Heather Collins is the newest member of the team so in true Two Doulas style, she has agreed to do an Ask A…interview.
How would you describe your job in just one sentence?
I provide emotional, physical and informational support to families as they navigate the intense, joyful but sometimes overwhelming journey through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
What made you want to be a doula?
While pregnant with my first I wanted to learn everything I could about pregnancy and childbirth, and I wrongly assumed this interest would wane once he was born. The scientist in me loves learning about evidence-based practices and the mother in me loves being a source of comfort while nudging people towards finding their own strength. My interest in doula work is also fuelled by my own experiences feeling supported during and after the births of my two children.
How can new or expectant parents benefit from your services?
Birth is an unforgettable life changing event but it’s also unpredictable. Doulas are an evidence-based way to increase your chances of better birth outcomes and satisfaction. I provide comfort in ways that make sense to you, whether they be physical, emotional or informational. I can use soothing touch, suggest the best ways to stay nourished and relaxed during labor, be a source of encouragement, listen to fears, answer questions and anything else that will promote a safe, calm and nurturing environment for birth. I trust that you’ve got this and I am here to uphold you as birth unfolds and parenthood begins.
As a postpartum doula I offer support without judgement to ensure that you walk into your new role as a parent with as much confidence and as many tools as possible. I can help you get some rest (or a shower!), do light household tasks, bring you warm food and provide an empathetic ear to the complex feelings of bringing a newborn home. Amidst a society that is full of judgement and unsolicited advice let’s take a step back and figure out what YOU want and need and how I can make it happen. It’s easy to forget the parent when everyone is focused on a new baby. I support families as a unit to the benefit of everyone.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your field?
That doulas have an agenda in terms of how birth should go. Given the same set of information two people can make different yet perfect choices. I always encourage people to make educated decisions and I can help with information but ultimately the power is in your hands and I fully support whatever you choose. This also applies to decisions made after your baby is born. Only you know what is right for your family.
What do you love most about working with new and expectant parents?
Witnessing people transform and find their innate wisdom and strength. Whether it be learning to listen to your body’s cues in pregnancy, swaying in the midst of labor, roaring baby out, breathing during surgery prep or a new parent confidently executing a diaper, feed, sleep cycle.
From the ashes of ‘Can’t’s and ‘Don’t know how’s rise wonderful and caring parents. What a wonderful thing to behold and a great honour and privilege to be a part of.