Testimonials

"Bree-Ann was a great help to me during labour and also a great resource during my pregnancy. My husband really appreciated having Bree-Ann's suggestions for him during my labour. She has such a positive and calm disposition and with the complications of my pregnancy and labour she helped us ask the right questions and helped us feel like we had some control in how my daughter was born. It was a great choice to have her as my doula and I would highly recommend Bree-Ann to any expectant mom. 

Thank you Bree-Ann you are amazing! Best ice-foot massage ever!"

-Margaret, Jerrimy and Aurora (December 5th 2013)

"I am so incredibly blessed to have Bree-Ann in my life. She is an amazing friend and the most naturally talented doula I can imagine - she was born to do this!

First some quick background info; this was my second pregnancy, my first child was born via emergency c-section so I was going into this new birth experience with some anxiety. Bree and I talked a lot about my first child's birth and she was able to help me look at many aspects of it in a new light which really helped me to feel more calm and confident in my body as I prepared for the birth of our second baby.

My goal was to have a VBAC and I was very passionate about it - Bree-Ann always encouraged, supported and empowered me in this which also gave me confidence in my ability to have my baby naturally. I had some preterm labour scares at 32 weeks and Bree was right there to talk through things with me and put my mind at ease. We talked about what might happen if the baby came early and what I could do to help delay baby's arrival. In the end, my water broke at 34 weeks, 3 days and even though I was concerned and nervous I felt more prepared for things thanks to our conversations.

Bree-Ann was an incredibly calming and powerful presence during the labour and birth of my daughter. She helped me to remain calm despite my anxieties around potential interventions and a preterm baby. Once my contractions started labour progressed very quickly and was super intense as a result. Bree arrived very soon after my husband called her even though it was after 

1:00

 in the morning. As soon as she arrived it was like a breath of fresh air for both my husband and I. He had been bent over the bed massaging me as I rocketed through contractions and was able to finally change positions and get some help and suggestions for keeping me comfortable. Bree was immediately at my side coaching me on my breathing and helping me labour naturally. It was an extremely intense 3.5hr labour and I know I couldn't have gotten through it without drugs if Bree-Ann hadn't been there, guiding and supporting me. Towards the end my body started pushing involuntarily and Bree helped me get through those contractions which still amazes me. Not only did I have to get up and walk from one end of my room and into the hall to change beds during this time but I also had to be transferred 3 floors to a delivery room all while trying to keep my body from pushing! Bree-Ann was right there the whole time coaching and reassuring me - her voice helped me focus and get through each surge. 

When we were finally in the delivery room and I had a very loud and intense nurse shouting directions at me, Bree-Ann stood beside me and gently whispered encouragement in my ear. She tempered the instructions being hollered at me with gentle coaching. During the birth she was right by my side holding onto my leg and guiding and encouraging me, I couldn't ask for more. After our daughter was born my husband went with her to another room where she was checked over and cared for. Bree stayed with me as we waited for the placenta to be born and helped me with suggestions on how to encourage my body along naturally. As we waited in recovery for my daughter, Bree-Ann was right there with me to celebrate my beautiful baby girl and the fact that not only had I achieved my VBAC but I'd also brought her into the world completely naturally, no drugs! I know, without a doubt, that without Bree-Ann, I could not have gotten through such intense contractions without some sort of "help" - the thought crossed my mind several times and each time I was able to focus on my body and my breathing instead with her calm, confident coaching. 

When my husband and daughter finally returned we all had a tearful reunion. Bree knew how important breastfeeding was to me and I was concerned that with my daughter's prematurity and the fact that we had been separated for over an hour after her birth that we might have some difficulties. Bree made sure we had all the support and guidance we needed to successfully establish breastfeeding. Thankfully, my daughter was strong and alert enough to get a good latch and nurse till she fell asleep. This first experience proved to be more essential than I could have known as it gave me confidence in our breastfeeding relationship that carried me through two very challenging weeks while my daughter was in Intermediate Care at the Women's Hospital following her birth. Without that positive first experience I may not have persevered with such conviction, giving my daughter opportunities everyday to practice nursing even though she needed to be tube fed for the first week and a half of her life.

I can honestly say without a doubt that having this wonderful, caring, dynamic, thoughtful, intelligent and intuitive woman with me, my birth story would be much different. Thank you, Bree-Ann with all my heart for being so amazing <3"

 -Jill

"

Having Bree-Ann at my birth was like putting a cherry and sprinkles on top of my incredible birthing experience. My birth was FAST! Bree was first to arrive. She couldn't have arrived at a better time. Just in time to offer me relief thanks to her knowledge of positions and pressure points. Even when my midwives showed up, Bree was still right there doing everything a doula does and more! I actually don't know why anyone in our culture, in our society would birth a baby without a doula by their side. Bree Ann has the passion, the knowledge, and the patience to offer the support that you need to accomplish a powerful birth that will put a smile on your face every time you think about it. YOUR birth experience matters!! Hire a doula! Hire Bree Ann."

