Absolute Nurturing Doula Services
Supporting Women and Families through Pregnancy and Postpartum
As a professional Doula, I will work by your side as you prepare to give birth; present in each moment with a spirit of love and compassion. Whether you are interested in a birthing class, or would like to work with me as your doula, I’ll provide the emotional, educational and physical support you need not only during labor, but throughout your pregnancy and postpartum as well.
How I Got Here
I was born in beautiful Prince Edward Island, where I called home until the fall of 2007. As a child, growing up, I was constantly drawn to the conversations people would have about their birth stories. As far back as I can remember I have been inspired and fascinated by the miracle of birth. I now have four wonderful children of my own, each with a unique story about the day they were born.
It was my experience in the birth of my first child in 1996 that started me on my journey towards "doula-ism". I had no idea that I actually had choices in the way that I was treated in the hospital or in the type of care that my baby and I received. I completely surrendered myself to the medical staff and wholeheartedly trusted that I would be fully informed in all aspects of my care. In the end, as a result of my own lack of knowledge and a minimal support team, I had no say in the procedures they did to my body, or in the "routine" care my newborn received. I felt powerless in my experience and I remember feeling like the doctors where the ones having a new baby that night, not me. While I was so thankful for the beautiful,healthy baby in my arms, I was let down and disappointed by the process.
Immediately after my first birth experience, I started researching and studying. I quickly discovered the positive impact that surrounding yourself with a strong support team would have. I have also learned that by raising awareness and empowering parents to take back control of their births,and by providing them with the evidence they need to make informed decisions around the births of their babies, parents will have a more positive, powerful, conscious and involved experience.
The training that I have received through Barbara Harper's Gentle Birth Guardian and DONA international, along with my experiences in maternal care, have strengthened and driven my passion to (1)Educate and inform parents about their choices during pregnancy, labour and birth so they can make confident, informed decisions about their bodies and their babies. (2)Advocate for the baby by educating parents about how their birth experience shapes the life of their unborn baby. (3) Support and encourage parents to honor their bodies and trust in their ability to give birth.
What I Do
I have three of the most amazing gifts in the world!
I am a mother
to four wonderful children who continuously inspire me to make a difference in our world. They are each overflowing with life and energy, so eager to play, learn and explore...seeing life through their eyes daily reminds me to appreciate the little things life sends our way.
I am an energy worker & healer
Very in tune with the energies within and around us and how they impact the way we show up in the world. Energy healing is a part of my everyday life, being sensitive enough to pick up on the subtle shifts in the energies within and around me & us, allows for an awareness and an opportunity to actively shift them. This is quite often something that I now do without needing conscious thought or strong efforts. Energy healing is a tool that I often use in the birthing room to help create a calm and peaceful environment. I am continuously exploring and learning new things about energy and vibrations, and how to use them as tools in healing the body, mind and soul. Outside of the birthing room, I offer both private and community healing sessions using a variety of healing modalities such as ; Reiki, drumming massage, tuning forks and cupping massage.
I am a birth and postpartum doula
Present when a new baby takes their first breath, when individuals become parents and as they take their first steps into an incredible journey. A very rewarding journey full of love, laughter, and hard work. A journey that also comes with some challenges along the way. In the past, and even now in cultures all over the world, a new parent's family and community gather together after the birth of a new baby and offer help and support. They take care of the older children, cook the meals and tend to the house, allowing the parents to rest and focus on feeding and bonding with the new baby. Sadly, many of us don't have this kind of support today, our families usually have many of their own obligations they still have to fulfill, despite their desire to help. Or, like my own family, many of us are separated by a great distance from our loved ones, and don't have anyone close enough to turn to when we need help. Every family is unique, so I offer a variety of doula services personalized for each birthing and postpartum experience. Regardless of what you choose, we will dive into your beliefs and expectations around labor and birth and postpartum. Together, we will explore your physical and emotional strengths and limitations to ensure you’re completely prepared. Please get in touch to learn more about the various services that I offer.
From our initial meeting all the way through your pregnancy and birth, I take the time to get to know you, your concerns and your needs. I’m always available to contact by phone/email throughout and will provide everything you require to make sure your experience is as calm and positive as possible.
