MISSION

AQAN-QAD, the bilingual association representing a unified voice for the birth assistants of Quebec, stands to improve the quality of the doula profession, advance the public’s understanding and appreciation for the art of nurturing birth support, and develop rich peers within the medical profession, the Ministry of Health & Social Services, and the public.

VISION AND VALUES

AQAN-QAD Unconditionally Projects the Voice of the Birth Assistants of Quebec, Regardless of Language, Region, Ethnicity, Color, Background.  Its Tenets Include the Following Promises:
  • Serve the needs of the birth assistant, in every region of Quebec.
  • Strive for formal integration of the doula profession into the network of health services available to the public.
  • Sound an official voice in ongoing debates over the humanization of births in Quebec, with an emphasis on emotional, physical, and knowledgeable companionship.
  • Foster a leadership for birth assistants through empowering allegiances with workshops, conferences, webinars, and continuous education.
  • Create a sandbox for doulas to counter isolation, gain strength from rich communications with colleagues.
  • Disseminate doula education to the public in order to increase their awareness of the craft.
  • Adopt a code of ethics of integrity and compliance that promotes the development of well-trained compassionate birth assistant practitioners.
  • Maintain a key position at the front-lines of globally respected birthing standards.
  • Elevate and embrace the rich traditions of holistic birth within the province of Quebec.
i. Today’s doula (pronounced ‘doo la’) – or birth assistant – or birth worker – or birth coach – crosses traditional gender boundaries towards a unified goal of empowering birth using a skill set of comfort, compassion, and clear communication.
ii. Birth workers provide personalized care at a time when mom needs it most. They do not replace but rather enhance the birth team that may include mom’s partner, best friend, doctor, or midwife. They show tolerance and offer a deeper understanding of pregnancy-related emotional swings. They help mom connect with her new body, her innate birthing abilities, and her silent birth voice. Doulas have no hidden agendas. They respect boundaries as they follow a mother’s birth plan at home, in a birthing center, or at a hospital.
iii. A birth assistant believes in self-development and nourishment. To support you, they weave their lives around colorful knowledge-based support networks to include lactation consultants, osteopaths, massage therapists, nutritionists, hypnotists, homeopaths, Reiki masters, etc.
iv. Yes, a doula believes birthing is a magical age-old tradition that thrives best in a naturally nourished world. They have chosen and accepted to run your race alongside you, never faltering, and forever supportive to your birth voice, in your birth journey, towards the arrival of your baby.
v. Doulas train differently. Some birth assistants assist during pregnancy and labor & delivery. Others provide postpartum care well into your baby’s wee toddler years.
A birth doula is a trained labor coach who provides continuous emotional, physical, and psychological support, during pregnancy, labor, arrival of baby, and immediately following child-birth.
“Doula” has its origins in the Greek language and culture, at a time when it was common for women to labor at home with the help of another female, occupying the role of female servant. Today, your doula is not your servant, and does not even have to be female. Rather, your “doula” is your trained reliable birth worker, who has chosen and accepted to run your race alongside you, never once faltering, and forever supportive to your voice, of your birthing journey, towards your trophy of your baby.
Even parents having a second or third child have to reconfigure lifestyles. Juggling routines can equal sleep deprivation and loss of proper nutrition. Moms recovering from a cesarean delivery find it particularly difficult getting support during the first few weeks back home. This is where a Postpartum Doula can be of significant help.
Postpartum birth assistance means:
  • Non-judgmental support with birth or adoption
  • Priceless companionship upon baby’s arrival at home and into the first 3 months of baby’s birth
  • Assistance with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation, house chores, babysitting siblings, light office work
  • Evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary.
The Benefits of Having a Birth Assistant
Numerous Clinical studies have listed the following benefits of from having a birth coach at your birth.
  • Shorter labors with fewer complications.
  • Reduced negative feelings about the childbirth experience.
  • Reduced need for interventions, including pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction.
  • Reduced requests for epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans.
  • Reduced chances for postpartum depression
  • Improved success rates of breastfeeding
  • Improved self-confidence
Surf our site for the profile of a birth assistant that is right for your birth.
Doulas practice in three ways:
  • Doulas can have their own private practice
