If a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to
- John Kennell - md
what is cbk?
Childbirth Kingston, as it is today, is the product of over 50 years of HARD work by so many members of the Kingston community! We honour and appreciate that legacy and the trust the community has shown us!
CBK has always been a community resource for Childbirth Education but it's also a hub of information on local resources and supports for birthing people.
We continue to offer classes in Childbirth Education, but are pleased to offer a whole new range of classes! In 2022 we will be adding classes in Postpartum, Infant feeding, and Comfort measures as well as an active workshop space for continued learning.
Our Educators and organization are committed to staying on the forefront of evidence-based education and delivering the full range of options to encourage Informed Decision Making.
from doula collective,
The concept of how to create easier access to Doula care was born out of the Kingston Doula Collective. When I joined in 2017, the thinking and initial planning was already beginning for the organization that would eventually be called the Doula Support Foundation (DSF).
DSF blossomed out of the passion, blood, sweat and tears of these Doulas. The mission of DSF is to remove any and all barriers to Doula care for those in our communities. This was achieved by removing financial burdens, social stigmas, and educating the community on what a Doula is and how we can help!
Doula work took a major kick-in-the-butt during this pandemic. Attending births was never a guarantee, in-home visits became more complicated and unfortunately a few of us got the COVID burnout!
As DSF Doulas we sat down and came up with some ideas on how to start to building momentum again. We started dreaming! What we eventually realized is that a lot of our goals (short and long-term) didn’t fit very well into a Charity framework. It is a true charity mission to provide low cost Doulas to low income communities- but how about Doulas earning a living wage? How about truly pushing Birth Autonomy and Advocacy? How about getting Doulas a seat at the table when discussing public policy and programs? We realized it was time to start looking into splitting services between a Charity branch (DSF) and an Doula Agency (CBK).
why an agency?
A Doula Agency is essentially a collection of Doulas with different skills and trainings offering services under the same umbrella organization. We decided an Agency was important for a few different reasons:
To provide our Doulas with a livable wage
Being a Doula is a LOT of work. It’s a huge time, emotional and physical commitment. PLUS most of us need full time/part time jobs ON TOP of being a Doula. Juggling being on-call with your “pay the bills” day job can be stressful! We needed to pay our Doulas so that if they choose, they can be FULL TIME DOULAS.
To provide our Doulas with a sustainable Work/Life balance
We have restructured the Primary/Backup Doula arrangement into a DOULA TEAM system. This provides continuous support for each other as Doulas as well as easing the burden of the on-call period. BONUS: Working with a Team means that you are guaranteed a Doula who you know, and who knows you!
To encourage Growth and continued Education in our Doulas
We are an organization that encourages Doulas to have personal and professional opportunities to grow. Getting Doula certification is not the end! As our CBK Doulas accumulate new skills and trainings, their income will reflect that hard work.
To Advocate for the whole Doula profession
Having a Doula as a default part of Birth teams is gaining momentum! More and more people are learning what a Doula is (some even before getting pregnant!
*GASP*). Insurance companies are beginning to cover Birth and PP Doula services, and "post COVID" hospitals are beginning to remake their policies on support people. It's an important time to start the conversation about what a Doula is worth financially AND their value to health outcomes in the birth and postpartum spaces.
“Birth Doulaing - The act of educating, loving, respecting, listening, embracing, advocating for, and assisting a person prenatally during labour, childbirth and after”
"Birth is not only about making babies. It is also about making parents. Strong, competent, capable parents who trust themselves and their inner strength."
- Barbara Katz Rothman