Nurturing Hands Birth Doula
and Massage Therapy Services
Wouldn't it be wonderful if women could emerge from their births feeling a sense of strength and power?
I truly believe all women deserve to be supported and nurtured throughout their pregnancy and labor. Birth does not have to be a scary or negative experience, birth should be beautiful and empowering and leave you with a memory to cherish for a lifetime!
My goal is to assist you, emotionally and physically, in having the most positive birth experience possible. My focus is on you and doing what I can do ensure your birth is a positive one!
I am not a professional photographer but as with everything birth related, I enjoy taking photos of my clients special moments!
There are so many benefit to prenatal massage, you are creating life, you deserve to have a pain free and well balanced body while doing so! Although I specialize in prenatal treatments, I also offer Deep Tissue and Energy work!
From the moment I met Desiree, I knew she would be a great match for me. Her warm and welcoming demeanor set me at ease and I could see the passion she had for life and for her role as a doula. She walked me through the process of what was to be expected and I walked off from that meeting feeling encouraged and content in knowing that I had a support system in place. Every meeting we had I left feeling good about my choice and knowing that when the day came, Desiree would be there to make sure what I wanted was achieved. During my labour, Desiree was there, keeping me focused, breathing through it all with me, encouraging me with many different methods of relieving the pain and bringing me into the present moment. She was an incredible source of strength and I could not have had such an amazing labour experience without having had her on my team. She went above and beyond afterwards as well by presenting me with a baby book filled with beautiful, intimate pictures of the labour and a little gift. I would recommend her as a doula to anyone!
From the first meeting with Desiree we knew that she would be a perfect match for us. She gave off a very nurturing and supportive vibe and was easy to get along with. Throughout my entire pregnancy and labour, Desiree went above and beyond. She offered two prenatal massages, something every pregnant lady greatly appreciates! This was definitely one of the features that drew my attention to her as having someone skilled in massage during labour is a great form of pain relief ... Throughout a long labour, she did everything I asked of her and helped me stay motivated when I wanted to give up. My significant other was very thankful for her help in supporting me ... I strongly recommend Desiree to anyone looking and I will definitely be using her again in a subsequent pregnancy if possible!
My sister recommended I have a doula for my birthing experience so I checked them out on kijiji to see what kind of options were available. I messaged a few different people including Desiree and she responded back to me in a very timely manner. Desiree is also a registered massage therapist and she advertised that as included in her service if I hired her. I have had back issues for a long time and the prenatal massages were amazing ... I am so thankful my husband and I decided to hire Desiree and our birthing experience would have never been the same without her. Luckily I was able to stick to my birth plan, in times I felt I wanted otherwise Desiree reminded me of what I wanted. I always felt like she was non-judgemental and encouraging me to continue with my beliefs about the medications, skin to skin contact, delayed cord clamping etc. My husband has already told her she will be there for the birth of all of our children ... We were very impressed with Desiree and look forward to working with her again.
I started my search online and when I came across Desiree's profile I KNEW she was the one I wanted to meet ... I messaged Desiree and she responded back to me very quickly. Desiree is really easy to get along with and to talk to and very knowledgable about the "mainstream" medical birth options as well as alternative options for our birth. In making our birth plan with her she was very open and non-judgemental as to what we wanted and was very supportive in all our decisions. She also completely changed my mind about birth; I was not terrified anymore but excited to take it on! ... when it came to our delivery Desiree was amazing and definitely helped me get through it medication free. Where Desiree's knowledge and service served me the most was after our birth. I was a new mom and was VERY overwhelmed with all the opinions flying in my direction about what was best for my daughter. I think I texted Desiree 24 hours a day for about 2 weeks straight about every little thing and not once did she make me feel like I was a bother. She was my biggest cheerleader and supporter and I truly thank her for that ... I highly recommend Desiree to be part of any birth team!
Our experience with Desiree throughout our journey mirrors the other testimonials exactly. She is so kind, nurturing, knowledgable, and easy to get along with. Her massages are exceptional and the photos/birth story she made for us after our son's birth was done with so much thought and care. I eagerly anticipate having her along the next pregnancy/birth.