  • Doulas may be attached to a network of doulas
  • Doulas may volunteer within community or hospital programs.
13 recommendations to selecting your birth doula:
  1. Read as many doula profiles as you can. Surf through our AQAN-QAD DOULA PROFILES.
    See if you share similar philosophies on birth and communication. Call as many as you can. Make sure your birth keeper is the right match for your birth vision. Make sure they are available for you and not too busy to answer your calls because they’re so in demand.
  2. Each couple is unique and so is each birth keeper.
    If you and your partner are making a decision to hire the birth assistant, it’s strongly suggested you both meet your final candidates. You want to feel they understand you and listen well. Your intuitive sense about the person and their ability to provide compassionate companionship is worth more than the number of births they may have attended.
  3. Put a face to the name.
    Many birth assistants hold ‘low cost’ or ‘complimentary’ meet & greets. Don’t expect a doula to drive to your home for a free meeting. Pick a neutral space that fosters a welcoming exchange of ideas.
  4. Have realistic expectations.
    Yes, a doula will have a solid base of a woman’s physiology but you are not hiring them to replace your doctor, or your midwife. Ask questions like: Are you accessible when I need to talk? Will you research my pregnancy concerns? Will you meet with my medical provider? Remember, you are engaging a birth keeper for their compassionate knowledgeable care.
  5. Ask open-ended questions.
    I want a Hypno-birth; do you believe in it? I’m concerned about interventions, how will you intervene? I’d like to explore homeopathy, aromatherapy; are you supportive of alternative medicine? What if my baby turns breech – how could you help? If I end up having my baby by a caesarean delivery, how do you continue to work with me?
  6. Confirm their time commitment.
    Are they available on the phone at any time once engaged? Verify how many prenatal and postnatal sessions you get. It is important to feel at ease with the openness and integrity of your communication.
  7. Put it on paper.
    The best relationships are had when expectations are met. Some doulas provide clients with a letter of agreement that articulates their services. While it is not compulsory to sign a contract, we do highly encourage it. See SAMPLE ENGAGEMENT FORM
  8. Ask about training and experiences.
    Are they comfortable with VBACs? Would they share a couple of birth experiences? Since there is currently no provincial curriculum, doulas certify through hands-on training or online. See our DOULA EDUCATION GUIDELINES
  9. Will they support your partner?
    A birth partner can be a lover, sister, or mother. It is a very real fear that the birth assistant replaces the partner role. Do not be shy to bring this up: Can you reassure my birth partner and boost their confidence?
  10. A backup doula is a great idea.
    Like any professional, a birth doula will have a plan B, in case of an emergency. Make sure you meet with their backup assistant prior to gain all the assurances you need for your birth.
  11. Your birth plan is 10 pages too long! Your birth assistant should be able to help.
    Try and articulate your birth concerns and your birth visions. Your birth keeper should come with the expertise to shape your birth voice so that your birth plan is clear, short and supports your birthing agenda. See SAMPLE BIRTH PLAN.
  12. Get an understanding of the day of your birth.
    At what point in your labor, will the birth assistant come to you: at your home or at the hospital or at the birth center? After baby’s arrival, will they meet up to recount your birth story? Some birth assistants do even provide birth photography and video journaling services.
  13. What do the fees include?
    Are there any additional fees for hospital parking, gas, etc? Can they provide you with receipts under massage therapy, naturopathy, etc.?
13 questions to finding your postpartum doula:
  1. What is your experience as a postpartum birth assistant?
  2. What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and families during the postpartum fourth trimester?
  3. What are your fees, and what do your services include? Are there any additional fees for gas,  phone bills, etc?
  4. When do your services begin and for how long do they continue?
  5. Do you offer postnatal massages and/or baby massages as part of your services?
  6. Are you available on the phone at any time after we’ve engaged you?
  7. Are you familiar with scar-tissue massage as I’ve been through a caesarean delivery? I have had a mastectomy, are you familiar with issues surrounding breast cancer and breastfeeding?
  8. Can you guide me with lactation consulting and/or breastfeeding support?
  9. Can you help with family programs for my older toddler? My special-needs child?
  10. Have you had a criminal background check? Would you be willing to get one?
  11. Is your CPR certification current?
  12. Do you provide receipts for other services like massage therapy, naturopathy?
  13. How do you feel about providing me with referrals to osteopathy, accupuncture and other alternative health care?