As a postpartum doula, it is my intent that you get off to the best start possible. I come into the home and work beside you, allowing you to take the time to get to know your newborn's wants, needs and talents in a calm and relaxed manner. My goal is to provide the support needed so that you can relax, enjoy and learn all about your newborn. I consciously try to work myself out of a job, staying as little or as long as you need, helping you get the rest you deserve and learn the new skills required to allow you to feel confident about parenting your new family.
Informative and Compassionate
After beginning our relationship with a meet and greet, as your doula I am committed to your birth and postpartum experience and the wellbeing of your growing family, available whenever needed throughout your entire pregnancy as well as after giving birth. I will be there to provide you with continuous emotional and physical support, and answer any and all questions you may have.
Take Charge of your Birth and Postpartum Experience!
Having a Doula you trust and connect with for information and support during pregnancy, and to have present with you during labour and delivery, one of the most intense and intimate moments of a lifetime, is one of the greatest additions a woman/ family may add to a birth experience. My husband and I wanted to try for natural L&Ds in a hospital setting and are so blessed that we had our Doula, Amy, with us for each of our three births. I tell everyone I know who is considering having a Doula that it is an investment that will be with you for a lifetime. I feel empowered by our pregnancies and births and grateful for everything Amy brought to our experience.
In pregnancy our Doula, Amy, gave us information, answered questions, and helped us come up with our birth plan prior to the delivery day. We had exceptional doctors and medical care. As an adjunct, Amy provided additional knowledge and practical skills for healthy pregnancies, encouraging labour, and coping with pain.
Our first baby was a plump 9lbs3oz boy that arrived in six hours of active labour. Our Doula, gave us confidence and helped create a special space for me to progress nicely in labour, she anticipated our needs and gave my husband skills to remove the intense back labour pain. On the birthday, she took care of everything in the background (birth pool, music, phone, camera, meals, parking, etc.) and was so present whenever I was searching for reassurance. At one specific occasion near meeting our baby I had a muscle spasm in my gluteus and my husband was forcefully massaging my bum cheek and leg. The fetal heart rate monitoring sky rocketed. The hospital staff became alert and ready to take action. Our Doula calmly asked my husband to stop massaging and for the reading to be redone. The baby’s heart rate was normal and our Doula was able to bring the near emergency to a halt. It was husband’s forceful hand causing the misreading. It was seven years ago, but I recall specific times I would open my eyes and there was Amy kindly smiling, peacefully excited, and showering us with positive energy as we were on our journey to meet our first born. Following birth, Amy stayed with us until we were comfortable and moving to our postpartum room. She followed up with us, helped with breastfeeding, and stayed in touch.
Our second baby was a Frank Breech and weighed 7lbs 10oz. To be honest I was uncertain of this delivery and tried everything imaginable to flip our baby into a better position in the weeks leading up. The baby moved once briefly, but then returned to the Breech position. For this L&D, everything about it was less calm. There were only a few OBGY doctors who would deliver a Breech baby just a few years ago so if the doctors at the hospital and on call were not comfortable delivering this position it was an emergency C-section. For the delivery I had a doctor who is exceptional and delivers Breech babies well, but is not necessarily known for an established bedside manner - the doctor stood at the foot of the bed arms crossed and reassured me by saying ‘I will let you trial this labour’ meaning that if anything goes sideways - we will move to the operating room. Amy kept my attention focussed on the baby and my breathing. She guided the residents, so many residents were encouraged to watch and learn from our ‘exciting’ Breech delivery, to keep calm and quiet. She was beside me the entire time, cooling me with a wash cloth, giving me sips of water, keeping the hypnosis track on repeat, and reassuring me that my body could and would do this if I wanted to go ahead. Amy gave me a strength in this delivery that I didn’t know I had. Following delivery, Amy kept in regular contact, especially in the early days when hormones were flowing and I had a few weepy moments.
