May was really eventful!
After finishing with my training course in February, I decided to explore the possibility of being a labour doula on-call for the Scarborough Hospital Doula Program in where people can have access to a doula during their labour in a sliding scale of $25-$500, based on the pregnant person’s capacity to pay.
It has been really rewarding to work with a group of doulas who range from starting to quite experienced. The program uses a pool of doulas who sign-up to be on-call for certain days of the month, and if one of our pre-registered clients happens to labour on the day of your choice, you get to attend and support them.
The difference, and the reason why this is a very financially accessible program is that doulas only get a very small remuneration for the services provided, and us doulas don’t agree to have pre or post-natal support for the clients under this program.
May also marked International Doula Month. The Scarborough Doula Program marked this month by having each of us sign up to volunteer some days at the hospital, with clients who would be interested but who had not preregistered to our program. I had my first birth of may a day right after my birthday, and then I was labour support for another woman whom I’ve decided to stay in touch with, because her labour was really intensive.
I also had my first client’s birth! Daniela, Jeremy and I worked really hard to bring Lucia safe and sound into this world on May 27th.
Just at the turn of June, a client from our program in Scarborough was labouring under really stressful circumstances, having her husband out of town while labouring with a 2 year old toddler to take care of. Another little one showed face (and body, and all that is human!) on June 1.
And that’s it! I am really excited to have been part of these people’s lives this month. It’s given me much more room to grow comfortable with knowing what to do in various non-textbook situations, how to relax and help other do the same, and most importantly, the amazing work that labour can be.