Hometown: Minnedosa, MB
Founder of Sacred Beginnings, Karla Buffalo, discovered the word ‘doula’ while reading books about childbirth after the birth of her first son. Women supporting women during labour wasn’t a new concept for Karla. In her family and community she had known women who regularly attended births, and although curious about what happened during that private time, learning about what women truly experienced during the birthing process and how other women gave support was not as common of a conversation as it is becoming today.
In 2011, Karla had the opportunity to enrol in her first doula course and begin her journey of learning and growing to support women through labour and post-partum – a sacred role Karla recognizes as one previously passed down from generation to generation through community knowledge.
Karla believes that pregnancy, birth, and the post-partum (or Baby Moon) are all sacred events and need to be honoured, protected and celebrated. Through formal training, attending births, and listening to the birth experience stories of both women and their partners, Karla has learned that for the birth experience to be a positive one, it needs to be protected and nurtured. Each individual birthing experience is unique. The importance of knowledge in the birthing process is as important as a woman’s belief that she is capable of giving birth. When birth plans change, that support and knowledge can help a woman and her family better adapt to change.
The energy during the birth process can be felt by everyone involved, and Karla feels blessed to be a part of each and every birth she attends.
Karla grew up in a small community in southern Manitoba, but spent her summers in Fort McMurray with her extended family. After university, she moved to Fort McMurray to continue her career in public affairs and Aboriginal relations. Karla and her husband, Greg, have three children – 16 year-old Erica, 5 year-old Jett, and 3 year-old Zyah. Their two youngest children were born at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. When Karla isn’t sharing and expanding her doula knowledge, attending births, managing a busy career, or being a full-time mom, you can find her traveling, camping, or curled up watching movies – all with her family, of course.
Karla is currently an on-call Doula supporting the Cooperative.