There are so many supportive Edmonton doulas to choose from! How do you know who is right for you? If you are looking for an Edmonton doula who provides postpartum support beyond the standard 6 weeks postpartum, read on…!
Diana Sikanja (she/her), an Edmonton & area based doula, runs My Choice Doula. She was inspired to be a birth and postpartum doula when a coworker in a past supply chain career has a spouse who is a doula. Being a doula is very meaningful and fulfilling for Diana.
Diana believes that how each person wants to birth is valid. It is their journey and they get to decide what is right for them. Her role is to support each birthing person through their journey.
Diana can coach you how to approach appointments and figure out what questions to ask.
Are your care providers taking the time to answer your questions?
How can you let them know you need your birthing healthcare providers that you need to ask more questions, or need more time for them to answer any questions you would have?
My Choice Doula is going to help with advocacy — instead of advocating on behalf of her clients. Diana is here to empower her clients to speak on behalf of themselves.
Diana says, “I find at birth centres and at home births, things move a little bit slower. However, in a hospital, things can really ramp up really quickly. If you’re labouring, and you’re in that space where you’re coping with the contractions, or you’re the partner who’s helping the person cope with contractions, but you’re not really paying attention necessarily to everything that’s happening. So sometimes you’re like, what, where does this come from? So how do you pause in those situations? How do you take a breath? How do you say what is going on? How much time do we have? Can we think through our options? So, I think that’s kind of the biggest thing that I focus on when helping people navigate situations.”
This way, families will be more comfortable advocating for themselves — this is also a valuable life skill.
Prenatally, Diana would meet her prospective clients in person. She would cover topics from birth, labour, early contractions, what to expect, early labour and so forth. Other tips that she includes are positions that might be helpful during, comfort measures for labour. You get to see and feel what is comfortable for you before your guess date of baby’s arrival — as everyone is different for preferred birthing comfort measures. She then stresses also the importance of postpartum care for the birthing person.
Very rarely, others tell us what happens during postpartum. There is this huge focus up until birth. On postpartum, Diana likes to discuss things like:
“How are you feeding yourself?
Where are you sleeping?
Who does what?
What are your expectations of each other?
How do you make sure communication does not fail when you are tired?
What are some mental health signs to look for?”
How to recognize what is normal and what are extremes? These are the types of conversations Diana preps her postpartum clients with. It is important to find out what is going to work for us and be realistic in what we are going to need.
Another great topic is how to deal with visitors. (My own side personal tip is to charge an admission fee where they bring food!)
Diana will see her postpartum clients after the birth for up to 3 times. She would go through some latching techniques if you choose to nurse or breastfeed your baby. If you have any questions about formula or combination feeding, she would talk about the nipples and bottles to use for combination feeding. Other postpartum topics include: diaper fit, an in-person tutorial on swaddling your newborn. She has clients that she keeps in touch with until they are 8 to 9 months old. It really depends on what you would need.
What sets My Choice Doula apart from other doulas is that Diana also offers babysitting services when parents want to go out. It sure is a nice touch when parents have questions after 6 weeks that aren’t answered by anyone else!
It ranges from 5 weeks pregnant to as late as 35 weeks. Diana can support you better if she can fully understand what you want and need. Ideally, 4 to 5 weeks before your due date is the latest to reach out to be able to build that rapport; 6 weeks prior is most ideal. Diana covers a lot about postpartum topics; prospective clients would need time to do the prep work for after baby arrives. However, she is not going to turn you away if there is not as much time. There would be ample time to discuss various topics and have time for meetings and conversations with potential clients as well as have conversations with your care providers.
Diana Sikanja also has a certificate in childbirth education course. If you are looking for short virtual classes, reach out to Diana directly on her website. One of them is on newborn care — what to expect once your newborn is here, and details of newborn feeding.