Welcome to Lifetime of Love!
Meet Our Team
Carol Anne Skorvaga (Co-Owner)
I was afraid I would meet a doula who was only interested in natural birth and I was at a place where I planned to deliver in a hopsital and possibly with medication. Carol Anne was not judgmental and planned to support me through a hospital birth. I never felt pressured or judged by her. She was going to be there for us on our big day!"
Carol Anne is an incredible source of encouragement to expectant families as well as families in the postnatal period who are in the throws of learning about life with baby combined with lack of sleep! She has a gift for helping parents find their strength and their own voice. Carol Anne's humour and personality make all of our clients feel at ease and supported as they transition through pregnancy, birth and through the early months of parenthood.
Carol Anne is mama to two incredible and inquisitive boys. It was during her first pregnancy that she learned about the benefits of having a doula and knew in her heart that this was a career and passion she wanted to pursue.
Sarah Baker (Co-Owner)
Sarah's calming words, encouragement and reassurance gave me the strength to endure my labour. When our baby girl finally arrived, healthy and safe, words could not express how thankful and grateful we were to have Sarah by our side. I truly feel that having Sarah at our birth contributed to my positive and short labour. I didn't think I could have my first baby at home, naturally, and I did it! All thanks to Sarah!"
Sarah's eyes light up every time she stands in front of a class to teach prenatal classes. There is no denying that she is passionate when it comes to her work as a childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula. Her commitment to professionalism is reflected in the unbiased support she offers families on their journey through pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.
Sarah is a proud mother to 3 boys, twins and a singleton. The birth of Sarah's twins launched her on to the path of becoming a doula after realizing the importance of choice and support in maternal and infant care. Sarah has a special place in her heart for multiples and those facing the possibilities and realities of premature birth and NICU care for their infants.
Nicole was the first phone call I made when I was fairly certain that I was in labour. Having the labour line number to call and a calm and knowledgeable voice on the other end of the phone at 4 o'clock in the morning was encouraging and calming. I knew that Nicole had my back - and that alone made labour easier!
Nicole's passion for supporting families through pregnancy and childbirth can be felt from the moment you meet her. Being able to provide knowledge and unbiased support to so many people in the community is a driving force behind why Nicole sought out doula work in the first place. Nicole is no stranger to how the body works. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from York University where her studies included dance, kinesiology, anatomy and injury prevention just to name a few. She has spent a large portion of her life working with children as a dance educator but has always had a calling to work within the pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum fields.
Nicole was able to follow through on her dream after the birth of her second son. It was after the birth of her own children that she realized the great need to empower women and families to advocate for the own fulfilling birth experiences.
Kate was amazing with our earlier than expected surprise. She was calm and collected and a wealth of knowledge helping us make the right decisions for us. She helped us bring this beautiful new life into the world. Thank you Kate for everything! "
Kate had previously spent 19 yrs in the corporate world of insurance prior to having the support of a birth doula during the birth of her daughter. That single experience changed her life forever and sent her down a new career path of supporting families. She knew in that moment this was where she was meant to be.
Kate is a proud mama of a son and a daughter. Having experienced 2 very different pregnancies of her own years apart and then becoming a Doula she understands that there is no right or wrong way to give birth.
Her excitement for helping families and empowering parents in their new roles is her passion and cuddling babies is an added bonus!
Fiona was not only support for my labouring fiancé but was my support as well. She tapped in while I rested and was comfortable explaining things that I didn't understand during the labouring process "
Most families know how they would like their birth and postpartum experience to go, but not how to achieve it. This is where Fiona shines. She is passionate about educating expectant parents on their options and what to expect, as well as guiding them through each transition so they can enjoy being in the moment and feel better prepared. Fiona’s calming energy and welcoming smile are some of her clients' favourite aspects about her, and she is the person they turn to for a listening ear.
Fiona is especially passionate about helping young parents, as she was a young mom herself when she had her son. A few years after she gave birth, she heard about doulas and realized this was the best career for her desire to support families through that pivotal moment of becoming parents.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a doula?
A doula is a professional support person trained to provide non-judgemental emotional, physical and informational support to families and individuals during their pregnancy, birth, and postnatal period.
