Stefanie  McKinnon Photo

Stefanie McKinnon

Beautiful Beginnings Birth Doula

Website: http://www.beautiful-beginnings.ca

Phone: 7809663828

Birth Fee: $900

Birth Doula Experience: 13 years

Birth Doula Certifications

  • The Matrona - Certified Holistic Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, April 2006
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 3 to 4

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)

Other Relevant Certifications

  • PBi Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist
  • CPR Certified - Red Cross

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Remote and rural clients birthing away from home
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • Vaginal breech birth
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Babywearing education
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Military families
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Volunteer with the Doula Association of Edmonton.

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Stefanie McKinnon

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Client Testimonials for Stefanie McKinnon

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Tara

Stefanie was an amazing doula for us! She is calm and collected, at all times. She is warm and caring, and does not take over the room, but quietly came alongside my husband to support me. Her strong and calm presence gave me confidence during my births. The times I most felt the difference she made in my births were from the key things she spoke to me, at pivotal times. They helped me focus, be calm and make good decisions to have the birth I wanted to have. Stefanie is a wealth of information on all things birth and breastfeeding related. Any questions or situation, she has experience with and solid information to offer. Something I really appreciated about having Stefanie as a doula was all the support she offers even before and after the birth. I am convinced the breastfeeding workshop she gave was crucial in helping us to have a very smooth and happy breastfeeding journey. When I was struggling with anxiety after the birth of my first child, her post partum visit was so comforting and helpful. She was there for us over text or phone anytime, which gave us a lot of confidence. Stefanie helped me have two amazing home births, and I am ever grateful for her support.

Posted 9/16/2019

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Rosanna Wegner

I felt at ease with Stefanie from the moment we met. My husband was hesitant in hiring a doula but relented because I really wanted a support person around other than family. Stefanie became our lifeline the day of our son's birth. She was subtle in her intervention, gently coaching my husband to support me and offering strategies and reminders when we were lost in our own worlds and all objectivity was out the window when pain overwhelmed me. I vividly remember Stefanie's calm, non-judgmental voice when she reminded me "you don't have to be a hero" when I finally relented to opt for an epidural. Stefanie was with us exactly when we needed her and her presence was ever so reassuring that everything was going to be okay. We are convinced that our our birthing experience was positive because of Stefanie's coaching and support. AND I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what a huge help she was with breastfeeding our little guy back at home. As a new mom I had no idea what was going on and Stefanie made home visits to physically teach me how to manually express milk and how to latch on properly. She was even available to answer all our "not-so-silly-at-that-moment-but-really-are" questions and we are ever so thankful for her. Can't say enough positive things about Stefanie really. My husband now is a self-promoter of doulas. 

Posted 8/27/2019

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Emily K.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, we were thrilled! And also quite nervous about preparing for baby's arrival. We decided that we wanted the experience and knowledge of a doula to help support us during pregnancy, labour, delivery, and immediate postnatal care. Our friends recommended Stefanie, and we are so glad they did! Stefanie provided us with valuable information throughout our journey via one-on-one consult, workshops, email, and phone calls that was supported by literature and her experience (which we appreciated very much since there's so much misinformation and myths when it comes to pregnancy, labour, delivery, and postnatal care!). We learned about unmedicated options for comfort measures during labour and delivery, breast feeding truths and myths, and baby wearing options. Most importantly, she helped us discover what was most important to us regarding care for ourselves and baby. Because of her knowledge, support, and reassurance, I was able to experience my ideal labour and delivery situation - an unmedicated home birth (even though a home birth wasn't our intention!). Stefanie's presence during labour and delivery was calming, and her suggestions and tools for pain management comforting. She worked well with our midwife and provided my husband with support and suggestions without taking over or making him feel inadequate. Stefanie also took amazing photos for us so that we can look back on the day our daughter was born. She returned for a follow-up visit post delivery to help us with breast feeding and answer any questions we had. We highly recommend Stefanie as a doula and an essential member of your team! Her services are invaluable. 

