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Doula C.A.R.E.
Doula C.A.R.E.
2011/12 Board Of Directors
Joanne Raines
Meghan McCauley-Brown
Vice President
Heather Neville
Zandra Pennylegion

Jody Cummins - Lambert
Regional Rep Coordinator
Kimberley Fernandez
Membership Coordinator
Sarah Booth
Volunteer Coordinator
Natalia Champagnie
Director, Education/Events

Angela Andersson
Emily Stupple
Newsletter Coordinator

Nicole McKay,
Consumer Relations
Michelle Hache
Shop Keeper

Leanne Palmerston
Web Administrator
DoulaC.A.R.E. Founders:
Nikki Lawson
Susan Martensen

Hey, where's my village?

Heather Neville (originally published in Empowered Birth at

Recently I attended a doula meeting at Willow Books in Toronto. The meeting was held to discuss postpartum mood disorders and Jessica Cherniak of Fourth Trimester was there to share her wisdom and stories from her thirteen-plus years as a birth and postpartum doula.
I learned a lot of valuable things at the meeting, like how peer support can make all the difference before you're ready for group support or that most women who experience postpartum mood disorders are first diagnosed by their partners before they themselves even realize that something isn't right.
The main thing that I came away thinking about though, was The Village. As in, "it takes a village to raise a child." At first blush, it seems as though that classic phrase is telling us that children need many people - they need fathers and mothers, teachers and clerics, brothers and sisters, clowns and poets, aunts and uncles. This is true. The more diverse the array of positive influences in a child's life, the more wise and tolerant and confident she will grow to be. No doubt.
After listening to what Jessica had to say, and sharing with the other doulas in the room though, I began to think about the other meaning of that phrase, thatwomen are not meant to raise their babies in isolation, they need the village to shoulder some of the burden. Just as those babies can thrive when they are cared for and taught and played with and hugged by a variety of caring folk, so too do mothers need those folk in order to thrive. To thrive as mothers and as women.
Once upon a time, or so the story goes, we all birthed and raised our babies in a village. Communities were small, people were surrounded by other people and those people knew them and cared for them from birth to death. Life happened in closer proximity: there were no isolated places where women went to give birth, where children went to learn, where babies were taken to nurse, where people went to die. They grew up witnessing birth, in close connection to the sources of their food (whether it was grown nearby, slaughtered in the yard or expressed from a breast) and seeing life pass from bodies, both animal and human.
There is a popular book I read a couple of years ago called Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. In it, the author, Dan Gardner, talks about the fact that although we are safer than ever before - we live longer, eat more, suffer fewer physical ailments and experience less crime than any other culture in human history - we somehow seem to be more afraid than ever before. He talks about a wide variety of reasons for this that I won't go into here (read the book, it's a good one) but in this context I think that it's our loss of The Village that, at least in part, exacerbates these fears. How can we expect women not to fear childbirth when most have never seen a normal birth, even on television where things are sensationalized, dramatized and usually depict a medicalized context populated by bright lights, beeping machines, sharp instruments and women on their backs being shouted at? How can we expect people not to fear death when all they know of it is loss at best and televised violence or agony at worst? How can we expect women to want to breastfeed for more than a few weeks or months when they have never seen it done in a public setting and have been taught to know their own breasts as sexual objects first and foremost by falsified pictures of people thousands of miles away? How can women cope with being mothers to newborns when their partners are far away, day in and day out earning money for them to survive, their parents and siblings live hours away and everyone else has been told not to talk about the sadness, the anxiety, the pain and the downright difficulty of postpartum life? We can't. We are social beings. We need each other. In joy and sadness, in ecstasy and pain, in peace and chaos, in every part of life we need each other to feel normal, to know that we are safe, to see the way through the darkness to the light of our own abilities.
We may not be able to go back to the village. We need the jobs in distant buildings that our partners work so hard at to be able to afford our modern lives, we can't ask our families and friends to relocate to our postal code for six months or a year while we learn how to care for our babies and ourselves as mothers, and the stigma of postpartum hardship will take time to erode and may never be completely destroyed. We can, however, consider The Village when we make our plans. We spend the nine and a half months of pregnancy shopping and planning for our little ones' entries into this modern world, talking about what to name him or her, what sort of diapers to use and figuring out how to pay for the shiniest stroller; I don't wish to suggest that those things aren't important. They are, but I believe that we need to take a little of that time and energy and put it towards ourselves. To plan for ourselves as people, not just pregnant bodies and parents-to-be. As mothers and fathers, as women and men. What do I need to feel good about myself as a person and a parent? Who can I turn to to give me strength when I feel uncertain of my abilities? Who will support me and help me to trust in my body when I need to the most? How can I shut out the negative, fear-mongering voices and only allow in those that carry knowledge and hope and light? These questions must be asked if we are to be the best parents and people we can be; the strong, confident and capable individuals that are inside of us, ready to be.
This is where it becomes a doula thing. If you don't have those supports, if your village is a little thin, you can do yourself, your partner and your baby a favour and hire a doula to support you prenatally, during childbirth and/or postpartum, wherever you need the extra care.
Remember, you don't have to do it by yourself and more than that, you shouldn't do it by yourself. We weren't made for that. Jessica said something that really stuck with me at that meeting - she said that some women feel they need to do it "all on their own" so that they can be a role model to their baby, to show their child that they can be strong and independent and self-sufficient, but really would you want your baby to make herself sick doing for others and never asking for the help that she needs and deserves? Be as good to yourself as you would want your babies to be to themselves. Find your village. If you aren't afraid to reach out, you might just find that you wind up less afraid of everything else in the bargain.

