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Aug 16, 2008

History in The Making

Today I witnessed a miraculous event.  Jamaica's Usain Bolt astonished the world as he shattered the world record in the 2008 Olympics 100 meter race.

I learned a great deal from him today. Confidence is the first step towards not only intimidating an opponent, but simply realizing amazing accomplishments. This footage is an inspiration for me to maintain focus on my ambitions, motivations, thoughts and most importantly, my Doula support. 

My values are those of a generation that has taken control of their destiny. It is within me to challenge and encourage women to birth naturally and with confidence. Trust in your biological ancestry and draw on the strength from those that have birthed before you. Your body already knows.

Aug 15, 2008

The Business of Being Born

"The Business of Being Born is a passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth, anchored in a scene in which its executive producer, Ricki Lake, the actress and former talk-show host, gives birth to her second child in a bathtub.

That graphic scene, and several other unblinking sequences of home birth attended by a midwife, are intended to erase any stigma from the situation. Practiced widely in Europe and Japan, home birth has largely disappeared in the United States, the documentary states, because of an image as a primitive, unsanitary ritual.

As the film enumerates disadvantages of hospital births, conspiracy theorists might detect a plot by the medical establishment to take control of a process for both economic and psychological reasons. But the medical establishment would argue that a hospital is the safest place to give birth because if something goes wrong, speed is essential. The Business of Being Born is not overtly political. Its feminism is palpable but unspoken." - The New York Times

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"To give the breast is to give life."

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Hyena Square - Tanzania

Elisa Joseph tells her story to the camera.

From a difficult family background in rural Iringa, Elisa came to town when she was thirteen years old, following promises for a job and the possibility to go to school. But the household she was sold to for 10,000 Shillings never paid her a salary, and after two years she was raped by the husband in the family. She was accused of theft and thrown into prison for three months. Fifteen years old and with nowhere to go she ended up as a sex worker in Dar es Saalaam's infamous Uwanja wa Fisi (Hyena Square). Elisa managed to get out of prostitution with the help of KIWOHEDE, an NGO working with rehabilitation of child sex workers and domestic workers. When she found out she was infected with HIV, she decided to be open about it in order to help others. In this film we meet her as she works with advising other girls in a container office in the middle of Hyena Square. Elisa wants to be an example that it is possible to start fresh and lead a meaningful life in spite of the virus. She loves playing football and is hoping to become a star. Meet her, and a bunch of other colourful people of Hyena Square, in this half-hour documentary full of tears and laughter and contemporary Tanzanian music.

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Stories of Mothers Lost: A Stories of Mothers Lost: A Promise of Healthy Pregnancy and Safe Childbirth for All

This film follows the Promise to Mothers Lost campaign from its inception in London in 2007 at the Stories of Mothers Lost exhibition launch. Fabric panels and film clips illustrating women's stories of death in pregnancy and childbirth, created by White Ribbon Alliance member organizations and individuals from all walks of life from around the world, are featured. This film amplifies their voices and carries them to the ears of world leaders as the Promise to Mothers Lost campaign rallies around international meetings.

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The Tanzanian White Ribbon Alliance: Play your Part

Play your Part is a participatory video made by the Tanzanian White Ribbon Alliance to address issues of Safe Motherhood in Tanzania. The film has been shown at national and international conferences and on Tanzanian television.

View Play Your Part

Aug 14, 2008

Baby Einstein's: Not So Smart After All

"Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good."

New survey of Mother's Sleep and Fatigue

There are very few studies on the topic of new mothers and  sleep/fatigue. If you are a new mother with  an infant(s) 12 months or younger, I would encourage you to participate in this survey.

You will be asked detailed questions about how well you and your infant sleep, where other members of your family usually sleep, and how tired you feel on most days.

You will also be asked about things that usually interfere with your sleep. The results will be used for further research and study.

Morning Sickness Remedies

Part of being pregnant, as most people know is having to battle with nausea and vomiting, otherwise known as morning sickness. This condition affects about 50% of pregnant women.