-Heather

"When I was in my early 20’s I remember wondering if a magic genie came to me and said I could only have one thing in my life but not both – a true love or to be a mother – which would I choose. In my head I always chose to be a mother. If I couldn't have both then that was the one I’d choose. In 2011, I was pregnant at 31 and in a troubled relationship. I was advised, "You need a doula to be with you through it!" and yes, you guessed it I googled it first and later decided I did need a doula! After asking my friends about doula services in Winnipeg, a friend recommended her friend friends' wife, who happened to be Bree. I later learnt that it would be her first birth! As a new mum-to-be, I was a little bit apprehensive but if there is something you will learn about Bree is that she can calm a storm. We met shortly after I reached out to Bree and she explained the package she will be providing me - but since she was still in training she will be shadowing a certified doula. I registered for a 

pro-bono 

doula with another well known doula service in Winnipeg. Bree was a great support for me 3 months leading to my birth. And when Barbara Harper was in town for a talk on water births - we made a date to attend the event. She kept me informed and also advised me on what/how I should prepare. The fact that Bree was a mother too made her a good birthing 'companion' for me. We talked about how I felt, how to improve my energy levels (I was pretty tired) and how I was coping with everything. 

On Nov 21st I started laboring at 4:30am and my midwife confirmed that I was indeed going to have my baby today. I called my doula's Jessica and Bree - Bree was to shadow another

 certified doula for her practicum to be validated. Bree was the first to arrive by my side and she brought me some homemade pasta sauce and a pack of sanitary towel that remained from her last birth. Bree kept me distracted from the pain as I crotchet my baby a sweater in between my contraction. Bree truly felt like a sister at that moment. At 9pm (yes, 17 hours later) my midwife suggested we go to the hospital since I was 6cm dilated.  Bree checked my bag to confirm I carried everything and helped me finish my packing. We arrived the hospital and thank fully I got my own huge room. I got settled in as my bath was prepared. Bree excused herself to pump milk for her daughter and I remember she had mentioned that she often pumps at work as well. Now, I had never heard the weird sound of a breast pump before and when she started pumping, I thought it was the funniest thing I have heard ever! Of course it wasn't so funny after I started pumping but at that time I laughed so hard I teared up. It was hilarious! 

After Midnight, my pain intensified and Bree stepped-up and made sure I was breathing right and when the pressure was too much for me, she walked me though techniques to ease the pressure. At 7:25am I was ready to push -- Bree was there to cheer me on as she snapped pictures from her phone. The photos she took are the only once I have of Mariela's birth. Pictures that I shared with my family who were back home in Kenya. Mariela was born at 7:45am on November 22nd 2011 and I asked Bree to cut the umbilical cord. 

Bree was my star during my 25 hour labour. One thing that I love about Bree is that she loves what she does as a doula and because she is so passionate about her work, she is also so great at it too! I remember my midwife telling Bree that she will make an incredible midwife some day. She is just not a doula, she is a phenomenal doula. 

Thank you Bree."

"Having Bree-Ann as our doula was the best decision we made about the birth of our first baby. Before the birth, she answered questions I had about what to expect during and after labor. 

During the labor, she 

was a calm voice and a soft hand. She was my voice to the doctors and nurses to explain what I wanted and she was a reassuring voice to me when I needed one. She helped me get into positions to help the labor along, massaged my lower back during contractions, and held my hand as I pushed. At no point did I feel that she took away from the experience between my husband and I. She added to it. While my husband was on my one side she was on the other.

Having someone by my side that knew what was going on and was calm the entire time, let me know that everything was ok. I would definitely recommend her and would love to have her be at the birth of our next baby."

- Crystal

"Bree Ann helped us through the most amazing experience of our lives.  We discovered after our son was born, that he had got stuck and we were spine to spine.  This made for a longer and more uncomfortable process than expected. 

Bree Ann arrived at our house early two mornings in a row.  She brought her own stock of tea for me and sent my husband to sleep for a few hours.  She keep me company, walked with me and gave me massages.  Later, at the hospital, she walked hallways and stairs to help my labour progress.

I have heard that back births are more painful than the norm, but with her encouragement and techniques I did not think anything was unusual.  With her support my partner and I felt empowered.  She was incredible. 

Thank you."

-CH

"As a first time Mom, I had so many questions. And when I found out I was having twins, I had double the questions! Bree-Ann was there to offer support, education and advice. She helped us solidify our birth wish list and while in the hospital she helped make sure our every wish was met. When changes from our original plan occurred she always made sure we knew why the changes were happening, what the changes meant, and that we were okay with what was happening. She was a solid support system for both my husband and myself and was there for anything we needed. She went above and beyond what I could have ever imagined a Doula doing and will forever hold a special place in our hearts."

