Archive | January 2017

Moms Supporting Moms – A Project Supporting Moms in Need in Surrey and Langley

Moms Supporting Moms

I started a project called Moms Supporting Moms in October 2016. It is a group of moms collecting necessities like clothing for women and their families in need in Surrey and Langley. To date we have  130 members and have donated about 70 bags (garbage bag sized) of babies’, kids’ and women’s clothes and other items such as strollers, household items, toiletries, socks, gloves, toys and much more. So far most of the items have been donated by moms in the Clayton Heights area, but we would like to expand the network of collection to other communities.

I’ve been a Birth Doula for 8 years, supporting moms in Surrey and Langley. I’ve seen many moms struggle to scrape by, doing their best to raise their families. It’s stressful enough being a mom, it’s even more stressful trying to juggle everything while worrying about if you can pay rent, and still get everything your child needs. Another reason I chose to focus on moms and their families is that children outgrow things so fast. There is always a continual supply of clothes, toys, strollers, baby stuff, and it doesn’t require people to donate money or resources they don’t already have. There are also very specific needs of moms that get missed when people think of the problem of poverty or homelessness in Surrey. We have been able to provide specific donations of maternity clothes, nursing pillows, bras, feminine products, kitchenware and other things that people don’t usually think about when donating.

The idea of the project is so simple because it is a win-win for everyone. Families are always having to declutter as they outgrow things. Now they get to make a meaningful difference locally at the same time. A lot of people drop them off at thrift stores, but why resell them when there are families in Surrey who really need items now, and can’t even afford to buy them from thrift stores?

I called up several organizations who work with families in need and discovered that they already had programs to distribute items to families in poverty or fleeing violence. All we had to do was drop them off to them. I asked moms in my neighbourhood, and the response was overwhelming. Everyone wanted an opportunity to contribute. They could declutter and help out at the same time. It was a win-win. Some moms wanted to help out more and took on collecting things from their own network of friends and driving the donations to the various organizations.

The organizations we donated to included the Surrey Women’s Centre, Whalley Family Place, Ishtar Transition House, and the Fraser Regional Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association. There was also a response to specific requests from families affected by the apartment fire in Langley in December 2016, and for winter gloves from schools that had children who could not afford that.

 

Why There is a Need

More than half of the region’s neighbourhoods with a concentration of youth living below the poverty line are in Surrey, according to the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition.

City council received an update Monday on how the poverty reduction plan has been implemented so far, outlining how the city’s 16% poverty rate — or 72,000 residents — is similar to Metro Vancouver’s overall, but of note is how 11 of the 20 region’s neighbourhoods with the largest number of children and youth living in poverty can be found in Surrey.

Vancouver 24 Hrs

We like to think of ourselves as a caring, civilized society, but in fact we have been tolerating and sustaining shameful levels of child and family poverty for decades. By allowing our society’s wealth to be concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer wealthy individuals, we have allowed thousands of children to grow up in poverty that we know hurts their health and ignores their human rights. We have left families raising children in BC to face stagnating wages, precarious work, gaping holes in our social safety net, and soaring costs for essential living expenses (for example, housing, food, child care, transportation). Parents raising their children in poverty are frantically trying to keep their heads above water by working more hours or multiple jobs (if they can), going to the food bank, scrimping on their own nutrition and juggling which bills they can afford to pay each month and still cover their rent. We have ignored the injustice of the continued over-representation of particular populations of children in these dire circumstances. The most recent statistics from Statistics Canada (2014) paint a stark picture: 1 in 5 BC children are poor.

2016 BC Child Poverty Report Card

The Future of the Project

We would like the project to expand so that more people know that there are organizations in Whalley who distribute items to families in need, and that people can donate useful items they are decluttering to make a difference to Surrey as a community. I would also like to have more people who want to be leaders in this project, and collect donations of items from their neighbourhoods. The response so far has been so positive, from the people contributing, and from the organizations.

What You Can Do

  1. Join the Facebook group – Moms Supporting Moms In Need
  2. Call or text 604 809 3288 to schedule a pick up or drop off.
  3. Become a leader in the project and collect items from your neighbourhood community and drop them off to the appropriate organizations. Contact Kaurina to find out more. 604 809 3288.

 

Space for one more doula client in Jan 2017 and one in Feb 2017 in Surrey or Langley

Live in Surrey or Langley and Expecting a Baby Soon? Thinking about having Doula Support for your Birth?

Prenatal Journey currently has space for one more client due Jan 2017, and one more due Feb 2017. If you’re due in March or later, there is still space. I provide Birth Doula Support to moms-to-be in Surrey, Langley, Delta, Vancouver and Abbotsford.

Having a doula is a great idea if you would like to have more support through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum time. It’s especially helpful if you want to have your best chance at having a natural birth. Doulas provide non-medical physical, emotional and informational support so that moms can have an easier time in labour and have an empowering, positive birth experience. Evidence proves that having a Doula reduces the need for pain meds like epidurals or narcotics, and also reduces the need for inductions and cesareans. They also increase successful breastfeeding rates, reduce postpartum depression, and make sure moms and babies start their new phase of life feeling supported, positive and capable.