Morning sickness is caused by the sudden increase in hormones during pregnancy. It is very common in early pregnancy, and it tends to go away by the second trimester. 

Birth Trauma Stress Disorder Afflicts Moms

Study suggests that PTSD may be more common than previously believed.

" Birth is meant to be a rite of passage for a woman into motherhood... she should be cared, supported and loved to arrive in motherhood in one piece-body, heart, mind and soul."

As a Labour and Postpartum Doula I ensure that new moms are equipped with the uncersored knowledge of pregnancy, childbirth and the initial postpartum period.

During my own childbirth experience, things didn't go as planned as I was in labour for 56 hours. In the end, I was left battling (what I thought was) a mild case of the baby blues. With the right support I was able to cope, and made a comforting transition into my new role as mom.

Many women are not aware of their options as birthing moms, and some are forced into making uninformed decisions at the cost of their dignity. Many women are left feeling robbed of such a special experience.

When they are fully informed they are empowered and equipped to enter this momentous experience, and are able to deal effectively with the unexpected.

In my line of work, I encourage new parents to replay their brithing expereince and come to terms with the realtiy of any trauma or mishaps that they had to face.

This gives them the opportunity to become aware of and work through their emotional shock following the traumatic event.

As it is written " Through pain find strength, through birth find healing."

Pregnancy & Obesity

A study of pregnancy in women who were morbidly obese, compared to women of normal weight, showed poor periantal outcomes. Preeclampsia was determined to occur at a rate of nearly five times as frequently: meconium aspiration, fetal distress ad low Apgar scores were also seen more often. In addition, interventions were more frequent, including three times the number of cesareans, a 34% increase in instrumental deliveries, and more inductions. Babies were also more likely to be born preterm.

--- Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 59(7): 489-491, 2004

Aug 11, 2008

Breastfeeding mother alleges WestJet harassment

Another Vancouver woman has come forward to say that she was harassed while breast-feeding


"My doula was an umbrella of support." 

"Every woman should have a doula." --- Irma & Isaac

"My birth resulted in a c-section. My doula stayed with me and offered comfort through the entire ordeal." --- DM

"My labour lasted 28 hours, my doula was by my side. It was empowering knowing that
I had someone to help me through each moment." --- Christie

"I liked the techniques she used to help my wife get thorough those last emotional centimeters." --- A. McDonanld

"I'd like to comment on how Carla has been extremely helpful with the pregnancy of my wife, Paula. Unfortunately from the start, the pregnancy hasn't been a fun ride, resulting from one complication to another.

My wife and I were blessed with twins but unfortunately, the blessing also came with tragic news as we found out that twin to twin transfusion was the cause we were facing. Than after the laser surgery, we had to deal with the news that one of our sons had hydrocephalus... no brain matter whatsoever.

Needless to say, Carla has been a great support to us. Her lending hand has been an extra tower of hope that reassures an anxiety stricken couple that their labour and pregnancy will go as smoothly as possible. Even through all the hard times we were already facing...

Thanks for everything Carla. God Bless always..."--- Lex and Paula Mejia

Have something to say? Question to ask? Something to submit? I'd love to hear from you.

Welcome to Mama Sayana Doula support. I started this blog as a way to provide real, unedited information about pregnancy and birth to pregnant mothers and couples. 
The true heart of this blog lies in the stories and pictures submitted by you. 
Please feel free to visit often and post your comments.

Happy blogging.

Ask a Doula

Feel free to ask about doulas, becoming a doula, finding a doula,
the basics of pregnancy, birth and beyond, including breastfeeding,
newborn support and more.

Post your questions as a comment.

Aug 10, 2008

A well written pardigm

This was sent to me from a member of my facebook group: Mama Sayana Doula Support
I Will Win!