DoulaCARE goes to Dr. Newman’s Clinic

By:  Saereen Qureshi

On Monday May 30th DoulaCARE opened the doors to Dr. Newman’s clinic for a peek at a day at the breastfeeding clinic.  Eighteen of us went in and observed three sessions with clients during that day.  Dr. Newman first opened a breastfeeding clinic in 1984 and relocated to where he is now in 2008.  Before that he was a pediatrician at Sick Kids Hospital.
First thing  the students took down the clients'  history:  baby, feeding, couple and if they had any help from family or professionals.  They were also asked which hospital the baby was born in, the baby’s age, and if it’s the first or consecutive baby.  Bottles and pacifiers are looked down upon there.  It usually takes six weeks for the milk to develop so the mothers still had time.
The staff were really helpful in listening and trying to make things easier for the parents to breastfeed.  They tell you what to fix and what you are doing well.  The staff consisted of students, a pediatrician, and lactation consultants. With all the clients,  latch, compression, switching sides, and different positions were encouraged.  For some of the clients, treatment such as supplementation, herbs and medicines were suggested.  The staff showed clients how to use supplementations such as finger feeding, feeding tubes, and cups.  Usually formula and breastmilk are used in supplementations.  To test the babies the staff put a gloved finger into baby’s mouth to check for the tongue for tongue tie.  If this is not corrected than the mother will get a low milk supply as the baby's tongue won’t go far out enough for drinking.  Also, when milk gets lesser it gets saltier.  Usually when doing the tongue test they also check for tongue bunching.  The lactation consultant says to put a bit of pressure on the tongue with your finger to loosen it.
If tongue tied, the parents are given a choice.  They explain that it is just a snip of the frenulum and is an easy procedure.  They’re also given information and a website to reference.  If they approve the procedure can be arranged for the next visit.  Some other issues with breastfeeding are sore nipples, scabs, pain, blocked ducts, low let-downs, breast preference, nibles, and mastitis.  They encourage feeding on four sides because both breasts are stimulated when just feeding on one.  Breast pumps are not always the best for certain women.
Having skin-to-skin is very important for warmth and breastfeeding.  When you feel baby is full,  place it on the center of the mother’s chest and they’ll let you know if they still want more.
Ways you can tell the baby is full include when the breasts soften, the baby stops drinking, by the amount of wet diapers, the poop, and the weight of the baby.
Every body at the clinic was serious but Dr. Newman livened things up.  He even quized us on things that we needed to know to help our clients.  Dr. Newman talked to couples and did the baby's check up.  At the end of the appointment the clients are given handouts, websites with videos, and instructions for promoting supplementation and breastfeeding.

