You love your doula. Every time you imagine your birth, your doula'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.
And, like birth, life can sometimes surprise us. Maybe someone we are responsible for is ill or injured, or WE are ill or injured, maybe another baby is already on their way. And, just like birth, despite our very best effort and intentions, things may not happen the way we planned.
It would be incredibly disappointing if that were the case, for you and for your doula. We also think it would be worse to have no support at all. Which is why we have carefully selected a small group of doulas from our wider doula community that we know are amazing, caring, tender, and encouraging doulas – just like us!
If we aren’t able to make it on your day, we want to ensure you will still have the incredible, supportive care you deserve.
Over the next few months, we will be sharing a bit more about who each of these doulas are so that you can get to know them and love them as much as we do.
AJ Hadfield CD(DONA) PCD(DONA) CLE
AJ has been a doula for 12 years. She is a certified birth and postpartum doula, a certified lactation educator, and breastfeeding counselor. AJ is also a postpartum doula trainer for DONA International and trains new doulas across Western Canada. She is an active member of the Calgary Doula Association, and was a member of their executive for eight years. Originally from Southern Ontario, AJ has two adult daughters and lives in the northwest community of Dalhousie.
Why did you become a doula?
I was a military wife for 25 years and was usually posted far from family. I learned to value the support of others and rely on them. When I first learned of doulas and what they did, it was a natural fit.
What's your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love watching people become parents
If you weren't a doula, what do you think you might be doing instead?
I cannot imagine...I worked in banking for many years, but it was what I did, not who I was...
What's your favorite thing to do when you aren't doula-ing?
I have a season's pass to the Calgary Folk Club and love to discover musical talent that is new to me.
What is your favorite book, movie, or band/song and why?
What's your favorite thing to do or see in Calgary?
What other fun or quirky thing about yourself would you like to share?
Every summer, I recharge for a month at a cottage in Ontario, with no television, no cars and minimal internet. It's soul-filling.
Was AJ your doula? Do you share her interest in Canadian music and well loved books? Tell us about it!
Rachel is a DONA International Certified Birth Doula, Birthing From Within mentor, and mother of three. She is passionate about helping women and their partners discover their own inner strength and wisdom so that they can begin their parenting journey with confidence. With a focus on supporting her clients as they determine what their own priorities and preferences are for their birth while giving them the tools they need to realize those priorities, she feels fortunate to witness her clients come into their own and become their own best advocates.