If you could have an Empowered Birth, where you felt 100% in control, would you do it?
We spend so much time researching baby gear, dropping hundreds of dollars on cribs, car seats, strollers, and so much more.
But we don’t give a thought to the long-term effects of Birth Trauma and Preventable Cesareans.
Right now, 1 in 3 mothers are being traumatized in the maternity care system!
They’re being pressured into tests, exams, and surgeries that they don’t want to have but feel they have no options and no choice but to just do what they’re told…even though something doesn’t feel right about it.
1 in 3 mothers are also having cesareans; many that are unplanned, unwanted, lead to a longer recovery, difficulties with breastfeeding, AND that could have been preventable!
You Deserve an Empowered Birth!
We are led to believe that the rising cesarean rates are due to our own health issues, our preferences for “designer births”, and our increasing ages at first-time parenthood, but the reality is that most cesareans are preventable and the determining factors are what hospital you walk into, who you hire for your care, and what level of support you have.
The misconception that our bodies don’t work and that there’s nothing we can do to have the birth we want has led to 1 in 3 women being traumatized by the medical system every day!
The most devastating stories are the ones where a new mom didn’t know she had other options than the ones she was given, and wound up learning the “hard way” by experiencing traumatic births, and even unwanted cesareans with long-term health implications.
If you had someone who could walk you through your pregnancy every week, give you information you needed to make decisions that align with your values, needs, and desires for your birth, and if that person also had additional connections in the birth community that you could gain access to, how would that impact your experience in your pregnancy?
How much more prepared would you be to have that empowered birth you deserve?
I Can Help You!
My name is Carly Bonderud. I am an educator, advocate, and I coach pregnant people on their rights, options, and how to advocate for themselves in pregnancy, birth & postpartum, and take that same confidence with them into parenthood.
I believe that when we empower ourselves in our birth experiences we can take better control of our lives and do better for our children and for ourselves.
I’m also a well-respected person in the birth community among the doula communities
Here is what some have already said about the services I provide:
“Carly has a deep desire to help more people have births that are fulfilling, respected and cherished. She is a wealth of information and facts and knowing what rights people have in this time of their life. She is the prime example of overcoming adversity by showing the world what is possible when starting a family and navigating pregnancy and birth. She is a gift.”
~Michelle Tyliakos, birth doula/educator/coach/mentor/Transforming Birth Luminary
“I highly recommend Empowering Moms for anyone who is expecting or planning to get pregnant! Carly has compiled extensive evidence based research to provide education to women around all aspects of pregnancy. Informed choice is the hub around which she operates, empowering women and their partners to learn and make choices they believe best for their situation and care. She advocates for women’s rights, providing encouragement, education and evidence to enable women to stand with courage in their pregnancy and care. Women should not go into their pregnancies and labour without an understanding of all aspects which they may face, and utilizing Empowering Moms is one of the best choices you can make to become abundantly informed!”
~Christina L, doula
You Need More Than Just a Birth Plan
The information that most parents receive for prenatal education will not prepare you effectively to take charge of your birth, and sadly your midwife and doula may not always be able to protect you as their purpose is to support you, not tell you what to do.
If you don’t know your rights and options it can be very difficult to determine what it is you want in your care and what is a reaction based out of fear.
I began my journey as an advocate after the birth of my son, when I realized that the maternity care system is not designed to support a natural birth that happens without drugs, interventions, or interference.
I discovered first-hand that even having a birth plan and hiring a midwife and a doula was not enough to protect me and that I had been unprepared when it came to navigating the system and getting what I really wanted out of that birth.
I know that self-doubt can be crippling and lead to making decisions without knowing all the information, because I did it myself and I have seen it so many times when I first start working with new parents.
I’ve also seen how, with that little bit of extra support, new parents can go from feeling paralyzed with fear to confidently turning down interventions or making different birth plans that are right for their needs, values, and preferences.
Too often parents who have been disappointed by their births vow to “do better next time”, but you shouldn’t have to suffer a traumatic birth to learn to “do better”, and the reality is that even if you go on to have a “do-over” birth it doesn’t take away the sting of that traumatic previous birth.
I have gained a powerful, diverse network of friends in the birth industry and continue to learn and discover new resources every week, if not every day. This has given me a very unique perspective both as a mother who has been there and knows the struggle for personalized maternity care, and as an advocate listening to the traumatic birth stories from the perspectives of the doulas and midwives, who are facing real limitations and can’t give you what you truly want for your birth if you aren’t even aware of what it is you want or how to ask for it.
They can’t plan your birth for you, nor should they.
The power MUST come from you!
What Makes Empowering Moms Unique?
Empowering Moms Pregnancy & Birth Coaching was born after six years of helping parents overcome their fears and seeing the same roadblocks popping up over and over.
I realized that simply looking up information isn’t enough.
I noticed that the parents who were truly successful in getting the births they wanted were the same ones who had more support in addition to the right educational resources.
The parents I spent the most time coaching on how to get exactly what they needed from their care providers were the ones who often got the births they wanted, and even if their plans changed or a medical issue came up, they felt far more empowered to make those decisions so that they truly felt good about their experience and knew what to do next time.
As a coach, my job is to help you gain that clarity in what is most important to you in your pregnancy and birth experience, help you figure out where you’re stuck when it comes to asking for what you want or saying no to what you don’t want, and help you figure out what you need to do to move forward and become the decision maker in your birth.