At births, I often help moms cope with labour with specific techniques and tools – counterpressure, hip squeezes, massage, position changes, TENS machine, encouragement and so on. I also am a great listener, supporting moms through any emotional challenges they are dealing with in pregnancy, birth, or after their babies are born. Being there with moms right in labour and being available 24 hours a day by phone in pregnancy and postpartum to answer any questions, helps moms get the information they need to power them to make informed decisions about their well-being. Dads also LOVE having a doula to help out in labour. Dads are so important at births, and I always make sure I show dads how to effectively support their partners. Dads and doulas usually work as a team. Moms can’t have too much support in labour.

Prenatal Classes, and Birth Photography

Besides doula support, I also teach prenatal classes and provide birth photography. I offer private prenatal classes in Surrey, Langley, and surrounding areas. They are on your schedule and in the comfort of your own home. Group prenatal classes are in small groups and consist of two full Saturdays, or once a week for 8 weeks. Many clients also love having birth photography done to capture special memories of their child’s brith and the first moments of life.

You can read more at my other pages to find out about Doula Support, or if you are still wondering, “What Is A Doula?“.

You can find out more about Prenatal Classes with Prenatal Journey, or about Birth Photography.

If you’d like to register, call 604 809 3288 or email kaurina@prenataljourney.ca 

 

Here’s what a doula and prenatal class client has said,

I was determined to give my daughter Valentina a natural birth at home without the use of any pain medication. Thanks to Kaurina, I was able to physically, emotionally and mentally prepare myself to make this happen. Kaurina was very thorough and motivating during those important months of preparation, helping my husband and I shape the kind of birth that we wanted for our baby. It was through her inspiring talks that we truly shaped our home-birth plan, as she helped guide our thinking as well as presenting many options that had not occurred to us. Thanks to her we were more than prepared for the arrival of our daughter. Not only did she provide me with the support I needed, she provided my husband with extremely helpful tools, helping him become an integral part of the birthing process.
During labour, I was so deeply thankful to have Kaurina with me as my doula. She was calming and reassuring, providing me with excellent coaching, calming my mind and body, giving me the focus and direction I needed to bring Valentina into this world as calmly and quickly as naturally possible.
After the birth of Valentina, the world came into sharp focus. No matter how many nieces, nephews, or children of friends, nothing prepared us for the intimate feeling of caring for our own child. With this also came the fears of proper care, the immediacy of her needs, and the emotional roller coaster of the post-partum period. Kaurina was there for us in every way. She answered every phone call and question, as well as coming by to check on our health, well being, and techniques; such as showing me useful breastfeeding techniques, how to care for the umbilical cord, and the best way to approach a bath for a newborn.
All of this care made for a truly beautiful birth experience, as well as ensuring a positive post-partum period; Kaurina can be thanked for it all.

– C. Palencia, Vancouver, BC

TENS Machine for Use in Natural Birth – Surrey, Langley

What is a TENS machine?

A TENS machine, or TENS unit, is a simple device that you can use in labour to reduce the sensation of pain, and so it can help you have a natural birth. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. You place these sticky electrical pads on your skin, and it delivers tiny electrical stimulation to the nerves. It is used by physiotherapists for pain relief of various kinds – muscle aches, migraines, back ache, injuries, and pretty much any pain, whether accute or chronic. For decades now, it has also been used for labour pain.

How is a TENS machine used in labour?

The sticky pads are place on the back in early labour, or near the start of active labour. It takes an hour or two to build up in effectiveness. It works for natural pain relief using the Gateway Theory of Pain – the stimulus to the sensation nerves blocks out some of the pain nerves because the brain can only process a certain amount of stimulation from the nerves before it starts to block out some out. About 80% of moms in labour who use a TENS machine say it helped them reduce and cope with the pain.

There are several brands of TENS machines. The most common one used for labour is the Elle TENS machine which has a Boost button to increase and change the pulse during contractions.

Are there risks or side-effects?

There are no risks or side effects except that you obviously can’t use it in the shower or bath. It is also not recommended if mom has a pacemaker. It should also not be used on the abdomen during pregnancy. It should be placed on the back.

Because it can be an effective method of pain coping in labour, with no side effects, it makes an excellent tool to have if you want a natural birth.

How to get one in Surrey or Langley?

If you want to have a TENS unit for labour, you have to get it before hand. Hospitals do not have TENS units available, although it would be great if they did. You can either buy one or rent one, or if you have me as your doula, you will have access to mine. To find out about how doula support can help you click on Doula Support.

If you are in Surrey, Langley or surrounding areas, you can rent a TENS unit from me for up to 5 weeks. The fee is $90 and includes 2 sets of electrical sticky pads. You can call me at 604 809 3288 or email me at kaurina@prenataljourney.ca.

If you would like to purchase your own so you can have it for more uses than labour, they are available in Vancouver at Natural Creation or the Facebook page.

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For more info on Birth Doula Services or Prenatal Classes in Surrey, Langley or surrounding areas contact

604 809 3288 or kaurina@prenataljourney.ca