biography of doula and testimonials from parents

doula kathryn eagleheart with babyMy own life journey has been guided by a huge desire to create a better world for the child. I have been blessed to have two wonderful children, and have found there to be nothing more rewarding than being a parent! I love being a mom! But while being a parent is the best job possible, it is also by far the most challenging! It is this, and my natural passion for the childbearing year, which has led me to being a Doula.

My desire is to help families adjust during this tumultuous year, so that they can get the very most out of it. I feel so strongly that this time can be made so much easier and more rewarding, simply by having someone available who is knowledgeable, empathetic and accepting.

I find that my work with families involves a lot of listening, trying to figure out what their particular needs are. Each mom is different, and needs to come at mothering from the angle and approach that works best for her. Each parent comes to parenting with their own needs and expectations, which need to be taken into account. And then each baby is very unique. I spend time with the family, and watch the baby, to see what this particular baby needs, and how to match that with what each parent needs.

I have experience with:

  • home birth
  • hospital birth
  • water birth
  • first babies and multiple children families
  • twins
  • VBAC
  • postpartum depression
  • breastfeeding difficulties
  • high need babies
  • special need babies
  • sleep issues
     
happy family

My training and certification includes:

  • Certified Labour/Birth Doula (DONA)
  • Certified Postpartum Doula (DONA)
  • Breastfeeding Counsellor (Breastfeeding Course for Healthcare Providers through Douglas College and Lactation course through Lactation Education Resources)
  • Emergency First Aid and Baby/Adult CPR
  • Ongoing workshops and conferences on birthing, babies, postpartum depression and breastfeeding, with specialists that include Penny Simkin, Dr. Christina Smillie, Diana West, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, as well as local experts in this field from here in Victoria.

 

testimonials


  
From Tiffany and George, after having their first baby:

"Kathryn is an amazing woman full of warmth, love and positive energy...a natural born doula! Her enthusiasm and joy for her work shine through and I knew I could call on her for any type of question, fear or concern. With each visit, I felt a million times better and more capable as I drew from her strength which was given completely and unconditionally. She went beyond and above and we will never forget her dedication and compassion during this monumental time in our lives."
  


"I will always be grateful for Kathryn's help with the birth of our son. Both me (and my wife), but especially my wife, were supported during this momentous experience by her patience, calmness, knowledge and love for her job. Her committment to our family went beyond anything we expected from a doula and continued for weeks after the birth of our son."

From Farheen, after having her first baby:

"Kathryn brings love, warmth and integrity to her doula practice. Her
emotional support was key for me during my pregnancy. She advocated for me anytime I was feeling unsure and constantly sent positive affirmations my way which helped me feel at ease and secure in what was unfolding for me during pregnancy/labour. She brought a willingness to learn and work with our needs and also gave my partner and I the space and encouragement to do things our way. During the birth, Kathryn was unobtrusive, and held the space for us to birth our daughter in a loving and respectful manner. She was there for us in whatever way WE needed her to be. Her postpartum support was incredible! It was wonderful to entrust my little newborn into such loving hands and take some time for myself! I am grateful for having Kathryn's loving support during this very special and sacred time in my life.
"

From Andrea, after having her second baby:

"Kathryn is the most inspiring and amazing doula and person I have ever met.  She was there for us everystep of the way.  I trust Kathryn completely and knew from the moment I saw and met her that I wanted her at our birth and she has gone beyond the call of duty many times and gave us so much support all through the birth and after the birth when our baby required hospitalization.  I know even months after the birth that I can call on her.  The information she provided was valuable and she gave us wonderful advice when we asked.  I cannot recommend her enough as she provided us with so much more -she counselled us, she cared for us, she nurtured us and she has become a  beautiful friend.  Her gentle caring presence is so valuable at a time of joy and vulnerability. Our deepest gratitude and thanks go to Kathryn.  We feel truly blessed to have this wonderful being as our doula."

From Marie and Jean Pierre:

"I knew the first time I talked to Kathryn on the phone that she was the doula I needed for the birth of my second child. I felt right away her compassion and her calmness. She is a wonderful person. I never felt any judgment, just a lot of support, something I really needed during that intense and precious time. She was also readily available and very supportive during the pregnancy, and, after the birth, she was able to come on very short notice when we really needed her presence, even on New Year's Day! At the very last moment, my scheduled c-section transformed into an all natural VBAC and Kathryn was able to adapt very quickly, giving me the strength and confidence I needed to give birth to my little one in the best possible way. Without her, I am not sure I would have been able to have a successful VBAC. She was a very important part of our team with my husband and my midwife. I am so grateful that she could be my guide throughout this sacred time."


"Kathryn is a very inspiring and positive person. She was able to provide a ton of support, but always with a lot of discretion, which made me feel very secure and confident in my own support role as husband and dad. I am very glad we had her with us during this fantastic time. Thanks a lot Kathryn!"


