True North Doulas is a small, independent doula agency serving clients in the greater Montreal area. To learn more about what a doula does, see What We Do.
At True North Doulas, we believe that your experience of pregnancy, labour and birth matters. How you feel about your birth affects everything to follow, from how you interact with your baby in the hours and days to come to how you relate to birth for the rest of your life. This time is vulnerable and special; we want to help make it the best possible experience for you.
We know that the definition of a “good” birth is different for every woman and that sometimes issues may arise that we cannot predict. What is important is that you feel safe, honoured and well cared-for. This, more than any other factor, will dictate how you view your birth when it is over.
We believe that a happy, healthy, empowered birth experience should be the norm, not the exception. You have choices (lots of them!) and we want you to discover which are best for YOU. Our goal is to listen, to hear what you truly need and to facilitate that to happen, so that in the end you can say, “I did it!” and feel proud (even if things did not go exactly as planned).
Above all, we believe that YOU are steering this ship. We are just here to help navigate when you feel lost. We come with no agenda other than to facilitate a great birth experience for you, however YOU define “great".
Erica Gipson, B.Sc./M.Sc., Doula
Erica wears many hats. Here are a few:
Doula--Erica is certified through MBC Doula School and is proud to volunteer with Montreal Birth Companions. She has been working with families in Montreal since 2012.
Scientist--Erica earned her combined Bachelors/Masters degree in Biotechnology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research on the uterus and the molecular changes it makes during pregnancy and birth planted the seed for her future doula practice. She has worked professionally in biotech and academia (in Reno, Boston and Montreal) but now prefers to support families one-on-one.
Mother--Erica was a doula before she ever gave birth, but her son’s arrival in September of 2013 completely changed how she relates to pregnant and birthing families. She now recognizes the need for birth workers to truly honor the intuition and choice of the birthing mother. She had a fantastic support team at her birth and strives to give that back to others.
Guide--Erica’s personal practices are deeply rooted in the body/breath and this, in turn, informs her practice as a doula. Through a combined 20 years of competitive swimming, Aikido practice and training as a yoga teacher, she has learned how to listen when the body speaks and how to respond gently and appropriately to what may arise. She is passionate about sharing this information with the clients she works with, guiding them to tap into their own inner strength and wisdom.
Liz lives a busy, full life and understands how precious time is. She chooses to focus on that which inspires her (family, friends, clients, birth work).
Doula(CD)-- Liz understands how difficult it can be to find great information and support during pregnancy, birth and early motherhood (particularly in Montreal). Her own two pregnancies were each difficult in their own way. Liz's children’s birth stories inspired her to become a resource for other women transitioning into Motherhood. She received her doula certification through Montreal Birth Companions Doula School in 2014.
Child Passenger Safety Technician(CPST)—Many of Liz's clients have asked her to help put their newborn into the car seat for the first time. As a doula, she felt that this was out of her scope of practice (and beyond her comfort zone) so she thought that it would be best to develop those skills rather then continue doubting herself. She became a certified with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC)in the summer of 2015 and is currently one of a handful of practicing CPSTs in Montreal.
Community-- While at the University of British Columbia, Liz was offered the opportunity to work with newly established organic coffee farms in Central America. After a few years of working with these organizations she decided that she needed to spend more time contributing to her local community she continued to do so until the birth of her son, it was then than that she moved to Montreal. Today, Liz continues to work with organizations in which she is able to contribute her time and skills to support individuals and families. When she’s not providing support, Elizabeth can be found baking rum cakes. A favourite pass time that has a taken a life of its own, it was even featured in the Montreal Gazette.