Posted 8/25/2019

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Julie Burbidge

It's hard for me to put into words how important Stefanie was to us in the births of our children. We met Stefanie at a prenatal class and both instantly liked her. Her calm, soothing demeanour combined with her extensive knowledge and openness towards everyone’s unique needs were exactly what we hoped for in a doula. At our first meeting, Stefanie took time to get to know us both, to learn about what was important to us in our birth, to answer all of our questions, and to alleviate our worries. She provided us with useful websites and articles around specific issues we were uncertain about and helped us feel confident in the choices we made for our birth plan.I will never forget the moment Stefanie walked into the delivery room (due to a quick onset we didn’t have time for her to support us at home). She instantly knew what I needed to reduce my discomfort and throughout the process she both helped me and offered my husband gentle guidance so he could meet my many changing needs.  It was very important to us to have a natural birth, and Stefanie played a key role in enabling me to have a successful vaginal breech delivery, medication-free.  When I became pregnant with our second baby, there was no doubt we wanted Stefanie to support us again. I went into labour on a busy night in the hospital and thus received minimal attention from nursing staff. We were so grateful to have Stefanie with us the whole time. Her soothing presence and extensive knowledge left us feeling entirely comfortable with minimal medical support. She also knew when to advocate for us and her insistence to the nurses that I be checked was the only reason I even made it briefly into the delivery room before the baby came out! Again, with Stefanie's support, I was able to have a medication-free vaginal birth in a position of my choosing. We also can't thank Stefanie enough for the beautiful photography she took during labour and birth - best photos we have! 

Posted 8/19/2019

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Jennifer and Keith

I can't remember quite who recommended Stefanie to us, but I am so very grateful that they did. From the moment we met her, partway through our first pregnancy, Stefanie was the sure, calm, knowledgeable source of wisdom for us at every stage of the process. Through choices around birth preferences, prenatal classes, and up to the birth, we felt well-informed, supported, and cared for. For the birth itself, Stefanie's presence and support were instrumental for both of us. She helped my husband support me, and she supported both of us. We could not have asked for a better carer and advocate. Her knowledge of the birth process, the hospital system, and what we were going through helped us feel as in charge of the process as it is possible to. Following the birth she was just as present, available for consultations on the phone or dropping in when I had questions about nursing and other things. Stefanie became a trusted member of our birth team and she will forever be part of the early days of both of our children. I know my husband feels the same. The second thing he said after we found out we were pregnant was "We should call Stefanie"! We did, and she was there in the same way for our second child's birth. 

Posted 8/17/2019

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Shallen Esteves

When searching for a Doula I didnt know what to except. Upon meeting Stephanie I sensed her calm spirit, my decision was made.

Both my husband and I truly trusted Stephanie, it was an absolute honour to have her in our corner and guiding us through one of the most important Journeys life has to offer. Such a gentle soul and would recommend her 200%.

If we have another baby we are definitely calling her again, for another Journey. 

S.Esteves

 

Posted 8/14/2019

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Laryssa Banks

Stefanie was absolutely amazing, she was such an integral part of our birthing story! From the moment we met her, we knew she was going to be the perfect fit for us.  She was always available to chat throughout the pregnancy and offer advice when consulted. 

Our birth progressed very quickly, when Stefanie arrived she stepped right into her role with help and advice while I was entering the phase of active labour. As soon as she arrived, my husband and I both felt a sense of relief. She was calm, collected and provided me with the confidence and encouragement I needed in the depths of active labour.

We are forever grateful to Stefanie. Stefanie and my husband were the only people with me when our Baby Boy arrived. Thinking back, there was not one ounce of me that was scared or nervous and that is attributed to Stefanie’s presence. She was there for us when she was needed the most. 

Thank You Stefanie!!! 

The Banks’

 

 

Posted 8/14/2019

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Hannah

My husband and I welcomed our first baby early this year and I was able to achieve my goal of a drug free birth because we had the support of a doula.

Stefanie was instrumental during the entire process from responding to text message questions, providing information through email and supporting us through the labour process. We were able to implement different interventions during active labour which assisted me in managing the pain and effectively move through the labour process. Having a doula was the best decision that we made and I don't think I could have reached my goal without Stefanie.

Posted 7/16/2019

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Therese Heidecker

Stefanie is honestly one of the gentlest, most kind and caring people I have ever met. Leading up to, and during birth (all 4 times) she acted as a solid foundation of knowledge, compassion and support for both my partner and I. She is extremely professional and personable at the same time. Her wisdom and experience with child birth and pre/post natal care is an absolute blessing to experience. We’ve recently hired her for the 5th time!

Posted 6/28/2019

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Julie Pellerin

Stefanie was with us for our three births and we are greatful for everything she's done for us.  From pre-birth workshops to post-birth care, she was always there, patient, supporting us through the birth process, no matter what we believed in or what we wanted the birth to be like.  We wanted someone unrelated to us that we could count on when the time came and she fulfilled that role perfectly.  Being alone with my husband during the births, we really appreciated all the pictures she took to help us remember those priceless moments.

Posted 6/17/2019

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Kristy Engelland

My husband and I were told by friends and family members the benefits of using a doula. We did some research and decided to start the process of obtaining a doula. We ended up conducting 3 interviews with doulas from different establishments. Stefanie’s knowledge and experience was evident during our interview and were lucky to have chosen her.

