We hired Debra around 33weeks and it felt like night and day from before we met her to after in terms of feeling informed and confident about our choice for a home birth and everything about labour in general. Not only did she have a huge library of resources and a head full of helpful information for anything we asked about, she also made us think about the entire birthing and postpartum experience with her questions to us which we would not have ever thought of as first time parents. Since we do not have family in town it was incredibly reassuring to have someone to support us and Debra was the best support we could have asked for, before during and after the birth. I particularly felt supported more than I could have imagined during pre/labour and appreciated her years of wisdom and experience - such a comfort! We had an excellent birthing experience that I do not think would have been possible without her and our terrific midwives. Do not hesitate to work with Debra!
My husband and I wanted to find a doula with lots of experience and knowledge with a more natural approach to labour and delievery and we definitely found that in Debra. We had been interested in having a home birth early on in our pregnancy and found that Debras knowledge was extremely helpful. I ended up going past my due date and it was invaluable to have Debras support and reassurance throughout the entire process. Debra helped us to feel less anxious about the unknown of birth since this was our first. She was incredibly present, supportive, and encouraging through a very long labour process. We were able to have a beautiful home birth experience and would highly recommend Debra to anyone who is wanting that experience.
Hello, We hired Debra as our doula for the birth of our first child. We were looking for someone with significant experience (as we had none!) and someone who was aligned with our values of having as natural a birth as possible. We wanted to give birth at home with as little medical intervention as possible, we wanted to experience our pregnancy as naturally as possible and we wanted to have data and science to back up our decisions and Debra provided all of that in a loving and supportive way. We did ultimately have to escalate the birth into a medical environment and Debra stepped right up as our educated advocate and continued to provide tireless loving gentle care, reassurance and positive feedback throughout the entire process (which lasted over 24 hours!!!) and was ultimately a success in every accord.
We would highly recomend Debra to someone who is looking for a similar experience with similar values. Her care was excellent.
We hired Debra to be my birth doula when I was around 20 weeks pregnant. Since then and up to the birth of my daughter and even postpartum, Debra has been an invaluable source of help and information. She is generous with resources - articles to read, videos to watch, exercise DVDs etc. All of this helped me prepare greatly and overcome many of my fears related to birth. The biggest value in having Debra was learning to let go and let my body do its work. She was also great at ensuring my husband felt heard.
My pregnancy went overdue and I was beginning to feel anxious, so having Debra's support in the days leading up to birth was indispensable. We had the most beautiful birth experience, and I came out feel so empowered! Thanks to Debra for helping us experience that.
In addition, with Doulas of Vancouver collaboration, I was exposed to a lot of other services that helped during pregnancy - acupuncture (Amanda), yoga (Liza), massage etc. Their free info nights are a great place to learn and meet other pregnant women.
Highly recommended for any expectant parents!
It was the best choice that we have made by choosing Debra as our duola. She was our rock during a long difficult labor. She was very caring and resourceful. She made sure we were informed every step of the way. Each time when it comes down to making another decision, she will ensure we have all the information, so we can make an informative decision. We were definately well-prepared for our labor journey. Having her there during my labor certainly made my experience more enjoyable and memorable. She was excellent and caring every step of the way. She even think outside of the box for different solutions and different situations that we have encoutered. Her knowledge is up to date and always sharing new materials as she comes across. Our relationship goes beyound the birth experience. She even provided extensive follow ups for us after birth. We were so grateful to have her by our sides. Thank you! ~ Daisy and Matt
We hired Debra as a postpartum doula to help mainly breastfeeding and I cannot say enough how helpful she was. I honestly think that without Debra I would have given up on breastfeeding. She helped with latching, with teaching me about different positions, and genearl emotional support in those early days. Thanks in part to Debra's guidance and support, our daughter Willa was exclusively breastfed since day 1 and is a healthy and well-attached little girl. I will definitely be calling on Debra when we are pregnant with our next baby for not only postpartum support but birth support as well.
A couple of days after returning home from hospital with our newborn a public health nurse visited and found that baby had lost 11%. She instructed me to put him on formula. I refused as I wanted to breastfeed. The nurse said that baby's latch was really good and that I just wouldn't be able to make enough milk for him. I had a problem with this as my baby was only two days old and my milk wasn't even in yet.
I spoke to a family member who had experienced something similar and she suggested looking into a doula for breastfeeding support. She provided me with a link to Doula Services Association. There, I searched several doulas and decided on Debra. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made as a mother.