The die has been cast. I've stepped over the line.
The decision has been done the destiny's been determined.
I will no longer vacillate. I will no longer vacate.
I will no longer listen to, listen at or listen in on losing.
I will not be defeated, dejected, dilluted or detoured.
I will no loger navigate with the needle of negativity.
The direction's been decided, the trail to be tried.
The destiny directed the future forged.
I will not be pulled on, pulled in, pulled down or pulled out.
I won't back up, back down or back away or back off.
I won't give in, give out or even give way to defeat.
I no longer will meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I will no longer conform to the cancer of CAN'T
I now will confirm the condition of CAN.
I will probe the possibilities, pick the probabilities.
I will focus on the fire and heat it even hotter.
I will never give up, let up, set up or shut up on success.
I am reaching for the ring, pulling on the power.
I've quit wishing, hoping, wasting, and whining.
I will aggressively gear in to the word GO.
And, I am determined to dare to do till I drop.
I will withstand the whining winds of defeat.
And, I will be powerfully persistent, consistent, and insistent
To get out of life what I truly deserve.
Because I am willing... I am waiting... I am Worthy...
And I understand the only defat is from within.
I now know that beyond any shadow of the cloud of doubt,
There is no shadow... there is no cloud, and there is no doubt
I will Win!

Aug 7, 2008

Benefits of having a Doula

Reduced the overall cesarean rate by 50%
Reduced the length of labour by 25%
Reduced oxytocin use by 40%
Reduced the use of pain medication by 30%
Reduced forceps delivery by 40%
Reduced the use of pain medication by 30%
Reduced requests for epidural pain medication by 60%
Reduced incidences of maternal fever
Reduced the number of days newborns spent in NICU( neo-natal infant care unit)
Reduced the amount of septic workups performed on newborns
Resulted in higher rates of breast-feeding 
Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal confidence
Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal and newborn health
Resulted in decreased rates of postpartum depression

Source: Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, Phyllis H. Klaus

What is a doula?

As a doula, I accompany women in labour to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I draw on my knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the hospital staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labour. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labour progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I am an independent doula. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or the hospital. I believe that you are in charge of your own birth and that I am the invited guest. I am there to serve you to help you have the type of birth you have envisioned for yourself.

My Philosophy

I have a strong belief that all families deserve to have a safe, nurturing and most of all an empowering birth experience. I also believe that families deserve a strong support network during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.

I believe that a strong team will provide the safe haven that women require in order to have a positive birth experience. I believe that the birth of a child is a gift, not a moment of crisis.

Women have the power within them to give birth to their babies and can stay strong throughout the labour period. I do promote natural labour, but I will support any method of labour intervention you may choose. I also support Breastfeeding and believe that with the right support all women have the ability to breastfeed their infants.

I believe that it is every woman's right to have a doula.

Doula support is an essential component of birth


Aug 6, 2008

Top Reasons to Hire a Doula

Why Parents Hire Birth Doulas Today
© Brenda Lane

Several reasons parents hire birth doulas today include a desire for more support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

Medical Benefits of Hiring a Doula

Numerous studies in the last 25 years have clearly demonstrated the value of a birth doula during the process of childbirth. Some of the evidence has shown that fewer mothers ask for medication or require medical intervention such as the use of pitocin to induce or speed up labor. Mothers who use doulas are more likely to have shorter labors and fewer cesareans compared to mothers who did not have a doula. Mothers also tend to breastfeed their babies longer and have a more satisfying birth experience if they have used a doula. In fact, a recent survey indicated that mothers gave the doulas the "highest rating" for the best supportive care over any other member of the birth team including nurses, doctors and nurse-midwives.

Parents can have many reasons for hiring a doula that may or may not have anything to do with the research results. Here are a host of reasons parents may want to use a doula.

Other Reasons Parents hire a Doula:

A desire for additional support during labor, with or without a primary labor partner.

A history of a previous long or challenging birth.

Greater access to non-pharmacologic methods of pain relief.

Mothers with special needs such as those planning a VBAC, single mothers or those who cannot use pain medications such as an epidural.

For additional help with breastfeeding techniques and postpartum support after birth.

