When Nour decided to start her training she was at her lowest point postpartum, “I was deeply depressed and had crippling anxiety and I also think (although I wasn’t diagnosed) I had some degree of PTSD following the birth of my daughter” – she shared.
She had wanted to train to become a Doula way before she and her husband decided to try for a baby; however, she put it off for a while – “I think something stirred inside of me when I found myself struggling so badly and didn’t feel understood or heard when I struggled while being pregnant” she shared, she also added, “My family and friends tried to help, but no one really knew what I was going through no matter how hard I tried to communicate it”.
Nour is generally a go-getter and do-er, she can never sit still and at a certain point, she felt that not having a purpose, apart from just being a mom, was feeding her depression and anxiety. That was when she started researching the availability of pieces of training related to what she was going through and almost so passionate about and found a Toronto-based birth work training called Bebo Mia – “The program spoke to me and I felt that there was a reason I had found it” – she explained.
That birth work training was merely a beginning to what Nour likes to define as an endless journey of learning and discovery on Birthing and Women’s Health, after the Bebo Mia training, Nour enrolled in for a Postpartum Depression Management course at the University of Exeter, which she finds as a great addition to her toolbox as a Doula and Women’s Health Care practitioner. “I did this because I wanted to make sure I could support as many women as possible so that they did not have to go through what I’ve been through ununderstood.” – she said.
What is a Doula Exactly?
A Doula is a trained professional, who provides information, advice, emotional and physical comfort while supporting women and families before, during, and after childbirth. “We are not medical professionals and we do not perform any medical exams or check-ups. We certainly do not give any medical advice” – Nour explains. “What we do is give clients all their options in order to raise their awareness on the matter of Childbirth, for them to be able to make informed decisions”- she adds.
The core of Nour’s practice is to empower couples to find the confidence and strength they already have but are unaware of in order to go through the experience of Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Many of those who are familiar with the term “Doula” may believe they’re someone who only supports women through giving birth.
Being a Doula is actually about a lot more than just supporting a Mother through giving birth as this process in itself requires building a strong foundation of trust and understanding between the Couple and their Doula – “My training enabled me to become a FULL-SPECTRUM Doula, which means that I am trained to support women and families who are attempting to Conceive, are actually Pregnant, need Birth Support or already have recently Given Birth; this makes me fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum Doula” – Nour explains.
Why Would a Mother or a Family Need a Doula?
When a Doula is hired it means a family now has their own personal “Pregnancy and Birth Coach/Assistant”. “We’re a walking Wikipedia of all things pregnancy, birth, and postpartum related” Nour confesses.
Doulas are not really “needed ” as women are capable of birthing on their own; however, the support of a Doula can really elevate the entire experience to a whole different level. By hiring a Doula you have someone who is constantly there for you as you are their job.
A Doula begins working with clients either from the beginning of their fertility journey (if they’re going through fertility treatments) or from the 3rd trimester all the way until a week or so after the giving birth.
When a couple hires a doula, they have someone to guide them through giving birth, help them navigate the hospital systems, and someone whose PRIMARY Job is to look after the mother. We are her advocate to amplify her wishes and needs during birth, before and after.
Statistics prove that having a Doula while birthing may help decrease the risk of c-sections by 39%, 15% increase in a spontaneous vaginal delivery, 10% decrease in the need for pain medication during labor, 38% decrease in the risk of a baby’s low five minute APGAR score, and 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the overall birthing experience.
Do You Offer Any Online Services and If You Do, How Can One Reach You?
Nour is currently teaching 2 online based classes. The first one is called “PERIODS | Mastering Your Cycle“, which is a Cycle-Awareness Education class that is catered to all women who are in their fertile years, by giving them a good introduction into the Reproductive System, Period Cycles, Fertility, Conception, and Contraception as well as discussing common problems women face in relation to any of the topics above mentioned.
This course is suitable for women who either want to try conceiving naturally, want to avoid getting pregnant naturally, or just want to learn more about their bodies and gain a sense of body awareness.
The second online class Nour teaches is the “BIRTH CRASH COURSE“, which is a two-part, childbirth preparation class designed for helping expecting parents understand the Process of Labour and Birth, Immediate Postpartum Support, Navigating the Hospital System, and Understanding Breastfeeding.
At the moment Nour also offers virtual one-on-one sessions via ZOOM on Postpartum Depression, One-Offs, Private Childbirth Preparation Classes, and Private Fertility Sessions.