Lifetime of Love Birth Doulas provide email, text, phone and in-person support from the moment you hires us in your pregnancy. Your birth doula attends your birth as soon as you need her and will provide continuous support throughout the entire birth process, as well as immediately after the birth, assisting with skin-to-skin care, baby’s first feed (breastfeeding or bottle), and ensuring that you settle in after the birth before she leaves. As a part of our birth doula services, our support also includes postpartum follow ups either in-person or by phone/email depending on your purchased package to check in on how you are recovering from birth, how infant feeding and care is going, and to answer any questions you may have pertaining to your birth experience or the challenges of parenting a newborn.
Our Postpartum Doulas (also known as Postnatal Doulas) provide on-going support for families after the birth of a baby. A postpartum doula helps with both your physical and emotional recovery from birth, as well as assisting with newborn care and completing household tasks such as light housework and meal preparation. Another important aspect of postpartum care includes offering in home parent companionship, help you establish coping skills and offering practical advice on adjusting to life with a newborn.
What kind of training does a doula have?
Though there are many certifying bodies within the industry, typically (and traditionally), doulas are trained to provide non-judgemental support with an in depth understanding of normal physiological birth, common interventions, medicated and non-medicated births, caesarean births, natural pain management techniques, birth choices, families’ rights, breastfeeding and bottle feeding support. Many doulas are also trained in a number of comfort measures such as massage, acupressure and counter-pressure techniques. It should not be overlooked that doulas are also a source of emotional and information support for the whole family.
We are proud to have doulas on our team with diverse and extensive training. Our doulas have trained with many multidisciplinary certifying bodies and continue to keep up with their education through the ongoing process of continuing education. Our training comes from excellent organizations such as DONA International, ProDoula, CAPPA, StillBirthDay, Childbirth International, The HypnoBirthing® Institute, INFACT Canada, Attachment Parenting International, and BEBO MIA.
All of our doulas are also members in good standing with the Association of Ontario Doulas and are certified in Standard First Aid & Infant CPR (Level C CPR & AED).
What are the benefits of having a doula? What does the research say?
Many studies have shown that having a doula at your birth (a professionally trained and unbiased support person – as opposed to or in addition to a family member) lowers birth complications and the use of unnecessary interventions. It also increases parents’ overall satisfaction with their birth experience.
Some interesting facts about Doula Support:
What is the birthing philosophy of Lifetime of Love Doulas?
Your birth is not about us, it’s about you! We believe that all birthing persons should feel safe, secure, empowered, confident and supported no matter what they choose or how their birth unfolds.
Does a doula replace my partner?
We respect your partner’s role and their level of involvement during the birth. A doula is there to support both of you. A birth doula will also make sure that your partner is cared for and is able to eat, use the restroom, and take breaks as needed without worrying about you or feeling guilty.
What’s the difference between a doula and a midwife?
If I have a midwife do I still need a doula?
A midwife and doula’s primary roles are quite different. A midwife is trained to be your primary health care provider whose main focus is on the medical health of you and your baby. A doula’s role is non-medical. Doulas do not perform medical exams or deliver (catch) your baby. A doula is a valuable part of your birthing team, available to you any time throughout your pregnancy to answer questions. During labour, your doula offers continuous emotional, informational and physical support to both you and your partner during the entire birth helping you through every contraction while the midwife’s role is focused on the more medical aspects of birthing. In our experience, midwives and doulas make a great team! As the saying goes “a midwife takes care of you from the waist down [birth of baby, placenta, etc.] and doulas take care of you from the waist up [remember to breath, this is normal, you’ve got this]!”
"Doulas [...] are exclusively focused on providing non-clinical care. They are specialists in labour support and unlike midwives, do not have clinical obligations which could detract from their mission to continuous support to the family. Doulas are often present at a birth, quietly coaching a mother with breathing, assisting her with positioning or mobility, providing drinks, nourishment, cold cloths and encouragement throughout the process. Doulas also are often available to be physically present with families during the early labour stage, whereas midwives reserve their care for active labour. As a midwife, there have been many times that I am grateful for the presence of a doula to deliver this kind of support while I am occupied preparing necessary equipment or focusing on hands-on clinical skills necessary for a safe delivery. The type of care that doulas and midwives provide have important differences, but really can be quite complementary when used together." - Stephanie Aghajani, Midwife
What is your “On Call” period?
The “On Call” period is the time that a doula goes on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to you in anticipation of labour. Many doulas do not offer on call services until 37 or 38 weeks gestation, however, we are available to you from the moment you hire us. In our experience, babies come when they want and that may be weeks before or after their EDD (estimated due date). You will be given a “Labour Line” number to call when you suspect that you are in labour so that you can reach your doula team immediately, day and night..