To assist parents in having a natural or unmedicated childbirth.
How Doula Support is Unique

A common misconception is that the labor and delivery nurse with be providing the same type of support as the doula. Parents believe that the nurse will be there with them continuously and help them with pain relief techniques. The reality is that the typical labor and delivery nurse in the hospital has multiple patients. She is required to keep extensive records on all of her patients at the same time. In fact, one study showed that only about 10% of the nurse's time was spent supporting the laboring woman with her physical or emotional needs.

Doulas do not work in shifts or have multiple patients. They care for the individual needs of the mother and stay with her until the baby is born. Not only that, but the birth doula is not a stranger to the mother and therefore she can act as a familiar guide through the long and often challenging hours of labor.

Parents are also discovering that having a midwife with them during labor also does not guarantee one-to-one support. Certified nurse-midwives are busier than ever these days and often cannot provide individual, continuous attention to mothers in labor, especially in hospital settings.

Frequently asked questions

*What do you think is the most important part of your job?

The most important part of my job is mothering the expectant mother. I accompany her in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I believe that you are in charge of your own birth and that I am the invited guest. I am there to serve you to help you have the type of birth you have envisioned for yourself.

*What is your religious belief (if any)?

I am a spiritual person with various religious and philosophical beliefs.

*What are the main skills and abilities you bring to the birth?

I am a labour, postpartum and hypno-birthing doula. I am also a Traditional Japanese reiki practitioner. I draw on my knowledge and experience to provide emotional and physical comfort as needed. I use comfort measures to not only coach mom's through the physical part of labor but also tend to her emotional needs.

*What do you think the father's role should be during labour?

I believe that dad is to be intimately involved in the process of labour and birth. I coach dads to be familiar with the process and language of birth, to understand medical procedures and hospital protocols and advocate for his
partner in an environment and culture he is usually unfamiliar with.

I also teach partners how to squeeze mom's hips to take the edge off back ache; how to rock through contractions in a slow dance; how to manage pain through rhythm, relaxation and ritual.

*How do the doctor and the nurses usually react to your presence?

Overwhelmed nurses don't always have the time for one-on-one instruction, so some have been happy to have me support mom. From a nursing standpoint, some have had doulas cross a line and interfere with the medical aspect of delivery, so few have not been responsive to my presence.

*How do you handle a conflict with the medical team?

Doulas contend that doctors and nurses aren't always cooperative. When I walk into a hospital where the nurse doesn't know me, I still experience dismissal: "What is she here for? Why does the woman think she needs someone else to protect her? "

To ensure that conflict doesn't arise I respect the hospital protocol and stay within my scope of practice. If indeed it does, both staff and I have to make sure that we stay professional and focus on the primary reason for the occasion: Mom first.

*Do you have any additional training or licensing or special methods that you use in your practice?

I am a Traditional Japanese Reiki practitioner and have seen clients experience a degree of comfort from therapeutic touch.

*Will you be available during my 37-43 week period?


*Are there any limitations to your availability?


*Will you come to my home if I am in pain but not ready to go to the hospital?


*How many clients do you take in a month?


*What is your back-up plan if you are not able to attend?

In the event I am unable to attend a birth due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, your birth will be attended by my backup assistant.

*What does your services include?

Holistic Doula Care Treatment includes:

:: Initial Consultation
:: 2 Prenatal Visits
:: 1 Reiki Treatment: energy healing that involves direct application of Chi for the purpose of strengthening the clients energy system
:: Hypno-birthing: self hypnosis, guided imagery, affirmations and visualizations
:: Birth planning: formulating a birth plan
:: Labour Coaching: rehearsal for labour, physical comfort measures, massage, positional changes
:: 1 Postpartum Visit: newborn care instruction and breastfeeding (additional visits available upon request with applicable fees)
:: Unlimited prenatal and postpartum phone support
:: I am available 24 hours a day 2 weeks before and after your estimated delivery date

Creative Services (additional fees )

:: Belly Casting & painting
:: Birth Stories
:: Photo/video diary of labour & delivery