From Mary Lynn, after getting postpartum help with her second child:

"Reaching out during my postpartum was really more about reaching in. Kathryn was clearly focused on really listening to my needs and supporting me in getting the rest I so needed. We also had some great laughs along the way! Her thoughtfulness and sense of humour were vital to taking me through my foggy state of sleep deprivation. My husband and were thankful to have Kathryn's great words of encouragement, as we struggled through our second experience with a colicky, wakeful baby."

From Jade, after having her first baby:

"One of the first things I tell people when they ask me about our birthing experience is a) how truly amazing and life changing it was, and b) how truly integral the help from our doula, (wonderful, beautiful, Kathryn), was. I want every expecting woman out there to know how invaluable her services were to my husband, to me, and to our beautiful little girl.
She was there for me in the pregnancy when emotions and doubts sometimes got to me. During our birth she was such a huge support both physically and emotionally. She facilitated a connection between my husband and I that I think as first time parents we would have struggled to achieve with so many other things on our minds. Her presence was felt so warmly and constantly during our daughters birth, and yet she was always somewhat shadowed, non-obtrusive. I feel so grateful having had her be present, as a skilled and calming guide, in the most important time in our lives.
Kathryn’s postpartum support was hugely invaluable. I had no idea just how much I would need someone to lean on. Her knowledge, assistance, presence and kind, caring ways were so helpful and mean more to me than words can even say.
With warmth, love and gratitude our whole family thanks you Kathryn."

From Zoe, after having her first baby:

"Kathryn is an amazing person and an amazing doula. I never doubt that she wants the absolute best for everyone around her which obviously makes her the very best choice during a momentous event such as the birth of a child. Kathryn was very supportive during my pregnancy, and offered information and resources to help in the difficult times and in staying healthy. During my chemically induced labour, I could not have had a better person than Kathryn there - helping me to breathe, to relax, saying all the right things for my peace of mind and my husband's. It was seamless and totally natural to work with Kathryn during that time - she knew when to offer words of encouragement, when to get my husband, when to offer silence. I wish she could have been in the Operating Theatre with us when things did not go as planned. Breastfeeding had its challenges and Kathryn was incredibly helpful. She didn't just step in and disrupt the understanding my daughter and I were trying to build but observed, realized where the issues lay and in her characteristic gentle and understanding manner helped us quickly resolve these issues. In the post-partum period she has helped me to overcome the unpleasantness of my birth experience and given me encouragement in my relationship with my wonderful daughter. If we decide to have another child I will be calling Kathryn as soon as the "positive" appears!"

From Danielle, after having her first baby:

"Kathryn was definitely the right choice for us when searching for a doula. She was a wealth of knowledge and support during the prenatal period and helped us prepare for our home birth. As labour approached she was a constant contact that provided peace of mind and encouragement. Throughout my labour experience she supported myself and my partner with both practical and emotional support and helped create a comfortable space to allow my body to work as it needed to. My daughter's birth was a positive and miraculous experience for us and Kathryn's gentle presence was appreciated. I remember my 13 hour labour with pride in what my body and mind are capable of coping with, and Kathryn's support helped to facilitate that. Kathryn's wealth of knowledge and commitment to her work was vital to us during the post natal period as several challenges surfaced when our daughter was a newborn. I now have a wonderful and fulfilling breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, despite initial difficulties, in great part to Kathryn's constant support and expertise! It is obvious that Kathryn genuinely cares about her role as a doula. New parents can rest assured that she recognizes the unique miracle that their baby is as she provides extremely high quality, individualized care. Thanks Kathryn!! "

From Kate and Johnny:

"There aren't words to adequately capture the incredibly positive impact that Kathryn had on our birth and adjustment to family life.  She has been amazingly committed, available and affirming of our family and is passionate and extremely well-informed about her work. During labour her genuine care, sense of intuition of what we needed in the moment and seeming endless energy for myself, my partner and child was unparalleled. Since having my son, her thorough and knowledgeable support has been completely  invaluable.   She is truly the crème-de-la-crème of doulas -  I am so, so grateful I stumbled upon her."

"Although I wasn't sure what to expect when we looked into finding a doula for the birth of our first child, in hindsight I cannot imagine bringing our son into this world without Kathryn's assistance.  She is very well versed in the entire process (pregnancy, birthing, post-partum) and shows an uncanny ability to know exactly what needs to be said at any given moment. During the labour, she was always in the background quietly offering precisley what was required at every turn and as a father who is admittedly not well acquainted with the birthing process and the pressures it puts on the mom, Katheryn's support was priceless. I confidently and emphatically recommend her to anyone considering doula support."

From Linda and Steve:

"Kathryn's support and encouragement went so far beyond our expectations that she truly felt like part of the family after the birth of our daughter. She was a wealth of knowledge before, during and after. We had a long 30 hour labour and Kathryn never left our side and even stayed with us to provide critical breastfeeding support so we could give our daughter much needed colostrum while she was in the NICU. We started with just a few drops (after a whole lot of pumping) but, with Kathryn's help, we were able to get a full bottle and provide our daughter with a full intravenous feed of colostrum instead of hospital formula. That was the turning point in her recovery and she soon ripped out her own IV and intravenous tube to let everyone know she was ready to go home! Kathryn provided several in-home visits to ensure breastfeeding was going well (no sore nipples here!) in addition to answering countless email questions. Before we had our daughter we didn't really know what a doula was but now we can't imagine not having Kathryn around for the birth of our second child. We would emphatically recommend Kathryn. Her support to us was priceless."

