Birth Doula Services for First Time Families
Many expectant parents find that the thought of labour and birth creates many feelings including excitement, anxiety and unease. The anticipation of the upcoming birth tends to become overwhelming towards the end of second to early third trimester. An experienced doula can improve your pregnancy and labour experience by providing guidance through this unfamiliar time. We are experts in decreasing stress, worry and anxiety. Providing information and next steps make a huge difference for many couples.
At HHD you have 2 birth doulas that work with you throughout this process. You meet both of these Doulas at a complimentary consultation, held monthly to make sure that there is a great connection between everyone involved. Our philosophy on birth and parenting is one of flexibility and openness. In our over 20 years of experience we have learned that there is no right or wrong way to go through this process. Our job is to keep you informed of all your options so that you can make informed choices as to what feels best for you.
Educational Prenatal Sessions
During your prenatal sessions with your doulas you build a strong and connected relationship and we help you plan for the big day by discussing your options. Many families are unaware of what they would put in their birth plan until we discuss all the options available to them at their hospital, birthing centre or home. We love to provide you with information on what to expect and dispel some of the common myths surrounding birth from media and television.
Private Group Chat
Upon registration with HHD a group chat between you, your partner and your doulas is set up. This is a fabulous way to stay connected to ask any pregnancy related questions as well as being in immediate touch with your doulas when you have any questions about signs of labour. Our clients find that this is quite a bit more helpful than `Doctor Google`. This group chat is extended to stay open for six weeks after baby’s birth to allow you to ask any postpartum or baby related questions such as umbilical cord care, diaper change tricks, feeding support and learning to comfort your baby.
Most of our families want to keep a close connection during the birth experience and we help facilitate exactly that. Your doula is available 24/7 whenever or however the birth starts for your family. Reminders of how to stay comfortable, what can be happening next, and soundboard important decisions in the moment. Your doula can provide hands on care at your home or hospital. We can be the extra pair of hands to help massage and relieve discomfort as well as help partners stay engaged and hands on.
Some baby`s arrive at home in water, some in hospital with minimal or lots of interventions, some scheduled and some unplanned cesarean sections. We are with you through it all, guiding you through every step of the way.
Extended Support with Welcoming Your Baby
You have the option of continuing the support into your postpartum period. We are your ‘on the job trainers’ when it comes to newborn care. You can take all the prenatal and baby care classes you can and then when it comes to implementing and remembering that information you seem to forget most of it. We show you things like how to bathe your baby, burping positions, diaper change tricks, soothing techniques and many other tools depending on what you are experiencing with your baby. Plus the focus on your rest and recovery is always our primary concern. Having doula support at night to help the whole family sleep can help everyone function better with all this new learning during the day.
Doulas are an excellent spring boards to help you with the learning curve with all things newborn & postpartum healing. When situations require a little more customization, that is when we suggest a specialist in that field. For example, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is highly recommended if there is any difficulty or pain with latching at the chest. An IBCLC can also be a great way to learn how to make sure that baby is gaining properly and each feeding is efficient. Whereas s Gentle Sleep Consultant is heavily recommended if the getting your baby down to sleep and stay sleeping for each nap is complicated. Specialized support is embedded throughout our packages or can be added a-la-carte.
Benefits of having a doula
- Both parents feel more supported during the birth experience.
- Pregnant person can experience a reduction of fear leading up to and during the birth experience
- Partners feel more prepared and involved in the birthing process
- Birthing Parent feels listened to during the birthing experience
- Less use of early epidurals
- Significant decrease in unnecessary medical interventions
- More positive feeding experience
- Increased sleep in the post-partum period
- More confidence in baby care
- Overall more parent satisfaction with the birth experience
- Expectant parents feel more at ease in early labor when parents have someone to call in the middle of the night to remind them of coping techniques and help them sleep
If you’re an expecting parent and want more support for your birth experience, choose from one of our three tailor-made doula packages below. All package components can be upgraded to in-person depending on your region and desired place of birth. Contact us for more information on this.
