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Shandelle: “Growing up, I was always fascinated by pregnancy and babies. I wanted to be a midwife, but growing up in Newfoundland, that wasn’t an easy process. After having my 3rd child, I needed a change. My heart was not full. So I started looking into what options there were to work with families. A friend mentioned becoming a doula. Within a week, I was enrolled in a 2-year training course to become a birth and postpartum doula! Now my life, and heart, are full as I raise my 3 children and support families.”
Shandelle: “I provide birth and postpartum doula services as well as lactation counselling throughout HRM.”
Shandelle: “I have taken a 2-year birth and postpartum doula course through Doula Canada, Lactation Counselor with CBI.”
Shandelle: “I have attended 120 births. Most have those have been at the IWK, however, I have also done births in Newfoundland as well as 6 homebirths.”
Shandelle: “The postpartum period is one that needs so much care and support. I offer postpartum doula services as well as lactation support.”
Shandelle: “During the labour process I will come and be with family at their home if laboring there, or meet them at the hospital. Once there, I provide a continuous presence and support. In my doula bag, I pack snacks so that I do not need to leave for food. I also have massage tools and a birth TENS machine. While at a birth I am trained to know different positions to help get baby in a great position for labor. I’ll run baths, get cold cloths, help the partner know comfort tools, explain things that are happening that may not be clear, create a space for the birthing person and partner to talk privately if a decision needs to be made, creating a safe space. I will provide encouragement and guidance for pushing and positions, explaining the ‘why’ for different suggestions. I remain by their side for about 2 hours after baby arrives to help with bonding and feeding. After birth, I will visit the family to go over the birth and help with feeding or just to visit and meet the baby. My doula style is compassion, education and empowerment. To book my services we will have a free consultation either in person at a coffee shop or over zoom. If you decide to use me as your doula, a contract will be signed by both of us and a deposit made. “
Shandelle: “Birthing people are the core of my support, however, the partners need my support too. So part of it is helping the partners and helping them know how to support the birthing person. Physical support, like hip squeeze, counter pressure, massage, running a bath, cold cloths, grabbing snacks and fluids, helping communicate with staff once at the hospital, encouraging and uplifting and empowering people. “
Shandelle: “Coping looks different for everyone. For some it is a calm presence with reassurance, for others, it is all hands on deck with TENS machine and comfort measures and for some, it is just having someone close. “
Shandelle: “How I feel about pain meds is irrelevant. There is a time and place for medication if the person is suffering. However, my goal is to support someone how they need it. Using every tool I have to get them through each contraction. If someone finally decides medication is for them, my support changes to a more informative and calming presence.”
Shandelle: “I have a wonderful network of amazing doulas in Halifax who we all back each other up.”
Shandelle: “My number one tip is to find out information and to know your options before labour. For postpartum, have a plan for support, have meals in the freezer and give yourself grace when things aren’t perfect. “
Shandelle: “Doulas may not seem like they are needed for everyone, but every single person, even the partner, can benefit from the support of a doula.”
If you would like to connect with Shandelle you can find more information on her Blossom and Birth website here.
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