January 2012 Membership Newsletter

Introducing our 2011-12 Board of Directors!

Elected at our AGM on October 15, 2011

Joanne Raines  CD(DONA), CCCE
Joanne’s interest in birth began as an adolescent and after the birth of her first child; her interest in birth support was ignited.  In the early 1990’s; before the word “doula” was known to her, she accompanied her first birthing mom.  The young mom had a good experience and Joanne learned some things about her own abilities; however, it wasn’t until several years later, that a series of life events led her to embrace her passion.   Joanne is a mom and grandma and enjoys sharing good times with family and friends.  Her practice Whispering Heart Doula Services spans York Region and Toronto where as CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula and member of many organizations she offers pre and postnatal classes, guidance and support to expectant and new families so they can welcome their babies with confidence.  Joanne became a member of DoulaCARE a soon as she completed her doula training and has served members as Director of Consumer Relations and President Elect.  As President she’s excited for the future of DoulaCARE.

President's Message

Welcome to our most recent newsletter and my 1st message as your new DoulaCARE President.  Welcome to our Board of Directors who are committed to moving DoulaCARE forward in our mission.  Each one of us brings experience, knowledge, strength and commitment to serve our members.

Thank you if you’ve renewed your membership and welcome if you are a new member of DoulaCARE.  It’s an exciting time to be a doula.  DoulaCARE members have pioneered hospital doula programs, are hosting successful annual trade shows in Halton Peel, are working diligently in the Simcoe area to have doulas attend clients at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie without needing a 5 million dollar insurance policy.  Our Doulas are campaigning strongly in Orangeville in support of the area midwives to obtain privileges at the Headwaters Hospital and are volunteering to support many more families in need, just to name a few things.  This past year members have attended some new DoulaCARE “E” for Education events and a successful Supporting Special Circumstances conference last May.  I’m excited to be sharing this journey with you.

I’ve been referred to by some as the kindler, gentler one.  As doulas we may be these things and more - reassuring, independent, responsible, trustworthy, strong in ourselves and for others.  We may have good listening skills and let’s not forget a sense of humour!  These qualities may have guided us to this path and can enable us to offer support to our clients – just when they need it.  Many of us are firm in our beliefs and I believe it’s important for us to guide our clients in finding their own beliefs in making informed choices without imposing our convictions on them.  We respect their wishes.  I also believe; that as members of DoulaCARE and for those of us who serve you on our Board of Directors, we can use these innate qualities and our individual beliefs in positive ways to communicate with colleagues, work through issues, learn together, support and respect each for the benefit of our organization and our profession.  There are many benefits to DoulaCARE membership:  networking - sharing our strengths - learning from each other - leaning on each other - debriefing with each other - and supporting each other when we need it too.   I’m proud of the good work we do for our clients, for our profession and for our doula community.  Yesterday a foundation was laid; good work was done and will now continue.  

Please remember that this is your association, your newsletter and your forum to express your ideas, offer suggestions, submit articles for publishing and share your experiences, news and stories with each other.  A list of your Board of Directors is in this newsletter and on the DoulaCARE website and we’d be happy to hear from you.  We may not be able to do everything, but together we may be able to do some.  

In the doula spirit,
Joanne Raines  CD(DONA), CCCE
President, DoulaCARE

Jody Cummins~Lambert
Regional Rep Coordinator
I have been a Doula and DoulaC.A.R.E. member since 2009.  I joined the Board as Newsletter Coordinator 2 years ago to get a wider perspective of our Doula community and am now excited to expand that perspective by stepping into the Regional Rep Coordinator role and staying directly in touch with what each of our regions is offering to membership and their community.   
I live in Guelph, with my husband and 8 year old daughter, where I split my time between family, Doula work, teaching HypnoBirthing and growing a soul calming organic garden. Life is good!
Zandra Pennylegion