I contacted Debra that night and she arrived the following morning. She immediately said that he was not latching properly so worked with us and within a couple of hours my baby was latching well. She also confirmed that my milk was coming in. Debra explained different positions and provided additional online resources for after she left. By the time Debra left, baby and I were successfully breastfeeding. Debra continued to follow-up uninvasively on the days afterwards, which was unexpected but greatly appreciated.
Baby's weight went up and he had passed his birth weight by his two week checkup. Public health nurses were shocked at our success without the use of formula. We are now at three weeks and still going strong!
I wish I had Debra for the birth of our first child and feel strongly that formula is pushed due to a lack of education in proper breastfeeding. Most women I know are told that they don't have enough milk but knowing what I know now, I am convinced that most women can actually make plenty. They just need someone like Debra to explain why they can make enough and to work with them on baby's latch.
I cannot speak highly enough of Debra and strongly recommend her.
My birth experience was wonderful and it wouldn't have happened without Debra's help. I was unconfident about labor without medical interventions at first, but Debra's explanations and the books/vidoes borrwed from her gave me the courage to do it. During labor Debra's relaxation techniques were really helpful. I managed to focus and cope with the pain. I'm really happy I made it in the end and my baby is a very healthy and happy girl. I was able to breastfeed her almost immediately after birth. Thanks Debra for making my experience so amazing!
Debra is a wonderful and kind professional that provided much needed support to us as a postpartum doula.
Things we appreciated the most:
1. Ongoing support- she has supported us through difficult times and helped with many challenges after birth such as care and breastfeeding of our twin girls
2. Flexibility- adjusting her schedule to our needs meant so much to us when it was necessary
3. Knowledge and experience- her advice based on vast knowledge and experience has helped with many challenges and made things easier for us
4.Puncuality- she always comes on time or early and that is something that we appreciated very much
5. Helpful resources- she provided many links and suggested books that were of a great help and a wonderful source of information
We are very happy and grateful to have had her as our postpartum doula. She helped our breastfeeding goals come true and cared for me when I needed rest the most.Thanks to her we have happy and healthy babies.
Having a home birth surrounded by the people (and dog) that we chose to share the journey with was a truly special experience that we are thankful to have had. We felt supported, informed, well cared for and safe during the whole process thanks to our wonderful doula and midwife team. Debra was an amazing resource and support all the way from pregnancy to postpartum (and beyond). She was generous in sharing her experience and knowledge yet always encouraged us to trust our instincts and intuition. Her practical support, techniques and calming presence were especially helpful during the late stages of labor and she offered emotional support throughout. I would highly recommend her.
My homebirth experience…by Alex Syriste with Carly Watson
Having had a previous hospital birth with my eldest son more than 10 years ago, having a homebirth was very foreign to me. My partner enlightened me on the whole process and the more I learned the more excited I got. I met with midwife team and we enrolled in hypnobabies pre-natal classes. Then we interviewed a couple of doula’s and after we met Debra we knew she aligned with our ethics and vision for our birth plan. We set up the birthing pool and prepped our house for the big day while we attended and practiced our hypnobabies techniques. Debra met with us several times before the birth to discuss our wishes and share vast knowledge and ideas. She erased all my anxiety towards homebirthing so I was able to focus on our baby. When my partner woke me up at 4am on Tuesday morning to say her water broke, I was prepared, I called in to work and we went into hypnobabies mode. Later on Debra and the midwives arrived and helped us prepare for our birthing day. They left and we spent the day working through each birthing wave. Debra returned and when the baby noticeably dropped she started filling the pool. When I was uncertain or needing a moment Debra seamlessly stepped in for me or guided me. It honestly felt like she was part of our family. I am so grateful to have experienced such a beautiful process. Having a home birth made our day so personal , beautiful and incredibly spiritual and empowering, and Debra was a huge part of it.
We hired Debra to be our birth and postpartum doula after our first meeting with her. Debra’s calming presence and wealth of knowledge appealed to us immediately. From that moment, Debra provided us with ongoing support through email, phone and text. She provided us with numerous resources which were so helpful as first time parents. Her presence and support during the birth of our daughter is something we will never forget. Debra arrived at our home in the middle of the night to assist us during the birth. She helped us cope through an unexpected transfer to hospital and helped me stay grounded with the use of relaxation and mindfulness techniques. With the assistance of Debra, I was able to succeed with our planned natural, medication free birth. Following the birth, Debra was a source of ongoing postpartum support – helping us deal with the challenges of having a newborn baby and challenges with breastfeeding. I truly believe that Debra’s assistance and encouragement helped me persevere and eventually thrive with breastfeeding. I will be forever grateful for this. We highly recommend Debra as a birth and postpartum doula. She is an expert with a kind and generous soul. Kristy and Andrew
What a sweet, soulful presence Debra brought to the birth of our son. Even when complications arose, her presence helped ground and lighten a potentially distressing experience. She never left our side, even as they wheeled me into the operating room! She continued to walk alongside me as I ventured into first-time motherhood and breastfeeding challenges presented. She has inspired taught and cheered me on, all the while imbuing a depth of knowledge rooted in the very soul of childbearing. When I think of the birth of my son, I will remember her kindness, her mirth and the levity of her laugh.
