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 -
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) :)
At Bunky Bambino we believe that by offering a holistic care approach in the childbearing year that families will not only survive but actually enjoy and cherish the transition in to parenthood. Our services are not limited to Birth Doula support, we also have an amazing team of Postpartum Doulas, a seasoned Lactation Consultant and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist that will cook for you in your home!
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 prior to birth, during childbirth, and to support 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 prenatal, birth and 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 pregnancy, birth and early parenthood - that's what we do best!
Reach out to us today to see if our team is the right fit for you!
Late last year the world lost a beautiful soul to postpartum depression. Although I didn't know Florence Leung personally, her story has touched me very deeply and I tear up almost daily at the thought of the agony that she endured in her final days.
As a Birth and Postpartum Doula I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that postpartum depression can have on moms, their newborn babes and their partners.
Just a few days ago, Florence Leung's husband posted a statement on their public Facebook page stating that he feels the pressure to breastfeed was just too much for his wife.
When asked to do an interview with Global News on the subject, I began to question if we are putting too much pressure on new moms to breastfeed. Here's what I've come up with.
As educated birth professionals it is our job to provide evidence based information and care to our clients. Research does show that breast is best with benefits ranging from better immunity against infections, protecting baby from developing allergies and lowering the risk of SIDS. And it's not just better for baby but for mom too, i.e. shortening her postpartum healing time and lowering her risk of certain types of cancer. These are all wonderful benefits and what mom wouldn't want to breastfeed knowing this.
When meeting with our clients prenatally we often discuss the most ideal scenarios for the childbearing year. We provide tidbits of information in the event that the ideal doesn't pan out and then of course we deal with things when the ideal just doesn't happen. Although we hope for every mom that breastfeeding comes naturally it's not often the reality. In fact nearly 70% of our clients face one or more issues with breastfeeding, ranging from cracked nipples, slow infant weight gain, low milk supply, poor latch or tongue and lip tie. It's enough to make a mother cry....and they do!
A Few Tips for Setting Yourself Up For Success:
Hire a Doula! Studies show that women supported by doulas experience a 28% decrease in the risk of c-secion, 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin and a 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with their birth experience - all of which can have a direct impact on how you feel both emotionally and physically after your birth. Support from Postpartum Doulas can increase your success rate in breastfeeding and can lower your risk of postpartum depression.
Choose a breastfeeding friendly care provider that provides home visits after your baby is born. It's enough to get yourself dressed and showered in those first few days, so why should we expect new moms to get dressed, pack up baby and leave their home to make an appointment. Have them come to you! Midwives are a great option for this type of care.
Build Your Village! Don't wait until babe is born to start mingling. There are many groups throughout Vancouver and North Shore that support expectant and new moms - La Leche League, Breastfeeding and Postpartum Group and various Postnatal Programs. Don't let cost be a barrier as most of these programs are free!
Hire a Lactation Consultant! Ask your friends, doula or midwife for a referral to a trusted Lactation Consultant that provides non judgemental support, someone who will listen and lift you up. My personal fave is Shahrzad Tayebi! She is down to earth, laid-back, teaches instinctual breastfeeding and has plenty of experience under her belt.
When Is Enough Enough?
In my many years as Birth and Postpartum Doula, I have had clients use formula because it was the right choice for them in that moment. In most cases it is used as a bridge to get through a particularly rough time. When I see a mom that is really struggling, her confidence is shot and her sleep and mental health are starting to suffer, I completely support her in her decision to use formula. Perhaps she will supplement to help with a slow weight gain and when babes weight is up and mom has peace of mind then she can slowly wean baby off of formula. Some moms have to work at building up their milk supply and until they are feeling that they have enough for their little one, "top ups" can be the answer for them in the meantime. And in more severe cases, when mom can not overcome the struggles after exhausting all options she may need to bottle feed her babe formula full time. And for this mom, she needs to know that she is making the best decision for her and her baby.
Bottle feeding or breastfeeding; it's not my decision to make. All of my moms are heroes in my eyes and I'll support them in whatever decisions they make! They are strong, resilient, dedicated and loving. Their only flaw is that they're too hard on themselves!
Are You Suffering From Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis?
You are not alone! Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Up to 1 in 7 women experience PPD. For half of women diagnosed with PPD, this is their first episode of depression. Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment. Postpartum psychosis affects 0.1 to 0.2% of new moms and often requires immediate treatment.
