Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/3/2016 (2144 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Cody Anne Kjell, 23, credits the time she spent in the countryside near Domain for giving her an appreciation of nature.
The newly trained doula spent part of her childhood at her father Doug Keith’s home.
She said she sees child birth as a natural process. "A woman’s body knows what needs to happen,"
Kjell wants to help pregnant women have positive memories of their child’s birth.
"People say doulas are the best thing they never knew they needed," she said.
She recently opened her business, The Mulberry Tree Pregnancy and Birth Support, advertising her services as a childbirth doula. Kjell said she took the name from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a poem about a young couple and how mulberries became a crimson colour.
"This story always represented unconditional love to me. I decided it would be the perfect symbol of love, with the roots representing the quiet strength of a doula supporting a strong woman in labour, the mulberry tree," Kjell said.
Kjell said she feels that helping women with pregnancy and childbirth is her true calling. With a degree in education, she taught in Thailand for six months last year, and when she returned to Winnipeg, she took training through Doulas of North America (DONA) International to work as a birth doula. Doulas tend to specialize in prenatal, childbirth and postpartum services.
"I had the realization that I was meant to help women give birth," she said.
There is a long history of doulas, or women who specialize in helping others with pregnancy and birth in a non-medical fashion.
"A doula isn’t taking on a clinical role, but to help mediate and guide women through the birthing process. We provide nonclinical advice," Kjell said.
Kjell said she will have an initial consultation with a new client during which she will explain her role. This will usually be followed by two more meetings to discuss the woman’s birthing plan, with the second session held close to the baby’s due date. She will meet the woman and her partner at the designated birthing facility — hospital maternity unit, Birthing Centre or the woman’s home — to help with the birth. She then follows up with two postpartum meetings to offer breastfeeding support.
Kjell said she’s not there to take the place of a family member, but rather to offer another perspective and act as an advocate for the woman and her partner.
"It’s the continual support. You’re building that relationship the whole way."
As well, she said there’s a misconception that a doula would typically be used if a woman has chosen to have a home birth. She believes that a doula can be beneficial in any situation. "We are supporting the woman’s partner too and helping to take away some of the responsibility for being the sole caregiver."
While just launching her business, Kjell plans to get to know other local doulas. She volunteers her services at Villa Rosa, a non-profit organization in the Wolseley area providing shelter, education and programs for pregnant women and new mothers.
For more information see www.themulberrytree.ca
St. Vital community correspondent
Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.