Accelerating the voice and vision of women entrepreneurs in Northern Alberta and Northwest Saskatchewan
My name is Rhiannon and I am a Labour & Birth Doula. I am also a mom to 4 amazing boys, married to my best friend and from Lloydminster AB/SK. I am a proud hockey mom, love to sing and work during the day at StartUp Lloydminster.
After having my 4th baby, I experienced severe Post Partum Depression. I couldn’t understand why this was happening with my fourth but not the first three? What was different? Through all this I started to learn more about how much your pregnancy, labour and birth can absolutely affect you afterward. We had medical scares with my fourth that were different than the others and I am sure that’s what lead to my PPD. That was just in my case, but many times a traumatic event during labour or birth can come up as PTSD afterward. Reading and learning about how a Doula could possibly help with PPD proactively intrigued me and on a whim I took a Doula course and the rest is history.
Do I deliver babies? Am I like a Midwife? No and no. So what is a Labour and Birth Doula? A Doula is a “non-medical person experienced in childbirth who provides informational, physical and emotional support before, during and after childbirth”. The way my hockey-loving husband describes it to people is I am a “Coach” for parents. This, at a basic level, is a perfect way to describe it.
I personally do not attend homebirths, I have found my strength is in a hospital setting. I am hired privately by expectant parents as a support through the labour, whether they have questions or concerns or just need to vent to someone about the interesting things that can happen in pregnancy. In the third trimester we have several prenatal meetings where we talk about everything to do with labour and birth. We cover what to expect and what could come up unexpectedly. I like to talk about as much as possible because we don’t always know what might come up and active labour is not always the best time to take in a lot of information. So I pump you and your partner full of that information ahead of time to help you know what questions to ask so you can give your Informed Consent.
During labour, I help guide you through it all and help you get the info you need. I am also there to keep you distracted, rub your back, squeeze your hips (a favorite of my clients), make sure you are staying hydrated, remind you to release your tension and relax your body, keep the mood calm, keep your partner calm, get your partner involved, and much more. My husband always told me that when I was in labour he wanted to rub my back and comfort me but was so afraid to touch me because he thought he might make it worse. I am there to show your partner where to touch and how to give counter pressure, assure him the grunts and groans you are making is normal. Mom needs extra support during labour but so does her partner and I am there for you both.
I am there to answer Dads questions and help him to help you the best he can (to his comfort level). Most dads I have worked with afterwards will say that they felt I was there to support them as well as mom. We make a great support team for mom!
Helping couples during this amazing time in their lives is the most incredible job. I have attended over 75 births over the last 7 years working as a Doula and I am grateful to continue to do so. Please email me if you have any questions or are interested in setting up a consultation.