Shaunacy King, BD, CBE & Director for Doula Training Canada
One of the my earliest Doula memories is from taking the Dancing for Birth program with the fantabulous Stephanie Larson. In her program she discussed how elephant mothers do not lie on their back, with their feet in the air, awaiting the birth of their elebabies.
Over time I have taken this image with me and used to ask...
Have you ever seen a dog in labour, lying on its back with its legs straight up in the air? No! How about a cat? A horse? A cow? Ok, ok.... how about any mammal?
The answer is a definitive NO WAY!
What is with the history and expectation that human women should labour and birth while lying down? Blasphemy I say!
Nature dictates that it is most comfortable for animals (including human animals) to labour standing up, so that gravity and motion can work to facilitate progression and comfort.
Comfort?! How is that possible you might ask. Well, there is comfort in knowing that you are in control of your body. That if you use motion and gravity to open the hips and bring the baby down that this experience (ahem, the fun of labour) could be over more quickly.
Paulina Perez in “The Nurturing Touch at Birth” states it perfectly when she write “changing positions frequently is a very important labour support technique. Changing positions frequently and using positions such as standing, walking, and hands-and-knees stimulates the joint receptors, which are large receptors that adapt slowly but are also slow to habituate. Usually the mother changes positions spontaneously,” (pg. 100). In other words.... SCIENCE tells us that moving around isn’t just a comfort technique, but that it is necessary.
Encourage your clients to get their birth bottoms shaking, moving and grooving. And if none of those ideas seem to resonate here are some other suggestions:
Hands and knees
Guest author: Sondra Marcon. DTC alumni and instructor. Doula with Sisterhood Wellness Collective in Toronto, ON, Canada.
So, you have taken Doula Training Canada’s workshop.
You love birth or the postpartum period (come on! Who doesn’t love bellies and babies?!). You love client-centered care, supporting the birthing person physically and emotionally, and helping them voice their needs to their care providers is your jam.
You are engaged and excited.
Then as often happens on route to certification. Life gets in the way. You stop reading, you can’t seem to find the time to finish the paperwork or take that final course. Maybe you start to doubt yourself and your ability to do this work. Completion of your requirements for certification gets farther and farther away. You begin to wonder if certification is even worth it?
You can do the work of a doula without being attached to an organization or bound by their scope of practice. Currently in Canada, there is no registering body that you need to be a part of to actively work as a Labour or Postpartum doula.
So why Certify?
Completing the training workshop is exciting, but let’s get real, it is only part of the process.
Let’s face it. You can only cover so much about labour, birth and postpartum in a 2 day workshop.
I have to admit I am biased. I love the Doula Training Canada Community. I never want to leave it behind. I will however, confess it took me longer to certify then I would have liked. Life got in the way. However here I am saying, just do it. Find a way. It is totally worth it.
Interested in sharing your thoughts on the Doula Canada page?