1-hour support immediate postpartum
- 1 Postnatal home or hospital visit
- Unlimited phone, text, and email support during contract period
- Arranging and connecting back up doula support
- 4 Week TENS machine rental, if desired
- 10% savings on additional Massage Therapy treatments until 3 months postpartum
Massage Therapy included:
- 1 Prenatal Massage at clinic or your home
- 1 Postnatal Massage at clinic or your home
Please contact me for current pricing
We would love to chat with you about your upcoming birth. You’re invited to contact us for an initial interview to discuss how we may work together and, to answer any questions you have about us, our services or your pregnancy and birth.