Zandra is a certified Postpartum Doula - PCD(DONA), a Certified Infant Massage Teacher and a CAPPA trained Lactation Educator.  She began this new career after the birth of her first biological grandchild, Jacob in June 2009.  Jacob was born at home (Hartford CT) in the family bathtub with two midwives and a doula present.  Zandra got to spend time with Jacob when he was 11 days old and towards the end of her 5-day visit Jacob’s birth doula came for a postnatal visit.  It was during the visit that she learned what a doula was, and that she had been a doula all week!  
At a Doula C.A.R.E. regional meeting, sharing how many of us had being ‘doulaing’ all our lives and just didn’t know it had a name, Zandra suddenly remembered that as a child her response to ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ was “A nurse – I want to play in the nursery with all the new babies.”   Wanting nothing to do with the messy ‘blood and gore’ parts of nursing she didn’t pursue that career.  It’s taken fifty years to follow her heart!
In her year and half serving families as a Postpartum Doula (and one family as an Antenatal Doula) she has continued to learn and find new ways to support the many differing needs of each family – and loves every minute of it.  Most recently Zandra has begun to mentor others as they start their journey to becoming postpartum doulas.
And while ‘doulaing’ is now her career, she’s also been a bit of a ‘tech geek’ and loves to volunteer, putting her computer skills to good use whether teaching MS Office; helping design and teaching people to maintain their own websites; and even being Secretary and/or Treasurer for other organizations she volunteers with.  Zandra always loved her grandmothers axiom:  “it’s better to wear out than rust out” – and she has no plans to rust out!
Above:(left to right)  Meghan McCauley Brown (VP),  her son Fionn,  Meredith Ballaban (Guelph Rep), her daughter Avery, & Jody Cummins-Lambert
at the "Where's My Midwife" Rally in November.  One World Birth was there to film the event and privileges were granted to the Midwives
approximately 2 weeks later - after a year long battle!

Congratulations to Toronto our best region award winner for 2011!

The Heather Mains award recipient for 2011 was Michelle Hache from Halton Region. Congratulations Michelle!  Keep up the amazing work!


Guelph ~  Has recovered from hosting the AGM and have most recently come 

together to discuss Back Up Arrangements  and Supporting Families with 

Multiples, with Rebecca Serroul bringing her experience and knowledge to the 

table for the latter.   They will meet in early February for a self care pampering 

night of Yoga and Henna! 

Haldimand Norfolk ~  From the heart of Dunnville, Rep Julia MacNeil and her 

doula posse are growing the Haldimand Norfolk region slowly but surely.  Future 

topics at hand are HypnoBirthing, Prenatal Nutrition,  Tricks of the Trade,  

Communicating with the Birthing Team, Perinatal Loss & Public Relations. 

Halton Peel ~  Said goodbye to long time Rep Michelle Hache and Andrea 

Williams stepped up to take the reigns.  They hosted another  very successful 

Family Birth & Baby Show in the fall and have all meetings planned and in place 

for the year! 

Hamilton ~  Leanne Palmerston stepped down after completing her two year 

term as Regional Rep  and Angela Andersson has stepped up to fill her shoes.  

One of the first orders of business was to look at Post Partum Red Flags.  Signs 

and symptoms were identified and resources highlighted. 

Ottawa ~  Regional Rep Margaret Holman has done an amazing job getting the 

DoulaC.A.R.E. community in Ottawa up and running.  At their first meeting there 

were 13 doula’s in attendance!   Founding DC member Susan Martensen 

presented the history of DoulaC.A.R.E. emphasising the benefits of membership 

and meetings.  Speaking in the spirit of the community she noted that the more 

doula’s there are the more potential there is for referrals to clients.   Since that 

first meeting they have gathered monthly discussing topics like Birthing from 

within and were set to watch the New Business of Being Born just before 

Christmas.  They are planning a Jack Newman Conference in the fall of this year 

and are looking forward to raising the profile of doula’s in their community. 