"Getting Debra on board as our doula was one of the smartest decisions we made in preparing for the birth of our daughter Anna. Debra's common sense approach and depth of knowledge provided for a more relaxed and confident birthing experience, which we found invaluable as first time parents. During labour, she was a huge support to both of us and her experience and techniques ensured a safe delivery for both mom and baby. We were confident that Debra's presence, in addition to the hospital medical staff, would ensure a smooth and worry free birth, and it did! Debra was also a major support in the hours right after Anna arrived. We would not hesitate in recommending Debra to anyone who wants the best experience possible during the birth of their child."
Linda, John and Anna
I don't think I would have enough words to express my appreciation for Debra. She is an amazing Doula super caring and professional. My partner and I had a fantastic experience with her and Im so lucky She was available to be my Doula, her support help me before, during and after my son was born. Debra supported me with my last minute decision for a home/water birth and was and important part for making it happened. We felt well cared for, supported and encouraged at all times, we're so grateful for her help. We highly recommend her. Thanks Debra!
I would highly recommend Debra as a doula. She has a very warm and calm personality with a sense of humor, which is invaluable. We hired Debra as a labor doula and her antepartum care was excellent. She provided us with lots of handouts and dvds and was very generous with her time to answer our questions. I progressed so quickly in labor that she was there only for the end of my second stage; however, she was able to quickly assess the situation and make great suggestions. Debra was a huge help with breastfeeding from right after the birth to over the following weeks. Without her help we would have ended up bottlefeeding our baby as we did not receive the support we needed from other sources. She is a "baby-whisperer" for sure!
Debra was instrumental in helping me with comfort measures during labour. She was supportive and generous with her time during labour and on the day of the birth, as well as in advance with sharing her knowledge and resources.
My husband and I were uncertain initially about whether we needed a doula but also felt that a doula's expertise, especially one as experienced as Debra, would be worthwhile given that we were first-time parents. Although we'd attended prenatal classes, there was a lot to try to retain and we were unsure of the what to expect with the experience since each birth is unique. Debra provided us reassurance that at least someone in the room knew our birth plan and would be a consistent presence with a ton of tactics for every possible scenario.
In the end we had the birth we were hoping for because of some great support from Debra.
Debra is the swiss army knife of doulas. Anything you need at any point in the process, Deb's got it covered. She's a fountain of information about the different stages of labour, types of birth, breastfeeding and near-magical baby soothing techniques. She's got a bag of tricks that she shows up with full of things to relieve mom's pain and to help make her as comfortable as possible. And if mom's partner wants support, she's great at letting you know when to step in and when to stand back in order for you to be as helpful as possible. Debra is a natural at her job, caring and resourceful, and I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula.
Debra has everything one could want in a doula. I wanted someone who could help me handle the pain of a natural childbirth and my partner wanted someone who could keep us feeling relaxed and well-informed. Debra went above and beyond our expectations. Her acupressure techniques were amazing and allowed me to make it through active labour with no drugs or other interventions and she had a number of other pain relief strategies on stand-by as well that we didn't even need! Her wealth of knowledge and experience kept us up-to-date and confident through every step of the process, from the moment my water broke to breastfeeding and soothing techniques after our son was born. Most of all, Debra is an extrordinarily warm, generous, and intelligent person and I feel very blessed to have had her with me for the birth of our wonderful boy.
We are really pleased to have selected Debra as our Doula for the birth of our first child. It was so reassuring having her there for us when things got tough. Her support through active labour was invaluable to ensure the successful home birth that we hoped for. After a rocky start to breastfeeding and several trips to the breastfeeding clinic, it was Debra's support and knowledge that was able to take us the last mile. Three months in we have a very happy baby, who's nursing like there's no tomorrow! We chose to encapsulate the placenta too - after some research, it gave us peace of mind knowing this was available to us if or when we needed it. Whether or not it truly works is difficult to say but I felt great and full of energy through the first three months.
Thank You Debra!
