For more than five years now I have had the honour of working with the South Community Birth Program.
In 2003 the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and BC Women's Hospital received funding to pilot an innovative, collaborative, multidisciplinary program. Family physicians, midwives, nurses and doulas all provide care in a community-based and woman-centred manner during pregnancy, birth and the newborn period. The SCBP was designed to improve the health outcomes of pregnant women in the underserved community of South Vancouver. This is the first multidisciplinary program of its kind in Canada. Here we are now in 2017 and still going strong. South Community has become an amazing model of care for families and a great success story!
So much so in fact that that our stats for September were the best we've ever had! Out of 44 births, 94% of them were vaginal and 6% were cesarean. Considering that our BC cesarean rate averages at 30%, we are feeling pretty good right now about our outcomes.
When considering the outcomes of your birth, choosing the right care provider should be your number #1 priority. Be sure to chose a midwife or doctor that aligns with you values and ideals and you'll be setting yourself up for success.
Here are some great articles to further support this school of thought:
This most recent testimonial brings tears to my eyes. It was our privilege to support this amazing family throughout their birth journey.
Marlo played an invaluable role in our labour experience. Since the first time we met her for the doula interview, we had an instant connection with her. She has a great energy and presence that helps you feel at ease. Once we met her, my husband and I knew that we were in good hands.
Our labour didn't go as we wanted it and I had a long and intense 5 day labour. Marlo was available for us, checking in and supporting us both. Her calm presence helped us stay grounded and calm at times when we needed to be, especially after experiencing complications and needing to keep adjusting our birth plan. She was incredible at guiding us through the whole process, making sure we were doing well physically and emotionally.
Marlo was a great source of support with both my husband and I. She was amazing at meeting my needs, make several suggestions and make me feel comfortable, advocating for me and helped us advocate when needed. She was also great at calming and comforting my husband when he was worried about me. He remembers very clearly that Marlo was incredibly helpful especially in the moment I went in to be prepped for a c-section. Marlo supported him through what felt like an eternity to him.
She gave us information, guidance and support throughout our delivery process and we are very thankful and grateful to her. She was even an amazing photographer and took absolutely amazing photos during our labour, which are very precious!
We would definitely recommend Marlo to others and would love to have her again when we have another baby.
Marlo, thank you so much for all your help, support and amazing energy during our crazy labour experience! We are very grateful and happy to have had you by our side!
You made being a doula seem effortless even though, we know that is not the case.
Last week our postpartum team got together for a day of cooking with Registered Holistic Nutritionist Yvette. It was a great opportunity for us to catch up with one another but more importantly to learn new skills in the kitchen so that we can better serve our clients.
Yvette had prepared a handout which include the following topics:
Our menu included sesame ginger chicken, oven roasted spaghetti squash with parmesan and oregano, crunchy kale salad and lemon bliss balls for dessert. Upon completion, we sat together and dined. It was delicious!
At Bunky Bambino we believe in investing in our team because we know that it results in a happy staff as well 5 Star Reviews from our clients. By offering a holistic care approach throughout the postpartum period that families will not only survive but actually enjoy and cherish the transition in to parenthood. Our postpartum services can include breastfeeding support, bottle feeding preparation and sterilization, intro to baby wearing, bathing, light housekeeping, giving time for mom to rest, run errands or get to yoga class, nutritious meal preparation and sibling support.
Having a baby is a time of great excitement and anticipation, but it can also be an overwhelming and exhausting period in one's life and new parents tend to forget about their own needs. We know that giving birth is about so much more than just the birthing experience – it is a journey, and your team at Bunky Bambino will be there to walk alongside you through the postpartum period.
We offer our services to mothers and their partners throughout the Greater Vancouver area. By offering practical assistance, informational, emotional and physical support, our team can help you to feel more confident in meeting the challenges a new baby brings. We will be there to answer questions and to provide assurance in a gentle, non-judgmental way.
Whatever your postpartum needs are, we are committed to surpassing your expectations and it is of utmost importance to us that we bring you the most well-rounded, professional and compassionate care available. All of our services can be personalized into a package that meets your individual needs so that you and your family feel pampered and supported, and that this major life transition happens with the greatest of ease.
Cultivating calm and confidence in early parenthood - that's what we do best!
I reached out to Marlo and Jill fairly late in my second pregnancy as my husband and I were undecided on whether to invest in hiring a doula. Based on the informative and kind discussions we had with both Jill and Marlo, we were able to make our decision. They took their time in answering our many questions with care, confidence and patience.
When it came to labouring, Marlo was right there when we needed her. She was able to do things to help without being asked, which made me feel like we were in tune. I felt confident that my husband could be focused on me and Marlo would just do her thing and try to keep me comfortable. She was kind, caring and encouraging, and was able to keep me as calm and relaxed as possible.
I was trying for a VBAC and eventually some difficult decisions needed to be made, as it didn't look like that was going to be possible in the end. Marlo was super supportive through the whole process and I felt she understood me on an emotional level, which was a big deal for me in the moment. I ended up needing another c section after all, and Marlo stayed for the duration, until I was in recovery.
Though I had a c section, I felt better supported at having Marlo there during my labour and recovery. I must add, I have a very supportive and tuned in husband. So my saying I was able to feel more supported and comfortable by having Marlo there is really a true compliment.
It may sound silly, but I feel bonded to Marlo through my experience. She has since met my firstborn, and provided us with some support for our newborn at home. I wish I had chosen to invest in having Marlo's support for my first, but I'm certainly glad we did this time!