Desiree was so supportive during my pregnancy, labour and delivery. She provided a lot of resources and techniques for me and my husband. she was warm, knowledgable and caring throughout. She's a massage therapist as well which is a perfect compliment to her doula skills. We would definitely recommend Desiree as a doula. Her support and guidance helped me to reach my VBAC goal! Thanks again Desiree!
From our first meeting, I knew Desiree would be my doula. She is a wealth of knowledge and always responded quickly whenever I had a question. She was invaluable during my delivery as she provided support to both me and my husband. Desiree's calmness helped guide us through intense contractions and she provided suggestions when my husband was at a loss for what to do or say. My husband was also able to take much needed breaks without needing to worry about leaving me alone. It is a bonus that Desiree is an RMT because her massages helped keep me relaxed as we approached my due date. Overall, my husband and I are very happy with our choice to have Desiree as our doula and we would definitely hire her again!
Desiree was an absolutely amazing person to work with. Being that this was my first pregnancy, I knew I wanted some extra support for myself and my husband during the birth. Although my husband was a bit nervous at first about having someone else in the delivery room with us, he instantly felt comfortable with Desiree and felt more confident knowing she was going to be there with us. Having Desiree by our side gave us just the amount of peace of mind that we needed. Right from the beginning, Desiree was very knowledgeable and helpful when it came to answering our questions and preparing us for labor. During labor, she was very grounding and reassuring. She helped my husband with techniques to help me with my pain management, and she helped us make more educated decisions when we needed to. On top of it all, she took the absolute most beautiful photos of our new family when my son was born, and I will cherish those forever. I highly recommend Desiree to as many people as possible, as I am confident that her calm, nurturing reassuring nature will be a blessing to anyone she works with.
We hired Desiree because with my first I had an excruciating long labor but a very easy delivery once I had my epidural ... I had about four false starts, all late night, and a very long pre-labor period ... Desiree was read for me during it all. She was coming over at 5:30am when my contractions were mild and 10 mins apart to give me peace of mind and help get things moving but my contractions picked up quick while she was on her way and my water broke so she met us at the hospital ... she kept me calm through low blood pressure and low heart rates and thinking through if a c-section would be necessary. My little man came fast and furious at the end, thinking we may need an emergency c-section at 3:32 because my blood pressure plummeted and they couldn't find his heart beat to delivering him at 3:40 with less than a full push and no tearing ... Afterward my cheap Scottish husband said you know I didn't think she really had to do much at first but she really did so much and having her there was the best investment we every made and he's not a doula kinda guy! When I interviewed her I said I don't think labour is a beautiful thing, she said she did and we giggled. After having my son I can say that thanks to the reassurance she brought me it was a beautiful experience. Thank you, you got us through a few scary moments.
Desiree was amazing from the first time we met her. She was also very accommodating of the time and location for our visits. Desiree was excited for me to attempt a VBAC and was informative about everything. My birth plan changed considerably (from a natural home birth to a possible hospital birth ending in c-section). At around 36 weeks, we found out baby was breach. Even if my mind was all over the place, she reminded me of the journey I had went through and allowed me to keep a positive mind. Desiree never gave up on us. She answered all my questions quickly. When my labour started the day prior to a scheduled c-section she was at the hospital in no time! She was soooo supportive throughout my labour but also allowed my partner to be hands on and supported him also. When we started looking for a doula we were looking for someone real that we could easily relate to and hoped for not as traumatizing of a birth as our first child, Desiree was exactly this person. I was able to have a breach birth in a hospital setting and without Desiree's support and positive mind I don't believe the moment would have been as memorable. Desiree kept track of all my "funny" moments and even made us an album with pictures to cherish forever. We are forever grateful of the work she did before, during and after labour. Labour is a passion for Desiree and it shows in the work she does!
So, what exactly is a Doula?
A birth doula is a trained and experienced labor and delivery support aide who provides the mom to be and her partner continuous support in all aspects; be it emotional, physical, or informational. A Doula also obtains information before, during and after childbirth to ensure a positive experience for all involved.
