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 https://goo.gl/5ZF3YZ

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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

Hiring a Doula Early For The Unexpected

Although no family wants to think about what could go wrong in pregnancy, it is a situation that some of us have faced, and the news can hit hard like a freight train. It is something we are not prepared for. You could be going through a miscarriage, you could have been told your baby is going to die shortly after birth.  You may have been told you child has genetic conditions that are not sustainable with life.  You may have been told your baby no longer has a heartbeat.   There are so many scenarios that can lead us to need quick immediate support that isn’t close to our due date.  

Having a woman with you through this time of grief may contribute to your whole experience. It's not something that we want to acknowledge, but reaching out immediately to your support person or Doula will be a shoulder that is a rock in the time of grief.  Having a Doula that knows what may happen, questions to ask and procedures that may need explaining will help you and your partner get clear communication in a time where nothing seems clear

If you are considering hiring a Doula, hiring one early could be beneficial for many reasons. (many have their own library, phone call support, will go to appointments with you etc)  Here are a few questions that could be beneficial to asking on your phone call with a Doula.

How will you support me if my pregnancy were to end early?
How would you support me if this was an expected death of my baby?
How would you support me if after I have given birth or miscarried?
I have lost a baby in my previous pregnancy, how will you be here for me this time?

Miscarriage

I want you to know that many Doulas will support you through these times.  And hiring a Doula early will ensure that you have that support in place should something happen.  She will be the one you call when you have received the bad news, or you discover on your own that your baby is not going to make it.  Should you find yourself in this position,  reach out to your doula and take a brief look at my services.  

Much love 

 

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.

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  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.

YES!

There is not much that I am hard and set on in world of motherhood,  but there is one thing I make all my new mothers do.  Ok, are you ready?  Hold up your right hand.  (or wait, is it your left?)  place you other hand on your belly and say….

“I_____INSERT NAME HERE_____  Vow not to say NO for the first weeks of motherhood.”

Now of course I don’t want you to take this literally, but I do want you to be aware of what you are really saying when someone asks if you need anything.  We tend to not want to burden others so we instinctively say no.  I want you to get in the habit of saying yes.  Do you need anything? YES Do you want me to pick something up? YES Do you need help? YES Can I clean something YES, YES YES!   (ok lets not get too excited there) 

Seriously though, I feel as a new mom, may it be baby #1 or Baby #5 you need to  be able to sit on your tush, lay in bed or rest as much as possible so that you and your baby get to know each other.  So that you don’t feel the need to be supermom from day 1. So that you realize you are human, and you do need help, and its OKAY to accept it.   So that you build up your community of support from day one. 

It actually feels good for others to help.  We all want to contribute to the wellness of our friends and family.  If we are clear on what we need, then it’s so easy to participate.  I have a list here for easy ideas on how you can ask for help.  They are so simple, but can make such a huge impact on your day.  This list is here for quick ideas, something that your brain may not be able to think of with lack of sleep, or other issues you may be concerned about.  This list just helps to lighten the load.   

Tasks that are completed may not be up to your standards, or maybe they aren’t the way you would do it,  but that is ok.  You have a lifetime ahead of you to do it the way you want.  Sit back and relax, put your feet up, drink that warm cup of coffee and enjoy friendship and those simple gestures that you will remember. 

Check out my Postpartum Services

My Trip to Doula~hood.

Why did it take me so long to become a Doula?  Well, to tell you the truth, I may be quite observant, but when it comes to myself, I really need the universe to Hold up a sign right in front of my eyes before I think 'Hey,  I think the universe is trying to tell me something.' 

11 years ago I became pregnant for the first time.  I knew nothing.. really.  I wanted to go and purchase a pregnancy test the day after I think I conceived. I wanted to get into the doctor 2 weeks after that.  OH I had so much to learn... and I have!

I am so grateful for my first pregnancy,  I had an OB in Alberta.  My second appointment the Dr listened for a heartbeat which he couldn't find.  He said this is only happened twice before and he sent me for an Ultrasound.  I was 12 weeks.  The next day I went in, oblivious to what I was to expect.  The tech sent me home, andthe moment I walked in the door my phone rang, it was my Dr.  and he told me that my baby had died.  I was devastated.  Within a few days I had a D &C and I felt alone.  I felt empty.  I felt hungry for knowledge.    And all I wanted to do was hold a baby in my womb and then in my arms. 

In a short time, we moved back to BC and thankfully became pregnant again.  I was in a place of fear.  I didn't want anything to happen to this baby and to the pregnancy.  I researched a lot, but sadly, found the book What to Expect When You Are Expecting.  For every twinge, pang, and stretch I was worried, and this book just instilled that for me even more.   A friend mentioned to me that Midwifery was covered in BC and I by chance got in with a midwife when I was 20 weeks along.  Oh, what a blessing that was!    She helped me stay informed,  let me go of my fears and encouraged me to trust myself and my body.  I fell in love with being pregnant, I wanted to know all there was to know. 

After I had my first, I couldn't stop reading, analyzing and looking up new data and by the time my next pregnancy came along, I knew what I wanted to be different, and I knew what I wanted to stay the same.  

So each time I became pregnant it sparked a new thrill of learning more about my body and my developing baby.  I wanted to know what my choices were, I wanted to make my own decisions and I was supported again by my Midwife.  All this knowledge allowed my husband to also be confident in our decisions. 

September 2014 my 4th baby was born and after my empowering birth I just couldn't stop thinking about being in this field.  I asked my team of midwives how I get into the birth world, and if they think it would be a good idea for me.  One of them looked at me with wide eyes and said 'Michelle, you have asked that after every birth,  You have been talking about this for years!'  Those word were the final push (pun intended)  for me to get intoDoula work!   In March 2015 I became a Certified Doula by the Wise Woman Way of Birth.  Sitting in class I recognized how much knowledge I already acquired, yetI felt this overwhelming sense of excitement about the roll I was about to embark on.

I certainly feel that all these years of personal experience and study will allow me to bring the best of me to my clients.  With5 pregnancies and 4 lovely children, Ihave experienced many different situations, test, emotions,  recommendations, triumphs and defeats.  I have cultivated a belief that birth is normal, women's bodies are powerful and strong and that if there is ever a time to trust your instincts it is now.   I want every mother, and every support person to feel strong in their educated decision,  powerful in their birthing experience and make the transition into parenthood abundant with extraordinary moments.