Kassandra | Conversation with a doula


Doula's are different in their presence than midwives or gynaecologists. Since they don't have a medical background, they are not trained to think six steps ahead and can fully focus on the emotional and mental process of giving birth. We talked to Kassandra, of Momsoon. Here's everything you need to know.


Kassandra, picture by Nina van Hilst

How did you come up with the concept of Momsoon?

I remembered that someone opted using a doula for my first baby, and I had a very tree-hugging image of a doula. The idea didn’t appeal to me at all. Later in my life I found out what a doula truly is, and realized that it is time doulas shrugged off that dusty image. Doulas really contribute to a positive birth experience and less interventions, that is a big thing and should be embraced. And a positive birth experience is the best start for a mom and a baby.

So now I’m on a mission to improve the image of a doula, to something fresh & down to earth. This resulted in the concept of Momsoon.


Can you define what a doula is?

A doula is a few things; first of all a doula is someone who delivers continuous support to you and your partner during labour. Hectic schedules and a large number of labouring women make it extremely unlikely that nurses or midwives can be totally and continuously available for the entire delivery. So this is first and foremost the most important thing a doula does, just being there for the woman & her partner. Second, it’s someone who filters the overflow of available information about pregnancy and birth for you. She checks what your personality is, and what your wishes are, and gives you custom advice on what to do to prepare yourself for a positive birth experience. A doula knows which midwife would support your wishes, a doula knows which books and courses suit you as a person, she knows which hospitals would be good for special situations (having a breech baby for instance, or when you want a water birth). Third, a doula creates a situation in which you feel safe and comfortable. Because feeling completely safe with another human being, creates a kind of freedom that enables a woman to begin to test the limits of her own capacities. And exploring your own capacities and giving birth of a child is such an empowering thing to do. I know I felt really badass after every birth. And women should feel badass more often.


'Doulas really contribute to a positive birth experience and less interventions, that is a big thing and should be embraced.'

Picture by Nina van Hilst

Why should you hire a doula?

When you don't want to leave the experience of a positive birth up to chance.


How would you describe yourself as a doula?

I’m very down to earth. I believe in positive birth experiences (making women feel badass!), much more than natural birth per sé. My practice is embedded in evidence based research with a natural sauce on top.


What makes you different than other doulas?

Not so much. Most doula’s I know, more or less have the same ideas. But it’s just like with any other person, with some you click, with others you don’t. So the answer is in the eye of the beholder, I guess ;-)


How would others describe your personality?

I think that that would be energetic, highly sensitive, anchored and vigorous


Have you given birth yourself, and did you have a doula?

Yes! I have three kids, all very different births but such positive experiences that

unfortunately I didn’t have a doula, I would have loved being pampered with some doula love. But as I said, I thought they were all a bunch of tree huggers.


Picture by Nina van Hilst

What do you love about being a doula?

I get goosebumps all day. So much more than I ever had before. When I talk about births to another person, when I’m at a birth, when I hear other people talking about birth, when I see birthing videos. To me it’s the most profound thing I’ve felt in my life.


How do you support the partner during labor?

I see what the situation requires. Sometimes I cook some food for him, make drinks, make sure he rests enough, give him a massage after he has held his wife in an awkward position for hours. But most importantly, I help him being involved in the way he wants to be. We do an examination during pregnancy of what kind of support he wants to give his wife; what positions they can do together for instance. And I guide him in being the best labour support possible for his wife according to his and her own wishes.


I get goosebumps all day. So much more than I ever had before. When I talk about births to another person, when I’m at a birth, when I hear other people talking about birth, when I see birthing videos. To me it’s the most profound thing I’ve felt in my life.


Picture by Nina van Hilst

What do you provide with your services?

When I first meet a client and her partner and we discover there’s a click between us, they feel safe with me, I start with getting an idea of their wishes. The services I provide are dependent on these wishes. We have three meetings before the due date and one after the baby is born. Obviously my presence during the birth of their baby is the biggest part of my ‘package’. Sometimes I have births of 36 hours and I never leave their side. But the actual content of the meetings before & after are very different for each client. Some people want to receive loads of information on the physiology of birth, some people need more mental guidance and others just want relaxation and massages. Everything is possible.


Visit Momsoon to find more information about Kassandra as your doula.


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