Society is quite familiar with the labour and birth doula profession, and while the postpartum doula has been around for the same amount of time, it isn’t as well-known especially in Western Canada. Let me shed some light on this valuable service!

Hello! I’m Megan and I’m so excited to be partnering with Heritage Birth as a childbirth educator. My next class is coming up on November 17 and 18 in St. Albert and I’d love to have you there!

Why should you attend a prenatal class?

Would you study for an important test? Prepare for an interview? Train for a marathon? Birth is one of the most significant events of your life, you should do what you can to get ready for it!

Birth is something that our culture seems to misunderstand. If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant, have you noticed people telling you horrible stories of how awful their pregnancy and labour were? You’ve probably seen someone on TV having a baby with a lot of screaming and hospital staff rushing all over the place. I have good news for you. Birth does not have to be scary. Do you know what works well to take away fear? Knowledge.

What does it mean to be a size-friendly doula? And why does it matter? 

It’s accurate to say that because I myself am fat I am more aware of the way that plus-sized people are treated during pregnancy and birth. This had made me a passionate advocate for size equality. I want people to be treated with the same respect that I would like to receive. I want other people to experience love, feel valued, and be celebrated for their achievements regardless of what their body looks like. I want pregnant people to be proud of their bodies and what their body has a achieved. 

But being a size friendly doula is so much more than that. No matter what size you are, when you're pregnant, everyone has an opinion about your body and they aren't afraid to voice it! Oh, the things I have heard!

"You look so tiny, there's no way a baby's going to fit."

"Because you’re overweight, a C-section would just be easiest."

"You're going to have a huge baby (or a tiny baby, a high-risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes, a super long labor, a scheduled C-section)."

I hear it all the time—“breastfeeding vs. formula-feeding”—like they are constantly in competition. People would ask how I fed my older daughter and I would say, “Oh she's exclusively breast-fed,” like it was some kind of badge of honour. Sure, it's a great accomplishment and we totally understand how amazing that is, but the other side of it is that I felt like I could never give a bottle of formula without feeling like I completely failed. Like if she had formula, I should just throw in the towel and stop breastfeeding altogether. Yes, I actually thought that at one point.

But the thing is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Formula-feeding and breastfeeding can coexist quite happily. You can give a bottle without feeling guilty. Whether you are working or taking a night off, you can give formula and then continue to breastfeed. It doesn't have to be one or the other: it can be both!

In a local doula group, someone recently asked all the members what was their favourite thing about being a doula.

YOU! You are my favourite thing about being a doula. Seeing women like you faced with one of the most challenging moments of their lives; watching them grasp at every ounce of strength they have, seeing them transform from woman to mother as each surge brings their baby closer; YOU are the very best part of my job.

As a doula, I work hard and tirelessly for my clients. But I don't work harder than you labour to bring forth new life.

At Heritage Birth Services, we are good at what we do, and we know that, but we are also incredibly humbled every time we are in the presence of a woman delivering her child. Why? Because we realize that you don't NEED us to give birth all the fierceness, the power, the strength that radiates through every part of you while you labour: that was God-given.