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Looking for a Doula? Wait What is a Doula?

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Ava’s Help is expanding and we are adding more professionals to our site outside of just caregiving help. We are adding Doulas, Lactation Specialist, Parenting Coaches, Speech Therapist!

Pregnant and trying to figure out what type of support you are looking for during the pregnancy. Read on!

What is Nutmeg Consulting?

Nutmeg Consulting – Expert Care for Birth, Babies and Breastfeeding is a Private Practice team of professionals dedicated to providing non-judgmental support throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the weeks and months of the postpartum period once baby is born.  As the owner (and Registered Nurse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Educator, and Birth and Postpartum Doula with over 20 years of experience) I was able to hand pick an amazing team of Birth and Postpartum Doulas who support families all over Toronto and the GTA.

What is the difference between Doulas & Midwives?

Birth Doulas are not medical care providers.  A midwife, like a doctor, is in charge of the medical health of the mother and baby during pregnancy and labour.  This includes monitoring blood pressure & heart rate, and doing vaginal exams and ‘catching’ the baby.  We as Doulas are able to focus only on the well being of the mother and partner during pregnancy, labour and birth, and have no other charting, responsibilities or distraction.  We are there just for you, and we don’t leave your side.  We can provide information and physical support, reassurance and suggestions for comfort measures, and talk you through your decision making process if needed.  We massage, comfort, guide your partner to assist and we support.  We don’t judge your decisions, and we are there just for you.

   

How do you select your Doulas?

Nutmeg Consulting Doulas have been personally chosen for their innate ability to confidently support women and their families during the transition through Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum.  All of our doulas are trained as Birth and Postpartum Doulas, and have valid police checks and insurance.  They are calm, compassionate, gentle and knowledgeable.  They have been chosen to represent Nutmeg Consulting because they understand the importance of our belief that every woman has the right to choose HER own birth experience.  We support ALL kinds of birth, because we believe that there should be no rules about who can have a doula, or that one type of birth is better than another.

Our Doulas are also experts in many other things, and our team includes Nutritionists, cloth diaper and baby wearing experts, a Family Relationship Coach, a trained midwife (not currently practicing becasue of her own young child), a Reiki practitioner, a Placenta Specialist and me, a Lactation Consultant and Nurse.

What can a doula help with while I am pregnant? 

Our clients have access to us throughout their entire pregnancy.  Sometimes it’s an email to ask a question, a phone call to calm your anxiety, or a meeting to discuss your birth wishes and what’s important for you during labour.  I often check in with my clients after their doctor or midwife appointments, or they contact me to ask questions about something that was mentioned.  We don’t offer medical advice, but can send links and information as requested so that our clients can be as informed as they wish.  Sometimes it’s just a ‘hey how are you feeling’ and listening to the common concerns and worries that come up during pregnancy.  

Can I have a doula and a OB at the same time?

Absolutely.  A doctor follows you throughout your pregnancy, but most OBs are not actually the ones who will attend your delivery.  Even if they happen to be on-call that day, you will usually only see them for a few minutes here or there, and then right at the end of your delivery when you are pushing. We work very well with OB’s and Family Practice Doctors (and midwives!) because while they are responsible for your medical care, we have a different focus.  We are able to support you no matter what happens during your birth.  We respect and work very well along side other health care providers, so you have the best birth team possible!  We are not the type of doulas who argue with doctors, because we didn’t go to medical school!  We respect the team and health care providers that you have chosen.

I still want to deliver in a hospital… does a Doula make sense?

Most of our clients actually deliver in hospital.  Although we are comfortable and experienced with home birth, and birthing centres, hospitals are where you’ll find us most!  Both Doctors and Midwives can attend hospital births, and you can also have a Doula!  We have attended births at almost all the 15 hospitals within the GTA!  During a hospital birth, you are assigned a nurse during your labour, but you don’t know who you’ll get.  Nurses also have many things to deal with, including monitoring the baby, doing charting, blood pressures, IVs, blood sampling etc etc… A doula doesn’t go on break, and doesn’t have to cover any other patients.  Our only focus is your comfort and support, and we already know who you are, and what you need from us to make your birth the best possible experience for you.

What is the price range to hire a Doula?

In the city of Toronto, the level of support provided by a Birth Doula can vary greatly, so prices for a Birth Doula can range from $800-$2500 depending on several things.  Our Packages always include at least one Prenatal visit to discuss your wishes and hopes for your birth.  You can have more visits if you wish, and can include a Prenatal Breastfeeding Prep consult also.  Our Doulas are on call at any time of the day/night to attend your birth, and will stay for at least 1-2 hours after your baby is born to help with skin-to-skin and breastfeeding if desired.  We also include at least one Postpartum Visit by me, to provide a Lactation Consultant home visit to make sure Breastfeeding is going well, and that baby is feeding appropriately.   Also an important point to mention, is that all our Doula clients have a Seconday Doula who is also assigned to them, that they can meet at their prental visit.  This ensures that we aren’t calling in a last minute ‘back up doula’ if there is an illness or emergency.  We offer a professional experience, and you are guaranteed to have a doula who you will know ahead of time!  Our packages start at $1450. 

How far in advance do I need to hire a Doula for a birth?

You can hire a Doula at any point during your pregnancy, as long as you aren’t actually in labour (you could still call us, you never know!)  We have been hired a week before someone’s due date, and as early as 6 weeks of pregnancy.  Any time is fine, as long as we have availability!

Can a Postpartum Doula babysit my new born baby?

Postpartum Doula support is amazing!  They are specially trained to do so much to support mothers and families adapt to life with their new babies.  Sometimes all you’ll need is for us to hold your baby while you nap (and we’re happy to!), but we are also able to support you as you learn to bathe, swaddle, feed, diaper, burp, hold, and care for your new baby.  We take care of you so you can care for your baby!  We do laundry, prep meals or snacks, help you with Postpartum recovery, and accompany you to appointments, consults or special events.  Our day visits are usually 4-6 hours so you can have a nap, go for a walk, have a chat, snack and ask questions if you need. Sometimes just having someone to talk to about your journey into motherhood can make a huge difference, and can help you cope with such a huge change.  We don’t judge your parenting choices, and we support you as you find your groove as a parent, with information, guidance and ‘a village’ of support.

Do you have night nurses as well?

Some of our amazing Postpartum Doulas also do overnight visits!  Usually from 10pm-6am, they can support you to get the most sleep possible during the first few months with your newborn.  If you are nursing, we can bring baby to you to feed, and take care of everything else.  We can help with pumping, bottle feeding, diapering and help in any way we can! Overnights can be every night or just once per week so you can have a break.  You tell us what you need.

Do you have people who can help with nursing issues (Lactation consultants)?

Yes!  Although our Postpartum Doulas have extra training to support basic breastfeeding issues, I take pride in providing extra support to all our clients to reach their breastfeeding goals!  I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) which means I qualified with thousands of hours of experience helping mothers breastfeed through challenges and normal adjustments with babies.  I can do in-home or hospital visits to support you and assess feeding, milk supply and deal with pain discomfort or any issues that come up.  I also offer Prenatal Breastfeeding Prep consults when you’re pregnant to teach you the basics and have a plan in place to avoid any breastfeeding issues.  It is important that mothers feel supported no matter how they choose to feed their babies, so there is no judgement of choices, just as much support as you want!

We would love to support you! Join’s Ava’s Help to connect with a Doula http://www.avashelp.com