The Goat Doula

JA Pic 4 Jala & Goat.jpg

I’m going to tell you one of my favourite animal birth stories.

The goat in this photo was one of our family milking goats many years ago, her name was Misty. The little girl in the photo is one of my daughters, her name is Jala. We had 4 milking goats who over the years birthed many babies.  Misty always had very quick labours and smooth births. The other 3 goats often had complicated births, at times I had to assist with the second baby, as they always birthed 2 or 3 at once.

There was one thing different about Misty’s births than the other goats, she would not birth without my daughter at her side. We discovered this the first time Misty went into labour. I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden I heard the most distressed goat call I’ve ever heard. Misty could get pretty loud at feeding time but this was a sound like no other. I ran down to the goat shed and realised Misty was in labour. My presence didn’t calm her, she continued to bleat very loudly. My daughter came running down to the shed to see what all the commotion was about. Misty instantly stopped bleating as soon as Jala entered the shed. Jala went over to Misty and gave her the usual rub down and cuddle. Jala stayed with Misty for a while and then wanted to go off and play. As Jala was leaving the goat shed Misty started her horrible sound again. Jala returned to Misty’s side and the sound ceased. Once Misty trusted Jala was going to stay she layed down on her side and Jala sat down next to her. During Misty’s contractions she would lick Jala’s hair. By the end of the labour Jala’s hair was matted like felt in parts. This phenomena continued for many of Misty’s births, she always loved Jala at her side.

How dads benefit having a doula at their child’s birth, and why some dads resist the idea.

The birth of your child is a very intimate experience and one you will hold close to your heart for life. Having a doula’s support during labour and birth has been found to dramatically improve birth outcomes. When I casually meet pregnant women, and tell them I’m a doula, I often get this response “I’d love to have a doula at my birth but my husband wouldn’t be comfortable with that”.

So, I started asking Dads the big WHY?

Help! I've been told my baby is too small. What should I do?

The year of 2017 seems to be the year of my baby is too small stories. 

I’ve met a number of women this year with newborns who were told this same story and all of them had followed their obstetricians advice and were induced before their due dates.  At this time, I won’t discuss how labour progresses when we are induced before the cervix is ripe, that’s another story for another time. Everyone of these prematurely induced babies showed no signs of uterine growth restriction and all weighed heavier than they had been estimated.

Cherish Every Moment

When I was raising my babies 22 years ago, I was very fortunate. I was a farmer, midwife and herbalist. My children could be at my side while I worked, my first baby attending many births on my back.

Todays society doesn't support mothers to be at home with their babies for very long. Everything is structured to get those little people into day care and mothers back to work as soon as possible.