"Bellies, Births, and Babies Fair"

Posted On: 2009-05-20 02:25:37 UTC

The Comox Valley Doulas will be hosting a free Bellies, Births and Babies Fair later this month, the first of its kind on the Island.

“May is Mother Month, and it seems the families of our Valley are taking on the theme with flare this year,” the Comox Valley Doulas noted in a press release. “Everywhere we go, we see expectant parents coming out to experience some sunshine.”

The Bellies, Births and Babies Fair will be held May 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre in Courtenay and will celebrate this abundant spring and mothers.

This free family-friendly event is aimed at connecting mothers and parents-to-be with the valuable resources and supports available to them in the community.

There will be displays of prenatal and postnatal products and resources, as well as professional speakers presenting on topics related to pregnancy, birth and newborns.

There will be several demonstrations, such as belly casting, acupressure techniques, baby swaddling and calming, Maya Abdominal massage and prenatal hypnosis.

Hundreds of dollars in prizes related to babies and birth will be given out thanks to the generous donations of local businesses and birth-related services.

The Bellies, Births and Babies Fair is a chance to come learn about prenatal classes, healthy babies programs, breastfeeding and midwifery services and to meet some of the Comox Valley Doulas face to face.

What is a doula, you ask?

The most common misconception is doulas are the same as midwives. This is not so.

Midwives have very different training that allows them to deliver babies in or out of hospitals.

Doula is based on a Greek word meaning “servant.” A doula provides all aspects of care of the mother before, during and after birth, often referred to as “mothering the mother.” A doula does not deliver babies; she supports the parents.

In the past, women in labour usually had a midwife to deliver the baby but also had at least one doula or servant who supported her in labour and helped out after the baby was born, according to the release.

Today, this care involves helping families build a birth plan, sharing information and teaching mothers and their partners pain management techniques and helpful birthing positions. A doula also provides emotional support, as she remains by the mother’s side during the entire labour.

Doulas also connect expectant parents to services in the community that help make the birth experience a positive, healthy, empowering event for all involved, which is why the Comox Valley Doulas are hosting the Bellies, Births and Babies Fair.

For more information, contact Taylor at leahbirthdoula@hotmail.com or Stephanie at sjanzen@telus.net.

— Comox Valley Doulas

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