From Monica, after the birth of her second baby:

"I had an amazing home birth experience. I had just met Kathryn several days before giving birth (the baby was 3 weeks early!) and yet I intuitively felt a high level of trust with her.  Kathryn has a caring, warm and grounded energy about her that helped me tremendously during labour.  She knew exactly where to touch me, how to speak to me and to my family who were witnessing the birth.  Kathryn was a great support post-partum - she was quick to return my calls and knowing that she was only a phone call away made all the difference in the world."

From Sarah and Merlin:

"We had our third child in Victoria with Kathryn as our doula.  Each labour is different and I didn't know what to expect.  However,Kathryn went above and beyond any and all expectations of her, helping me immensely through a difficult labour, and helping my husband to be a big part of it also. Our talks and visits helped me transition to a motherhood of three, and I love the birth story she wrote for us, thank-you so much Kathryn."

From Stephanie:

"After a difficult postpartum period with my first child, I was desperate to find someone who would help me through my second pregnancy, labour, and postpartum period.  Kathryn was recommended to me by a friend and inviting her to work with my family to ensure a smooth welcome for my second child was the best decision I made.  

Kathryn is a great communicator in the fullest sense of the word.  Being able to reach her by email and phone was reassuring and ensured a prompt response to my questions and concerns.  Beyond that though, Kathryn is open, caring and respectful.   Despite my numerous questions and self doubts, Kathryn never made me feel stupid or demanding or incapable.  Her extensive experience with being a doula was evident in the way she was able to hear and understand my questions even when, sleep deprived and hormonal, I would feel totally incoherent.    

Kathryn's extensive experience as a doula was evident and valuable throughout my pregnancy and after my child's birth.  She has an incredible quantity and diversity of resources to share with pregnant women and new moms and dads.   Being active in the doula community made her aware of many of the current circumstances facing new moms in Victoria.  I was also impressed with how effective she was in working with other people - be they numerous doctors, nurses, other doulas, my husband or other family members - to ensure a supportive environment for me and my family. 

Above all though, it is Kathryn's aura of calm, compassion and genuine caring for babies and moms that I will always remember with gratitude.  In the middle of a crisis,  I could look to Kathryn to keep things in perspective for me and to set my mind at ease by providing suggestions, information or even just a reassuring smile or gesture to get me through a challenging moment.  

I recommend Kathryn to any and all pregnant women looking for a doula.  She's a treasure."

From Jessica, after her second baby:

Kathryn is a steady, positive, and realistic anchor through this unpredictable journey. She sparkles, and she’s grounded She has a natural intuitive sense of when to hold you tight and when to step back.  She knows how to bring out the best in fathers. She is encouraging without an agenda, helpful without taking over, and supportive at just the right time. 

“A doula is like the crew, you and your partner are the cast.”

From Danielle:

I highly recommend hiring Kathryn.  We had lots of questions and concerns that Kathryn helped us with (in a non-judgmental, compassionate and well-informed manner) both before and after the birth.  We loved the resources that she provided us with, especially since we were new to the city.  Labour came on very quickly in the middle of the night and Kathryn was at our house within 45 minutes of us calling her (with a 30min driving distance between our homes!)!  She was so supportive to both of us during the labour and delivery, we couldn't have managed without her.  My husband was new to it all (our first baby) and he supported me too, but Kathryn was there comforting, encouraging and reassuring me; she has lots of experience and knew just what to say and do.  Kathryn's calm, positive, caring demeanor carried us through this new and overwhelming (at times!) experience.  She helped us have an amazing home birth.  We are so thankful for all of her kindness, care and attention during the birth of our son.

From Camille and Joel:

As a new couple to the Victoria area just before our first baby's arrival, Kathryn was incredible not only at preparing us for the arrival of our daughter, but also making us feel confident about our new community and the services available for us as new parents.  Kathryn has an amazing gift of making both partners feel excited, engaged, and confident in their roles of welcoming a child.  Kathryn was instrumental in keeping us confident and informed throughout the labour process in the hospital and assisted us in navigating the many choices we were faced during our daughter's birth.  Kathryn has an amazing, genuine talent as a Doula and lactation counsellor.  Kathryn's level of commitment was demonstrated when she attended our daughter's birth in the early hours of December 23rd and returned again to the hospital later that day.  She also spent the morning of December 26th with us at our home in order to ensure we were adjusting well to our new family.  She demonstrated unflappable patience as we struggled with breastfeeding and learning our new roles as parents.  We are so fortunate to have had Kathryn with us on our journey and could not imagine having another child without her.  We vote Kathryn Eagleheart Doula of the Decade...!