Birth Doula Package
- Complimentary meet and greet.
- 2 Prenatal sessions.
- The second is a birth positions workshop.
- Complimentary online prenatal yoga.
- Text and phone support as needed from hiring until 6 weeks postpartum.
- Access to all Brood’s online courses and Brood’s Family Portal.
- Colostrum collection kit with written and video instructions.
- Continuous support for your entire labor journey.
- Comfort measures, such as — positions, acupressure, breathing and vocalizing techniques, birth chair, and TENS machine.
- First feed, latching, and newborn care support.
- Birth photography and videos (if desired).
- Two postpartum sessions.
- Birth debrief, mental health check-in, and/or practical support.
- Connection to FLEX community and postpartum yoga if wanted.
- Text and phone support for 6 weeks postpartum.
- Connection to various support groups, peer-led groups and specific resources such as counselling and lactation consultants if needed.
What languages do you speak?
English and some Italian.
What is your personal definition of “doula”?
A doula does what needs to be done to help ensure that families have time and space to be heard, respected, informed, and fully supported in their reproductive choices, whatever these may be. The way that I doula is adapted to meet the evolving needs of the family over this spectrum of our time together, and it is always my goal to work to help families have as positive and empowering experiences as possible.
What brought you to birth and postpartum work?
I came into doula work from working with people as a yoga instructor and truly it found me! I trained as a doula to inform my prenatal yoga teaching and soon realized that this role was perfect for my personality, skills, and constitution.
In a climate of caregiver burnout, how are you caring for yourself?
My professional roles have mostly been caregiving so I learned early on about how the impact of poor work/life balance can affect the quality of my service and life. I have a family, I perform, create art, play, and teach as well as build and support my various communities in a variety of ways. My caring for myself is often built into my days so that I structure my life with space to do the things that make me happy, grounded, and in a place where I am fortified, energized, and present. This is rest, and home grounding such as making nourishing food, gardening, sewing, moving my body, or connecting with loved ones. My doula service is one where I bring fresh energy, humor, and compassion to families and I do require care to show up fully in this role. I also have developed a backup doula system that gives me absolute peace of mind. This is essential.
What is a standout book, movie/tv, etc about the childbearing/parenting journey that you return to?
BIRTH & POSTPARTUM
- Emergency First Aid.
- Birth and Postpartum training, DONA.
- Nursing Education for Health Care Providers.
- Spinning Babies.
- Dancing for Birth.
- Yoga Certification and Pre/Postnatal.
- Evidence-Based Birth.
- MA DISM, UBC.
- BA Child and Youth Care, UVIC.
FOR YOUR PERSONAL LEARNING, WHAT IS THE WORKSHOP/TRAINING ON YOUR RADAR?
- Full Spectrum Doula Training.
We didn’t think we needed a doula for our second pregnancy and thought we would manage just fine on our own. Until two weeks before our due date, when we realized an extra set of experienced hands would be very helpful. Enter Renee. Renee is everything you want in a doula. Approachable and knowledgeable, calm and confident, patient and present. I truly believe that our birth story turned out the way it did because of Renee. She brought tools I didn’t even know I needed (a giant inflatable chair), her magic hands made even the most painful contractions feel tolerable and her constant presence by my and my partner’s side made us both feel safe and secure. If you are thinking of hiring a doula, I highly recommend Renee! — Shannon
Neither my husband nor I thought we needed a doula until our midwife suggested the idea and we decided on Renée. Renée offered instrumental preparatory sessions at our house. These sessions helped us to talk through our hopes, worries, and priorities, get to know one another and gave Renée a sense of what spaces and props we had in the house that might be useful for labor. We are both certain that without Renée, my husband would have had one or two strategies for helping me stay comfortable and we would have ended up at the hospital early in labor. With Renée’s help, we stayed in our home much of the evening and used different rooms and props to change positions, keep moving, and rest in a familiar space. Once at the hospital, Renée was great at getting us settled, keeping the lights low, and communicating with the midwife about what had and had not been working in the process so far. Renée had an amazing ability to anticipate, what I needed before I knew or could vocalize what that was. She was also attentive to what my husband needed and what might assist him in supporting me best. Renée nailed the fine art of balancing when to be right by my side and when to stand back and attend to whatever came up in the background at all the right moments. Renée is strong, practical, funny, and works so well as part of a team. She is a great advocate. Following the birth, Renée provided great support and again seemed to know just what balance to strike for being present for us and for giving us the space we needed as a new family. Renée’s practice of debriefing after the birth was also something I found beneficial and empowering. The continuity of her support through the final stages of pregnancy to life as a new parent was meaningful to us. If you are having doubts about whether you might want or need a doula, err on the side of hiring one, and contact Renée. — Kate
Landing as an immigrant in Canada and giving birth without any other family members around can be daunting, especially at the time of the pandemic. I only had my husband and my young daughter which I can’t bring to the hospital with me during labor and delivery. The anxiety and worry were too high that I just wanted to get it over with. Luckily, I found Renée and she acted as my partner all throughout my labor and delivery. I had a PROM and she was there at my place in an instant. She knew what to do and also instructed me on how to be calm and practice my breathing exercises. During delivery, her guidance really helped a lot in pushing and giving birth calmly. In between contractions, she was my support person. I can’t imagine going through this whole ordeal without any support person, and Renée made sure that I was well taken care of. Her prenatal yoga and other post-natal services were also very helpful for someone who just gave birth! I highly recommend her as a doula, especially if you are looking for a support person throughout your birth experience. — VR