I Need a Helping Hand
- 3 Prenatal training sessions, each 2 hours in length:
- What to expect
- Birth preferences
- Comfort Measures
- Private group chat with your Birth Doula team starting right away, extended to 6 full weeks postpartum after you welcome your baby
- On-call Birth support (for whenever your baby decides to arrive to their birthday party!)
I Need a Hug
- Everything from Helping Hand Package plus:
- Extra 2 prenatal preparation sessions, each 2 hours in length:
- Baby care session with a Postpartum Infant Specialist
- Infant feeding preparation session with a Postpartum Infant Specialist
- 1 Overnight Doula Support Visit (8 hours of nighttime care) to be used the first week at home with your new baby
I Need a Full Embrace
- Everything in the Hand and Hug Package plus:
- Extra Prenatal Infant Focused First Aid Session with our CPR instructor
- Additional 4 Overnight Support Visits (totalling 5 nights) to be used in the first 2 weeks home with your new baby
Meet the Birth Teams
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a partner supporting me. Do I need a Doula?
Most, but not all of our clients have a partner supporting them throughout this process. Our clients find that their partner is more involved in the process when they have a Doula there to guide them on how to best provide support. It is difficult for partners and even family and friends to know how to help us during this time. They can take the classes and read the books but it is hard for them to retain all that information. When we are in labour we also don’t seem to listen to our partners suggestions as readily as a Doula who we are not as emotionally attached to.
How does a Doula support me if I plan to have an epidural?
There are many tools available to a labouring mom and the epidural is one of them. Your doula team supports all birthing options and make sure you have all the information you need to decide what feels right to you at the time. Before an epidural there are sensations that require focus to work through. Your doula helps to keep you comfortable with providing comfort measures such as breathing, positions, massage and other tools until an epidural is available to you. An epidural reduces some sensations in labour but not always all, your doula aids in your comfort and keeping you as calm as possible throughout your birth process.
How does a doula support a scheduled cesarean section?
Some people believe that you only hire a Doula if you are having a vaginal birth. The reality is that babies are born in many different ways and there is no right or wrong way to go through this process. In the event of a scheduled cesarean section we help you plan for the birth by knowing your options and what to do if you go into spontaneous labour before your scheduled date. Your doula is there the day of the c-section to make sure things run smoothly and help with bonding and baby’s first feed after delivery. When you get home from the hospital we are there to help you understand what to expect with your recovery as well as learning about taking care of your baby.
How do I know if I connect with my HHD doulas?
Before any of our birth clients hire us we schedule a complimentary consultation in the comfort of your home. This is a great way to see if there is a connection between yourself and the Doulas as well as have the opportunity to ask all the questions you may have. This consultation is scheduled for 60 minutes in length and there is no cost or obligation.
Why do I have 2 doulas?
Life is unpredictable and birth is the most unpredictable life event that there is. By building a relationship with your Doula Team you have the security of knowing who will be supporting you on the day of your baby’s birth. You don’t have to worry if your Doula is unwell or if something serious come up in their personal life. You will be supported by one of your Doulas when the time comes. Many of our clients have anxiety with meeting their nurse and doctor for the first time during labour. Having two Doulas on your team means you will have that familiar face to bring a sense of reassurance to your experience.
I could not imagine going through my pregnancy (especially during Covid times) without the support and help I received from Helping Hands Doula. Always professional and personable and ready to answer any questions or concerns I had throughout pregnancy and postpartum. It made the anxiety disappear during those exceptionally stressful times of being pregnant and a new parent in this crazy pandemic. I was always given sound and thoughtful advice and information; I didn’t have to worry about Dr. Googling things. Hiring a doula gave me piece of mind knowing that I had access to a knowledgeable, compassionate and kind people. They were truly invested in mine and my family’s well being and that made all the difference.
Request a Consultation
If you’re an expecting or new parent and want more support for your postpartum experience, click below to request an appointment.