Jen, Steve & Marin
When I first met Debra is was obvious to me that she was experienced with labour, confident about it, and prepared. She came for our introduction equipped with handouts, dvds and a carry-on with everything she could conceivably need for a woman in labour. Before my labour Debra sent me an email about once a week, so that I would be informed about any decisions I might make for my labour and also just to keep in touch. Debra kept me as grounded and present as possible during my labour. She did her best to keep me focused and help my partner stay involved. She stayed close to me during the entire active labour to the final stage and guided me through my first nursing. It was her suggestion of getting into an upright position that got me to the final push. My baby's first photo was taken by Debra and it's one of the best so far. I'm very happy that I got through my labour without medical intervention and I'm not sure if it would have happened without Debra's support. Debra also came for a visit after a few days to make sure that baby was nursing well and to make sure I was feeling well. My experience with Debra as my doula was good and I think Debra was the strong, experienced hand that I needed at my first labour.
I "won the lottery" by getting matched with Debra, during a randomized VBAC study via BCWH. Apparently, the study had hundreds of applicant doulas, but chose only around 6 to be part of the study...so you can be sure that Debra is "cream of the crop". It was very evident from my first mtg. with Debra that she had many years of experience. Her calm, caring, and nuturing presence definately set the tone for my birth experience, and the tone for all those who entered any room we were in. She was great at connecting with my hubby and making him feel like a contributor to the process. I wish I had more time with Debra, as her wisdom and 'aura' are very unique and rare...its like as soon as you meet her, you can tell that you are in the presence of a very interesting and amazing Human Being! I thought I would stop at two children, but after my experience with Debra, perhaps a third could be plausable...she made it that easy and psychologically enjoyable!...yes, i'm referring to labour.
We were so happy to have had Debra with us during the birth of our second child. As I had a C-Section for our first, her presence and attention to my needs during this challenging time were invaluable. I strongly believe that her being there helped me achieve my goal of a successful VBAC. Thanks, Debra!
I am lucky to have met Debra and had her as my post-partum doula for 6 weeks. She offers a lot of emotional and practical support for me as a new mother. She is very sensible, caring and attentive to details as a doula. I like how she shared her resources (eg. websites, articles, books etc) and we had a lot of great discussions around parenting – even on controversial topics like cultural differences and circumcision. She offered her help in breastfeeding support, laundry, bathing and communication with my midwives and lactation consultant. She also provided a solid presence for my husband and my baby so that we all feel confident to start a new family as a whole. I went through a difficult time as I lost my father to heart diseases. She was there for me when I experienced a lot of family changes with baby and kindly encouraged me to connect with other same-aged moms out in the community by attending parent-infant group meetings. She demonstrated a lot of passion in her work through her strong ethics!
We all miss her around and would definitely recommend you to have her as your post-partum doula too!
I had a great birth experience, and I credit part of that to the assistance of Debra. We decided at 38 weeks that we wanted to do a home birth and I went out and purchased the supplies needed during the week. At 38 weeks 4 days, my water broke. Good thing I'd purchased those supplies! Because my water broke before I had any contractions, my labour didn't follow the "standard" form as described in the books I'd read or the prenatal classes. I was concerned at how it was progressing (fast and furious is how it felt to me) and wasn't sure I should stay at home. My husband called Debra and talked through what I was going through and what I was thinking. She arrived shortly after and was able to quickly calm my fears. I got into our bathtub and while my husband dealt with setting up our bedroom for the birth, with the assistance of the midwives who arrived shortly after, Debra stayed with me in the bathroom. She was great at keeping me relaxed and helping me through each contraction. Throughout my labour, Debra provided useful suggestions of different positions and techniques to try (I LOVED the tens machine). I found her presence to be there when needed (with a suggestion / checking in with my husband to see if he needed to be spelled off / making sure I had what I needed) and fading to the background to let me and my husband go through the experience uninterrupted at other times. I originally picked Debra because of her extensive experience, and found her to be knowledgeable and well able to provide me with information and guidance to help ease my fears/concerns heading into my first childbirth.
My husband and I hired Debra for our first child, because I was fearful of giving birth to such a huge baby naturally. Initially, my husband was hesitant about having a doula, because he worried that having another person would take away the intimacy and his role as a birth partner. However, Debra was absolutely indispensable. Now only did she kept us sane, calm, and well rested (yes, it’s possible), but she made our experience more intimate and romantic. For me, natural birth turned out to be an empowering and PLEASURABLE experience. Now, my husband is a true believer and Debra’s avid fan.
As first time parents, I didn’t realize just how much labouring was needed to be done at home before hospital would to accept me. At first, my contraction at home was very irregular, scary, and without progress. When Debra arrived at our home, she quickly pointed out that the baby was not positioned properly in my pelvics and my contraction was ineffective. She helped me laboured in various positions, “jiggled” the baby into a better position, and regulated my contractions. Debra even helped me sleep between contractions to preserve energy, and I even snoozed between pushes!