My husband and I met Renée in 2017 at a speed-doula event where we had 8 minutes each with several doulas. We felt immediately like Renée was a good fit for us—with her knowledge, experience, communication style, calm and grounded approach, prenatal yoga training, and focus on breath/tones. She attended both of our home births, one in 2018 and one in the fall of 2020. I had wondered what having a doula would look like during COVID, but with the amazing prenatal yoga sessions she led on zoom throughout my second and third trimesters, I felt confident that even if she couldn’t attend our birth in person, she would be an invaluable resource for our birth. We kept open and honest lines of communication about any possible COVID risks and had regular check-ins to assess the status of the pandemic. When I went into labor, we and she felt comfortable having her physically present for our birth. She wore the appropriate PPE and was very respectful when entering our home. We are so happy and appreciative she was able to be here because her calm and grounding presence again helped our second birth be a positive experience. She was also a great support for my husband during both births. Her check-ins, support, and debriefs postpartum were also enormously helpful and most appreciated. Thank you, Renée! — Celia
Finding someone I could feel open and comfortable with during something so vulnerable as birth felt like a monumental task, but Renée has such a special energy, grounded and empowering, and accepting. I’m a profoundly awkward human being, but Renée somehow both kept up a natural flow and held space for me. Her compassion and courage create these safe, non-judgmental bubbles where I felt I could ask any question or share any fear. As for the birth itself, I am so grateful for Renée’s presence and strength. Renée’s advice helped me work with my body rather than against it, her deep respect for my autonomy helped me feel safe enough to welcome my labor and set aside my inhibitions (which sped things up considerably!), and the guidance of her voice when my water broke and the sensations became really powerful helped me transform suffering into power. Renée didn’t just tolerate my big queer family – she embraced and engaged them all. She helped each of us find and celebrate our strengths, and was so sensitive to our needs and emotions. Sometimes being queer means fitting artificially into institutions and experiences designed for conventional families. Renée helped us fully experience our birth as a family without ever making us feel like imposters. Best of all was how she helped us include our 5yo. I thought the birth would be frightening for her, so we’d organized some cake-baking to distract them, but she stalwartly refused to leave my side. Renée welcomed her into that calm, safe bubble and treated her like a peer, answering all her questions, explaining what was happening, and even helping her to support me. The experience was so inspiring for her that to this day when she sees someone in pain she still gently places a hand on their back and calmly makes the low, grounding hum that Renée taught her. I am so proud that her first experience of birth was empowering and positive. — Steph
Sitting down to write this testimonial is overwhelming… because Renee is absolutely the most incredibly solid, present, competent, strong (in all ways!), and compassionate human being and doula. I knew that I wanted a doula at my birth who was trauma-informed, body positive, and who has a facility working with LGBTQI-2+ and BIPOC folx. Renee is that person, in a way that is so easeful, so grounded in her being and practice that it felt like being with (chosen) family. Renee was always clear in communication but not directive, she was physically strong with a mind-boggling amount of endurance and so I could LITERALLY lean on/hang on her for hours on end, she was obviously on my team and still gracious with the hospital staff. She is non-judgemental in ways I didn’t know possible, and her respect for me and my decisions during birth was unshakable. I don’t know how I could have weathered the birth I had without her. I’ve never felt so held, so cared for, and so calm in the face of a mind-shatteringly challenging and beautiful, life-changing experience. I cannot recommend Renee more. She is a gem. — Rebecca
I’ve worked with Renee in a number of capacities over the past few years. She has been my yoga instructor as well as my doula for the births of both of my babies. She has also supported me during those challenging postpartum days and assisted when I had struggles breastfeeding my son. I can not say enough good things about working with Renee, she is extremely knowledgeable, kind, and cool-headed. I truly believe that I would have required c-sections for both of my deliveries if Renee hadn’t been on my team. In the days leading up to each birth, she was always available to keep me and my husband calm and during labor she was the one we looked to for guidance. I trust Renee completely and would recommend her to any parents-to-be. — Jen
I can’t begin to explain how glad I am to have Renee during my birth experience. Renee’s warm, calm demeanor and in-depth knowledge of movement and techniques to manage contractions were the reasons I wanted her as my doula initially. When I was in labor at home, Renee was able to suggest ways to make my contractions more productive and guided me through breathing techniques to manage the pain. She seemed to know exactly what I needed to hear during each contraction. My labor progressed very quickly and suddenly, and Renee drove with my partner and me to the birthing cottage providing reassurance and guidance through contractions when I was on all fours in the back of the car. After we got to the birthing cottage, I was in transition and starting to feel the need to push and the midwives were not there yet. Renee allowed my partner and me to remain focused and calm despite the uncertainty and continued to help me through the transition, providing strong counter pressure, massage, and positive affirmations. Postpartum, Renee came over late one night for 2 hours to talk me through some difficulties with breastfeeding when I was feeling anxious and emotional. She showed me helpful techniques and gave me much-needed encouragement and reassurance. We also reminisced on my birth, which allowed me to view the seemingly chaotic experience in a positive and beautiful light. Renee was my birth guardian angel, I could not recommend her services more!! — Alex