— Lisa

"Being a Dad holds a lot of responsibility during the birthing process. Bree-Ann played a critical role during our labour allowing me to give my full attention to my wife. She was always able to answer any questions I had, explained procedures step-by-step and I always felt that I had someone who I could count on. I would easily recommend Bree-Ann to any Dad who wants to have a great support system during child birth."

— Mike

"

[Bree-Ann] was absolutely fantastic.  She attended my every need and took care of me throughout labor and after. She continually kept me informed about what was happening every step of the way and what my options were.  I ended up with a c-section and my hubby was extremely worried and said that Bree-Ann's reassurance before we went into the operating room had kept him calm. Bree-Ann didn't leave until baby and I were finally settled in our room after recovery almost 20 hours later.  She came back the next day and a week later to provide advice and answer any questions and made sure we were all doing ok. I highly recommend Bree-Ann and her team.  Bree-Ann was so informative and supportive. You feel that she cares about how you are doing throughout the labor and after as a new mom and you can tell she loves what she is doing.  I'm very thankful that Bree-Ann was there"

- Bonnie

A Year and a Half!

I know, I know, it has been about a million years since my last post. Yes, I know, I almost forgot about me too. Such is life.

So in this million years many many things have happened. I have been a very happily busy doula and have had the pleasure of supporting so many wonderful families through their labour and birth journey. I have faced unthinkable challenges and glorious highs as a doula over this past couple years and have grown immensely. I am thankful everyday for the work I do and the beautiful families who invite me into their world during the most intimate and gorgeous time in their lives. It's a beautiful thing.

I realize now that I have not posted anything personal since Aida turned 2!!! She is 31/2 now and our family has grown by 1. I feel dumb. Wow, so many things have happened since that time, which now feels like a life time ago. I have been looking back through photos lately and thought I would just post some of my favourite times and pics over the past year and a half.

It is amazing to me how much Aida has grown from a toddler into a little girl. As I look back through pictures I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around the amount of change one and a half years can bring.

Okay! So that was more pictures than I intended but it is so hard to choose sometimes. It has been an incredible year and a half and we now have another beautiful little girl! The last picture was taken 2 days before I gave birth - more on that to come...

Happy New Year to you all!!! 

Diane's Beautiful Birth Story

Hello again and happy weekend! I thought I would help you start your weekend off full of happy thoughts with another beautiful birth story. This is a post written by Diane who recently gave birth to her first baby. Her labour and birth was absolutely beautiful. Diane's ability to keep calm and maintain control and focus was nothing short of amazing. She is such an inspiration. This was one of those births that I wish every woman could witness - it was the kind of birth that would wipe out any fear and anxiety a mother has towards her labour and ability to birth her baby. Diane prepared for her labour and surrounded herself with positive encouraging support and began the process with confidence in herself and her body's ability and it truly showed in her birth. Her lack of fear allowed her body overflow with endorphins (which, by the way are 200 times stronger than morphine!!) which let her body labour quickly and with greater ease. Diane is a Wonder Woman! Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with me Diane!      

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Photo provided by family

"As soon as I got over the initial excitement and nervousness of being pregnant, I knew that I wanted to get a doula. I had heard about doulas from a few friends who said it was the best decision they ever made. I thought that it would be difficult to convince my husband that this was something we should spend money on but he was on board from the start.

We decided to ask my friend Bree-Ann to be our doula.

A few people thought it was a little weird to have a friend as a doula, but I knew Bree-Ann’s calm and rational personality was exactly what I would need.

Our little guy Benjamin surprised us all by arriving just over 2 weeks early.

After my last day of work, I had big plans of relaxing while my husband was at an office party. In fact I had big plans of accomplishing a lot during the 2 weeks off work so that I would be totally ready for our baby.

But my little guy didn’t seem to care about all my plans and decided he was eager to meet us.

One of the biggest reasons I wanted a doula was that I knew no matter how many classes we took and how many books I read there was no way I could know what to expect when the big day arrived since this was something I have never experienced before. When things got started that evening I was pretty unsure that I was actually in labour.

I kept thinking that it was too early and I was just leaking a little (my water couldn’t have broken!), and those were just really bad Braxton Hicks contractions.

I called Bree-Ann and she answered my questions and told me this could be the real deal.

Little Ben (Photo provided by family)

 In the middle of the night when the contractions started to get bad my husband called Bree-Ann and she came over to our house.

Bree helped with massaging and keeping me calm while my husband rushed around the house packing our bags and getting ready to leave. Once we got to the hospital things started to progress faster and I began to doubt my plans to have no pain medication.

I felt like there was no way I was strong enough to continue and that I was not ready for this.

Bree-Ann helped me to find my strength, to stay calm and to breathe. She helped me to focus and trust my body to do what it is supposed to do without any medication.

