Celebrate Pregnancy!

I’m very excited to begin offering these classes in the new year. A good friend of mine Breanna Fast and I have collaborated and brought our passions together to bring you Celebrate Pregnancy.

Celebrate Pregnancy is a 4 week mini series blending prenatal yoga and circle activities together during a 2 hour class. Many activities come from Birthing From Within and are focused on a more emotional and spiritual preparation for birth as well as activities to celebrate your sacred time now being pregnant! These are not comprehensive childbirth education classes. These classes are for you as a woman becoming a mother, they are for connection and celebration!

Classes begin Thursday January 12, 2017 and are being held at Meadowsweet Yoga and Wellness, at 100 Deer Park Ave, Kimberley BC.

Register through the website here to reserve your spot! Looking forward to seeing you!


kimberley bc celebrate pregnancy


VBAC: Is it for you?

Cranbrook VBACAre you faced with the decision of attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or a repeat c-section? I know you want to do what is best and safest for baby and yourself. I want you to make the right choice for you! So I decided to gather some of my favorite resources and post them all here so you can read through them and make your informed choice!  -Darla




VBAC: making a mountain out of a molehill

I really love this article even though it is based out of Australia, she does a fabulous job of explaining the risk of uterine rupture and describing the numbers and what they really mean. She gives suggestions on how to prepare during pregnancy and what to expect while you’re in labour! I highly recommend this read!

To be honest, as a midwife uterine rupture is the least of my worries when caring for a woman having a VBAC. I actually think the mountain that has been built out of the risk-molehill requires more energy and attention. These women do need special treatment, but not in the form of disempowering fear-based counselling or practice. They have often had a previous traumatic birth experience and are dealing with fear from family, friends, and the medical system, in addition to their own worries. They have been labelled ‘high risk’ and are constantly reminded of the potential disaster waiting to occur. They also risk ‘failing’ if they encounter any complications or end up having a repeat c-section. This impacts on their ability to trust their body, follow their intuition and allow the physiology of birth to unfold. Often these women need more nurturing, reassurance and support from those involved in their birth.”

VBAC Facts!

This is the place to go to get great info, myth busting at it’s finest!

“Many women believe that the only safe choice after a cesarean is another cesarean. Social pressure plays a huge role in a woman’s decision making process and the prevailing American conventional wisdom is greatly influenced by persistent and pervasive myths about vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). The result is a 86% repeat cesarean rate in America among women with one prior cesarean (1) despite the fact that most women are candidates for VBAC and most VBACs are successful.  Let’s draw a clear line between myth and fact.”


VBAC or Repeat C-Section

So much great information, it’s very thorough in answering questions many women face.

What is the bottom line?

If you do not have a clear and compelling need for a cesarean in the present pregnancy, having a VBAC rather than a repeat c-section is likely to be:

  • safer for you in this pregnancy
  • far safer for you and your babies in any future pregnancies

When thinking about the health and safety of your baby in the present pregnancy, there are trade-offs to consider: VBAC has some advantages, and a repeat c-section has others.


ACOG VBAC Guidelines

This is the gist of the guidelines put out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if you want to read the full in depth report you can find it here.

“Attempting a VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”


BC VBAC Guidelines

Here you can find the benefits and risks laid out for you as well as answers to some of the more frequently asked questions!

My last thought is to take into consideration your birth team. Having your care provider on board with your hopes of a VBAC put you on the path to a good birth experience. Consider hiring a doula to help your prepare prenatally through working out any fears or doubts you have, and releasing your previous birth story. The extra support during labour can be a game changer!
I hope these resources help you and your family make the right choice for YOU!


Photo Credit: MabyCakes via Compfight cc

Prenatal Class Series- Cranbrook BC

Sign up soon for this upcoming 7 week prenatal class series! Hosted at The Kootenay Therapy Clinic in Cranbrook. Start May 10- June 21, perfect for summer and fall due dates! Come learn about labour and birth from an experienced doula and prenatal teacher! Meet other expecting couples and receive hands on practice supporting your birthing partner!

Register Now

Prenatal classes in Cranbrook + Kimberley BC

Soulful & Holistic Prenatal Classes coming to Cranbrook, BC

This is very exciting news to finally share! Mandala Birth will begin offering prenatal classes in the new year! My Soulful & Holistic Prenatal class is a 7 week series covering all the major topics to prepare you for labour and birth. Being a holistic class I cover the physiological aspect of labour and birth, while also bringing in the emotions and soul through relaxation and mindfulness techniques.


