Tag Archive | pregnancy surrey

Join me on my own pregnancy journey

Hello everyone,

baby bcbaby bcSo I have some exciting news! On Mother’s Day 2014, I found out I’m expecting my fourth child. mom and baby vancouverbaby bcbaby bcbaby bc

I’d love for you to join me on my pregnancy journey. I know you’re going to learn lots along the way.

For those who don’t know me, I’m a Birth Doula and Prenatal Teacher in the Surrey, Langley area of British Columbia, Canada (near Vancouver). I had my first two kids in hospital and the third one was the most fun birth yet – it was a homebirth. So for this one, I am of course, planning another homebirth. I’ve moved neighbourhoods since my last one, so I have to find another midwife. (You can read more about my first birth, and see the slideshow of my home birth at Birth Stories

I thought today I’d provide you with some information about midwives in BC.

 

1. Midwives are covered by MSP in British Columbia

That’s right! I’m always shocked and horrified that people don’t know their options when it comes to midwives. They think they have to pay out-of-pocket. They think that they have to have a doctor.

Here are the facts in BC : there are three kinds of maternity care providers and they are all covered by MSP, which means it is free for you – Family Physicians who do maternity care, Midwives, and OBs.

2. If you have a midwife, you don’t need to have a doctor for your pregnancy

In some countries, midwives are like nurses. But in BC, midwives practice independently so if you have a midwife, you do not have to also see a doctor for your pregnancy.

If you have a high risk pregnancy, OBs are a great option for you. In fact, family physicians and midwives will refer or consult with OBs if any high risk situation occurs.  But, research shows, if you have a low-risk pregnancy, midwives are a great option for you. Midwives specialize in low-risk birth, so they have the kind of skills needed to help you have a natural birth, and yet are trained to deal with situations where more medical help is needed. OBs, specialize in high risk birth and are not skilled in helping moms have a natural birth. They resort to medical intervention much sooner than midwives would. As such, comparing all low-risk pregnancies, OBs have much higher cesarean, induction and instrumental delivery rate.

3. Midwives have much longer visits

Midwives are paid more than Family Physicians for each pregnancy mom they have, but less than OBs. This is because midwives spend 45 mins with each client at prenatal appointments as opposed to the 5 – 10 mins doctors spend. This is to build a relationship and cover more comprehensive information with women which includes, nutrition, wellness, informed decision making, choices in birth and so on.

4. Midwives are responsible for you and your baby up to 6 weeks postpartum

Midwives provide continuity of care through the whole pregnancy, birth and up to 6 weeks postpartum.

5. To find a complete list of midwives in your area of BC

Go to BC College of Midwives

Or Midwives Association of BC

6. Register ASAP

I’d suggest calling several or all the midwifery offices in your area and registering as soon as you can. Midwives fill up fast. It’s ideal if you can register as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. If you would like to close the best midwife for you, register with a few so you can have a chance to interview them and decide which ones you like best.

If you’re further along and you have decided to switch from doctor care to midwifery care, do not despair. Although it can be hard to find a midwifery office with space, it is possible. I have had many doula clients decide mere weeks before they gave birth that they wanted to switch to midwifery care. They called a couple of midwives and found them to be full but after my encouragement, they called ALL the midwives in their area until they managed to find midwives with space. Go to one of the websites above and call ALL the midwives in your area. Don’t just give up after one or two.

 

For the Crunchy Granola Mammas :

 

Now having said that, if you are of the crunchy granola sort, like me, you wouldn’t just want to stop at choosing a midwife attended birth. You would want to carefully select a midwife who aligns with the kind of birth preferences you want. All registered midwives in BC practice within a range of guidelines. But there is a wide range of what some midwives are comfortable with. There has been some criticism that some midwives practice too much like doctors, jumping to medical intervention too soon before trying natural methods. They have been termed “medwives”.

There are also a few midwives who have chosen not to be registered with the college of midwives, and do not follow their guidelines. This is an interesting point, because before 1998, all the midwives were not registered with MSP. MSP only started including midwives in 1998. So a few of those midwives did not register because they felt registering would inhibit their ability to practice in the way they had previously been practicing. So the college of midwives now refers to them as “Lay Birth Attendants”  instead of midwives. Why would they not want to be registered? Well, before the college was established, the midwives were trained in and regularly attended breech or twin births. Remember, in Europe, these are seen as variations of normal birth and not high risk situations. If the birth attendant is trained in how to properly attend breech or twin births, the risks are minimal. But in North America, breech and twin births have been considered too risky and are reason for automatic cesarean.  Over time, the doctors and midwives skilled in such births have retired and the new ones left are not skilled in such births, which really does make it risky.

So if you would like to really increase your chances of having a gentle, natural birth or even a homebirth, but you don’t want to go with a birth attendant who is not covered by MSP, what do you do?

Like all advice about choosing your caregiver, you need to interview them and choose the one who matches your expectations. Don’t assume that just because they are midwives that they will all be totally crunchy granola. Here’s an example of what I mean by that : some women really want their pregnancies to be rushed along towards the end. They don’t mind having a stretch and sweep of the membranes in hopes starting labour earlier. But some women would be insulted at the mere question of whether they want a sweep. They want labour to start on its own. Some midwives routinely offer sweeps at 39 weeks and some don’t. So figure out what you want and find the care provider who matches.