I have anxiety and get very nervous in hospitals so we needed a doula who could provide a calm and collective approach to providing services.  Stefanie was very attentive to my needs during my labor and delivery. Her knowledge and approach to various laboring techniques was nothing short of amazing. I had a long and terrifying labor mainly because my son was a large baby and got stuck in the birth cannel. Stefanie not only stayed with us for more than the agreed upon hours of services but also provided additional lactation services post-partum. My husband and I were pleased with Stefanie services and recommended her as a doula to anyone we know who is having a baby.

 

Posted 6/17/2019

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Jill

Stefanie was a wonderful fit for me as a doula. Her calm, gentle and steady demeanor and evidence informed guidance was appreciated. She was very comforting to me, and I really do not know what I would have done without her being part of my birth experience.

 

Posted 6/16/2019

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Stephanie Tardif

It had been recommended to us by friends that we find a Doula, and it made sense because this was our first pregnancy, we didn’t know what to expect. Before we began our meetings with Stefanie, I felt as though the preparation for giving birth was going to be overwhelming, but this turned out to be quite the opposite. There was no question that she didn’t have a thoughtful response for, or lack of resources or support that could be provided. Any concern of ours was met without judgement, and she speaks from a position of experience and passion. Stefanie McKinnon is a comforting and assured presence, as though she were a lifelong friend.

We were fortunate enough to have a midwife, and had planned on having a water birth in the hospital. However, things didn’t go exactly as planned! My labour progressed so quickly that a snap decision had to be made on whether we wanted to take an ambulance to the hospital, or have the baby in our condo. In that moment, I decided to stay in the condo because it felt like the right thing to do, and Stefanie immediately affirmed my choice and quickly got to work with our midwife to setup the birthing pool in our nursery. It was her sureness in response to my decision that enabled me to feel confident with that choice and birth at home with peace and ease. She knew how to read what I needed through my progression in labour. Also, the hands-on comfort class that was  provided allowed me to recognize what she was doing to help manage my labour pain. She played a vital role in creating the bonding experience I had with my baby once she was born, and was key in showing me the proper way to breastfeed. With an abundance of new challenges and visitors, Stefanie’s presence helped us stay sane and grounded. 

And on top of all of this, she took amazing photos that my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Posted 6/13/2019

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Chelsea

I chose Stefanie for my first pregnancy based on a referral from a friend. I chose her again for my second pregnancy based on my amazing first experience with her. She’s so knowledgeable, caring and reassuring. She is prompt with communication and provides care without judgement. I felt so much more at ease going into labour knowing she would be there for guidance. She always had my best interest in mind, especially in the hospital with the nurses and doctors. My husband was equally impressed and loved having an “expert” to help guide him through his part during labour. Would recommend Stefanie 100%!

Posted 6/13/2019

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Sara van Leusden

My family and I had the opportunity and were extremely blessed to have Stefanie as our doula for the last two births of our children. A friend had told me about Stefanie and when I first met her I knew instantly that she would be the perfect doula to have by my side. She has this warm and calming aurora around her and is very knowledgable in birth, lactation and babies! She is very committed to making sure your voice is heard and helps you achieve the birth outcome that you vision yourself having. With that being said, sometimes birth does not go as we had planned and Stefanie also has expeirence with dealing with those scenarios as well. Our second child was a a stillborn and Stefanie stayed by my side the entire time and helped me labour and grieve at the same time. I feel so lucky that I had someone with her kindness and knowledge by my side as I was able to still have a graceful birth even though the outcome was not in our favour. With our third child Stefanie again was able to help me achieve a calm and peaceful birth. She has all the tools in her toolbox to ensure you and your partner or family members are feeling comfortable as you bring your little one earthside! I highly suggest if you are looking to hire a doula that you reach out and contact Stefanie! My only complaint is that I did not have the opportunity to have her be by my side with the birth of my firstborn! 

Sara van Leusden 

Posted 6/12/2019

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Anna Letnick

Our first 3 pregnancies ended in miscarriage so by the time we made it past the first trimester of our fourth pregnancy I was starting to feel very anxious. My husband and I had talked a lot about looking at hiring a doula, so we attended a Meet a Doula night at the ASAC office. When we were discussing it after we both said that we would love it if Stefanie would be able to attend our birth, as her presence was so calming and she is so knowledgeable. We were very fortunate that she was able to take us on as clients. The prenatal education she offered was very informative, particularly the part on managing discomforts. When I went into labor we were able to stay home for much longer with Stefanie there than if it would have been just my husband and I at home. We arrived at the hospital 4 hours before our daughter was born, and the TENS machine Stefanie brought was a huge help in getting through the contractions! She then came to visit a few days after and went over our labor and birth story, which was wonderful because a lot of it was a blur for me. We had a wonderful experience with the birth of our first child, so we contacted Stefanie as soon as we made it past the first trimester of my pregnancy with my second child. She was such a calming presence to have with us, and my husband felt so supported and knew that if he had to leave the labor and delivery room for some reason that I would not be alone. Her experience and knowledge were such an asset and decreased my anxiety for both labors. My husband and I are both so glad that we were able to have Stefanie attend the births of both of our children and would highly recommend her.

