Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Doula services

Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Doula services

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that 'health care professionals should recommend human milk for all infants in whom breastfeeding is not specifically contraindicated and provide parents with complete, current information on the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding to ensure that their feeding decision is a fully informed one'.
AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months with exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of 4 months but preferably for 6 months.

AAP firmly supports the position that "breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant. Exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life.

The word Doula (pronounced doo-la ) comes from ancient Greek and is used to refer to someone experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Studies have shown that when Doulas attend births, labours are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula
  • Recognizes childbirth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labour
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for the birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labour
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint
  • Helps the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the labouring woman, her partner and the clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman's partner to participate at his comfort level

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum Doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction, and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

A Postpartum Doula
  • Cares for the mother and her family in their home in the first weeks following the birth
  • Provides non-medical support and companionship
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for the new parents
  • Makes appropriate referrals when necessary

Making Arrangements for a Doula
You are encouraged to contact "Nurturing Birth Experience….Before, During & After" near your 28th week of pregnancy. This will allow time to become acquainted, obtain a history of the pregnancy and learn about prior births, expectations, wishes and needs and plan how to enhance your birth experience. Your Doula will assist you in developing a realistic birthing plan, and offer information on labour and delivery, and instruction in relaxation, breathing, visualization and comfort techniques.

During the actual delivery, the Doula will remain continuously with the birthing mom as part of the health care team, offering comfort and encouragement. Following the baby's arrival, the Doula will help with breastfeeding, infant care information, and provide follow-up support for the new parents with postpartum visits.

Doulas & Dads
The Doula's support is as valuable to the father as it is to the mother. A sympathetic ear, source of encouragement, gentle educator and a friend is something from which we could all benefit throughout our lives. The postpartum Doula provides all of these during this defining life experience.

The importance of the father's involvement and support during the weeks following birth cannot be overstated. During this time he truly becomes a parent, getting to know this tiny, yet complete person who has entered his family. The Doula can ease this introduction, helping the father to discover all he can do about his baby, as well as as developing his own concept of himself as a parent. In addition, a Doula can help parents adjust their own relationship, moving forward to enhance their previous life together as a couple who are now parents. The role of the Doula is to help the family experience success.

Lactation Services
Lactation Services are provided by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in either the hospital or the comfort of your own home.

Infant/Child CPR, First Aid & Baby Safety Certification Course
RVC Rehab Services is happy to offer a 3-4 hour course taught on the last Saturday afternoon of every month (excluding December and August) by a certified instructor and physical therapist.

Better Bodies Before Babies
RVC Rehab Services is happy to offer an exercise class designed to keep mom fit during pregnancy; directed at alleviating symphsis pubis disorder, SI joint and postural problems that can be experienced due to physiological changes to the body during pregnancy.

Better Bodies After Babies
RVC Rehab Services specialises in post partum health care for new moms.

Pregnancy, labour, and delivery create many changes in a woman's body - some slowly over several months, and some acutely due to trauma during labour and delivery. All women who go through this amazing process change the way they use their muscle system to stabilize the lumbopelvic region and transfer loads through their bodies. The goal of this program is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to restore optimum function of your lower back and pelvis. The information delivered, as well as the exercises and movement behaviours taught, will help to restore optimal stabilization strategies for your lower back and pelvic girdle, potentially reducing the risk of future lower back and pelvic pain, as well as prevent problems such as uterine prolapse and bladder dysfunction.

Post-Caesarean / Post-hysterectomy Care & Education
While still in the hospital, we can teach you various movement patterns so you can get in and out of bed, cough, sneeze, etc. with minimum pain. We'll also help you with simple exercises to alleviate gas and get your tummy toned again!