Simcoe ~  Continues to address and live with the reality of Royal Victoria 

Hospital’s insurance policy issues which have effectively banned doula’s and 

birth support workers from assisting the families they serve in hospital.   For more 

information visit 

The region continues to meet and have covered Controversial Issues with Clients  

to date and are reworking their display bard which is serious need of TLC and 

some updating! 

Toronto ~  The  Best Region of 2010 / 2011 recipients  started off the 2011/2012 

year addressing the topic of Survivors of Abuse with guest speaker Leslie 

Chandler, a Certified Birth Educator who has worked at Women’s College 

Hospital and has 25 years of birth work experience.   November saw long time 

doula Jessica Cherniak speaking about postpartum depression and mood 

disorders - how to identify and support as well as case studies and resources. 

York ~  Mona Matthew fulfilled her two year commitment as Regional Rep and 

remains faithfully on board until a replacement can be found.  The new 

DoulaC.A.R.E. year has seen a growth in meeting attendance and November 

welcomed a visit from Elisabeth Calippe   “The Sling Fairy”.  Elisabeth spoke to 

the benefits of baby wearing for the infant as well as their caregivers with the 

importance of positioning emphasized. 

Open Regions ~ there are currently several regions without a Regional Rep. For a 

list of open areas please see the “About” section at  If you 

are interested in growing the doula network and profile of doula’s within your 

community please contact Jody Cummins - Lambert at 

DoulaCARE Chapters  & Reps

in Your Community

DoulaCARE Durham
Stephanie Ross Alouche…...905-428-1766

DoulaCARE Guelph
Meredith Ballaban…...519-787-8575

DoulaCARE Halimand/Norfolk
Julia MacNeil

DoulaCARE Halton/Peel

Andrea Williams

DoulaCARE Hamilton/Wentworth

Angela Andersson

DoulaCARE Simcoe/ Orangeville

Amanda Low....  705-329-4126

DoulaCARE Ottawa
Margaret Holman 

DoulaCARE Toronto
Barbara Pal

DoulaCARE York

Mona Mathews.....  905-473-5939 


Meghan McCauley-Brown
Vice President

After becoming pregnant in 2007 Meghan was amazed by the pregnancy, at what her body was capable of and was empowered by being given the opportunity to grow and birth a baby. After a difficult labour and post- partum period Meghan realized how important this time is in a woman's life and how her birth experience can shape her as a Mother and beyond. A year after her daughter was born Meghan took a DONA birth doula
course and attended her first birth two weeks later. Now a DONA certified birth doula and LAMAZE trained Childbirth Educator, Meghan feels blessed to have found this calling as a Doula. Meghan strives to support women and their families through pregnancy and birth to ensure that they make positive memories that will last a lifetime. In her free time, Meghan enjoys furthering her birthing education, cooking, and spending time with her wonderful husband and two children.  She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies and believes that healing the earth, begins with birth! Meghan is excited to be a part of the Doula CARE board of directors while there are such positive changes and growth happening in this great or- ganization!
Heather Neville, B.A., M.A., LD, CBE, Secretary

Heather is relatively new to the doula profession but has long been a passionate believer in birth as a normal, empowering process that can have lifelong impacts on confidence, self-esteem and trust in one’s own body. She enjoys the challenges that come with supporting women and their partners in all manner of birth scenarios and can't imagine a more fulfilling career than being a doula (it certainly beats being a Producer in Film & Television!). As a member of the Board of Directors of DoulaCARE, Heather hopes to work towards increasing the visibility of her profession, so that some day soon the dream of "a doula for every woman" will become a reality. Heather is also a member of the Centre for Social Innovation, where change happens. She lives in Toronto with her fiancé and their two Taiwanese street dogs.
Kimberley Fernandez
Membership Coordinator

