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    Both the wonderful experience of giving birth and the ability to parent with love and confidence create a stronger family bond.  All family members will enjoy the benefits and great satisfaction that come with this new stage in their lives.  You have the opportunity to watch your love, passion and confidence get reflected in the smile of your own little “birth beginning” for years to come.  I look forward to helping you realize and embrace the wonderful connection between you, your child and your family, through a comfortable, informed birthing experience.


    Occupation

    Doula and childbirth educator

    Birth Beginnings helps families develop the knowledge and confidence required for a rewarding and smooth transition into parenthood or in adding to their families.

    Your child’s birth is a momentous occasion and one you will replay again and again in your mind.  Birth Beginnings aims to ensure the memory of your child’s birth is positive and empowering.  This is accomplished through 'Prepared Prenatal Childbirth Education classes' that not only focus on the birth of your child but also the life skills required to carry you through the postpartum period and beyond.

    Helping families feel calm and confident is also the role of a doula, a labour support professional who attends to a woman and her partner during birth.  In addition to providing numerous benefits throughout labour, including a reduction in interventions and labour duration, studies have also shown that having a doula present at birth extends benefits to the family during the postpartum period

    Michelle is a a Birth Doula, Cesarean and VBAC Support Specialist, and Childbirth Educator.  She is also a member of DoulaCARE, and CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association), a certified reflexologist with the Ontario College of Reflexology and a Reiki practitioner.  She holds a Fitness Instructor Specialist Certification (FIS) from Can-Fit-Pro and with expertise in Pre and postnatal fitness.

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    What style of Doula do you practice?

    I am a labour or birth doula.

    Why do you practice Doula?

    I was drawn to this line of work because I had two wonderful care providers during my first pregnancy.  They took time to ask me questions and address my concerns.  It was an amazing experience. 

    In speaking with family and friends afterwards I learned that is not everyone's experience.  Many family's come away from their prenatal appointments and births feeling there was a lack of respect and honour for them.  There is also a misplacement of power.  Often I will hear women thanking the doctor for delivering her baby.  The doctor did not give birth she is the one would brought a new life into this world. 

    During pregnancy and birth parents are in a very vulnerable stage of their lives.  Moms are wondering am I going to be able to give birth to my baby.  Dads are wondering am I going to be enough, will she yell at me during the labour, what if she tells me not to touch her then how can I help her.  Both parents are wondering if they will be good parents, or if they already have children how they will managing be parents to two, three, or more children.  There are many lessons that happen along the journey of pregnancy and birth that give us the tools to be stronger individuals and parents yet these opportunities are diminished and parents can be undermined by the language that the care providers use.

    The misplacement of power continues to be seen in how women are treated.  If a birth needs to be induced, it is scheduled for when her doctor is on-call, many interventions are done without discussing with the parents why the care providers feels it needs to be done and some times is not disclosed until after the fact.  I have watched countless times when a nurse will "help" a mom breastfeeding by grabbing her breast without asking permission wait for baby to open their mouth and then shove the baby's head toward the breast, often while baby is crying.  Once baby is suckling successfully she will remove her hands and Mom arms are not where they should be.  Now the next time Mom needs to feed because the nurse did not teach her or her baby how to feed and she feels she inadequate and that she needs someone to get the baby to latch for her.  Babies are born with the knowledge of how to feed and reflexes they are born with to accomplish that with no assistance.

    Because care providers see birth day in and day out they begin to come complacent.  I can't imagine tiring of watching the rawness and love between two parents and that instant bond when they first see their baby.  It is awe inspiring.  I also get the privilege of watching parents test their limits and exceed them.  It is a daily reminder to embrace every moment and celebrate what is good.

    It continually awes me how a small act of kindness that I can provide has such and large and continally reaching impact creating a positive experience which in turn creates stronger parents who will raise more connected and supported children, which then builds better communities.  That small act of respect, kindness, and support that fosters such huge return is why I am a doula.

    How often do clients come for a Doula session?

    I generally meet with my clients twice prenatally and once in their postpartum period, though we are in regular contact so I can answer any questions they may have and provide support whenever needed.

    What would you tell anyone wondering if Doula will help them?

    Documented benefits include

    Prenatally – better prepared, informed, supported, less inductions

    Birth – shorter labours, less interventions (epidurals, narcotics, cesarean sections, vacuum/forceps deliveries)

    Postpartum – less Postpartum depression, easier time breastfeeding, and prolonged breastfeeding (bringing numerous health benefits to both mom and baby), healthier babies, more confidence as parent, better bonding, more time spent with babies, feel partners more supportive, feel better about coping during birth

    Doulas help take the pressure off of both parents so they can enjoy the day their little miracle joined their family.  Just ask anyone who has received doula support.

    Where did you study Doula

    I trained with DONA to become a doula however I ended up certifying through CAPPA.