Both my husband and I were so happy to have Bree-Ann at our son’s birth." 

Happy Family (Photo provided by family)

Beautiful VBAC Birth Story

Aida meeting Baby Ruby for the first time

What seems like forever ago and just yesterday all at the same time, I was incredibly honoured to bare witness to an amazing VBAC story. This is the birth story of Jill, one of my closest and dearest friends. It was the birth of our first children that initially brought Jill and I together. As many cherished friendships begin, we met doing something very near and dear to us both. Yoga. Prenatal yoga to be specific, basically the perfect storm for friendship building! We have been very close ever since and I was so full of joy to be invited in to what I knew would be an amazingly beautiful birth. Jill is a gorgeous, strong, powerful woman with the most gentle sole I have ever had the privileged of knowing and I am thankful everyday for her. I will never forget Jill's incredible VBAC story and am continually grateful to have witnessed the birth of one special lady that I will know and love always. Thank you for the beautiful moments Jill!

"I am so incredibly blessed to have Bree-Ann in my life. She is an amazing friend and the most naturally talented doula I can imagine - she was born to do this!

First some quick background info; this was my second pregnancy, my first child was born via emergency c-section so I was going into this new birth experience with some anxiety. Bree and I talked a lot about my first child's birth and she was able to help me look at many aspects of it in a new light which really helped me to feel more calm and confident in my body as I prepared for the birth of our second baby.

My goal was to have a VBAC and I was very passionate about it - Bree-Ann always encouraged, supported and empowered me in this which also gave me confidence in my ability to have my baby naturally. I had some preterm labour scares at 32 weeks and Bree was right there to talk through things with me and put my mind at ease. We talked about what might happen if the baby came early and what I could do to help delay baby's arrival. In the end, my water broke at 34 weeks, 3 days and even though I was concerned and nervous I felt more prepared for things thanks to our conversations.

Bree-Ann was an incredibly calming and powerful presence during the labour and birth of my daughter. She helped me to remain calm despite my anxieties around potential interventions and a preterm baby. Once my contractions started labour progressed very quickly and was super intense as a result. Bree arrived very soon after my husband called her even though it was after 

1:00

 in the morning. As soon as she arrived it was like a breath of fresh air for both my husband and I. He had been bent over the bed massaging me as I rocketed through contractions and was able to finally change positions and get some help and suggestions for keeping me comfortable. Bree was immediately at my side coaching me on my breathing and helping me labour naturally. It was an extremely intense 3.5hr labour and I know I couldn't have gotten through it without drugs if Bree-Ann hadn't been there, guiding and supporting me. Towards the end my body started pushing involuntarily and Bree helped me get through those contractions which still amazes me. Not only did I have to get up and walk from one end of my room and into the hall to change beds during this time but I also had to be transferred 3 floors to a delivery room all while trying to keep my body from pushing! Bree-Ann was right there the whole time coaching and reassuring me - her voice helped me focus and get through each surge. 

When we were finally in the delivery room and I had a very loud and intense nurse shouting directions at me, Bree-Ann stood beside me and gently whispered encouragement in my ear. She tempered the instructions being hollered at me with gentle coaching. During the birth she was right by my side holding onto my leg and guiding and encouraging me, I couldn't ask for more. After our daughter was born my husband went with her to another room where she was checked over and cared for. Bree stayed with me as we waited for the placenta to be born and helped me with suggestions on how to encourage my body along naturally. As we waited in recovery for my daughter, Bree-Ann was right there with me to celebrate my beautiful baby girl and the fact that not only had I achieved my VBAC but I'd also brought her into the world completely naturally, no drugs! I know, without a doubt, that without Bree-Ann, I could not have gotten through such intense contractions without some sort of "help" - the thought crossed my mind several times and each time I was able to focus on my body and my breathing instead with her calm, confident coaching. 

When my husband and daughter finally returned we all had a tearful reunion. Bree knew how important breastfeeding was to me and I was concerned that with my daughter's prematurity and the fact that we had been separated for over an hour after her birth that we might have some difficulties. Bree made sure we had all the support and guidance we needed to successfully establish breastfeeding. Thankfully, my daughter was strong and alert enough to get a good latch and nurse till she fell asleep. This first experience proved to be more essential than I could have known as it gave me confidence in our breastfeeding relationship that carried me through two very challenging weeks while my daughter was in Intermediate Care at the Women's Hospital following her birth. Without that positive first experience I may not have persevered with such conviction, giving my daughter opportunities everyday to practice nursing even though she needed to be tube fed for the first week and a half of her life.

I can honestly say without a doubt that having this wonderful, caring, dynamic, thoughtful, intelligent and intuitive woman with me, my birth story would be much different. Thank you, Bree-Ann with all my heart for being so amazing <3"

 -Jill