Birthing Families Foundation (BFF)
We want to be your BFF!
BFF is an a Registered Charity that aims to connect low income and high risk families or individuals with experienced birth and postpartum doula support. We offer holistic, anti-oppressive and trauma informed training to fully equip our doulas so that they can provide specific support for these families. Furthermore, we compensate doulas fairly for their work rather than relying on them to volunteer or work at reduced rates.
“In a society, and at a time where supports (community and personal) for pregnant mothers are often few and far between, doulas can fill the gap by providing continuous support during labour and birth, as is demonstrated in the Cochrane Review – Continuous support for women during childbirth.”
We train doulas with the skills to be able to identify and meet the needs of each unique family, including the ability to refer clients to partnering agencies and other resources in the community. The care will encompass an awareness and sensitivity around trauma, addictions, violence and abuse, mental health barriers, cultural diversity, sexual-orientation, gender identification, physical (dis)ability, and socio-economic status. In order to embody a feminist philosophy of treatment, a holistic and anti-oppressive care model is needed to fully support women through the entire birthing process. With feminist therapy arising in response to the psychological distress that women have experienced, support and counselling of women must demonstrate an anti-oppressive, inclusive, and empowering approach that strives to dismantle power dynamics prevalent in the mainstream medical model. With this as our compass, the Community Doula Connection aims to offer families a continuity of care model similar to that of the midwife led continuity model, which includes: “continuity of care throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period; providing the woman with individualised education and counselling; being cared for by a known and trusted midwife during labour; and the immediate postpartum period; and identifying and referring women who require obstetric or other specialist attention“. Our service will entail: one to two doulas offering continuous support for each family or individual for the entire antenatal period.
A feature that separates us from other organizations is that we do not rely on new doulas to volunteer their time. Though it is useful to have a confidant in birth, it is not appropriate to have an inexperienced support person working with families or individuals who need a higher level of care. We invite experienced doulas to take our training, and along with the in depth training that our doulas receive, they will also receive coaching, mentorship, as well as feedback and support from our team. We believe that they too need an increased level of support.
Recent Research has demonstrated that when families, especially those who are young, at risk, marginalized or low income, are supported through the entire perinatal period and beyond, they experience improved birth outcomes and enhanced early childhood development. Doula support can alleviate the burden on health care staff during, and also before and after labour by ensuring that the woman’s non-medical needs are met while simultaneously enhancing communication between the mother/family and birth staff.
The community Doula Connection holds the intention to increase support for both families and doulas. Ultimately with this increased support mothers will have improved birth outcomes, children will have healthier outcomes for years ahead, health care providers will be provided with extended assistance, thereby alleviating the burden on the health care system, and doulas will feel more informed and supported in order to extend that care out into the community.
For more information please contact me!
Sadie is an amazing, compassionate and very knowledgeable doula! Throughout my home birth Sadie encouraged me to dance, move and work with my body and my baby. When my daughter‘s Head was tilted Funny during labour Sadie knew just what to do to get her in the right position. During my postpartum period she was a wonderful help bringing me tea and snacks when I needed it and listened to my exhausted, ecstatic, hormonal mind rant and rejoice. I would highly recommend Sadie as a doula!! -Marika Hall
Sadie was our doula for our first baby and she was terrific. She has a beautiful energy and lots of ideas, not to mention knowledge! She really knows her stuff. She made helpful suggestions both during pregnancy and labour, but didn't push anything if I didn't feel comfortable. She was there to support me no matter what, not push any kind of agenda or opinion.
Our labour was long and I was so grateful to have her on our team - she was helpful and resourceful and cheerful and supportive. She danced with us to help labour progress, walked up and down the halls a million times, spelled my partner off so he could go outside or just take a break to clear his head, and was right there holding my leg when it came time to push. I felt surrounded by care with her and my partner on either side of me - I think i would have felt much more fearful without her.
As helpful as she was to me, she may have been even more helpful to my partner - she helped him to see where he could fit in to the whole process, relieved his fears and gave him breaks to take care of himself. He had this to say about her "she was so cool and easy to get along with. She really met us where we were at and instilled confidence in the process. She was calm and helped me feel empowered at the hospital when I was unsure how to help. I was initially skeptical about hiring a doula, but I was absolutely grateful she was there." -Jessamy