Yvonne Pelling, Montreal birth doula and postpartum doula
I have been working with Yvonne, a certified Montreal birth doula and a postpartum doula, for over a year and a half now. Since then, we’ve had the pleasure and honour of serving dozens of families and helping them settle into their new roles as parents. So who is Yvonne? What better way to get to know her than to sit and chat about her passion for birth and serving the families in our community!
You often say that you became a doula because of LOVE! What do you mean?
Yes, that’s true! My path to being a doula started on my way to motherhood. I was pregnant for the first time, I was scared. I had never journeyed with anyone through a pregnancy, I had never even seen a birth. This was a completely new territory for me and my husband.
A friend of ours suggested to us that we get a doula and we both thought, “What’s a doula?” We found a doula that we connected with and she showed me how to be my best self. She guided my husband to be the best hands on support I could have ever asked for. She also educated the both of us so that we could make informed decisions about my care.
Hands down, my first birth was nothing short of awesome. I then had an equally amazing birth at home with my second daughter. LOVE brought me and my husband together, LOVE made our babies and LOVE brought them into the world. I chose this profession so that I could support women becoming mothers, men becoming fathers and couples becoming families.
How do your own births – one at the hospital and one at home – affect the way you support other women?
My births were very different from one another and there were different challenges for each one. I feel that my experiences definitely help me in my work as a doula, whether it be in a hospital, birthing centre or at home. However, what I have learned is that ALL women need to feel safe and loved during their births. No matter where they are and no matter how they want to birth. And that’s what I strive to do. At Rock the Cradle, we want all women to have positive birth experiences because we know it has such a great impact on their motherhood journeys.
What is your view of the existing birth culture in Montreal and how can doulas play an active role in this culture?
Clients often tell me they hired me because they’ve heard all the horror stories from their friends’ births. Sadly, this perpetuates the feelings of fear that so many people seem to have. As a doula, I want to give confidence to people about their bodies, about how they can trust the process, about how they can navigate the hospital system to make the best choices for them, so that birth is seen as a normal process.
You are very soon to be a licensed Aromatherapist. How do essential oils help in your work?
Essentials oils are the essence of plants, they can move us and create change. During labour the right scent can calm you down or give you a boost of energy. It may help to reduce pain, strengthen contractions or even help you to focus on your breath. During a prenatal meeting, I often bring a grouping of oils and explore them together with my clients to see what best suits them. During the postpartum period, it can be helpful for healing, it can support parent and baby sleep or even be part of product for baby such as diaper cream.
What do you like best about working in a team compared to working as a solo-preneur?
Working with both you and Jenny has been incredibly rewarding. You are always a phone call away should I have a question about something going on at a birth and having a shared vision of birth is very empowering. We also back each other up, so we know our clients always have reliable support.
Jenny is a wealth of information as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist. She has taught me yoga breathing techniques for labour and she offers our clients amazing prenatal and postnatal yoga classes at various locations around Montreal.
Name 3 quirky things you’d like us to know about you:
- I have been skydiving and hand gliding
- Philosophy is a great passion of mine
- I trained as a classical singer!
Are you involved in projects in your community?
I have been working as a volunteer in the field of mental health for sometime now. For 5 years I helped run a food bank and a daily soup kitchen. I am also a member of the National Council for the Family and Carer’s stakeholder ACCESS: Open Minds, which is a research project involving young people and their families and aims to improve mental health care in Canada.
I also work with a not-for-profit organization that provides a safe and welcoming experience for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). They focus on building the capabilities and self esteem of the children through positive recreational and educational activities.
What do clients say about your doula work?
Hahaha! I think you may know more about what they say than I do.
You can find this testimonial, plus many others, on Yvonne’s Doula Match page:
‘Thank you, Yvonne for sharing this beautiful journey with our family and helping us get through the hardships of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding! I felt supported and loved, which gave me confidence in my decisions. Your postnatal advice was the key to my breastfeeding success… I truly hope to have you by my side again in the future.”
If you had to give one piece of advice to moms-to-be regarding their births, what would it be?
Trust yourself. We never know what is going to happen or how birth will unfold, but the one constant in all of it will be you. Trust your body, trust the process, trust yourself.
If you are looking to have a doula at your birth, or would like to meet Yvonne in person, call us at 514-975-8973 to book an introductory meeting with her.
Until then, keep those bellies and babies safe and warm!
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! Looking forward to connecting with you!