For my husband, she guided him through techniques to comfort me. She took care of the logistics of feeding, resting, and timing, while he focused on loving and comforting me. Even he got some rest (and he was usually a poor sleeper at the best of times) too. Afterward, when I ask him what he thought of doula, he said: “WORTH EVERY PENNY and more.”
Without Debra, my labour would have been long, painful. I would not be able to stick to my birth plan. We were very fortunate to have her help and guidance, and we definitely recommend her to anyone. In fact, we plan on hiring her again for our second baby!
I truly lucked out when I was referred to Debra by another doula and childbirth educator. As a first-time mom who had not given really much thought about labour and delivery until a month before the event, I did not seriously think about having a doula until I learned and read about how having good birth support can make one's birth experience and decrease length of labour, use of pain medications etc., and other interventions.
At the time I called Debra (maybe 10 days before our baby was born), we were toying with the idea of home birth. Even though it was such short notice, Debra was able to squeeze in two prenatal appointments with us that were very invaluable. She supported and encouraged that decision and gave us confidence that we could labour at home well through providing us with lots of learning material, and figuring out/tailoring comfort strategies we would use when it was time.
Debra comes with over 20 years of experience helping and supporting women with the birth process--that experience and the confidence she displayed was very important to me. We were happily able to have a homebirth and I could not have asked for a better birth experience. Debra and my husband were able to figure out quickly what I needed when I could not verbalize or figure out what I needed before, during, and after contractions. Our daughter was born after 11 hours of labour.
Having a homebirth attended by a doula and a midwife was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I love Debra's sense of humor, her compassion, her joy in the childbearing process, and how she takes everything in stride. We will be keeping in touch with Debra, and if we have another child, I would definitely ask her to be our doula again.
During my 7th or 8th month of pregnancy, I was getting really scared of the unknown. No matter how many childbirth classes I've attended, I was really stressing out about giving birth for the first time. Even if I had low tolerance for pain, I really wanted a natural birth experience but every mom I've talked with said they had an epidural. My doctor suggested asking a doula's help if I wanted natural childbirth. I went online and searched for a doula. Debra's years of experience caught my attention. We called her and during the first meeting with her, my worries about giving birth disappeared. She assured me that giving birth was a natural process and all the pain involved in it is natural and with a purpose of bringing baby out in the world. There's something about Debra that calmed me down and took my childbirth worries away. She was a big help to my husband as well. During the delivery process, she was there every step of the way, helping with my contractions and guiding my husband on what to do. I had a natural birth, no epidural and all thanks to Debra...the contractions were painful but Debra's reassuring words and massages helped ease the pain and helped make the delivery of our baby a wonderful experience. You could sense that it was not just work for her, she was genuinely concerned about me, my husband and the baby. She is amazing and she will forever have a special place in our hearts since she has helped so much with the wonderful experience of the birth of our precious daughter.
Debra was a tremendous asset to me as a post partum doula. My newborn son was not sleeping at all during the night and she proved to have the "magic touch" with him and help me to better understand his sleeping/feeding needs during the first few months. When i encountered difficulties breastfeeding, her experience and advice was invaluable. I would highly recommend Debra's services.
Debra was an incredible help for us before, during and after the birth of our daughter in December. She provided us with a great deal of information and resources during our prenatal meetings (which was very reassuring for first time parents with lots of questions!). Our birth unfolded in an unexpected way and we did not get to experience the home birth that we had planned for. Debra worked so hard with us to try every possible option to steer our birth in the direction that we were hoping to take it and although we did end up in the hospital, her help during the whole experience was invaluable and I don't think we would have had the amazing experience that we did without her presence and advocacy.
Once home, we experienced some significant challenges with breastfeeding and Debra went above and beyond to help us. She came over countless times to assist us and called to check in on us many times...We so sincerely appreciated all of the knowledge, caring and dedication that she presented as well as her genuine nature and positive attitude. Thanks Debra!!!
"My husband and I hired Debra Woods as our doula in 2010. She was an essential influence and integral supporter in the successful homebirth of our son this past fall. Our prenatal meetings with Debra had a direct impact on the choice we made, as she provided her professional opinion on various issues and decisions. She was our best resource for articles, studies and video on birth and birthing. Her years of experience, intuition and strength of character made our birth experience very empowering, positive and memorable.
Debra also worked with us after the birth of our son to support us during the early weeks. She provides exceptional post natal care for new families.
We highly recommend Debra and if we have another child, we will insist she be there!"
= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-04-2020
= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-04-2020