December 3rd, 2020 – Supporting Indigenous Birth During the Pandemic with Danette Jubinville & Miranda Kelly

Supporting Indigenous Birth During COVID-19

In this session we will discuss how the pandemic has impacted Indigenous birth, including:
  • Prenatal care
  • Hospital policies
  • Doula support
  • Postpartum care
Reflecting on our work as doulas with the Ekw’i7tl Collective, we will brainstorm some ways communities can adapt and support birthing people and their families during this time.

Thank you for your interest and participation!

This session’s video is now available for viewing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Our events aim to embody a safe space for everyone of all different backgrounds to have their opinions and voices equally heard.

Date: Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am

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About the Presenters:

Danette Jubinville

Danette Jubinville Biiwashikwe is of Cree, Saulteaux, and mixed European ancestry. She belongs to the Cyr family from the Pasqua First Nation. She grew up in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. She is a mother, doula, and community health researcher.

Danette co-founded the Ekw’i7tl doula collective in 2015, when she was pregnant with her daughter Keestin. Danette has a Master’s of Science in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from UBC. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Health Sciences at SFU. Her graduate research focuses on Indigenous reproductive and maternal wellness and the role of Indigenous doulas in strengthening Indigenous health.

Danette has completed a number of doula-related education programs, including the DONA International Birth Doula Training, INNATE Traditions Postpartum Care Training, and Indigemama A Cerrar las Caderas. As a birth keeper and researcher, Danette is particularly passionate about returning the power of birth to Indigenous communities through culturally relevant education. Before the pandemic, Danette and Miranda launched the Ekw’i7tl Full-Spectrum Indigenous Doula Training which was delivered in Port Hardy and Vancouver. She currently sits on the Midwives Association of BC Indigenous Birthing Committee.

Miranda Kelly

Miranda is of Stό:lō and mixed settler ancestry. She was raised in her home community, Soowahlie First Nation (near Chilliwack, BC) and has kinship ties to Cowichan, Snuneymuxw, and Sumas First Nations. She proudly carries the ancestral name, Tilyen, and strives to bring honour to this name and her ancestors by working in service to First Nations and other Indigenous peoples.  She has enjoyed living on the beautiful unceded, ancestral lands of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples since 2009. She is a wife and mother to two young children.

Miranda worked for ten years in Indigenous Peoples’ health planning, policy, education, and research. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology, and a Master of Public Health Degree. Miranda is passionate about Indigenous Peoples reclaiming our authority as decision-makers in our own health and well-being.

Miranda was called to birth work after the birth of her second baby. She is a full spectrum doula and childbirth educator serving primarily BIPOC families in Vancouver. She is a member of the ekw’i7tl doula collective, a member of the BC Doula Services Association and on the BCAAFC Doula Grant pre-approved list as a Birth & Postpartum Doula.



Resources From Session:

  • Native Women’s Association of Canada infographic resource
  • BC Pregnancy Hub Program info
  • BC-based organizations for pregnancy support
    • Pregnancy research here
    • Coronavirus disease: Pregnancy and childbirth: information
  • Improving Lactation Support within British Columbia: A Call to Action – Resource
  • UBC Birth Lab
  • Doulas for Indigenous families
  • Low-income Canadian family internet access via Telus
  • Dial 811:  free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia
  • Pacific Post Partum Support Society – website here
  • Citation for Connection to Land Quote: Finestone, E., & Stirbys, C. (2017). Indigenous Birth in Canada: Reconciliation and Reproductive Justice in the Settler State. In H. Tait Neufeld & J. Cidro (Eds.), Indigenous Experiences of Pregnancy and Birth (p. 176). Demeter Press.
  • Indigenous Doula Training

Outstanding Questions in the Chat that did not get answered:

Can you post who wrote that quote connection of birth to the land?

  • Finestone, E., & Stirbys, C. (2017). Indigenous Birth in Canada: Reconciliation and Reproductive Justice in the Settler State. In H. Tait Neufeld & J. Cidro (Eds.), Indigenous Experiences of Pregnancy and Birth (p. 176). Demeter Press.

Q1: Is there a resource to learn more about Indigenous traditions around birth?

Indigenous Doula training is a great way to learn more about Indigenous traditions around birth, some organizations for more resources:

Q2: What are some of the other ways to address PPD? (postpartum depression)

Q3: How can we increase our education around Traditional Indigenous birth and postpartum practices?

  • Through Indigenous doula training! (Refer to Q2)

Q3: If someone lives in a remote community they often have to travel hours to birth at a hospital and stay for weeks (before due date) to have their baby.  How would the Doula be able to support in this situation?

  • Our doulas have supported clients in this situation by providing: prenatal support at the hotel, over phone/text, or at the hospital; continuous support during labour and delivery; and, postpartum care at the hospital/hotel and virtual support after returning home. Often we get connected with these clients very last minute; it can help to promote a smoother transition for families if these relationships are initiated as early as possible (i.e., even before they travel).


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