We are excited to share with you the details of our AMAZING prize package giveaway!!
Here is what's included in our prize package - a value of more than $150!!
Everyone loves a good giveaway so what are you waiting for? Follow us on Facebook now.
Staying well-nourished is good for all of us, all of the time. But this could not be more true for new parents! Sleep deprivation, learning new routines and recalibrating hormones can be a real doozy so making plans before the big day arrives is a wise idea. New parents are responsible for feeding a new baby approximately 43 times a day, and there’s no way in hell they can feed themselves, or anyone else without planning ahead or asking for some serious help.
We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with Fresh Prep to bring new families 2 FREE Meals to help them out in the early days of survival after their babe has arrived. Fresh Prep helps new families create world-class dinners in minutes with prepared recipe ingredients delivered weekly to your door. No grocery shopping. Zero prep required!
Here's how it works:
I have personally received and prepared meals from Fresh Prep as well as prepared meals in the homes of clients at their postpartum visits. I can honestly say that I was very impressed with the packaging, quality of product, easy to follow recipes and the affordability! Start out with your 2 FREE meals and you'll be hooked! At only $9/plate it's well worth the investment of a weekly delivery.
These kind worlds came in from a home birth mama. What a gift to be there and witness her beautiful babes entrance in to the world!
I could not have asked for better support than what Marlo provided for my home birth, both before, during, and after.
She is calm, knowledgeable, intuitive and informative. She made great suggestions as to different labour positions to try, and understood when I was too preoccupied with labour pains to communicate verbally.
I loved the birth pool - it was so relaxing and calming, and Marlo knew just when to suggest using it. It gave me a much-needed rest and recharge. Marlo also helped us prepare for the home birth, so we were well-equipped when my labour began.
Last but not least, Marlo is a great communicator - she responds clearly, helpfully and in a timely manner to emails and text messages, which is important to me.
I really wanted to have a home birth, and Marlo's support was essential to making it happen. I could not recommend her more wholeheartedly!
- Laura -
"To me, this is the most beautiful photo I have ever seen, but it took a long time for me to realize that." - Jennifer
I recently came across a post on a friends Facebook page that pulled at my ol' heartstrings. This friend, a past client and expectant mama, shared her feelings about the cesarean birth of her first babe. With her permission, I am sharing her words because I have had many "belly birth" moms share the same sentiment throughout my career. It breaks my heart to think that some moms feel lesser because of the way they birthed their baby.
Vaginal birth or belly birth, all of my moms are heroes in my eyes! Our paths to motherhood are not all the same, they are unique and we need to find the beauty in them, because all moms deserve that.
"I don't know if it's because this was our reality and it's all I know personally, or if it's because I know all of the women in these photos probably 'didn't imagine it this way' that these photos move me to tears.
I had an emergency c-section. It's not what I planned. It's not what I imagined, hoped for or what I even thought possible since I had an easy, low-risk pregnancy.
When I am asked about my birth I am usually met with a look of sadness, a look of "oh, I'm so sorry" as if it was the worst possible outcome. Like, I had somehow failed or got ripped off or that it must have been a less than perfect experience. When in reality, it really doesn't matter how she entered this world. It was a unique kind of beautiful in so many ways. Maybe because I have come out the other side and know that I wouldn't change a damn thing because my daughter is here, and that is really, truly... all. that. matters.
I'm not sure what would make me feel stronger and more powerful in the end - coming out of the scariest experience of my life or birthing in my home, the way I "envisioned it'.
But today, none of that matters. I just really wanted to share this for so many reasons, but mostly because birth is a birth is a birth and I am a warrior regardless - just like every other mother."
Bunky Bambino was recommended to me by several new Moms in the newsroom I work in (an environment that's full of people with a very healthy sense of skepticism) ;) I loved the idea of having extra help leading up to and the day of our son's birth.
I'm a 40+ Mom and Luke is our first so I wanted to feel knowledgeable and calm going into delivery day. To say my expectations were exceeded wouldn't be wording it strongly enough. The information, attention and care and support provided to us by Marlo and Jill was phenomenal. Immediately they wanted to understand what experience my partner and I wanted to have in bringing our little one into the world .... what mattered to us. Any questions I had throughout the 9 months were answered promptly and with balanced advice. I felt my hubby and I had been put in the drivers seat - well informed prior to delivery about the many options and the choices we may face make during the labour and delivery process and how each option might ultimately play out.
On Luke's birthday in March, our doula made the difference. 100%!! She allowed my partner not to have to worry about anything going on in a very busy room, other than being right in the moment with me, we were a team and it really felt wonderfully intimate. When I think back on how smoothly that day went and how empowered and at ease I felt (yes tired and yes, at points uncomfortable, but calm and relaxed) I know a large part of that confidence was a result of our doula's expertise and loving kindness and focus on our well being.
Marlo and Jill are in our lives post partum as well, we continue to have their support and know we can reach out at anytime. Any new Mom knows how awesome that is!!
If we decide to have a second babe my very first call will be to Bunky Bambino (okay, right after I call my folks) :)
Part of the fun of being a birth and postpartum doula is documenting our care with photos....if we have permission from our clients of course ;)
In continuing with our celebration of World Doula Week, today we've included some of our favourite photos over the past couple of years. I think they'll give you a pretty good idea of why we love what we do!