Cranbrook Prenatal Class

The class will be hosted in the yoga studio of the Kootenay Therapy Center, their gorgeous space is perfect to come together as a group to learn, enjoy and make new connections with other expecting couples.

Comfort Measures in Pregnancy + Labour Using the Rebozo

So a couple weeks ago I went on a little family road trip for Gena Kirby’s Rebozo workshop! It was fantastic, kind of life-changing. Wow! Just…wow! Gena really opened some doors for me as a doula, in how I can interact and support my clients! I’m so happy also to have brought a beautiful new LONG 9 ft rebozo back to Kimberley with me!
A rebozo is a woven shawl, they come in varying lengths and widths, and even have different names from country to country, in Laos they’re called Jias, there are African Kangas, Rebozo is the Mexican name. A rebozo is often worn by a women, used in labour by midwives and then used to carry baby by the new mama. It is not just a tool for birth, it is part of a lifestyle.


Here’s Gena, sharing a bit more about the rebozo:

What did I learn?

  • How to connect with my clients in new ways
  • Some awesome techniques for supporting labouring moms
  • How to get partners/dads more physically involved in comfort measures for birth


The Rebozo as a Gateway

As a doula I have mostly seen it as a tool in my doula bag until now. Now I see it as an extension of my hands and arms, and as an extension of the partners love, for a labouring mom.
I think over the years I’ve figured out ways to engage with clients to help get us up on our feet and trying out comfort techniques, but it can often feel awkward, especially if it’s the first meeting between the doula and the dad. Enter the rebozo, such a simple tool for helping open a gate way and between the birth team. It’s wonderful to have something I can hand to dad and say, you are going to be a pro at this by the time we’re done here. Giving dad something to do to feel engaged, connected and NEEDED is really important, because I never want dad to feel displaced because I was there, I want him to get all the glory.
Seeing the many uses of the rebozo now I will never leave home without it, it can be used to relieve pain and tension, used as a relaxation tool in labour, help relieve stress from partners, midwives, nurses and siblings. Create a quiet space for the couple to reconnect, it can be used to block out stimulating lights and sounds. Use it to help mom move in the case of an epidural and is a powerful tool toward effective pushing.
Here’s a couple examples of what we might do with a rebozo:
Relaxation techniques for labour

Gena demonstrating how to relieve tension in the mothers neck (or anyone who’s feeling stressed in the birth space)

rebozo used for pushing

Here seated is the partner or dad, then labouring mom is straddling them. She is being supported with the rebozo by her doula, standing behind dad. Shown is a demonstration of pushing so kneeling behind mom is the midwife helping to lower baby safely to the ground.

Darla Sparrow -rebozo used for pushing

And here I am, supporting Gena through some intense contractions, this is an awesome postion for pushing!










The Partner is so important!

The workshop really lit a fire in my heart to addressing the role partners and dads play in the birth experience. I know that in each prenatal visit from now on I am going to be telling the partner how integral they are to helping mom relax. I’ve always been good at getting dads involved to their comfort level but now I will be acknowledging the importance of them being there, loving her, loving the experience and I’ll be creating space in prenatals for them to further their relationship in pregnancy and birth.
What does that really mean though?
When you close your eyes and imagine labouring, see yourself working hard, coping through an intense contraction. This image might create some stress in your body, now imagine labouring and your partner is right there next to you, skin to skin, their smell comforting you just by its presence, their arms holding you, supporting you, their heart beating in time with yours, love hormones flying between you as you open your eyes and see the pride beaming from him to you for the hard work you’re enduring. That’s what we want because if you notice, that time when you imagined your partner there by your side, everything was softer, more relaxed. That is the key to better births. And really that is what was driven home for me, how when I’m there supporting my couples I really want the partner to being doing it, because that is the where her comfort lies.
The rebozo techniques themselves weren’t all new to me but having a chance to practice them and see them in action rather then just on a hand out was so important for my learning experience. Having more hands on experience myself so that when I share these comfort techniques with my pregnant couples will be so beneficial to their learning and their birthing time. I love that I now have new ideas for situations that may arise in your birth!



If you’re pregnant in Cranbrook or Kimberley and think you could use some more labour support, please give me a shout!