While May is a month of many things including Mother’s Day it is also the International Doula Month and for Hazelton resident Judy Calhoun, it is a reason to celebrate.
The Greek word doula means a “woman who serves” although it is now used to refer to a well trained and educated professional who “provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to mothers before, during and just after birth,” as well as provide practical and emotional support during the postpartum period.
Calhoun is just one of nine doula’s currently offering their services in the Hazelton area.
She said she feels offering this kind of service is a real asset to not only the Hazelton’s but women everywhere.
“I thought it would be great to highlight we have a lot of really positive things around maternity in the Hazelton’s especially when it comes to doulas,” she said.
“The job is not medical but it is all about physical and emotional support for the mom. There is some really great research to support the fact that a mother who has a doula for their birth feels much more positive about the birthing process because they feel more supported. This is true even if a women who has a C-section.”
For Calhoun, there are many great reason’s to have a doula as well as many great rewards to being one.
“For me I am so humbled by parents inviting me into the most intimate part of their life to witness their miracle and I never fail to see that as just that, a miracle, it is amazing,” she shared.
“You think about how amazing it is to become a mom so having someone else to witness that is can also be quite remarkable.
According to research, the studies have shown that when doula’s attend birth, labor can be shorter with fewer complications and babies tend to be healthier and breast feed more easily DONA International states.
Calhoun also explained that many people think it is just for the birth but the care and support can go on for as long as mother needs after their child is born.
“It supports labour, delivery and breast feeding and they are one of the people that can provide continuity throughout the entire peri-natal period, which means before, during and after birth,” she said.
“There’s a lot of research out there and some great information for expecting mothers who would like to know more.”
In addition to providing doula services in the Hazeltons, Calhoun also explained there are a lot of training opportunities for people who are considering becoming trained.
“We have another doula training course coming up,” she said.
The course runs from April 27 to April 30 and it’s offered through the Northwest Community College,” she said. “Training is a 30-hour college course but there is a lot of reading and practice after that to get your certification.
“It took me about three years to get certified which in turn means you know you can really trust the doula as you know she has undergone a lot of training to become certified.
We’re also going to hold a couple of open houses for those that want to know more sometime in May.
“We’ll be holding one at the Learning Shop during the day and another at the New Hazelton meeting place in the evening, but the date has yet to be announced.”
For more information on how to find a doula or how to get certified or to learn more about the program, people in the Hazelton’s can contact a central number at 250-877-2813 or for more information on line, visit dona.org.