Nicole VanWoudenberg ~ has been a DONA certified birth doula since 2002, attending more than 50 births. During that time she did a lot of private prenatal teaching and found that prenatal education was crucial to a birthing family's experience. Seeking to become certified, Nicole completed the Lamaze Childbirth Education Program in 2006. and has been teaching Lamaze prenatal classes since that time. As well, she has obtained her breastfeeding counseling certificate through Douglas College and is available for breastfeeding education. She believes that education about all the many options available to pregnant women is important to help formulate an idea of what kind of birth they want. Being able to make informed decisions will help women have the safest and most empowering birth experience. Other than running Heart and Hands with Anne, she also teaches prenatal classes for Douglas College in their Langley location.
She is contentedly married to Martin since 1995 and the mother of 4 amazing children ages 16, 14, 12 and 9. Her first two babies were born in the hospital with a physician attending. During her third pregnancy her family doctor told her he wasn't delivering babies anymore and that her care would be shifted to an obstetrician half way through. This was something she didn't want - she preferred continuity of care. That's when Nicole was introduced to the wonderful profession of midwifery. That baby was also born in the hospital, but under the care of a midwife (Anne Barkham) and was an empowering experience. With her fourth pregnancy, and after attending a number of births, Nicole knew she wanted something different - so they planned for and had a home water birth for their last baby (in 2004). It was truly an amazing and life changing experience, and spurred her on to becoming more of a professional in the birth world.
Nicole also works for Grove Midwifery Care in Langley, BC, as Office Manager/MOA and enjoys the interaction with birth professionals and birthing families. In her spare time, she enjoys paying piano, directing a church choir, attending Bible studies, reading and running.
Anne Demers ~ is a certified birth doula, breastfeeding counselor and certified childbirth educator and has been working in the Lower Mainland for 6 years. She is also the mother of two teenage girls ages 13 and 15. Her passion for pregnancy and childbirth started with 6 years of infertility prior to having her girls. At that time she read and became familiar with many aspects of pregnancy. And the more she learned, the more she wanted to learn more! When she became pregnant for the first time, she was ecstatic of course, but soon after had a miscarriage.
So then she read and researched everything she could about that topic. Not long after she became pregnant with her oldest daughter and read everything all over again about pregnancy and labour. As her pregnancy progressed she read all about the postpartum period, breastfeeding and newborns….can you see the pattern here? She became a birth junkie, as they say in the business, and decided she would like to make this area of health care her profession.
After the birth of her second daughter, she enrolled in Douglas College and began to train as a doula, then breastfeeding counselor and finally as a childbirth educator. As a result of these courses, she has been successfully tested and qualified to be certified with DONA international and with Lamaze International. Anne also enjoys spending time with her girls, friends and family on her family's farm, and horseback riding is an additional passion.