The Way I Choose To Birth Does Matter

We all have ideas of what our birth will look like… or we have an image of a dream birth. We have expectations and this is how they often play out.

1. We share our dream and have an amazing team, wicked support and informed choices to help us achieve that dream. We walk into parenthood feeling powerful and strong. 
2. We share our dream, get shot down by our insurance, our doctor, our partner or misinformation and we transition into parenthood doubtful, worried and don’t trust ourselves as mothers
3. We have a dream, we don’t share it because we are afraid of getting shot down by those in #2 and we don’t even try. We have our baby, disappointed and upset (and maybe traumatized) at the way our birth went… not because it was a ‘bad’ experience, but because our voice wasn’t even heard by the world. We went with the flow handing all our power to the care providers, fear, lack of knowledge and worry.

What happens when we sacrifice what we want? When we make up that we should do it another way because our partner doesn’t understand? That our insurance won’t let us go to that place? That our doctor does not ‘allow’ us to do certain things? We hand over our power instead of communicating, sharing our desires and really finding out what is true for OURSELVES.

Each dream birth is going to be different for each individual. And this is NOT about getting it right! And this is NOT about having a totally natural vaginal birth. It’s about using our voices in the face of fear. It’s about trusting ourselves as strong mothers who instinctively know what is right for ourselves and our babies. It’s about asking QUESTIONS to get clear on what is right for you. Its about doing all of this and knowing that you and your baby are safe.

Who wants to transition into motherhood with feelings of upset, doubt and an unsatisfactory birth for the sake of someone else or fear?

This is the ONLY time in your life you are going to birth this baby. Why not commit to a birth that you feel powerful in?! A healthy and happy mother is what the family deserves!

If you want to plan a powerful birth schedule a call. No matter where you are in the world, you and your birth do matter <3

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What Does a Doula Do?

Well there are so many talents, past, and education behind every Doula that their passions and knowledge are so diverse.  So I am going to tell you what THIS Doula Does.

I work for you.  You are my boss.  You may know what you want me to do for you, or maybe I could surprise you with what tricks I have up my sleeve (or really in my Doula bag) I am committed to the possibilities you set for yourself,   so let me give you a bit of insight to what I can bring to your pregnancy and birthing time.

I start as soon as I am hired I can help you explore and discuss many ideas.

Before Birth
I will...

before and after birth

~discuss what care provider is best for the pregnancy and birth you want.
~Discuss the benefits of a planned home birth, along with risks, misconceptions and outcomes
~be a resource to help keep you comfortable for your pregnancy and birth by finding (alternative) care providers that believe in a healthy body, mind and spirit.
~contribute my knowledge about birth and challenge your ideas too
~tell you to trust your intuition
~encourage you to ask questions, to me, to your care provider, to your friends, to your partner, to yourself
~promote nutritional foods and help you find a way to eat well
~facilitate conversations of keeping sons intact
~research for/with you to help you to make the most informed decision to clarify conflicting information you may receive
~facilitate difficult conversations, be it fear, your desires, and concerns.
~encourage partners to participate in decision making and share ideas of their ideal birth
~promote great communication between you and your care provider(s) so that you know your desires and concerns are heard

During Your Birthing Time
I will...

~translate suggestions and terms from your care provider into language that can be clearly understood by you.
~include and empower your partner to be the best support person for you
~use breathing techniques, visualizations, massage, as comfort to you
~make suggestions on poses and positions for well-being and make suggestions for sleep and rest( yes, you can sleep during your birthing time!)
~assist with older sibling at the birth
~Promote that your partner is the best support person for you
~believe in you and your body to birth your baby
~be hands on and put myself into positions so that you are most comfortable.
~encourage you to stay at home as long as you are comfortable (if planning a hospital birth)
~reassure you and express normality in a homebirth or hospital birth setting
~ask questions to your care provider(s) so that you can gain insight to recommendations

After Birth
I will...

~help to ensure your views and wishes are respected
~explain in real time procedures that are being carried out on baby while they are happening
~believe in breastfeeding
~promote rest
~teach you skills that will allow the rest to happen be it your 1st or 4th child.
~help to instill confidence in your intuition (this starts way before birth)
~offer to clean, cook, entertain your children, talk, nurture and share my knowledge of early days at home
~support you in asking and receiving help from friends, family and neighbours.

