I was born and raised in Central Alberta. From as long as I can remember I dreamt of being a nurse. I followed that dream and experienced working as a labor delivery nurse. When I started a family of my own I felt the need to be home with my girls. I lost my registration for my nursing but pursued massage therapy. It gave me the flexibility to be with my girls for their activities.
An opportunity arose for me to get back into the birthing community as a doula. I am delighted to be part of such a milestone in families’ lives. I love the fact that I can build a relationship with my clients before the birth of their baby. My “on call” starts two weeks before the due date and lasts until the baby arrives. This means that you can call me or text me any time of day or night if you are needing my support in any way. I will come to your home or the hospital whenever you would like me to, not when you have reached certain dilation. I believe support is needed at any stage of labor. Although the laboring woman is my priority, I also support partners by encouraging their participation in the labor and reminding them to drink water and eat. No one knows how long labor will be and partners need to take care of themselves so they can care for their loved one.
My massage background is useful during labor in the way that I can show and teach partners what they can do to help their loved ones. This can include positioning during contractions, how they can get involved in decision making, and supporting their loved one during breaks between contractions. With my training, I am also able to provide counter pressure and other massage techniques that aid with relaxation and pain control.
My medical background is useful in the way I am able to understand complex medical issues that some women may be dealing with during pregnancy or on a regular basis. During labor I ensure that the woman and her partner understand what is being suggested by the medical staff and why. I encourage them to ask questions in order for them to make an informed decision. Each couple and their birth journey are unique and my hope is that I can help them have a positive experience. Being able to work with people and be a part of their birth story gives me immense joy. Witnessing a family welcome a new baby into the world is an honor and a privilege.
Prenatal and postnatal massages are also available for my clients and even other expectant women. I have added another tool for pregnant and postpartum women. I have learned Cranioscacral Therapy for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This light touch therapy can be very beneficial to the woman and her baby preparing for labor and postpartum recovery. Since I am a Registered Massage Therapist, I can issue receipts for treatment.
It’s never too early or too late to hire a doula.
I acknowledge pregnancy and birth as a normal, natural process. Birth has a profound meaning to women and their families, and these experiences stay with us throughout our lives.
- Sandy Walsh -