Life is unpredictable. And likewise birth is too. While we try to predict when it will happen, and have a rough idea of when it will, we can't truly know. Did you know that only 4% of babies are born on their estimated due date (EDD)?
As a birth doula, I offer you a guarantee that you will have continuous support during your birth. But with the unforeseen, always looming how do I back up my guarantee? Firstly, I have many systems in place, including among other things, a permanently packed bag and many levels of childcare. And secondly, I have an amazing back up doula, who I trust will support you with such care and depth, if necessary - she'd be my prime choice for my birth ❤.
While you will get to meet Aidan in person, if you choose our support, (it's part of our packages that we run at least 1 prenatal visit together), it's always great to have some background beforehand. So it's with my pleasure that I introduce you to my primary back up doula, Aidan!
Meet Aidan - Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Sleep Educator
Aidan Black-Allen is the owner and operator of Rosy Dreamers - Sleep and Doula Services. She is the mother to a beautiful one year old and truly gets the depths of pregnancy, birth and parenting.
Aidan is a certified Infant Sleep Educator and Maternal Support Practitioner, a.k.a. doula. She also has a background in acting and teaching - she is knowledgeable, skilled and is so much fun to be around.
Born, raised and living in Toronto, Aidan knows the city well. She is equipped to navigate the resources of Toronto, to get you the support you need.
Here's a bit more about Aidan, from Aidan:
Why did you become a doula?
I became interested in doula work while I was pregnant with my daughter Rosalind. One of my good friend's runs an amazing company called, bebo mia inc., which certifies and trains Maternal Support Practitioners, and set me up with one of their student doulas. I really wanted an unmedicated, Hypnobirth at the Toronto Birthing Centre and was so excited to have my husband and doula by my side, as I welcomed my daughter into the world.
However, no birth can ever truly be planned and my labour did not go according to the plan I had envisioned. I laboured for over two days but due to medical complications, I had a cesarean birth. I initially struggled quite a bit with whether or not I would be a "good" doula when I hadn't had the birth of my dreams. But I soon realized that this outcome actually made me much better at what I do.
I completely understand the desire for an unmedicated birth, but I also know that medicine and hospital care can play a pivotal role in positive outcomes for both birth parent and baby. It is my passion to help parents release the fear that surrounds birth and to prepare emotionally and physically for all aspects of the pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. I consider it a true honour to be a part of such a special time in my client's lives.
Who did you complete your training with and why?
After experiencing such amazing care from my bebo mia inc. doula, it was a no brainer for me to pursue my studies with them as well. I began with the Infant Sleep Education course when my daughter was three months old. I am eternally grateful that I took this course at that time, despite how hard it was to juggle a baby and the course work. It helped me set the stage for healthy family sleep habits and taught me immensely about how sleep factors into baby development.
I then took their Maternal Support Practitioner course and absolutely loved it. Both courses were done separately, online, over a three month period. There was a lot of reading, live course modules and a forty two page essay format written exam. It was a lot of work but there was also an incredible community of current and past students to turn to for advice and encouragement. This online model of learning was ideal for me as a stay at home mom and much more in depth than the one weekend intensives being offered by other doula certification companies. (How could you possibly learn everything there is to learn about doula support in one weekend?)
What is your favourite activity outside of supporting families?
Before becoming a doula, I was an actor and drama teacher for 15 years. Performing is one of my true passions. I love to make people laugh through improv and sketch comedy. I am represented by Premier Artists in Toronto and am a member of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) and my daughter has even been to a few auditions as well!
My other favourite activity is spending time with my family at our cottage near Midland, Ontario, playing in the lake, hiking, and having bonfires.
What's the best advice you were given during your pregnancy?
This one is tough because different advice was helpful depending on the stage of pregnancy. And it's so much easier to remember the bad advice than the good advice! I think the best advice I got was just to listen to my body. To eat when I was hungry and not be so wrapped up with weight gain. Exercise, but let it be as simple as a walk around the block or getting a load of laundry done. Sleep when you're tired, even if this means a nap immediately after getting home from work or going to sleep at 8pm.
One little tip I got that ended up being helpful was when you go to the bathroom and think you are done peeing, lean forward. This will compress your bladder and squeeze a little more pee out which means you might only have to get up three times to pee that night instead of four!
What's your favourite tips for expectant or new parents?
My daughter pooped about 12 times a day for the first two months, so I definitely recommend setting up change stations in each room of the house where you spend a lot of time. For us it was the bedroom, living room and nursery. The same goes for sleeping arrangements. Have different set ups so that you can maximize sleep for both baby and parents. A bassinet in the living room can be helpful, a safe co-sleeping or bedsharing arrangement in the parents bed room is also essential - because no matter what parents think before they have their baby, the baby will end up in your bed at some point! And asking around to a few friends about borrowing carriers or wraps and seeing which one baby likes best, because sleeping on mom or dad is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to get a little one to nap.
Tell us something interesting about you!
I have travelled to 25 different countries and spent almost four months backpacking through South America for my honeymoon. My husband and I have a dream of taking our family on a round the world trip when our child(ren) is(are) older to help them truly see and appreciate how vast our world is, the privilege we have to live in Canada and the different ways that people live.