When it comes to pregnancy and birth, I really believe in “going slow”. I’m not talking about having a 4 day birth process (though, yes, that can happen!), and I’m not saying a 3 hour labour disqualifies you. I’m just talking about slowing down and reclaiming the rhythm of pregnancy and birth. I encourage you to take all the time you need to slowly consider the physical, emotional and spiritual process of starting a family...Read More
I first read this poem in the 1970’s, when everyone seemed to be reading passages from The Prophet at weddings. I know I have shared parts of it with my children over the years. It certainly helped Bob and I weather both stormy toddler and teen moments.Read More
Welcome to my new website - Slow Birth. It's been a long time coming!
If you're newly pregnant, looking for a doula or simply wondering how you can navigate this new world, please start reading through my blog posts. You can read about me, look in Resources for my Must Read Posts, then delve deeper. If you're a new doula and want to find out more, please read it all! I've been writing my Vancouver Doula blog for many years.
I am currently working with 4 clients per month, so I can provide the most focused care for my clients. Take a look at my Contact page to see my catchment area.
The four births this month have been beautiful and surprising and powerful. You might think that, after attending more than 1200 births over 28 years, I might have seen it all. But I haven't by a long shot! These mothers and babies and families teach me something new every day. From a sweet girl who was born "face first" while sticking out her tongue to all (so rare that most of us have only seen this once before), to a client who "pedalled" her way up and over the mountains of labour. Another new mum thanked me for helping her to see that birth doesn't have to be scary - after she breathed her daughter into her arms while floating in water. And another client whispered, "Do you think anyone will believe me when I tell them how amazing it was?! Don't get me wrong, it was way bigger than I had imagined, but that was great!"
Thanks to Communications Designer Alanna Munro (aka ma belle-fille) for brainstorming new projects and services, and doing all the technical and design work that is beyond me. I'll be rolling out new offerings soon enough. Until then, you'll find lots to read here that you won't find anywhere else!
- Jacquie Munro
"I help you to realize that you have the abilities, wisdom and courage to give birth. Birth is something that you know on a basic level. I just help you to access that knowledge."
I have been interested in birthing issues since I studied developmental psychology at UBC in the early 1980s. I put my studies to practical use during my two pregnancies, first with medical, then with midwifery care. Soon after, I became involved with the birthing community to promote family-centred care, and studied to become a Certified Childbirth Educator and Doula. I was the Co-ordinator for Vancouver Childbirth, a founding developer of the Douglas College Doula Course, the BC Doulas of North America representative, and developed a holistic childbirth education series for The Midwifery Group.
I have been a doula and childbirth educator since 1987, supporting over 1200 women and their families at home and in the hospital, and teaching thousands of expectant parents. Iʼm the grandmother (aka “Deecy”) of identical twin boys born in 2010, and 2015 will bring another grandson, so Iʼm right in the thick of things!Read More
I've been doing a lot of family research this month, in preparation for the next bucket-list trip with my husband. This trip will take us back in time, to the Outer Hebrides, to Stornoway, to the Isle of Berneray. It might take a year or more to even begin to understand this place where the Munros were "born", but we will get there.Read More
For me, the journey tells a story – as important as the destination. GPS is just about the destination – its clinical precision can be both boring and utterly wrong. When you can read a map well, you are able to tease out the stories in the landscape. You can see how the new road follows an old riverbed, skirts an iron-age fort, or marches ramrod straight along a Roman road. You can see how a town lies on a raised beach, even though it is now 10 miles inland.Read More
As a busy birth doula, I have to book our vacation time 9 months in advance. I can't fly to Hawaii on less than 24 hours notice like I did before I was a doula. Spontaneous trips were exciting, but there was a cost to that kind of spontaneity. We lost the depth of experience that research, reading and planning can bring. So, we think of the 9 months of waiting for our yearly summer European trip as a gestational period...allowing time for thoughtful planning, gradual learning, reflection on past experiences, and the building expectation.Read More
Lyndsay's birth was an emotional triumph. It had been a challenging pregnancy, but she faced it one day at a time. She gathered together her team - family, friends, doula, doctor. On the sunny birthing day, my memory is of so many women (including her sister and her dear friend, who had also been my client) - our hands, our quiet voices, and our hearts, helping Lyndsay through the waves.Read More
According to a Perinatal Services BC report, in the first quarter of 2013 almost 1 in 3 (31.7%) women in BC gave birth by cesarean section, and 1 in 5 women (20.1%) were induced. These are the highest rates of cesarean and induced deliveries ever recorded in BC and it forces me to reflect on how things have changed over the past 26 years.Read More
One more thing...she now officially hates being on her back. She will sleep so peacefully on us then the second we put her down she goes nuts. :) Oh the questions.
That is just one of the text messages that I've received this week. Day or night, weekday or weekend (as my husband will attest!) the messages flow in from clients who are pregnant, newly birthed, or even facing their first nursing strike at 6 months!Read More
I was at a home birth many years ago. The new mother had nursed the baby, and was just drying off after showering, and chatting to her husband about what had just happened, while I was quietly tidying the bedroom. As the parents came out of the bathroom, shining and clean, the midwife approached the baby, who was lying in a moses basket. With the parents' permission, the midwife was going to do the newborn exam. She leaned close to the baby, and said something like..."Hello - I'm Patti. I'd like to pick you up and weigh you and measure you."Read More
A woman spiraling
a partner drawing
a woman in the shower
a cat watching
a doula holding
a fan blowing
a strong woman
a boy crying
a midwife whispering
a bird singing
a grandma helping
a boy in the rain
a lost cat
a baby at home!
(Photo courtesy of dad Chad Smith. Extra love always to mum Carie. Love to midwives Gillian and Carolyn and Patti. Hugs to grandma Smith and big brother Bruce, the boy in the rain...and the cats. And kisses to bonny Alice.)
“I see someone has been food shopping!”
One little sentence spoken by one little boy,
In an epic pose,
Hand on hip,
Peering into my fridge.
We just looked at each other
And we laughed!
It was a simple statement.Read More
When I joined my husband's family, I found that I had to learn a new language...latin! All his sisters seemed to be avid gardeners and would chatter about moving the pieris japonica, or the joys of alchemilla mollis (I love showing children how the rain drops glisten on this plant, also known as Lady's Mantle). Three of us were pregnant at the same time, and we would dig and plant flowers and vegetables at the family cabin as our bellies grew, after our babies were born, and as our extended family expanded. Pregnancy strengthened our need to nurture the gardens.Read More
Oh, those urban doula myths...they just keep circulating...
I'm always fully booked.
The reality: It's never too late to call to see if I have an opening! Many clients call as soon as they're pregnant, but, it's never too early nor too late to call. Sometimes, clients birth early (or move away) making room for a last-minute client. So, please email, text or phone me and then you'll know for sure!
Pssst. I think I have discovered a secret formula for birth. I know, I know, every labour is unique and distinct, and you just can't apply a formula to birth. But, this has worked so many times recently that it's blogworthy. Here's the secret:Read More
With maturity there comes
that there is darkness at birth
Walk with it. Respect it. Never forget it.
But do not make your choices
out of fear
of the darkness
A baby called Wyn was born this week, and in that moment I reached 1000 births.
Wyn is connected to all those 1000 births through his mother, through me. Every birth, every woman, has left me with a lesson, a memory* - something that has helped the next woman and baby. One touch of the hand connects us.Read More
I've been delivering Slow Birth doula cards to different practitioners' offices. One supportive physician read the words "slow birth", and laughed - "Some of our doctors won't like that. They're always complaining about births that are progressing too slowly!"Read More