About Prairie Lily Birth Support
I am a married mother of two beautiful children, and I live and work in Saskatoon, SK as a CAPPA Certified Labour & Postpartum Doula, as well as a Certified Yoga Birth Method Instructor. I have attended both hospital and home births and am actively involved in numerous local community organizations, namely The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) of Saskatoon, La Leche League International (LLLI), and The Prairie Birth Collective Inc. I love working with families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Since 2008 I have attended numerous conferences on women’s and children’s health and wellness and have taken specific training in holistic midwifery, the female pelvic floor, the Yoga Birth Method, postpartum and breastfeeding, and perinatal loss.
I am a passionate advocate for natural childbirth and breastfeeding. My first-born daughter was born by an unnecessary cesarean section. My prenatal care was provided by an OBGYN and I did not hire a Doula. Unfortunately her birth was poorly planned and involved a cascade of unnecessary interventions that culminated in “failure to progress” and a cesarean section. I grieved the loss of her natural birth for a long time afterward and experienced at least a couple of postpartum mood disorders because of it. My son was born five years later by a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). My prenatal care was provided by Midwives and I hired a Doula. His birth transformed me with a renewed sense of empowerment, achievement and satisfaction. I love both of my children equally regardless of how they were born.
My journey of healing incorporates education, experiences and communication with the people I cherish. Motherhood has both strengthened and challenged me in ways I could never have imagined before embarking on the journey. Serving families throughout one of the most important moments of their lives is both humbling and rewarding. I have been blessed with the gifts of grace, patience and compassion, and I have found a profound sense of purpose in the work I do as a doula.
- CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training, September 2011
- Midwifery Skills Lab, February 2011
- Yoga Birth Method Certification, February 2011
- CAPPA Certified Labour Doula, October 2010
- Standard First Aid & CPR/AED, November 2010
- Understanding the Female Pelvic Floor Lab, 2009
- Birth Rhythms Labour Doula Training, 2008
I believe that all women should have the opportunity to be a doula, and should have access to the services of one. In the past it was common for a female friend or family member to help a new mother on her birth journey. These women were not trained, but experienced in life and childbearing and were nurturing and supportive. In the same way, my birth doula support comes directly from my heart, experience and wisdom.
Potentially every woman, whether trained or not, can support another woman prenatally, during labour, birth and in the postnatal period. How well she does this depends on her personal maturity, knowledge and her unique view of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. The main tool a doula has is herself! Before, during and after the birth it is primarily a doula’s presence that should make the labouring woman/new mother feel safe. Whilst I recognize that to be a doula it may be easier for those who have the experience of giving birth, breastfeeding, and rearing children; I also realize that there are some women who do not have this experience who can be wonderfully nurturing doulas. I believe that a pregnant woman/new mother should be able to choose the doula that she is most comfortable with.
The doula role is a way of “being” not “doing”. “Training” implies completion and it is not useful to believe that a woman can attend a workshop or training course and believe that she is a good doula. Good doulas are learners, they are explorers, they are guides, friends, sharers, and it goes on and on. Without an open approach to self-development, growth and improvement it is impossible to be available to enable others. Within a doula’s education there must be a deep concentration and focus on self awareness; any woman entering the profession is required to spend a lot of time reflecting.
Although comments such as “I couldn’t have done it without you” may be flattering what I want women to be able to say is “you enabled me to do it myself.” I am there to safeguard the emotional memory of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. I am not a “coach” who tells women what or what not to do during the birth or postnatally because this is essentially disempowering. I use practical tools wisely to help create an environment conducive to bringing forth a new life and cherishing it.
The term “doula” roughly translated means “mothering the mother or woman who serves.” I am employed primarily by a woman to listen, support and respond to her needs. I do not replace or exclude the father, partner or other family members or to intrude on these relationships. I provide reassurance and support to the whole family while primarily serving the woman. Each person present at the birth provides energy which must be positive and trusting. Women are highly sensitive and aware of energy during labour, therefore, if she feels any negative energy it will affect her ability to relax and progress. My actions are never driven by my ego but by sensitivity and unconditional love. My job is to protect the woman’s privacy and security during labour to enable her to let her body and her baby do what they need to do to give birth.
I do not give medical advice but I do have a good understanding of the physiology of birth and the postnatal period so that I can provide support to help the woman find solutions when she needs guidance. This distinction between advice and support is important. While professionalism is also important, I do not want to be an additional “expert” in an already overloaded maternity system. It is an honour and a privilege to share the “everyday miracle” of birth and the days surrounding that time.
Adapted from the Prairie Birth Collective Inc. Statement of Birth Philosophy, 2012.
Code of Ethics
I, Maureen Schofield, as a doula am/do:
- Accountable for my own practice in whatever environment I choose to work. In all circumstances the safety and welfare of the mother and baby are of primary importance.
- Offer counsel and support, but not advice, to the mother and/or parents, explore with them their various options, enable them to make their own decisions about the appropriate course of action, and then support them to act upon those decisions.
- Work to maintain the highest level of care and support possible, all the time striving to be sensitive, nurturing, empathic, non-judgemental, knowledge-based, flexible, reliable, well-organized, practical and protective of the mother’s/family’s environment.
- Do not perform clinical or medical tasks, diagnose medical conditions or give medical advice.
- Refer clients to other appropriate resources/professionals should the client have needs beyond the scope of my doula role.
- Accurately represent my education and experience and will not mislead other doulas, clients or other birth professionals (e.g. websites, leaflets, emails, interviews, etc.) as to my level of doula education or experience.
- Committed to being honest and showing integrity and respect at all times toward my clients, doula colleagues and other professionals with whom I may be working alongside.
- Do not discuss personal and confidential information which has been disclosed to me by my clients in the course of my doula work with them, without the express permission of those clients, except in situations as outlined in the “Confidentiality Policy” (see below).
- Keep records of activities e.g. of births attended and/or postnatal support roles, for the purposes of statistical analysis and legal documentation.
- Have a written contract with clients.
- Strive to develop and maintain positive work relationships within the doula, birthing and healthcare community.
- Uphold the responsibility to maintain/enhance my skills and education by attending courses, workshops and lectures as they become available.
- Do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, culture, language, disability, marital status, sexual preferences, education or outlook.
Adapted from the Prairie Birth Collective Inc. Code of Ethics, 2012.
I recognize that when parents employ me they may discuss or disclose personal information and this information is to be kept confidential. This means that any information provided by or about a person shall not be given directly or indirectly to anyone else without the express permission of that person, except in situations where there is a legal obligation to do so.
General information may be shared with other doulas within the Prairie Birth Collective in an anonymous format for the sole purpose of support, supervision or training.
Any publicity or report on my work or clients will not disclose information that might identify an individual client or doula without their express permission. Any confidential information will be stored and/or destroyed appropriately.
Adapted from the Prairie Birth Collective Inc. Statement of Confidentiality, 2012.
Prairie Lily Birth Support was created for information and marketing purposes. The information provided through this website is intended for general consumer understanding and information only, is not intended to be, and is not provided as a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing contained in or provided through the website is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The website is presented by Prairie Lily Birth Support for the sole purpose of disseminating general health information for public benefit. Always seek the advice of your Midwife, Physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, or for any answers to questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information provided on the website are not intended to constitute the practice of or furnishing of medical, nursing, or health care advice, diagnosis, consultation or treatment or services in any jurisdiction. Nor is it designed to replace a childbirth education course.