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The arrival of a newborn into the family is a time of joy and excitement, but also of many challenges and adjustments. And yet, at the heart of this adventure, there is a precious and often overlooked source of support: doulas. Whether you're pregnant for the first time, expecting a second or third child, or considering supporting a friend through motherhood, discover how doulas can make a significant difference to this exceptional journey.

Who are the Doulas?

Doulas are professionally trained caregivers, offering emotional, physical and informational support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. Although they are not medical health professionals, doulas bring an expertise and caring presence that perfectly complements traditional medical care.

The Blessingway

An Intimate Celebration to Welcome the New Mother

As part of our exploration of the world of doula services, we had the chance to chat with an expert in the field of Blessingway, a special ceremony dedicated to the new mother. This practice, far removed from the commercialization often associated with traditional baby showers, offers an authentic and profound space for connection with the mother-to-be. Here's the interview we conducted with our special guest:

Interview with Amélie Héroux

Q: We're delighted you decided to come and talk to us about your Blessingway service, a unique welcome for the new mother. For us, it's essential to create something special at birth celebrations, as it's a crucial moment in life. You bring something different and necessary, beyond anything commercial in a traditional baby shower. Could you explain what Blessingway is in a few words, and what's the difference between a baby shower and Blessingway?

A: It's a ceremony for the new mother. Traditionally, Aboriginals use the word Blessingway to mark the passage from woman to mother. We want to emphasize and honor this passage. In a traditional baby shower, we also mark this passage, but often with lots of material goods. The difference is that we're really in a space of sharing, a space where we forge bonds with people who are dear to us in our love for the new mother. A truly sweet moment that's a far cry from what we traditionally do when we think of a baby shower, for example.

Q: Let's talk about organizing a Blessingway.

A: Doing something with their hands. Whether it's putting together the beads for a necklace, preparing a wreath of flowers to take part in the ceremony. I always hear "that feels good", "I feel I feel ready for the new mom", "it reminds me of myself when I gave birth to the children". That's really the atmosphere we want to create around the new mother.

In fact, I did a basic ceremony: 4 hours for 10 people. Then we adjust: are you going to be more or less, are there rituals you prefer to others, etc... There's a real creative side to it.

Q: What motivated you to become a doula and specialize in childbirth?

A: In fact, it was during my daughter's post-partum period, so when I had my 2nd child, I experienced postnatal depression, and I needed to go and ask my family in my village for help, but even beyond that in psychology, because I was experiencing certain issues, so one of the normal reflexes is to go and hide in work. I rushed back to work, and as much as I enjoyed teaching, the world of childbirth was a real crush. I said to myself: why not try something else? I started by training as a postnatal doula, so I could accompany the postpartum period.

Q: As a doula, do you regularly organize Blessingway ceremonies?

A: Yes, exactly.

A: We always take 1 h to introduce the participants, we name the links that unite us to the person, then we offer one of the first intentions, what we wish her for the birth and then we'll take about 2 h to do the creative rituals, so we can make fresh flower crowns, we'll offer the new mom a good time, like a little foot massage for example, a hand massage, in a very intuitive way, nothing too formal, it can be a foot bath. With henna, a colored paste, I'll draw a picture on the new mom's belly. We can also make a pearl necklace or a banner with words of encouragement and phrases. Afterwards, we'll get together and close the ceremony with a space for sharing, and we'll link all the participants to a red thread that we'll carry until baby's here.

Q: Who is usually responsible for organizing a Blessingway? Is it the pregnant person, the spouse, friends? How does it work?

A: Often it's the pregnant person or someone close to her; a sister, a cousin, a friend. I've never had a surprise. Sometimes the pregnant woman decides on certain things, and then leaves things up to her for other rituals.

Q: If a pregnant woman would like to benefit from a Blessingway for an intimate, emotional experience related to her situation, how can she go about it?

A: There are several ways, you can go to the 4-Celebration website to see what it's all about, what's included in this ceremony.

Advantages of Doulas

Doulas offer a multitude of benefits for mothers and their families:

  • Support
  • Knowledge and Information
  • Stress Reduction
  • Personalized support
  • Strengthening Parenting Skills
  • The Importance of Listening and Ongoing Support

A key feature of doulas is their commitment to being present throughout the entire process. They are available to answer questions, allay concerns and provide constant support, creating a lasting bond of trust.

Whether offering a shoulder to cry on during pregnancy, actively encouraging during labor or providing practical advice after birth, doulas are invaluable companions who help make the journey of motherhood more informed, gentle and confident. Their caring presence can make a significant difference to the overall experience of motherhood, making doulas essential allies in this extraordinary chapter of life.