Sage Traditions

Herbal Wisdom  -  Healing Arts  -  Community connection

Birth Doula Services:

I understand that the entire birthing experience, from preconception to postpartum, can be a highly sensitive, sensual, and social experience. Different people experience this transformative period differently, however, and this is why I believe in offering a wide range of support options for each individual family to choose from. It is high priority for me to make available all the support you need, whenever that need arises--not just during labour! Keep in mind that it is never too early, nor too late, to utilize the loving care and experience of a doula during your childbearing year!
Here is a sample of some of the specific services and meetings we can incorporate into your own unique support package:

Initial consultation: If you wish, an initial consultation may be scheduled to get to know me and be sure that we are a perfect fit! These are always complimentary, with no obligation. It is best if both you and your partner are present at this meeting, as well as the following ones, if possible. We will discuss the definition of a doula, services provided, compatibility, and contract/pricing.
This meeting can be held at a neutral place, such as a coffee shop or in your home as you choose.
This meeting can be scheduled at any time from preconception to third trimester

Distance Support: Continuing phone and email support is always available to you once you have made the decision to hire me as your doula! I will do my very best to respond to all messages and emails promptly and address any questions you might have. I would like to stay close in touch with you regarding any updates to your wellbeing and state of care (summaries of prenatal check-ups are appreciated!), so that I can continue to develop a unique, supportive relationship with you!

Prenatal Check-up Accompaniment: At any time during your pregnancy, you may wish to have doula support with you during all or some of your prenatal check-ups, particularly if you are going alone and/or they are stressful for you. I would be happy to meet you at your care provider's office and possibly have a short discussion after each visit to help you feel more comfortable! This is also available for your childbirth preparation classes, as long as it is approved by the instructor.

Preconception Meeting(s): When you are setting your intentions to conceive a baby, having someone to talk to can be a wonderful thing, especially if conceiving is proving to be a difficult task. With infertility being such a common diagnosis today, and the emotional, physical and spiritual distresses it can cause, I have decided to include "fertility support" for women and families in my service. Whether you are trying to conceive now, or would like to in the future and need support in realigning with your fertile cycles and improving your overall health and wellbeing, I offer meetings that are adjusted to your unique needs for support and advice, or just a listening ear. I can provide you with resources and information about complimentary care and self-care for enhanced fertility, and I can connect you with communities and groups that might offer additional support. Your own awareness of and feelings toward your fertility are such an important aspect when it comes to conception (whether intending it or preventing it), that I feel it is important to extend our childbearing support to include this stage.
These meetings are unique to my practice and not normally included in the standard care provided by a DONA trained doula. In this way, my "fertility support" services are a separate category of care. I include it in my doula services section as an option for those who need it.
These meetings are usually held either in your home or at our Healing Center.

Meeting 1: Hiring me earlier in your pregnancy provides the opportunity for a first meeting in which we discuss self-care during pregnancy and how to make the most of your new experience! Commonly, pregnancy can bring on a variety of fluctuations in wellbeing because of hormone changes, nutritional requirements etc., particularly in the first trimester. This meeting is designed to help you ease those discomforts and realize that you are certainly not alone! Our meeting is catered to your individual needs but may include topics like: comfort measures, lifestyle changes, nutrition (food and supplements), exercises, spiritual and emotional health and preparation, connecting with your unborn child etc. I also provide tips on a good place to start in gathering information about pregnancy and childbirth through various resources, so that you can take your time absorbing and pondering your options. This meeting is optional, but can provide you with more time to get to know your doula and some invaluable suggestions on feeling your best during your pregnancy!
This meeting, and all the following ones, are usually held at your home.
This meeting is commonly scheduled during the first, second, or early third trimester.

Meeting 2:  One of the core aspects of doula care is providing support for your choices and preferences. What way to better present those choices than through a well-designed birth plan! Why should you write one? What should you include? How should it be laid out? We help you find the answers to these questions and any others you might have, while providing invaluable information on researching common interventions and the choices you may be faced with. I then offer continuing phone and email support as you and your partner compose your plan and present it to your caregiver. The final draft of your birth plan is ultimately a communication tool to help everyone in the birthing room to be on the same page, this is important so that we can be sure to give you the support you want!
This meeting is commonly scheduled during the second or third trimester.

