By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (September 29, 2016) – Sarah Ste-Marie has two children, Levi, 4, and Astrid, 19 months. And while she adores them both, Ste-Marie said their births and her post-partum experiences were not the same.
During her first pregnancy, Ste-Marie began researching prenatal care, hospitals and birthing centers. She wanted a natural birth. She assumed expressing that desire would mean the hospital would grant her wishes.
The experience ended in 35 hours of labor, three hours of pushing and a C-section. A crying Levi. A post-op mom. None of it was what she wanted or envisioned. Ste-Marie said someone else was calling the shots. And recovery from major surgery wasn’t part of her plan. Her perfect the picture of labor and delivery was all but destroyed.
Fast forward to child number two and Ste-Marie took control. She started by getting all the help she could find – midwives, a doula.
She wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). And that’s what she got.
Astrid entered the world in a pool of water. Ste-Marie was surrounded by her carrying coaches, as well as her husband and son. The magically relaxed moment happened in a birthing center cottage.
Ste-Marie said the second experience was an intimate one. There was no pressure. There was no waiting room with eager family members pacing the halls. No surgery. And no cries from little Astrid. The baby entered the world healthy and happy. And peaceful. Ste-Marie was also content. She got the natural experience she desired.
Both experiences have led Ste-Marie to expand her at-home business to include postpartum doula services. She said certification and proper training will allow her to help new parents through the critical first hours of parenthood – a time that includes not enough sleep, some frustration and a lot of questions.
Pursuing that dream, Ste-Marie called on ProDoula, which led to the scheduling of a 10-hour, one-day postpartum doula training course for 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Ste-Marie said the program, which is open to all interested parties and available for a training and certification fee, will allow her and other attendees to gain the practical skills needed to provide quality postpartum support.
The hands-on workshop will provide information for would-be postpartum doulas to share with their clients. Topics covered during the course include recovery from all birthing scenarios, breastfeeding support, co-sleeping, vaccines, sudden infant death syndrome, circumcision care, feeding and sleeping cues, parenting for single and multiple-child families, dealing with depression and other mental issues and more.
Ste-Marie described a list of services that could be obtained in from a doctor – minus the waiting rooms, rushed visits and line of crying babies and fidgeting parents.
“A post-partum doula is someone that can be there with you when you have the baby and/or meet you back at your house after you leave the hospital or birthing center,” Ste-Marie explained. “We would be there for non-judgmental emotional and physical support. A lot new moms have spouses who go back to work soon after baby is born and some of them are single parents, and that’s when a doula can really help.”
While the focus would be on caring for mothers and newborns, Ste-Marie said doulas can also provide support and education to the rest of the family as everyone works to find a new routine. They can even preform normal tasks that suddenly seem impossible like laundry, errands and meal prep.
“It’s a way for new parents to establish a new routine with a little support and no pressure,” she said.
The ProDoula certification program will be led by a trainer out of a Fort Worth, and attendees would be ready to start their new business upon completion of the program.
“They will even teach you how to market and brand your services to reach clients who would benefit from the support of a post-partum doula,” Ste-Marie said.
While doula services aren’t commonplace in the local area, Ste-Marie said her own experience tells her that women who take control of their pregnancy, birthing experience and post-partum care have a more positive and less stress experience.
“It really makes a difference,” she said.
To register visit, www.prodoula.com or call 914-400-3494.