What is a “Shared Care Model”, why do you use it, and how is it different from hiring a solo doula?
Most doulas work solo which can leave you wondering “what happens if my doula can’t make it to my birth?”. The solo doula has to co-ordinate with a back up doula if they are unable to attend your birth. In most cases, this is usually someone you have not met or spoken to leaving the possibility that you won't know the doula who attends your birth.
Our doula support is offered using the “Shared Care Model” which is new to the doula profession, but a model that midwives successfully use. In our company, shared care means that you will have two primary doulas that share an on-call schedule and a back-up doula who fills in as needed. Throughout the course of your pregnancy, you will have multiple opportunities to get to know your whole doula team during prenatal appointments and classes and well as through emails and phone calls. When you call the “Labour Line”, your call is directed to your team and whichever doula is on-call is the one who attends the birth. The biggest benefit of having a doula team is that you have the resources of their combined experience, training and knowledge and if you have a long birth (12 or more hours) another member of your team will relieve your tired doula and be able to provide you with fresh unwavering support.
Do doulas attend births in hospitals as well as home births?
The common misconception (thanks to comedies and stereotypes perpetuated my media) is that a doula is only for people having non-medicated home water births – but this is just not the case! While we do attend many home births, the majority of the births we attend are in fact in hospitals. Remember, we are trained to support you wherever and however you choose to give birth. Local hospitals recognize the importance of doula support and allow patients to have a doula attend the birth as one of their support people.
I have an OBGYN [OB] do I still need a doula?
With more and more Obstetricians working in larger collective groups, many times the OB that is on call and attends you on birthing day is someone you may not have met or only met briefly in your pregnancy. In many cases the OB only enters the birthing room to make recommendation or when you are ready to push your baby out. An OB’s primary role is your medical health and your baby’s medical health.
Nurses are typically unable to stay in your room throughout your entire labour (in fact in Canada nurses spend up to 75% of your birth outside of your room and have shift changes every 12 hours). Their primary role is to focus on your medical health as well as your baby’s medical health.
A birth doula, in many instances, is the only “constant”. We are there throughout your pregnancy, your entire labour experience as well as during the immediate and long-term postpartum period. We are filling a crucial gap in the maternal, parental and infant support system.
Will a doula still support me if I want an epidural?
Do I still need a doula if I plan on getting an epidural?
Of course – a Lifetime of Love doula will most definitely will support you if you want an epidural! Remember, our doulas support whatever type of birth you choose.
What many people are not aware of is that even if they are planning to get an epidural in labour as a form of pain management, you still have to get through early labour. Typically, a hospital will not admit a patient until they are at least 4 centimetres dilated. Keep in mind that epidurals do not always work and can be “patchy” in their pain management. A doula can help you throughout your whole labour no matter when you get your epidural, and a doula can be particularly helpful during the “pushing” stage of labour for those choosing an epidural.
There is also still the aspect of emotional, physical and informational support that a doula continues to provide throughout the entire birth and immediate postpartum experience regardless of the epidural.
What if I have a planned or an emergency caesarean birth, how will a doula help me?
Our birth doulas are trained to support you through a caesarean birth. Depending on the circumstances and the attending OB, we may be in the operating room to support you and your partner or waiting in the recovery or postpartum room. In the case of a caesarean birth, we typically remain with you longer afterwards helping you recover and if you have chosen breastfeeding for your infant feeding plans, a caesarean section can sometimes pose a few challenges in establishing breastfeeding. It is important to us that you still meet (or reassess) your goals, and we are trained to support your breastfeeding journey and make referrals if needed to the best support within your community.
Together, your Lifetime of Love doulas have
Hospital birth, Home birth, Midwives, OB/GYNs, medicated birth, non-medicated births, Vaginal birth, Cesarean birth, Water birth, Induction, HypnoBirthing®: The Mongan Method, High risk and complicated pregnancies, Special needs babies, NICU, premature birth, Pregnancy and infant loss, Rainbow babies, Over 40, Plus-sized birthing parent, Mental Health Disorders, Prenatal & Postpartum Mood Disorders, Single parents, Survivors of past trauma/abuse, twins and higher order multiples, VBAC, Breech birth, Adoption, Surrogacy, Multi-cultural and Religious practices, LGBTQ+ families, Breast/Chest feeding, Bottle-feeding, Pumping, Infant sleep support, Over-night postpartum doula care, and more!
We support families birthing at home as well as at the following hospitals: