Meet Sarah Alicia Elder. Owner of ElderFlower Doula Serving families in New Westminster B.C Canada, This mother of three, can’t stay still and her love for learning has opened up many different career paths. Her sense of community has led her to different fields within human services. Now, Sarah is putting it all together to help families in New Westminster. She is a full-service doula-in-training offering support and resources for pre-pregnancy to post-partum and everything in-between.
We had a chat with Sarah Alicia about what brought her to this work and got to know her a little better!
Why did you decide to become a Birth Professional ?
I have always been drawn to working with babies and young children. When I was in high school, I wanted to become a midwife but never felt like I could do the education. I didn’t learn about doula work until I was pregnant with my first and had a friend’s sister offer doula services. I did some research and after having my second baby, I noticed that for much of the birthing experience, a doula is very much needed. I liked my nurses but having someone helping me or just keeping space for me before going to the hospital as well as having a familiar face throughout the experience would have been a blessing. After talking with other mothers, I realized so many of us do not have extra help and/or have partners who are unsure how to help. Doulas make sure all the questions running around in our head are answered.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned so far as a birth worker/ educator?
The most surprising thing I have learned is that doulas play such an important role and complement other birth workers. Doulas, however, I feel are often forgotten. I still have people ask me what a doula is when I tell others what I do for work. After explaining the role I play during pregnancy, labour and birth, many say they wished they had a doula working with them at their own births. More people are choosing to have a doula present for many different reasons; not having a reliable person to help, choosing to give birth as a single parent, and birthing at home are just a few. Slowly, as more and more companies see the value of doula support and realize that not every family is in a financial situation to afford doula services, extended medical plans are starting to cover the costs of doula support. Studies show that continuous support from a doula lowers intervention rates, including cesarean. As a society, it is imperative that we demand better support to drive change. Nothing happens if we don’t ask!
Why did you choose Doula Canada?
I chose Doula Canada mainly because it is Canadian and has an online option. Having very young children and being a stay-at-home mom makes going to an in-person class a lot harder. The flexibility of making my own learning schedule was a must. I also love that the organization has international ties and offer so many different classes to help me further my career. The instructors and directors care about their work and are so hands-on. I don’t feel like just a number but as an important part of the doula community.
Interesting Fact about yourself ( hobby, quirk)
As well as being a doula, I am a certified cosmetologist and sewer. I love making and creating new outfits by using old clothing from when I was little.
If you could give advice to someone just starting out what would you say..
The advice I would love to give to someone just starting out is to be true to yourself. Take your special skills and incorporate them into your doula work. For me, using my background as a cosmetologist and my love for being hands-on and creative, I offer self-care and keepsake art projects to my clients. The things I learned in previous jobs have helped make my doula business unique to me!