What does a Doula Do? Michelle Tyliakos

These are many of the most important things I do as a Doula… but I know there are just so many to list.  I truly believe that it’s my job to promote great communication and connection with you, your baby and all those that support you.  I believe that communicating in depth during the prenatal visits we can remove any feelings or fear surrounding birth, allowing for a smoother ride into parenthood. If after birth something didn't go the way you expected, we will work though the challenges, feelings and fear and set you up for the best possible success.    Please take a look at my packages, or contact me to ask me questions.  I would love to share my work with you.  If you know anyone who could benefit from a Doula, Please share this post. 

With Love..
Michelle Tyliakos

Affirming Birthing Videos

If you don't know already,  I am a birthing video junkie! 

I find this collection open, honest, beautiful, calm and joyous visions of birth.  Most often they are home births.  I feel that we have had enough exposure to hospital births on media and I want to counter act the views by sharing my favourite stories with you.  It's not because I disagree with hospital birth, it's because I want to share the vision how birth can be. I am hoping that it may even add your ideas of birth!   Maybe all you know are the horror stories,  or the versions seen on movies or tv.  Perhaps you are considering a homebirth but are not sure what that looks like.    Well, these are versions of what birth can entail and each one is so different!  I've given a short description of each video.  I feel these can be appropriate for younger eyes (and ears)  especially if you are hoping to have younger siblings around during your birthing time.   

It's hard for me to pick my favourite from these... but I have a favourite moment in each and every one!   I love the mother who has dinner at the table with her birthing team, and the mother who is ecstatic that she birthed her baby on the kitchen floor!  I love the discovery of finding out if it's a boy or a girl, and the shear joy of 'I just had a baby'!    I am awed by the care providers who didn't speak, touch the baby, or even ask the mother to move until 5 minutes after the birth.  I notice the affirmations around a birthing room,  and the siblings discovering their baby.  I listen for the vocal tones of the mother,  maybe she is quiet, moaning, primal, or high pitched utter joy.   

There are many moments that I hope you have a chance to discover.  I encourage you to ask yourself questions. 
What resonates with you? 
What are you fearful of? 
What new idea did you learn? 
Was there anything you didn't think possible?  
What would you like as a part of your birth plan? 
What were you told about your last birth that could be proven different?
By looking for some deep rooted answers,  you may be able to discover what you truly believe about birth.  None of it which is wrong, right, or the only way.... it's your perception.   

Enjoy.... and I hope you learn something about yourself in these beautiful visions.

The natural birth centre birth of Daisy Emmeline
Blood. No noise. Siblings during birth. Birth Centre. Low/no interventions. Discovering newborn

Ullie: Born at Home
Pool, noise, low/no interventions, affirmations, Homebirth, blood, siblings after birth, discovering newborn, breastfeeding, New baby care

Austen's Amazing Homebirth + Natural Birth {Leaves of My Tree}
homebirth, siblings at birth. Quick birth, low/no interventions, noise

Welcoming Theodore
Waterbirth, low/no intervention, siblings afterbirth, breastfeeding, discovering newborn

Sage's birth
Waterbirth, low/no interventions, newborn care, breastfeeding, homebirth

The Home Birth of Lemma Maria
homebirth, waterbirth, noise, newborn care, delayed cord clamping, breastfeeding, low/no interventions,

Sawyer - Hospital Birth Apple Blossom Families Birth Photography
Hospital birth, monitoring, bath, sterile water injections, Epidural, newborn care

Baby D, A Birth Story
Homebirth, waterbirth, walking outside, dinner, noise, breastfeeding, newborn care,

waterbirth, homebirth, siblings at birth, noise, placenta, newborn care, low/no intervention

My Beautiful Home Water Birth
waterbirth, homebirth, low/no intervention,

Birth Footage (pushing through postpartum)  (click on the title if the video is not showing on your screen)
waterbirth, homebirth, siblings, noise, low/no intervention,

Birth of Frankie
siblings before birth, water birth, home birth, noise, low/no intervention, siblings after birth, burning the cord, herbal bath, newborn care

Our First Home Water Birth- Labor & Delivery
waterbirth, homebirth, quick birth, blood, pitocin shot afterbirth, placenta, siblings after birth, newborn care

homebirth after caesarean
noise, HBAC, waterbirth, siblings before birth, siblings after birth, affirmations, low/no interventions

Natural Water Birth
noise, waterbirth, siblings after birth, birthing centre, 42+ weeks (post term), 10lbs 7 oz, hypnobirthing, no intervention

I do not own any of these videos,  the titles are the originals and  posted either on Youtube of Vimeo. 