If you are concerned about your mental health and wellbeing and the physical safety of you and your baby, please read through these signs and symptoms to see if you identify with them. If so, reach out to family, friends, your neighbour, your care provider, your doula or your lactation consultant. Perinatal mood disorders are TEMPORARY and TREATABLE with professional help.
For support in the Greater Vancouver Area contact the Pacific Postpartum Society - toll free 1.855.255.7999.
When meeting with our clients for the first prenatal meeting, I always ask both mom and dad to give me 5 words that they feel describe the labour and birthing process. This exercise allows me to meet expectant parents where they're at and it serves as a guide as to how I can help better normalize the birth process for them as well as alleviate any anxiety or fear they are holding on to. A few months back, a dad-to-be listed off the following descriptive words - screaming, pain, anger, emotional woman and blood. Clearly this was a dad that was very worried and concerned about both his wife and the birthing process.
Throughout the remainder of our prenatal meeting, I made it my goal to ease his mindset by sharing stories of normal, physiological birth and by providing them with reading materials that normalize birth such as Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Following our meeting, I emailed links to videos of peaceful birth videos as well as a link to my Dads and Doulas blog post. It was my hope that by the time the big day rolled around that he would be feeling much at ease with the process and confident in supporting his woman.
Throughout the birth process, doulas provide peace of mind to our clients by walking them through each stage of labour and offering guidance, reassurance and practical solutions in the moment. Turns out for them, they managed beautifully and had the vaginal, hospital birth that they wanted.
Following the birth, I asked dad to provide me with the 5 words that he would now use to describe labour and birth. Here were his words - rewarding, togetherness, powerful, natural and long. Nothing at all what he had pictured in the beginning.
If you're looking to have a positive birth experience and are ready to let go of fear and anxiety.... we're your doulas.
If you’re ready to find out all of your options for birth and you want to be as informed as possible....we're your doulas.
If you are worried about what life with a new baby will be like and you want extra support and guidance....we're your doulas
Contact us today for a complimentary meeting to discuss if we be the right fit for you!
I have the best clients in the world and I love what I do because they are so amazing. Below is our most recent client testimonial. What a treat to receive an email with such loving and kind words!
We had an absolutely amazing experience with Marlo as our doula. When we first chatted with her, we weren't really too sure of the role that a doula plays. We knew we didn't want someone who would take over my husband's role in our baby's birth or make him feel inadequate in any way, but as Marlo explained to us "You guys know each other, and I know what to expect in the birthing process" which totally made sense and helped us clearly see how the three of us could work together as a team.
Marlo really helped Nick and I feel at ease and remain very calm throughout my whole labour. She was unbelievably reassuring and supportive from the moment she arrived at the house in the middle of the night. She helped me work through the contractions by practicing my deep breathing techniques and instinctively seemed to know when I needed a rest, to change positions, to have some food or to just have a good old scream and let it all out! I absolutely know that without her we would have gone to the hospital much sooner and undoubtedly had a longer labour.
In the delivery room she was incredibly supportive and worked really well with our midwife Kate who had recommended her to us in the first place and our nurse Angela. I vividly remember looking round at them and my husband and thinking that they made a great team and it was exactly who I wanted present at the birth.
I wholeheartedly recommend having Marlo as your doula!
Yesterday I received the most beautiful testimonial from one of my home birth mamas. Her words brought me to tears and once again reminded me that I am so blessed to be doing this work.
It is really hard to find words to describe this most sacred experience of our lives and the unique part you played in it. The fact that you were there made it that much more special.
First of all, you weren't even on call that day. But your partner Jill was with another patient. I easily got a hold of you and you were constantly in touch with me over the phone, until it was certain that me and Jill's patient will be in labour concurrently.
I was only 3cm dilated when I asked you to come to my house because I felt I couldn't manage the pain by myself anymore. And you came. You helped me with my back labour contractions - I don't remember any maneuvers you may have done, but your presence alone made me feel more peaceful and allowed me to surrender and listen to my body. Your guidance made my partner feel more connected and useful during this process.
You stayed calm and composed when the crowning occurred, no midwife around. It wasn't an easy period of labour for all of us. I can only imagine how stressful it must have been for you, but you didn't show it. Because you were there, I had no fear. You were so supportive. Compassionate and firm at the same time. Exactly what was needed.