Here are some questions you can ask :

1. Are you comfortable not doing any vaginal checks for dilation?

2. Are you comfortable attending a homebirth?

3. Have you attended water births before?

4. If the water breaks before contractions start, are you comfortable waiting without inducing as long as their are no internal checks and signs of infection?

5. Are you comfortable if a mom declines all or most prenatal screening tests?

6. Are  you comfortable waiting a long time before cutting the cord, if at all?

7. Are you comfortable with a natural third stage (placenta stage)?

 

Hope that helps you in choosing the best care provider for you and your pregnancy!

 

kaurina danu doula surrey langleyBTW, if you would like to know more about any of these questions and why they might be important, leave a comment below, send me and email at kaurina @ prenatal journey. ca or call me at 604 809 3288.

 

 

Memoirs of a Doula part 3 – Special Memories

Being a Doula

People often ask me, “What’s it like being a Doula?”

It’s intense. I get to witness such a wide range of human emotions, from fear and desperation, to inner strength and triumph, to extreme joy and jubilation. I get to be there through a woman’s most challenging and vulnerable moments and watch the expressions on her face on her journey to discovering inner strength she never knew she had. I get to revel in the wonder that quietly surrounds every newborn person that comes into this world – that tingly awe of a natural and unexplainable meditation that comes over you when you allow yourself to feel what a newborn feels. husband-wife-newborn-baby-hospital-photo

The world of birth is so far removed – emotionally and mentally, from daily life, it always takes me many hours to readjust to mundane existence after I return home from a birth. I always feel as if the tremendous journey of every birth should make headline news, but it stays largely unknown to the public, summarized into the petty details of gender and weight of the baby. I feel so humbled and privileged to be witness to one of the most special human events which remains so unknown to the general public. And because, as a doula I am not responsible for doing anything medical or charting or watching monitors, and I am there for each mother throughout her labour and birth no matter how long it takes, I am right there with her feeling it with her. Well, not really – a little less pain, just all the emotions. Every birth is different and unique and every birth moves me and changes me. Every birth teaches me a little more about myself, about women, about babies, about human beings and about the wonder of life.

Most of all, I love being a Doula because every birth has such special memories for me as well as for the parents. Just like weddings can hold such special memories for people, so too can their children’s births. I will always have a special place in my heart for each set of parents whose birth I have been to. My hope is that I have helped make the experience be filled with more positive memories and resolved the stressful ones. I try to highlight the awesomeness of each mom and dad and baby so that they will start this important journey of parenthood feeling good about themselves.

When I think back over all the births I’ve been to, some stand out because of the difficulty the mom went through but overcame triumphantly, some stand out because of the funny comments made by either the mom or dad (tactful humour in the delivery room always helps to lighten the mood), and some stand out because of the great love that existed between the mom and dad and baby. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s what made headline news in the world. Not wars and crimes. This is what humanity is made of. And I am grateful to be a part of it.

Thank you to all the couples who have allowed me to be present for this very special time.

 

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If you or someone you know is expecting and you would like more information about birth doula support in Surrey, Langley or the Lower Mainland, BC, Canada,

you may contact Kaurina Danu at 604 809 3288 or kaurina @ prenatal journey . ca

 

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Read : Memoirs of a Doula part 1 – Why I Do What I Do

and    Memoirs of a Doula part 2 – Love In The Delivery Room

 

© Kaurina Danu of Prenatal Journey 2013

 

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Prenatal Classes in Langley now open for registration

The Prenatal Classes are all set and ready for expecting parents in the Langley, Surrey area. Evening classes for first-time parents will begin Tuesday October 25th 2011 in Willoughby, Langley.

Classes promise to be pretty exciting and extremely useful for parents preparing for birth and new parenthood who want to understand how to have a positive experience. A lot of people have told me they’re not sure if they should take prenatal classes because they’re not sure if they will really be useful. The media has done a good job of portraying prenatal classes as a place where round crabby women learn to breathe while saying, “hoo-hoo hee-hee.” I assure you there’s a lot more to preparing for birth and parenthood than hoo-hoo heeing. Actually hooing and heeing is not even in our syllabus.

Our classes at The Prenatal Journey are not simply a biology class either. Memorizing a bunch of facts is NOT going to help you get through labor. In fact, that will most likely stress parents-to-be out more and undermine their confidence in their own abilities.Our classes are hands-on, interactive and totally enlightening. We have never had any clients say they didn’t learn so much that was actually useful. Clients always feel that all their questions are answered, and their fears transformed into confidence.

“You didn’t just teach us what to EXPECT when expecting. You taught us what to DO!”

– Jenny and Tom, Surrey, BC.Comparing their experience in the Refresher Class for second pregnancy to previous experience in other prenatal class with first pregnancy.

You can go to Prenatal Classes for info about classes and prenatal course content.

Now is the perfect time to register for classes. Because this is the first time Kaurina Danu and Jamie Taylor are collaborating, we’re offering our Introductory price of $165 for First-time Parent evening and weekend classes, and $100 for Refresher classes. This price won’t last long. Most expecting couples attend classes in their last trimester, but even if you’re in your first or second trimester, you can place a deposit now for future classes to get the introductory price.

I’ve also had a lot of people, since learning about the classes, find out about and register for Doula Services. They can’t believe how much value they’re getting for such an affordable price. It’s been so rewarding being there for people at such an important moment in their lives, making the whole experience easier and so full of love, instead of stress.

If you have any questions feel free to call 604 809 3288 or 778 908 7636. If you have any friends who are expecting, let them know about us so they can have an easier time too!

 

Have a wonderful day!