Am I Busy?

I am having a thrill with my business.  People have been asking

  1. “how is it going?”
  2.  “Are you busy?”

These questions have sparked something inside and I have noticed something about myself. Here are my answers.

  1. Awesome!
  2. No, I am not busy

My question is, does busy mean success? I think for many it does. And what is everyone’s idea of busy? (more clients? Up and running with 6 clients a month? busy =more money) I realize that busy is just a state of mind.  I often pretend that I am ‘too busy’ to commit to something, too busy for my kids, too busy for my husband, too busy for a friendly invite, too busy to keep my house clean…busy, busy, busy   Guess what? That holds me back!  I don’t have time for playing, I don’t have time for thinking, I don’t have time for cleaning the house, the list goes on, and it’s overwhelming to be like that.  The excuse of being busy holds me back from focusing on what I really want from life. 

Being a Doula,  I cannot be busy, not even a little busy.  I have a dedication to each of my clients to listen, respect, and support them.  How can I rush that? How can I fill my schedule with client after client?  It wouldn’t make sense to rush myself or them.  And it is inconceivable to rush a woman’s birthing time.   I have committed to 1 client a month (potentially 2 in special circumstances)  The job requires my full attention, empathy, knowledge and service.

I have also realized now that I am NOT too busy to take care of myself, play with my kids, listen to their joys and sorrows.  I am not too busy for a husband who makes me so happy. And I am not too busy for you. I reflect on everyone who has contributed to my life, and I owe it to myself, to share the best of me.

Check out my Doula Packages to learn more.

10cm Time to Push!

Just because a woman reaches 10 cm dilated it doesn't mean it's time to push.

Think of it this way.  I can make a great meal, put it on the table and yell “Dinner is ready!”  And you can come and eat if you choose.  Or I could make a great meal, put it on the table and yell “you are ready to eat now!”  You might question what the heck I just said.  .  Yes, it might be evening and it may have been lunch 5 hours ago and it seems as though you would probably be hungry, but it sure doesn’t give me the right to tell you that YOU are ready to eat now. 

We can all be excited at different stages of labour, early signs leading to anticipation.  Moving on as surges get closer and stronger, we think about a time line.

What would you rather hear?

‘ok, you are 10 you can start pushing’

‘ok, you are 10 you might feel the urge to push’

‘It sounds as though your body might be pushing, what are you feeling?’  

relief!  Baby is here

It may actually be quiet a long time that a woman experiences no surges after being fully dilated  Some may feel that labour has stopped and it’s time to interfere, but the body is at rest and is gathering strength to use for the most primal part of birth.

This whole process is called the Fetal Ejection Reflex. It was a term used first in the early 60s and explained further by Dr. Michel Odent later on.  It sounds so lovely doesn’t it? Well, actually it can be. Basically, with the right conditions the woman’s body will automatically ‘expel’ the baby to get it out. Think of a dimly lit room, the mother is comfortable in her surroundings; the attendants are calm and remain quiet.  There are no internal checks and mother’s space is respected.  This allows Mom to lose her inhibitions and behave how her body needs to.  Hormones have been dancing to create the best recipe to fall in love with her baby.  Only a few ‘pushes’ will allow baby to enter the world!  

So when you are told that you are 10 cm and it’s time for baby, consider not wasting your energy trying to push as instructed by ‘coaches’. Instead use that time to listen your body. 

Hospital Birth with a Doula

Hospital birth! I am excited that this shows the Sterile Water Injections. I find that this alternative medical pain relief is rarely talked about or offered. I also find that women who are 'threatened' with an unwanted intervention, can use their adrenaline to push that baby out. It has happened to me, and it base on the whole flight or flight system.  If there is too much adrenaline in early labour it can cause the birthing time to stall.  If it happens near the end, Mothers can use it to their advantage and birth their baby quickly. I am not sure if that was the case in this birth, but a pleasure to watch.  Happy Birthday to little Sawyer!