I feel so lucky to have had you there on that day. Thank you also for preserving my placenta and for lots of post-partum support - answering questions, giving helpful links and referrals, offering ideas and solutions - thank you for everything! If I needed to give a score out of 10, I'd give 20!
~ Marina + Adrian ~
I came across the above image on The Alternative Mom's website the other day. It got me to thinking about how overwhelming becoming a new parent can be. Vernix caseosa, RIC, lochia, placenta encapsulation? Most of these words and terms would have people scratching their heads but for a birth doula, these are familiar words that sit on the tip of our tongues .
Birth and postpartum doulas not only provide physical and emotional support throughout the childbearing year. They will also provide you with evidence based information on all birth related topics. Pretty much everything on the list above is discussed in one of the prenatal or postpartum visits included in our 'Birth Works' Doula Package.
The more knowledge we provide you with, the better informed you are. And the more informed you are, the more empowered you will feel about your birth experience!
I often have people say to me, "Wow, what rewarding work you do! I can't imagine being there to see a baby born!" And you know what? They're right! It is very rewarding work. Rewarding because a family has chosen me to be by their side through one of the most vulnerable and momentous times in their life. I am a witness to the miracle of birth....and it truly is a miracle! It is truly amazing work. But, it can also be exhausting.
Don't get me wrong I do LOVE my job, but as much as this work can bring you great joy it also take it's toll both emotionally and physically.
You see, doula's are a special breed. We didn't chose this path but rather it chose us. We are a compassionate, empathetic bunch that feel very deeply. And I mean deeply. We invest so much in our clients, caring for them sometimes for 48 hours straight with little sleep. Holding their hand through the trials of labour, assuring them the whole way through, building them up when the going gets tough, shedding tears with them when they're feeling weak and vulnerable and advocating for them when they feel they have no voice.
After a busy month of births, some of them very long and back to back, I was contemplating my line of work. Asking myself how much longer I could do this. I was feeling run down and had finished up with a couple of births that hadn't gone as planned. I was disheartened by what I perceived as hubris in our healthcare system and really felt for my clients. When you're a person that feels deeply, this hits you very hard. You talk it out with other doula's, your share with your family and you feel a bit better. But it's not until you receive testimonials like the ones below that you remember why you do this work in the first place. It's amazing how a few words on a page can turn everything around. How they can lift you back up and get you back in the birth saddle again!
Here's to birth! Here's to the amazing women that give birth each and every day! Here's to their incredibly supportive partners! And here's to the blessing of being able to serve these families!
From a Mama's Perspective:
As a first time mother all I can say is that Marlo is a godsend, she is compassionate, kind and determined. She was invaluable part of our birthing experience. For hours on end she was our coach, our friend and our number one supporter. Nothing in our birthing experience went as hoped or planned, exept having Marlo there with us. She helped guide us through unforseen events and choices all with a smile on her face despite the time of night and the long hours. She motivated me to keep going and push myself to fullfill my goal of labouring without pain medication. She stood up for us againt unwanted pressure and negative comments from the medical staff.
After our son was born, Marlo made sure to visit us at home. This is where her compassion shined as she listened to my transition into motherhood with understanding and support. She truly cares about the mothers, fathers and children with which she works. You can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. I cannot imagine going through this process without Marlo.
From a Papa's Perspective:
Marlo was incredibly vauable to have around during my wife's labour. I was prepared and enthusiastic but I couldn't bring the know how that Marlo provided as it was first time watching a woman go through labour. Her coaching and guidance were very helpful and, with my wife in her own world, I had someone to talk to and joke with. Her calm, confident and sure demeanor were reasuring in moments when I did not know if something was "normal" or "common place". At one point she actually went out to get me some food and many times told me (though I didn't listen very well) to sleep and take a break. She was there for both of us and it was very much appreciated.
At a home birth I recently attended, I couldn't help but notice the time and care that was taken in preparing their home for their momentous and special day.
I found myself snapping shots of the little details that they'd thoughtfully put in place. Every birth is special in it's own way but these little details make it that much more unique.
Little notes hanging around the house with sayings such as "I am willing to let go", a beautiful bowl with floating lotus candles and a hand written call calendar detailing the doula's and midwifes information. These special touches added so much warmth and love to each room, allowing mom and dad to settle in to their very own space. It created lovely surroundings for a new babe to be born in to.
It's the little things that count!