2018 was a year of joyous hellos for Five Elements Birth Services. We welcomed Emilie Sanmartin, Stephanie Gould, and Jules Kisiloski-Cope to our team of incredible, heart-centered doulas. Christine Jennings, Peter Jennings, and big sister Hazel welcomed their newest addition, baby Zoe, in March. What a joy to have Zoe as part of our extended Five Elements Birth Services family.Read More
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When preparing to give birth and become a parent, Birthing From Within teaches that there are three kinds of knowing that are essential to the process. It is essential to explore all three kinds of knowing because even if we spent every day together for the next four years learning only about birth and postpartum and parenting, I still would not be able to teach you everything you need to know. Why? Because at its heart, birth is a rite of passage.Read More
In an ideal world, every pregnant person would have the ability to carefully and intentionally choose a maternity care provider who was a good match for them.
In Calgary, the reality of choosing a maternity care provider is more akin to “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. This means that sometimes you and your maternity care provider are not a good fit for each other and the relationship may suffer from a breakdown in communication, mutual respect, and/or trust.
Sometimes, you may be able to change care providers. But if not, or you choose to stay with your current care provider, what can you do to cultivate a more positive, functional relationship? How can you advocate for yourself and your baby in a kind and assertive way?Read More
Bethany Galster is a photographer who loves photography. That may seem like an obvious thing to say, but listening to her speak about her process, and what photography has meant to her in her own life, is a joy. It’s obvious that she values the power of honoring the transformative, along with the completely ordinary, moments in our lives.Read More
I have had two sugar babies. "Sugar babies" is a term used online by expectant parents who are pregnant with, or have given birth to, babies when they have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
In this post we will explore how gestational diabetes is diagnosed, options for management, options for your birth, and resources to learn more.Read More
Congratulations! You're pregnant.
We're good friends. I love you dearly and I consider you one of the closest people in my life. I'm over the moon for you and your partner. I seriously love you guys.
Here's where it can get sticky.Read More
We are excited to introduce you to Registered Acupuncturist Megan Gusdal, who works at the ATMA Collective in NW Calgary. She offers intuitive, gentle, and effective support to clients for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. If you have questions about acupuncture and how it may help you, read on.Read More
We recognize that one of the reasons that people hire a doula for their birth is for continuity of care. In other words – you’re banking on a familiar face being by your side the day your baby is born.
We would love to be able to guarantee that we will be at your birth, and while we make every effort to ensure that we are, it would be irresponsible of us not to make arrangements for the possibility that we may not be.
Sometimes there are events entirely beyond our control (an illness, an injury, two babies at once) that mean we can’t be your person on your day, as planned. That is why we have carefully chosen some of the best doulas in Calgary to step in for us if we can’t be there on your day.
Still, you may be wondering what it’s actually like to have a back up doula attend your birth.
Here is what some of the clients within our collective had to share about their experience with a back up doula.Read More
This is part five of our back up doula series. Over the last few months, we have shared a bit more about who each of our back up doulas are so that you can get to know them and love them as much as we do. We are really looking forward to sharing the final installment of our series next month where we will share some our clients' thoughts and experiences with back up doula support.Read More
You love your doula. Every time you imagine your birth, it’s your doula who’s there – cheering you on, squeezing your hips, bringing cool cloths for your forehead, and supporting your partner in supporting you. You literally can’t imagine your birthing day without your doula playing an essential part.
Your doula is also imagining supporting you in all of those ways. She is aligning her life to ensure that she will be there, no matter when labour starts, or how long it takes. She feels that connection with you too.Read More
If you are interested in writing a birth plan you may be wondering how to go about it. What should you include? How detailed should it be? How do you make sure it’s effective? Here is what we suggest to our clients.Read More
We get it. Sleep (or more accurately the lack of sleep) that comes along with a newborn can be stressful for many new parents. You may wonder if your baby's sleep (or lack of sleep) is normal, you may be wondering if there's something you should be doing differently (more of or less of), you may worry that you are creating "bad habits" in your baby. Ultimately, you may question everything you've ever known and find yourself in the middle of an existential crisis (a common side effect of sleep deprivation).
This is why we are so excited to share this guest blog post about normal newborn sleep by Andrea Galambos, a Gentle Sleep Coach and owner of local Calgary company Blissful Nights. Included are some of her best newborn survival tips (scroll to the end of the post if you need those first...)Read More
May is International Doula Month and we've been celebrating by sharing a doula tip a day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We have compiled all of the tips here, in one easy to find resource, just for you. From pregnancy, through labour, and into the immediate postpartum period, we hope you find a few tips here that you can put to good use.Read More
Congratulations! You're going to have a baby. That's awesome. And probably, on some level, completely terrifying. You're probably already thinking about the million things you need to get done in the next nine(ish) months.
Breathe. You've got this. I promise.
Our maternity care system can be convoluted. Do you see your family doctor, a midwife, an OB/GYN? And when? What tests and procedures are usually recommended? What choices are available to you?
We wanted to simplify the process for you and have created these two handouts for you to print and use as needed.Read More
Whether you've known since you were sixteen that you wanted to have a midwife attend your birth, or whether you're seven months along with baby #3 and this is the first time the possibility's crossed your mind, here are 5 common myths we hear about midwifery care in Calgary and the truth behind them...Read More
Packing your birth bag is a ritual of modern pregnancy.
Maybe you’re the type of person who packs your bag weeks in advance – you like to feel prepared, with lots of time to spare. Or maybe you’re the type to pack your bag during early labor – a practical busy job to keep you distracted during those first crampy contractions.
No matter when or how you pack your bag, you’ll likely have researched what to put in it. There are many sample lists available online (some of them pages long!) and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
We’d like to simplify things for you.Read More