Cedar Sisters... What's in a name?
Western Red Cedars are one of British Columbia's greatest beauties. They are strong, yet soft. They have an incredible calming effect. If that sounds like crazy hippie talk, we challenge you to go sit near one for just 5 minutes and see how you feel afterward! A Cedar Sisters doula brings a similar calming energy to every prenatal visit, every birthing experience, every Reiki and reflexology session, and every postpartum visit.
We need sisters today more than ever. In a world where many of us are distant from family and feeling isolated from our support networks, we need someone who will truly see us, encourage us, and relate to us as an imperfect human who deserves to be loved and respected. A Cedar Sisters doula will show up for you during your pregnancy and throughout your journey into parenthood with the heart and care of a sister.
Cedar Sisters was born out of a combination of my love of trees and my purpose in this world to join people through their reproductive journeys.
Hi! I'm Katrina. I've been a fully trained doula since 2016, and recently became certified. Each family I support has different beliefs, needs, hopes, and outcomes. It's such a journey each time, and I learn so much.
Besides being a wife, mother, and a passionate birth-keeper, I am a nature care-taker. I volunteer in Surrey Parks removing invasive species, so that the native trees and plants can thrive. I collect tiny tree seedlings from yards and sidewalks and foster them until I can pass them on to a family I support.
My approach to doula support is one of listening, encouragement, giving information when it is requested, being a comforting presence, and taking care of your needs so that you can relax and enjoy your journey into parenthood.
Still have questions? Here's a little Q&A to ease your way.
What is a doula?
Nowadays, doulas are privately hired professionals who assist pregnant and birthing people. (There's also something magical called a 'postpartum doula', who helps out new parents as they adjust to life with a newborn baby.) We basically fill the role that aunties, grandmas, moms, and sisters used to play when supporting young women as they became mothers.
What does a doula do?
Doulas provide support during pregnancy, helping people to prepare for birth. There are so many things to learn and to decide about when it comes to giving birth. It can be much less stressful if you have someone to explain each test, each intervention, each 'what if' that may be worrying you. Someone who can make the learning fun, and help you to understand what your heart already knows: birth is natural and normal, and you can do this.
Doulas provide support during the birth process. You will likely have nurses, midwives, and/or doctors taking care of your medical needs. We are the ones who make sure you feel seen and heard. We are the ones giving you sips of water to keep you hydrated, rubbing your shoulders to help you relax between sensations, and saying 'You're doing so well,' when you need to hear it. We encourage you to follow your body during labour, tapping into your own instincts and ways of coping, and adding our comfort techniques when needed. We will learn your preferences about using pain medication, and support you in your choices. We are skilled at making partners feel useful and taken care of during labour, so that they can be there for you. We make sure you understand the risks and benefits of interventions that may be suggested, so that you can make informed decisions.
As a full-spectrum doula, I also support people who are dealing with loss or termination of pregnancy by providing in-person support if desired, and sharing local resources for additional support.
When should I hire you?
When you are ready to add someone to your support team! It's completely up to you. Keep in mind that pregnancy can sometimes have unexpected surprises, and having someone to talk to and ask questions of can be a big relief along the way. So, if you want support from the moment you get a positive test, that works for us. I offer monthly online visits as part of my package, so the sooner you hire me, the more of these you'll get!
Is a doula like a midwife?
Not really. Midwives and doulas may share common views about birth, but their jobs are not the same.
Midwives take care of all of your medical needs during pregnancy and birth, as a doctor would do, with more time and attention. And tea.
Doulas take care of helping you and your partner to feel confident, to feel prepared, to feel that extra level of being cared for. We believe that our work perfectly complements the work of midwives, and we love working with them! Here are a few of the midwifery clinics we work with:
Will having a doula make my partner feel less involved?
Not at all! In fact, hiring a doula is a great way to make sure that your partner WILL be confidently involved, as part of our role is to teach them ways to keep you comfortable during both pregnancy and the birth process. We love to have partners present throughout the process, from initial interview to postpartum visit, so that they can get to know us and benefit from our knowledge, training, and support as well.
We know that people in the birth process need to feel safe and loved in order for their bodies to be able to roll with the hormonal flow that labour requires. Your partner (or mother, brother, sister, friend) is the perfect person to make sure that you feel safe and loved. We join you as the expert on labour and birth, so that your birth partner can focus on loving you as you do this amazing thing.
Are doulas only for home births?
No way! Though we love supporting clients at home births, we realize that most people are more comfortable birthing in hospitals. And we love supporting you there, too! We are there for your emotional well-being, wherever you choose to bring your baby into the world. At home or in the hospital, it is important to have someone encouraging you, easing you through the stages of labour, and making sure you have all of the information you need to make decisions about your body and your baby.
What trainings and experience do you have?
I was initially trained by DONA International.
I am certified through Wise Woman Way of Birth Doula Training.
I am currently training as a Holistic Reproductive Practitioner through By the Moon.
I am currently certifying as a Childbirth Educator through bebo mia.
I have taken the Spinning Babies course, in order to better serve our clients. Visit their website for some excellent activities for comfort in pregnancy and preparing for birth!
First Aid Training for Health Care Providers, 2018, by Safe Beginnings.
'Supporting Neonatal Resuscitation' training, 2020, by Safe Beginnings.
I am trained in gently supporting people through pregnancy loss or abortion.
I serve on the board for the BC Doula Services Association. As Vice President, I strive to build a community for doulas in BC, to spread the word about the difference doulas make for birthing people, and to work toward the goal of having a doula available to everyone who wants one.
I have given birth twice, once in the hospital and once in my home. I also had a miscarriage at eleven weeks gestation. These three different experiences have shaped me into the woman and mother I am. (See my blog for some of my story.)
I have supported over 30 families in the past 3 years, through all kinds of birth journeys.
Is there anything else you'd like to know? Send a message!