Our third L&D was a total joy and filled with happiness (and some pain of course). Our baby broke my water five weeks early. I knew this baby was strong as he had been so active the entire pregnancy, but was a little unsure of what it would mean to arrive that early. For this labour I think the words that best describe it are playful, happy, and generally upbeat. We all walked the halls and did several sets of stairs together laughing, sharing stories, and excitedly trying to establish contractions. Our Doula encouraged a dance party with my husband and I that was just what we needed to get labour going. We moved hospital rooms so many times during this L&D and everything was always taken care of by Amy and my Mom. I could focus entirely on what my body needed. At one point after many, many hours of labouring I felt tired, weak, and like I was going to faint. Amy immediately gave me a bite to eat and found my requested scoop of peanut butter. When our baby arrived he was big for a preemie, 7lbs 2oz, and I held him so carefully and preciously. He was perfectly formed with the sweet smell of a new baby. All the joy of the day and excitement was realized. His fingers were tiny and tightly gripped my thumb. It felt like I held him and adored him for hours, but in reality he was monitored closely and admitted to NICU for difficulty breathing soon after birth. Although this was not what we had expected, in looking back I could have been much more upset/stressed and for this I credit my Mom and Amy both for using their words and actions to carefully maintain the calm. Our baby and I stayed in the NICU for 10 days and Amy contacted me everyday while we were in hospital to find out how things were going. Although having a baby in NICU is not what we anticipated, it was just the transition period he and I needed before coming home as our new busy party of five just before Christmas! Our time together in the hospital was a special baby moon that he and I were together for, a baby moon that gave me a chance to meet and get to know him with total focus.
Amy holds a special place in my and my husband’s hearts. She is graceful, calm, experienced, and able to anticipate the needs and desires of a labouring mother and the team supporting her. We have had three markedly different births and feel so blessed to have had our Doula, Amy, with us for each. If you are even slightly considering having a Doula present, I highly recommend meeting with Amy and going from there. It is an intense experience to birth a baby and one that will be with you and your partner/team forever. If you want an empowered pregnancy and birth where you can focus entirely on what you and your body needs, the support of a Doula is your answer.
Sara and Kevin Petterson
"The first time I met Amy, I was 6cm dilated, in active labour and naked; and yet, I was completely relieved and calmed as soon as I saw her. The doula we had been working with during our pregnancy was attending another birth and Amy was able to be a back-up and meet us at the hospital. Her kindness and gentle support immediately reassured me during an intense and vulnerable time, and she jumped right in, even though she had never met my husband or I nor knew our birth preferences or goals.
She provided hands-on physical and emotional support throughout my labouring process. Because of this, I was able to progress to 10cm without any interventions, a feat that I didn't expect given our relatively traumatic first birth experience. She relieved my husband so he could quickly eat or use the washroom, and held my hand through unbearable contractions.
When things began to change unexpectedly, Amy calmly explained my options and made sure that I was okay with the changes. She answered my bewildered questions, giving me and my husband time and space to process, and make decisions that felt right for us in that moment. She worked so well and collaboratively with my wonderful physician (who raved about her), the OBGYN, and all the hospital nurses.
She was constantly encouraging and gave me the most excited updates about my progress, especially when we were close to meeting our son. Her smiling face was a beacon in a busy room. She took beautiful pictures of our first moments meeting our son.
Right after birth, she immediately helped him with his first nursing session in the delivery bed, and her support with breastfeeding then, and in the next few days was invaluable to us. Having established nursing early and well, I did not experience the discomfort I had previously. Our son was hospitalized 5 days post-birth in the NICU and was unable to nurse for 24 hrs, but after than he was quickly back nursing like a champ. My milk supply was abundant and important for his healing; I credit much of that to Amy's assistance establishing breastfeeding early and well.
My mom visited us in the hospital after both of our births, and was astounded at the difference in my husband and I following our son's delivery (we were not the shells of humans we were after our first birth), a difference we attribute to Amy's presence and support during our birthing and immediate post-natal time.
Amy also came the next day to further support breastfeeding, and was constantly checking in with text messages and phone calls in the days following his birth. She calmed our new baby fears and debriefed our birth process, which was especially therapeutic for me.
We will never have another baby without a doula again, and Amy is hands-down one of the best. Her demeanor, experience, and passion were instrumental in having a positive birth experience. We were so lucky that she was able to attend our birth and would love to have her at our future births."
Amy is a truly gifted doula; she is both extremely knowledgeable as well as deeply intuitive and offers her gifts with grace and skill. She supported me during a birth journey that did not look like I had hoped it would and helped me find joy in what could have been a very difficult experience. Her hands-on skill and breadth of knowledge made a huge difference for me post-partum and she organized and facilitated an incredibly powerful blessing way ceremony that I still smile about. I'm so grateful for Amy and wholeheartedly recommend her! -Cate F.
Schedule an appointment so we can discuss how to make your upcoming birth even more special.
It is my belief that a person's body knows exactly what to do when it comes to labour and birth. It is their mind that questions it's ability.
Edmonton, AB, Canada