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Welcome

Posted by on 11:54 pm in Doulas | 0 comments

Welcome

Welcome to Baby Steps Birth. My name is Alyssa Sampson, and I am a DONA-trained doula based in Scarborough, ON. I believe that giving birth can be one of the most empowering and exhilarating experiences in a woman’s life, but it is also a position of stark vulnerability and tenderness. I passionately believe that with the right support, every woman who gives birth can discover a well of strength and confidence that will carry her right into motherhood. As a doula, I am trained to support women (and partners!) through this rite of passage – to...

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Ambivalence in Pregnancy

Posted by on 1:54 am in Pregnancy | 0 comments

Ambivalence in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a magical time, isn’t it? For once, this isn’t a rhetorical question. For many women the answer is yes: pregnancy does stir up a near-magical power that buoys us through nausea, fatigue, aches, worries, heartburn and finally labour. Pregnancy is a time of unlimited potential, full of dreams about the baby/babies growing even while you sleep, pinning adorable nursery ideas, and making lists of names. Except sometimes it isn’t. In recent years, the taboo has started to lift off the topic of postpartum depression,...

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Newborn Essentials Every Baby Needs

Posted by on 9:05 pm in Babies | 0 comments

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Waiting to meet your baby is one of the hardest things to do, but it doesn’t have to be the spendiest 9 months of your life. The internet will tell you there’s a long list of essentials you must buy for your baby, and baby books do it too! No wonder everyone says having a baby is so expensive. If you talk to most parents after their baby has had his or her first birthday, most will admit that they went overboard with shopping during pregnancy and that they didn’t need or use even half the...

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Doulas and Epidurals

Posted by on 9:31 pm in Doulas | 0 comments

What’s the deal with doulas and epidurals? Some people are under the impression that doulas are only for women planning a natural childbirth, or that doulas look down on/discourage epidurals. In fact, a professional doula will support her client’s birth choices regardless what they are, and we are skilled at helping women adapt and stay in the driver’s seat as their birth unfolds – it is fairly uncommon for a birth to play out “according to plan”. With that said, doulas are also trained on the importance of...

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TSH Birth Doula Program

Posted by on 6:33 pm in Doulas | 0 comments

The Scarborough Hospital’s birth doula program is a ground-breaking initiative that allows more families to hire a doula and experience the powerful difference that comes with a doula’s care. Founded in 2010, this program is open to all women who plan to deliver at either campus of the Scarborough Hospital. Clients who register are charged a fee based on their family income, with rates ranging from $100-$500 – less than half the cost to hire a doula privately in our current market! Team members of the birth doula program are...

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When to Call the Doula

Posted by on 9:19 pm in Birth, Doulas | 0 comments

In the movies, it usually happens like this: a pregnant woman is out at a restaurant or walking along the street with friends, when her water breaks with a gush. Immediately she must find a cab or get a ride to the hospital because the baby’s birth is imminent. (You wouldn’t know it, but I wrote this paragraph BEFORE looking up these sample clips.) If life was like Hollywood, doulas might just be out of a job. In real life, however, labour doesn’t start like a motorcycle, and it usually doesn’t take off like a rocket....

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Celebrities Who Love Doulas

Posted by on 9:44 am in Doulas | 0 comments

Celebrities Who Love Doulas

I saw this article on parents.com about celebrities who have hired doulas to support them through labour and/or postpartumThis article was a fun read for me, and then it got me thinking. Why does it matter if a celebrity had a doula? Does it change anything for the “ordinary” women who make the same choice to invest in professional, personal support at their births? Of course not! Certainly I am a fan of raising the profile of doula support, because the more women hear about doulas, the more women will hire doulas, and that is...

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Doula vs. Midwife – What’s the Difference?

Posted by on 4:44 am in Doulas | 0 comments

Doula vs. Midwife – What’s the Difference?

FAQ: I have a midwife, so why would I hire a doula? Aren’t they basically the same thing? Midwives and doulas are not the same, but hiring a doula to attend your birth with a midwife sounds like a GREAT idea! Here’s why: Women choose to have a midwife for many reasons, but commonly they value continuity of care, a higher level of personal attention, and have a higher expectation of support since their midwife will care for them throughout active labour, not arrive just to catch the baby as it is born. Many women who choose...

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Passing the Time Before Baby Arrives

Posted by on 3:51 pm in Pregnancy | 0 comments

Passing the Time Before Baby Arrives

So the final weeks of pregnancy are dragging along, or perhaps your due date has come and gone, and your baby has yet to make his or her grand entrance into the world. It may seem like a cruel twist of fate after you’ve been counting down the days to meet your little one, but going past your due date is extremely common and likely only the first of countless times you will be left waiting for your offspring to catch up with your schedule. Likely your care provider will monitor you and baby to ensure all is well, and if you haven’t...

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Planning Beyond Your Birth

Posted by on 1:59 am in Babies | 0 comments

Planning Beyond Your Birth

Toronto zoo shared this picture update of their female panda Er Shun and one of her 6 week old cubs (she delivered twins). This photo is extra cute to me because this exact pose is featured in so many human family photos in the weeks following birth! This photo may strike you as funny, or adorable, but it probably also strikes a chord because it depicts the universal truth that caring for babies can be really tiring! Many new parents are caught off guard by the demands of caring for a newborn. So much preparation and planning goes into the...

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Book Review: Natural Hospital Birth

Posted by on 12:53 pm in Birth | 0 comments

Book Review: Natural Hospital Birth

Not every woman wants a natural birth, but of those who do, achieving natural birth in a hospital can be a daunting challenge. The medical system has saved countless lives, but it is not well set-up to allow for the unfolding of a natural process. For the women who do not see birth as a necessarily medical event but who feel safest giving birth in close proximity to the vast medical support available in hospitals, Cynthia Gabriel’s book Natural Hospital Birth is a valuable and practical resource. As a doula and anthropologist,...

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