C h e l s e a S i n n i c k s

"Your body is not a lemon," - This is a quote Ina May Gaskin said during the first birth talk I had ever listened to.

At the time I hadn't been much immersed in birth, or thinking about it too too much, although I was very aware of it happening around me. My friends weren't yet having babies and I wasn't in a place where I myself was thinking about having babies.

The closest experience I had with birth at that time was watching the birthing video they show in highschool with a woman's legs in stirrups and the whole video only consisted of the baby crowning, and was shot with a camcorder in the 1980s. My experience was similar to what I have come to know is that of most people, the over dramatized version you see in the movies where the woman's water breaks and then it's like the most intense roller coaster ride where she is yelling and screaming and hyper ventilating and if the partner is there he is kung-fu fighting his way through everyone in his path and yelling that his wife is in labour.

Maybe some people give birth like this, however I have yet to see it.

It is usually much calmer, more of a journey, where the family is swaying, and breathing, and moaning together, every birth is different and unique, like a snowflake but with a lot more intensity and in my opinion, raw beauty.

So you as a family, a soon to be mom, or dad, or any person in the various shades of grey we come in are probably wondering A) how I got to becoming a doula and B) what do I stand for as a doula, what kind of doula I am, and what does this all mean for you?

I became introduced into birth work in January of 2014, the first birth I attended was during a snowstorm. It was a home birth and myself and the midwife had to trek through the snow with headlamps to get there. It was a beautiful experience, that, unknowingly at the time, would change my life forever. Since then I have attended close to 60 births as a midwifery second attendant, and have only recently decided to really branch out on my own as a doula.

The term "doula" is a Greek word meaning "woman who supports," and this is what we doulas are there to do, we provide support to families in labour. I have heard too many birth trauma stories of women feeling alone, or even violated in their birthing experience, and we stand as a rock, as a supporter of whatever you decide in your birthing experience, to the best we can, without intervening with medical advice.

As a doula my role is to support you, as a person who is giving birth, I do not discriminate, I do not judge, I am there to meet you where you are in your journey with your soon to be baby. Sometimes this is as simple as a hug, sometimes this means squatting next to you while helping you slow your breath for several hours, it is all about meeting you and your family where you are and helping to mellow the transition from where you are before labour to where you are after. I support people from many different backgrounds, and being a member of the LGBTQ community myself am very much so open to helping other LGBTQ and alternative families, as I know this can be an additional intense obstacle when giving birth and becoming a family.

In the birthing process everyone should feel empowered and strong and supported in their birth, everyone should feel like they can do it and trust in their body and those whom they choose to have around them. Every birthing person on this planet is a warrior, is strong, and should feel so in their labour, and as a doula that is ultimately what we try to achieve. Your body is not a lemon, it is not a machine, it is unique, and beautiful, and powerful beyond words, and if you choose me as your doula, my only goal is to help you and those surrounding you come together as a unit to support your birthing process and to help families blend as an even stronger unit than before you were in labour together. If I can do this, in whatever way that might mean for you, than I have done my doula job. Even if I am not your chosen doula, but you have taken the time to read my profile, thank you and in love and light, I wish you the most beautiful of birthing process whatever that might mean for you. :)

Email: ccs485@mun.ca



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