Kim Fernandez began her career as a Doula after the birth of her third child. She knew through that experience that there had to be more out there for women when it came to birthing support.! While researching Lactation consultants on the web she accidentally came across the DONA website and read about what Doulas did. The light bulb went off. After alot of thought and research she decided to take her Labour Doula training with CAPPA Canada in June 2006 and had her first birth in August of that same year. After that birth she was hooked. She had finally found what she had been looking for and has never looked back. Kim did all she could to immerse herself in the Doula world, attending conferences and joining websites and taking more courses including her CBE and Hypnobirthing Labour Support and eventually becoming a Hypnobirthing practitioner. She joined DoulaCARE early on holding the roles of Volunteer Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, President-Elect, President,  Vice President and now Membership coordinator.  She loves the interaction with all the amazing Doulas in DoulaCARE. and looks forward to the year ahead.
Angela Andersson

Angela is the co-founder of the Hamilton Doula Group, a DONA-trained birth doula and the Doula C.A.R.E. Regional Representative for Hamilton-Wentworth. In the community, Angela is a member of the Hamilton Regional Lactation Committee, and the co-leader of the Hamilton Babywearers where she shows parents and caregivers how to have a contented baby and more freedom through the safe use of slings, pouchs and wraps. She has been involved in numerous babywearing workshops and demonstrations since 2005. She also relishes her time behind the camera as a birth photographer.  In her spare time, Angela can be found dancing Jane Austen style, painting, gardening, organizing a local board game and roleplaying game community and yearly convention, and parenting her three children.
Natalia Champagnie
Director, Education/Events

My name is Natalia Champagnie & I have been a Doula for almost 2 years. Sandwiched between 2 brothers, I have no children of my own but several surrogate nieces & nephews.  I have worked as a Recreation Therapist for the last 7 years & consider myself lucky to have spent them planning & improving the quality of life of others.  My goal as Director of Education & Events is to provide opportunities for ALL of our members to enhance their skills & be the best Doula a mother could ask for!!
Sarah Booth
Volunteer Co-ordinator

I have always been an adventurous, off-the-beaten track sort of girl.  I think it is because I thrive best on challenge and change. Having energy and passion that isn’t properly directed can become a burden, so after three years of wandering and exploring my potential abroad, I was ready to jump into something that would root me in a community.  Feeling a call to serve, I considered that some sort of counselling profession would be a good direction to go in. By the time I arrived home to Durham region this past June, I had committed myself to exploring the doula world.  Now here I am, volunteering with different organizations, working in diverse communities with dynamic families and excavating more of my own potential. In addition to volunteering, I teach both Kundalini and prenatal yoga and am working to complete my DONA Labour Doula Certification.  Durham region is an important place to be a doula; the city of Oshawa has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and motherhood in Canada .  I look forward to all this challenge!
Major Milk Makin' Cookies
Recipe by Kathleen Major
Submitted by:  Angela Andersson
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c. oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. flax
3 T brewer's yeast
1/3 c. water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 c. (12oz) chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer's yeast, flax and water until creamy.
Mix in eggs.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.
Place balls of dough onto greased baking sheets or baking stones.
Press down each ball lightly with a fork.
Bake 12 minutes.

Oats are key in boosting milk supply because of the iron they contain that nursing moms need. Oats are also filling, dense with healthy calories and a great source of fiber.
Brewer's yeast is an ingredient that has also long been thought to increase milk supply. Brewer's yeast is one of the best natural sources of B vitamins, which are essential to overall health of a nursing mom. Even if milk supply were not impacted by brewer's yeast, the boost of energy (and increased sugar metabolism) that comes from brewer's yeast consumption is worth including it in lactation cookies.
The oil from flax seed is considered by many to be a galactagogue (substance that improves lactation). It is also a great form of fiber. And, while it is again debated among those who believe in flax's galactagogue properties or not, one thing is certain: flax is power packed with omega-3 (essential fatty acids) that are absolutely crucial to a nursing mom's diet (as well as baby's diet, and all human health in general). Human milk is super charged with heavy amounts of omega-3 because the brain is dependent on these fatty acids. It is important that a mother not be deficient in omega-3 and risk her baby not getting enough for optimal health, development, and wellbeing. These fatty acids also boost brain function, memory, joint lubrication, and help to regulate hormones and decrease postpartum depression. 


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