Posted 6/10/2019

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Ashley Brady

My husband and I never thought we needed a doula, quite frankly I never knew anything about a doula, until we met Stefanie during our prenatal classes at the Lucina Centre, after the first class I said to my husband, "I think we need Stef as our doula".  She came to our home for a meeting to discuss what she offers, within minutes we knew she was what we needed!  I couldn't imagine my delivery and post partum without Stef in it.  She took incredible photos of the delivery (optional of course), which was something I didn't really know if I wanted or needed; 17 months later, I couldn't be happier that I have those pictures.  She was the calming support both my husband and I needed during my labour and delivery. The day we were discharged from the hospital she met us at our home, and helped wash our daughters hair in the sink (we had no idea what we were doing) She helped me figure out how to use my pump and taught me how to breastfeed.  We talked quite frequently via text message after Remy was born to support me and my husband through my post partum depression and anxiety, which I don't think is actually part of her fee.  She came to our house about a month later to help me with nursing and just to check in.  She felt like family from the first day we met, we could not be happier that we had her part of our journey.  Since our daughter has been born, we have moved from Edmonton to Grimsby, ON and we have asked Stef a few times if she would fly out to be with us when our next baby is due, she thinks we are joking...but we are dead serious.  I would pay triple to have her here!  

Posted 6/9/2019

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Erin Fischer

Stefanie was warm and supportive of my choices both pre and post natally. She was responsive to my questions and she readily shared her personal experiences and professional knowledge. Stefanie helped my first delivery to progress by having me try different positions, she shared resources to help me mentally prepare for homebirth of my second and she was invaluable to both my husband and I in helping us stay calm during labour and delivery. I'd highly recommend her services, worth every penny!

Posted 6/7/2019

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Kelley Mitchell

Stefanie answered all of our questions to the best of her knowledge during my pregnancy, birth, and post-partum. Her expertise in the area of breastfeeding was a godsend as our little one had a tongue tie and it was painful and frequent. Her presence at our son's birth was absolutely felt and appreciated. She had a strong role in ensuring we were being well taken care of. She even went and got Tim Hortons for daddy after 30 something hours of labour/not eating. She provided her birthing pool, a tens machine, a multitude of other techniques and tools and her calm presence and expertise throughout the birth. She worked seemlessly with our midwife team to support us. I highly recommend Stephanie as a doula, especially for first time parents. She has gone above and beyond what would be expected in that she also offered baby carrying classes and breastfeeding classes to my husband and I. She offered to have us return upon the birth of our child to try out the carriers once again in real time with our boy. 

Posted 6/7/2019

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Trina

We were so blessed to have Stefanie as our doula for the arrival of our first child. I had tried to get a midwife and was unsuccessful and had been feeling very discouraged about going into labour without the support to have a more natural birth. Stefanie was referred to us by multiple friends who spoke very highly of her. When we met her we were instantly reassured by her knowledge and experience with childbirth, as well as her calm and caring demeanor. It was great to get to know Stefanie better through the pre-natal education sessions and she was always available to answer our questions when they came up through the pregnancy. 

As we approached the due date, I was reassured by the education we had received about what to expect, as well as alternate methods to manage pain. When I went into labour I was so relieved to know Stefanie was ready to come to the house to help us when we needed her. Having her there allowed us to stay at home longer, where I was relaxed and things were going well. She was a strong but calm presence and her suggestions for positioning helped move things along. Looking back, the most valuable part of our experience with Stefanie was the time she spent with us in the hospital for the delivery of our son. She was a strong advocate with nursing staff and gave us wonderful support to deliver in a non-conventional method (hands and knees). It was clear that without her support and advocacy, we would have been pressured into things that we had not planned and hoped for. After delivery, Stefanie helped to latch our son on the breast within a few minutes and captured the incredible first moments together as a family, and of our new baby. These photos are something I never thought I needed but I cherish and look back at frequently. 

I recommend Stefanie to anyone who is pregnant. She is an incredible resource and I strongly feel that her support and experience will change your birth experience for the better. 

Posted 6/7/2019

Birth Availability for Stefanie McKinnon

= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/7/2019 11:52:42 AM