Our team is growing again!
Rock the Cradle is now a team of five birth doulas and postpartum doulas, and every week we’re profiling one of our doulas! Read about Yvonne Pelling, our Mindfulness Maven, and Doula Ayda de Souza, our Mama Bear, who both joined RTC in the last couple of years. Now, you get to meet our latest team member, Doula Annie Marion!
Meet Doula Annie Marion, Our Spiritual Sista
I am really excited to introduce you to our latest Rock the Cradle Doula Annie Marion, an experienced bilingual doula who has accompanied over 100 families in the past 6 years. Annie has an amazing story, going from engineer to birth doula, and when I met her I immediately sensed her passion and the love she has for her doula work and the women she serves. She is now offering various services to our clients, such as acupressure (Bonapace Method), rebozo care, massage, hypnobirthing, blessingways and so much more! I know you’ll love her as much as we do. Welcome Annie!
When did you realize that you wanted to become a birth doula?
It was during my first pregnancy, in 2009, when we met a doula at a HypnoBirth information session. I didn’t think I needed one since I was under the care of my midwife, thinking that she would act as my doula during my birth…I couldn’t have been more wrong!
After 48 hours of labour, two sleepless nights and a transfer to the hospital, only then did my midwife come back to help me during the transition stage. I am convinced that without her help, my birth would have ended in a cesarean after five hours of pushing. Instead, along with our doctor, she supported me exactly as a doula would have done.
After hours of intense labour, where I experienced deep relaxation and trance-like states, an internal transformation took place. I knew then that I needed to share this experience with other women. I felt such gratitude. That’s when my passion for aeronautics transformed into a passion for birth! And just like that, I resigned from Bombardier Aéronautique after 10 years of service.
What technique do you like to use for pain management?
I believe that HypnoBirthing, combined with acupressure (Bonapace Method), provides amazing results for the majority of births.
What is your philosophy surrounding birth?
That all women have the capacity to give birth as nature intended (physiological birth).
What do you like most about your job as a doula?
To witness the miracle of life every single time! I also love watching a mother touch her baby for the first time, as well as the two-hour magical period right after birth when baby and parents become a family.
What is your doula style?
I love to massage, provide support, relieve pain through acupressure…in short, to give love and strength through my hands. But it can also be to simply hold space for my clients in silence, or repeat HypnoBirthing affirmations. It all depends on what the mother wants.
What did you learn from your own births?
1 – The magic of a long-inhaled breath, as well as a long-exhaled breath.
2 – The people that surround us during birth are so important, energetically speaking. (If a person in your team is getting on your nerves, whether that be a doctor, a nurse, or family member, your birth may go on forever!)
3 – Changing positions can do miracles when birth seems to stall, or there is a blockage. The polar bear position is my favourite when we think that baby is in an asynclitic position (baby’s head is not in line with the birth canal).
How do you manage the long and unconventional work hours?
I take short breaks, meditate, keep hydrated and eat small snacks here and there.
What do you bring to your births?
My calmness, my absolute confidence in my client, and the capacity to transform the hospital birthing room into a spa atmosphere (music, aromatherapy, dimmed lights…the hospital staff’s voices are suddenly much lower when the walk in!). To eliminate anxiety and to help the mother go beyond her fears and find her zone of empowerment have become my specialties over the years.
Do you recall any specific birth?
I witnessed a beautiful non-assisted home birth; a very fast delivery, so fast that the midwife and paramedics arrived after I did. This birth was Empowerment x 10! It was amazing…though I was a bit shaken but managed to hide it well.
What do you not want to forget at home when leaving for a birth?
My cell phone and charger, my tooth brush and my wallet (for the taxi and the coffee!), because the reality of doula life is that you never know if you’ll be gone one night…or two!
What special items to you have in your doula bag?
A knitted breast that I use in our prenatal classes, and as a Nourrisource Breastfeeding Support Mom. I also have a lucky charm that helps me refocus during long births. It’s a lovely pack of lavender and special gemstones wrapped in silk.
I also bring a hand massager, small vials of essential oil blends especially made for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages of labour, a Rebozo shawl, an extra pair of warm socks, lip balm (new packs for my clients), and some self-heating compresses.
Do you have any additional trainings?
I am an accredited naturotherapist, a certified Hypnotherapist, a HypnoBirth® practitioner, a Nourrisource Breastfeeding Support Mom, a massage therapist, a Yoga Nidri teacher, a nutritherapist, a Bébé Mouvance instructor, and I have a certification in aromatherapy. I also run prenatal and postnatal workshops as well as Mommy-Baby (Yogi-BÉBÉ) and Mother-Daughter retreats.
What are your hobbies outside of the birth world?
I spend time with my daughters and my husband on the ski slopes, going camping and travelling. We love to explore the beauty of the oceans. We are both scuba-diving instructors (my first passion before having kids!) Last year, we initiated our 8-year-old daughter Océane to the scuba diving programme Bubblemaker Padi! I also love reading.
What is the most important part of the work you do as a Doula?
To believe in my clients, to never doubt that they are able, because more than once I have seen miracles happen. Also, just like the mother wolf, to hold the space filled with love, trust and serenity.
If you think Annie might be THE doula for you and you’d like to meet her, call me at 514-975-8973 to book a consult or come out to our next Open House, every 3rd Wednesday of the month at Equilibrium Yoga, 4812 St-Laurent Blvd.
p.s. Join our growing community of parents who birth and parent with confidence! You can find us on Facebook, in our private Facebook group ‘This Motherhood Journey’, on Pinterest and Instagram and please sign up for our newsletter! The link is right below. Looking forward to connecting with you!