A Doula recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life. She understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a birthing woman. A Doula assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth. She stays by the side of the birthing woman throughout the entire birth process. A Doula provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make informed decisions. She facilitates communication between the birthing woman, her partner, and clinical care providers. A Doula physically and emotionally supports the partner so that the partner can better support the birthing woman. She perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.
While a Doula is not a nurse she is a constant presence when medical professionals leave the room. She understands the birth process. When birthing women feel safe and secure, birth progresses. The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers, partners, and infants! Studies have shown that having a doula present results in 50% less C-sections, 40% less forceps deliveries, 25% shorter labors, 60% less requests for epidurals, 40% less use of ocytocin, better mother infant bonding, 30% less analgesia use and a reduction in postpartum depression.
Doulas are often confused with midwives, however they serve very different roles. A midwife performs clinical tasks, she provides medical care during pregnancy, does diagnostic and screening tests and catches the baby. Basically a midwife does everything an OB does except surgical tasks. Whereas a Doula does not catch babies, she provides non-medical skills such as 24 hour informational support during pregnancy and postpartum, positioning suggestions during labor and birth, clarifying explanations of medical procedures, massage and other non-medical pain relief measures, reassurance, help with breastfeeding preparation and beginnings, and most importantly a constant nurturing helpful and objective support as well as first-hand knowledge and understanding of what the laboring woman is going through. Both midwives and doulas attend home births. However, most of the doula's work is done for couples having a hospital birth. She comes to the home in early labor and then follows the couple to their birthing place.
A Doula's presence strengthens the partners role. Pressure to know how to help the birthing woman is removed, the doula anticipates the physical and emotional needs of the laboring woman as labor progresses, and helps the partner to better help the woman during this trying time.
A Doula assisted birth is often more intimate than one without a Doula. Early labor can take place comfortably at home. Dim lighting, soothing music, warm water, and relaxation all are encouraged by the Doula who captures these moments on camera (if requested), and records events to create a birth story to treasure always. The emotional bond and sense of connection between mother and partner is important, and the doula knows when to stay in the background when the couple is doing well and when to jump in and offer guidance, such as position changes and breathing variations as labor progresses. When the stress of what to do and when to do it is taken away, both mother and partner can really focus on each other.
A Doula never imposes her own beliefs onto the birthing woman. The Doula's true agenda is to help ensure that the woman's birth plan is acknowledged and followed as much as possible as well as ensuring the birthing woman is respected and honoured throughout. The doula may in fact think about the birth plan more than the couple especially when labor intensifies. A Doula helps with decision-making by asking questions that will ensure that the right information is given to the woman and her partner so that they can make an informed decision. She may also suggest alternatives for the couple to consider, she does not make decisions for the couple.
Why should I get a massage when I'm pregnant?
There are many benefits to prenatal massage! Your body is working so hard creating life, it only makes sense that there would be extra aches and pains. On top of generally relaxing muscles prenatal massage creates tranquil relaxation and reduces stress. It will give you relief from muscles cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain; especially in the lower back, hips, neck, and legs. Prenatal massage reduces headaches and increases blood and lymph circulation which can reduce swelling. Easing the muscles tension reduces stress put on weight bearing joints. It enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues, provides support for the new mother with physical and emotional strains of pregnancy. Prenatal massage also encourages better sleep and is very rejuvenating due to the ability to lay down and actually relax!
Why does my infant need to be massaged?
Infant massage is incredibly beneficial for new babies. It helps to relieve discomfort from gas, colic, and constipation. It improves blood circulation, aids in digestion, enhances development of the nervous system, stimulates neurological development, heightens awareness, and improves immune function. During infant massage oxytocin is released which is the nurturing, love, bonding hormone. It reduces levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone. Infant massage fosters love, compassion and respect, it promotes relaxation and helps babies self-regulate calm. It helps to normalize muscle tone, helps baby sleep deeper and more calmly while increases parent infant bonding. Massage sparks the neurons in the infants brains to grow and branch out to encompass other neurons!