    Professional Training

    Email Michelle     Book a Session
    • 2000 Can-Fit-Pro Fitness Instructor Specialist
    • 2001 DONA Labour doula training
    • 2007 Ontario Perinatal School Cesarean/VBAC Support Specialist
    • 2008 Acupressure for doulas
    • 2010 CAPPA Certified Labour Doula
    • 2010 Quintessence Foundation Breastfeeding Level One
    • 2011 Ontario College of Reflexology Certified Foot Reflexologist
    • 2011 The Canadian Father Involvement Initiative Strategies for working with fathers
    • 2012 Best Start Resource Centre Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
    • 2012 HUG Your Baby: Helping Parents Understand their Newborn
    • 2012 Hamilton Regional Lactation Committee How Healthcare Practices Impact Breastfeeding Outcomes
    • 2013 Baby Friendly Initiative Expo
    • 2013 The Science of Skin to Skin and Kangaroo Care
    • 2014 La Leche League Canada Health Professional Seminar
    • 2015 Health Nexus Managing Depression Webinar
    • 2016 Best Start Resource Centre Prenatal Education Spotlight
    • 2016 Stillbirthday University – Stillbirth and Bereavement doula certification
    • 2016 Heart & Stroke Foundation CPR Instructor

    Activity

    Member Since: Sep 9, 2013 Last Activity: Sep 9, 2013

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    Contact Information

    Email Michelle     Book a Session
    Phone: 905-464-8076

    Client Reviews

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    Review:     The Best Doula Ever!!!


    Jun 14, 2016 By: Anonymous    

    "Having a doula saved me. My water broke a month early. I did not know what to do. (Our classes were just about to begin.) So being able to call Michelle early in the morning and get her advice to go to the hospital immediately, and be informed as to what was to be expected was priceless! Not to mention that she was going to meet us at the hospital really eased my stress level! Having someone on your team to guide you, that has participated in over 100 births really gives you confidence at such a vulnerable time.  There are so many things that I found helpful during birth. From the thing she put on my back to her wonderful disposition, smile and knowledge. Michelle was like a conductor gently guiding the orchestra, yet knew when to be involved and when not to.  Words cannot describe how amazing Michelle was for the entire process!" - Kathleen, mother of Ariella

    Review:     Birthing Doula Services


    Jun 14, 2016 By: Suzanne Luxemburger    

    My husband and I interviewed several doulas but chose Michelle for her passion, care and skills.  She has a very natural and intuitive ability to balance being active and passive involvement.  We never imagined that both of us could feel so empowered through a process that seamingly leaves you powerless.  She is very knowledeageble and was able to provide information while supporting us to make our own decisions both pre labour and during.  Working with Michelle allowed me to tend to the emotional and spiritual side of the labour, while meidcal centers tend to address only the physical, and allowed my husband to play a significan role in the process.  It was extremely helpful during labour but also in helping to manage the anxiety leading up to labour.  We are both planning on working with Michelle when we decide to have another.  Thank you for everything Michelle - so special to have you there at such an amazing moment in our lives.  

    Review:     Fantastic Doula


    Jun 16, 2016 By: niki    
    Conditions: pregancy & postpartum

    Michelle was fantastic and supportive through the entire process. She helped us create a positive and calm environment for my home birth and helped me achieve my birth plan successfully. What made her exceptional was all her help and support postpartum to get me back up on my feet and make me a stronger mother than before.

    Review:     Birth Beginnings Pre-Natal Class


    Jun 23, 2016 By: Anonymous    

    My husband and I took the Birth Beginnings Pre-Natal weekend crash course. Michelle was incredibly helpful, knowledgable and friendly in her teaching of the course. She was unbiased in her opinions and recommendations, and was sure to give us information on the options available to us throughout labour/delivery and beyond. She made us feel instantly comfortable in the class, which allowed for us to bring up all of the questions we had. We left feeling incredibly informed, and knowing that we had a resource to reach out to with other questions that would come up. She leaves her attendees feeling empowered and knowledgeable, which goes an incredibly long way during the otherwise potentially stressful unknowns of childbirth. I would highly recommend Michelle and Birth Beginnings.

    Review:     Excellent Doula


    Jun 24, 2016 By: Anonymous    

    Michelle truly made our 'birth experience' a wonderful one and she gave me the confidence I needed!! She was like my security blanket." - Julie, first time mom

    Review:     Birth Beginnings - Excellent!


    Feb 02, 2017 By: Lindsay    

    We absolutely loved the classes! We ended up taking the 3 week course and highly recommend it! Michelle is so knowledgeable, she could go on for hours! The longer sessions allowed for more interaction between the students. There was never a dull moment. She creates a warm, inviting, comfortable experience that gets you looking forward to the next class and sad when it's all over.

    Rich and Lindsay

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    Home City

    Burlington, Ontario, Canada

    Practice Locations

    Birth Beginnings

    4187 Sutherland Crescent, Burlington, ON L7L 5G4, Canada
    Driving Instructions