Photo: Megan Taylor Photography

Photo: Megan Taylor Photography

Jessica Austin – Doula & Childbirth Services in Vancouver, BC

As a birth doula and informed choice activist, I believe women’s rights to choices about their births are of utmost importance. I strive to promote a gentle and informed birth culture through my doula work,  educational blog and childbirth education classes, as well as by participating in local campaigns to raise awareness about important issues in maternal health care. My strong ties to both the medical and unassisted / non-medical childbirth communities give me a uniquely well-rounded perspective on the range of options for birthing families. I also train new doulas through the Wise Woman Way of Birth doula certifying program.

Get to know me better by following me on facebook or browsing some articles on the blog.


Birth Takes A Village

Birth Takes A Village was created as a symbol for what I desire for the world: a strong sense of community, support, and respect. Traditionally, women and mothers had a community of women surrounding and supporting them during pregnancy, birth and in the early newborn period. Our culture has largely moved away from that community-based system, and I want to be a part of recreating it; symbolic of how, ultimately, I wish for a strong sense of community and support everywhere, for everyone.

Changing the CULTURE of birth also takes a village. I believe our current birth culture needs to be shifted to one that is much more gentle, informed and respectful of women and their bodies. As a very active leader and participant in Vancouver’s birth activist community, I strive to create continual and positive change as I work towards promoting a gentle and informed birth culture.

My Path to Becoming a Childbirth Professional

Finding a career that could bring me a strong sense of fulfillment through contributing to others’ lives in a positive and important way while fulfilling my need for constant learning and education had always been an extremely important goal of mine. This pursuit has taken me through university and independent studies, as well as employment in various fields of health care.  Finally, I found myself becoming part of the Vancouver birth community as a birth doula and prenatal educator.

My undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences  gave me a strong understanding of human biology, as well as an interest in scientific research. I spend many evenings studying childbirth-related research, which has armed with a plethora of studies and resources to pass on to my clients.

How I Work

When I was a new doula, I thought providing good birth support was all about the various comfort measures such as “Hip squeezes”, “Spinning Babies Techniques”, rebozo-use, acupressure and massage techniques, and TENS machines were the focus of my sales-pitch. The more experienced I get, the more I realize that while these skills and tools-certainly can be helpful, providing good birth support is also about knowing when NOT to use certain tools or techniques in a birth.

Dr. Michel Odent says “one cannot actively help a woman to give birth. The goal is to avoid disturbing her unnecessarily.” This is the approach I typically take during a birth by focusing on making sure you are nourished, hydrated and comforted while also leaving room for you to follow your body’s instincts.

A main focus of my work with birthing families is making sure you feel educated, supported and able to make informed choices both before and during the birth.  When you look back on your birth, I want you to feel that you fully understood your options and that you were able to make fully informed choices that felt right to you.

I invite you to contact me for a free initial interview to discuss my services further. I’d love to get to know you and answer any questions you might have about your upcoming birth. Feel free to contact me or book a consultation online.

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