Meeting 3: You're getting closer! This meeting covers most of what doulas are known for: labour support and preparation. We will briefly go over the progression of labour, the different stages, and key "check points" to keep in mind. We will also discuss, and possibly practice, your preference of comfort measures for during labour (such as massage, positioning, aromatherapy, mantra/affirmations, visual aids, music, using water, heat, pressure, a birth ball etc). This meeting is also a good time to point out anything that you do not feel comfortable with (for instance "I can't stand it when people touch my feet, please don't do this unless I ask for it!"). It is important that you tell your doula anything that you can think of that might help or hinder your labour and birth experience so that we can cater our services to your desires, but do keep in mind that some things may change depending on your situation and needs, what you think you like now might drive you crazy during labour!
This meeting can be combined with Meeting 4, and is commonly scheduled during the third trimester.

Meeting 4: All the focus on the labour and birth, what about what happens after? This meeting is designed to help you prepare for caring for yourself and baby postpartum. We will go over all your best available tools to aid in smooth recovery from vaginal birth or cesarean, reduce or eliminate the "baby-blues" and postpartum depression, help establish breastfeeding, and even how to change a diaper (if  you don't already know!). I can provide information and resources on wearing your baby, sleep sharing, kangaroo care, and ensuring you have a solid support team for your postpartum "baby-moon". And, of course, there will be plenty of talk about what to have on hand when baby comes home; especially important is what's in your freezer (and its not just extra dinners!).
This meeting can be combined with Meeting 3, and is commonly scheduled during the third trimester.

Labour and Birth: Your doula is ON CALL for you for the two weeks preceding and following your due date until your baby is born. You may choose to request my presence at any time during this period should labour begin. I will be happy to join you at your home, or at the birthplace you have chosen, any time during the labour when you ask for my assistance. It is appreciated if you let me know when labour begins, even if you don't yet need my help, so that I can make accommodations to prepare for your summons. Once arriving at your side, I will ask and asses to determine the best way to support you and your partner/family physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as required, and will continue to provide individualized support throughout your labour, birth, and early postpartum period. I will take photos and/or video if you like, I will take notes for my records and yours, I will provide a liason for you and hospital staff, facilitating questions and clarifying answers, and most importantly I will stay with you, telling you all the ways you are doing so great!
Should you be transferred to an operating room for c-section (or if you are scheduling one), your doula will not likely be able to accompany you in the room. I will stay nearby, however, at your request, for support after the surgery is finished if hospital policy allows.
Once you and baby are settled, usually an hour or so after the birth, I will return home.
This "meeting" rarely happens according to schedule, so commonly it occurs around 12:00am, hopefully during the late third trimester!

Postpartum/Follow-up Meeting(s): Once your new family is cozy at home for about a week or two, you will probably be ready to start reflecting back on your labour and integrating the details of your birth experience. This meeting is about your own special birth story. I will visit you at your house, bringing my version of your baby's birth story written for your memory to keep and to share. I will also have the photos/video that I took on a disk for you to keep, if applicable. I will share and talk about your memory of the experience, and how your postpartum period is going. We will all stare lovingly at the baby, ooh and aw, smile, laugh, and possibly cry. After going through such an intense experience together, it usually feels good to have a few moments of closure and debrief.
If required, extra support and meetings can be arranged, though I am not a "postpartum doula", I do believe in offering continuity of care and as much help I can give.
This meeting is commonly scheduled 1-3 weeks after birth (in the fourth trimester!)

Additional Resources: My clients also have access to our extensive Lending Library!


Cost

Please contact me for a discussion on charges for doula services customized to your personal needs and requirements.

Locations

I serve clients planning a hospital, birth center, or home birth in Calgary and the surrounding area, including Okotoks and High River.