I see my role as primarily providing important emotional, physical and spiritual preparation for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. I am also a resource to the women and families I work with by helping navigate medical terminology, protocols and systems, while inspiring trust in a woman’s ability to birth. I provide diplomatic communication skills and nurturing hands to mothers. Most importantly, I embrace your vision for birth. I am comfortable and experienced in serving at birth in a variety of settings, including planned Cesarean, midwife attended homebirth, unassisted childbirth and everything in between. I have 24 years experience attending hospital and home births in Saskatchewan. My career as a support provider in birth began while I was pregnant with my third child, before I even knew what the word Doula meant.
In 1998 I supported a young woman with a mental illness through her amazing natural birth. It was trial by fire, but seeing birth from the other side was both shocking and healing. I did not know that my births, which to that point had felt isolating and traumatic to me, were the cultural norm. I did not know that I had choices in the way I planned to birth. She taught me what it was to self-advocate. It lit a fire in me to share that knowledge and empower women to make choices they didn't even know they had; choices that truly reflect her needs, and make her feel safe.
In 1999, I stepped down from my position as a full time teacher, opened a carehome for young women in recovery from mental illness and completed the doula certification program. My further education includes Lactation Education, Post Partum Doula, Natural family planning, Herbs for Mothers and Babies, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, trauma resolution, midwifery education, neo-natal resuscitation, Dancing for Birth, Postpartum International Peer counselling, fertility management, baby loss support, placenta encapsulation and various other workshops to keep my skills fresh. I am a also counselor for women, specializing in mental health recovery, and birth trauma counselling for couples.
In 2007 I became A National doula trainer for CAPPA Canada. After 4 years I created an expanded 40 hour curriculum and began to offer the Birth Rhythms doula training program. in 2010 the Canadian CAPPA offices were reabsorbed by CAPPA International and the course was down sized to just 16 hours, hence my departure. I have since partnered with Wise Woman Way of Birth to offer a dual certification to women who complete the course. Doulas need a strong foundation. Education needs to be relevant and immediately useful. Empowering women is my goal, and they do leave the training ready to begin serving immediately. Since 2007 I have trained more than 200 doulas in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Since that time I have also created a series of 12 Advanced doula training workshops, four different childbirth education and 3 fitness curricula to meet a variety of needs as well as an introduction to the Midwifery model of care weekend workshop for aspiring midwives.
In 2011 Birth Rhythms opened the Pregnancy and Parenting Health Centre. It was Saskatoon's venue for professional independent birth and postpartum programs and services. Over 40 different support groups and fitness classes were offered on a monthly basis. It was a dream come true. An unfortunate accident forced me to close the Centre in 2015. Once my healing is complete I will look at options for a re-birth of the centre. I continue to offer Doula training in various location until then.....
I believe that pregnancy and birth is a sacred time to be cherished and protected. It would be a privilege to serve you as you become a new family.
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