I chose to get a doula for two main reasons. At first I had hoped to give birth with a midwife, but because I live in a neighbourhood with no birthing centre, I was too low on the waiting lists. Since I have a family doctor, decided that giving birth in a hospital with the help of a doula would offer the best of both worlds. I figured that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting rushed to the hospital in an emergency, but at the same time, with a doula I would be supported and encouraged to avoid unnecessary medical interventions. I also wanted personal attention that a doctor can’t give. It was important for me to have someone to support Erik and I throughout the pregnancy and labour. Marylène fulfilled these needs and more. She was very professional, but also relaxed and gentle. From the beginning, she was clear about what she could offer, but also gave generously. Any time I needed extra information, she found it for me. She was always prepared with all kinds of interesting and important topics to help prepare us during the pre-birth sessions, but was also completely open to changing everything if we wanted to focus on something else. She was also great about recommending relevant additional resources of all kinds.
One of the best things that Marylène did for me, which was completely unexpected, was to record everything that happened during my labour. This is a precious record because for me a lot of it felt like it went by in a blur. She captured a lot of important details so that I can continue to reflect upon the experience.
As a first-time father, going into the hospital while Nat was in labour was quite an intimidating experience. Doctors and nurses are very good at what they do, but sometimes they have to balance that care with facilitating the labour and ensuring the process keeps moving (even to the slight detriment of the patient). This is one of the things that Marylène really helped us with. She ensured that we knew what our options were. When she arrived at the hospital, she was also able to give me ideas and direct me in helping Nat go through the labour pains. And she stayed by our side the whole time, which is a huge support in that kind of situation.