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“A doula? No, I’m not having a home birth.”

I hear this all the time. Why do I need a doula? I’m having a hospital birth; using a doctor; getting an epidural; am high risk, etc.

Why would I need that?

Why would I pay for that?

Why would I even want that?!

Well, the fact is that doulas, even though we have a weird title, are pretty awesome. We’re not there to dance around with crystals; we’re there to be your secret weapon when it comes to navigating this new world of birth and babies.

Just think; If you were heading into the jungle; you’ve never been there before, it’s scary, it’s unknown, and it’s almost guaranteed someone’s going to end up crying. Wouldn’t you want a guide? Someone by your side? Wouldn’t you want someone who has been through hundreds of experiences similar to what you’re going into? Wouldn’t you want someone who knows the ins and outs of the particular path you’re on?

The reality is that most people don’t have time to think about what they need for their birth, especially here in Calgary. We’re a city of busy, professionally-minded individuals who look for the experts when experiencing a new situation.

So you get a doula. A doula can help alleviate your fears, help explain the reality of labour and birth, and overall help you to realize that you’re not alone. A doula will do practical things like suggesting positions and techniques during the process, so your partner doesn’t have to remember everything. The doula will make sure there’s water, check that you’ve eaten, look at the big picture, and figure out what is missing before you’ve even realized. A doula will help with the emotions of the pregnancy, labour, and birth; assist you with vocalizing what you’re feeling and facilitating communication with your healthcare provider. A doula will help you find reliable, evidence-based information to support you in making the best decisions for your family. Most importantly a doula will be by your side, without agenda, without opinions; a familiar, consistent person with you as you become a family.

You’d get a Sherpa to climb Mt. Everest, so, get a doula to give birth.

It’s just that simple.


Heather is a certified DONA birth and postpartum doula, certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding educator, as well as a certified Henna artist. She has been an active Calgary doula for the past eight years, is the past-president of the Calgary Doula Association, and was the former provincial representative of Alberta (SPAR) for DONA International. Heather is also a birth doula trainer and the owner of Doula Essentials. She is well-known within the international doula community and greatly respected by the medical providers in the city of Calgary and surrounding areas. She takes great pride supporting her clients through the entire journey to parenthood, from prenatal education through to breastfeeding support.