As an educator, my job is also to give you information that can help you decide what is best for you and what options are available, and teach you how to Google things the right way.
As an advocate, I can also show you how to position yourself as the Decision Maker and choose the right care provider, environment, additional support, and help you find those additional resources that will move you closer to your goal of an empowered birth.
With the help of my signature Take Charge of Birth program you can ensure that your birth is empowering, that you are the decision maker, and that no matter what the outcome is you will know that it was right for you and your baby AND you had final say.
You will not have to wonder if you could have done anything differently or regret not standing up for your rights.
You won’t ask if you’re “allowed” to have the birth you want. Furthermore, you will go into your parenting journey with that same confidence that YOU are the expert on your baby and the outside pressure to do what everyone else tells you is “best” will be less likely to influence you.
“Empowering Moms Canada is full of valuable information and knowledge. My hope is that people find [these] services before they give birth and learn well in advance about the pitfalls of the hospital birthing system, informed consent and unnecessary interventions. Thank you Carly for your ongoing efforts to educate families and advocate for women and babies. Your insightful work makes a difference in decision making and ultimately saves lives!”
~Vickie, birth trauma survivor, birth advocate
“…After today’s session I already feel so much more supported in a day to day kind of way. I know I can reach out to Carly whenever and she will be happy to answer any questions I may have. Even better, I know she has my back in helping me to find the resources and supports that are out there to make this experience as positive as it can be. I feel ready and so much better prepared with her figuratively holding my hand (even though we’re kilometers apart) and her impressive toolbelt of information and connections backing her up”.
~Sabrina, first time mother and client
“What is the Take Charge of Birth Program?“
First, I want you to close your eyes and picture your ideal birth, if you could have it exactly the way you wanted…
Imagine if you got clear on exactly what you wanted to ask your care providers or your doula (or both) and had someone give you the perfect list of questions to take with you to your interview or your next appointment, so that they were better able to understand what you want for your birth and be able to support you in getting it.
Imagine if you had an entire library of information at your fingertips, where you could learn anything you could possibly want to know about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breasfeeding, and how to advocate for yourself in your birth and parenting journey, so that you could add to that initial birth vision and then communicate what you’re learning to your support team.
Imagine what it would be like to have someone with you as you accessed that library who could help you narrow down exactly what you most needed to know and pull out those resources for you, walk you through the material, help you whenever you got stuck, and shift your thinking in a way that you’d be open to fully absorbing that new information, so that you fully understood and could use that new information to its fullest potential.
Imagine if that same person met with you once a week to discuss any fears, concerns, or questions you had, so that every week you would have that boost of confidence to keep moving forward even if the rest of the week sucked or your care provider or family member said something that made you feel scared, worried, or like you didn’t know your own body.
Imagine if that person also had a large, constantly expanding network of connections in the birth community that they could draw more information and resources from at any time, for any reason, so that if you needed extra support at any point, there was someone out there who could help you further.
Imagine if that person believed in your dream for your birth and was committed to getting you to that vision, and helped you make changes to your plan if anything worrisome came up in the course of your pregnancy, so that even if everyone else in your life doubted your ability to birth your baby your way, you had someone in your corner who knew just what to say to help you regain your confidence in yourself.
Imagine if that person was also available for one-to-one messenger support, so that even between weekly sessions, you were never truly alone and could get a quick confidence boost or help finding a resource or information whenever you needed it.
Imagine if after each meeting with that person you received a recording of that meeting, so that you could go back and listen to it as much as you needed to, and that you would also get clear steps that you could take to get closer to what you most wanted in your birth and postpartum.
Imagine having someone who not only told you what the steps were but also how you could apply them to every aspect of your life, so that even after you left that person you would have the confidence in yourself to take charge of your birth, your parenting, your life, and even go on to plan future pregnancies with even more confidence in what you want and need for your care.
Now, imagine getting that support anywhere from 3 months to a full YEAR!
How much would that be worth to you?
This is what the Take Charge of Birth Program can do for you!
“Okay, But What Exactly Do I Get?“
When you invest in a Take Charge of Birth package you will get the personalized support and resources you need to ensure you optimize your chances of having the birth you want!
- 1-1 virtual sessions over zoom each week so that you always have someone in your corner, cheering you on and helping you get un-stuck when fears creep up or someone says something to undermine your confidence.
- Unlimited messenger and text support, so you can reach out any time you have a question or need that extra little boost of support to remind you what your goals are in this pregnancy and reaffirm you as the decision maker.
- Access to a comprehensive library/database of resources including links to the best blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, and pdf files from the most reputable, verified sources on a variety of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum topics, so you can get the best birth education and avoid the overwhelm of Google Searches and searching through endless blog content for that one article that will help you…because even if you can’t find it in the database you can reach out through messenger and we’ll dig it out for you. If it’s not in our database, then we’ll find it for you.
- Access to additional referral services through a large network of birth workers including nurses, doulas, midwives, doctors, and advocates, so that you have that additional support on hand when you need it most.
- Personalized action steps to take after each session with additional suggested resources and information to access, so that you know exactly what you need to do to get that quick “win” and move forward, becoming more confident in your own abilities to make decisions in your care.
- Templates for creating a Birth Vision, interview questions for care providers and doulas, questions to ask the hospital you are choosing for birth/registration for your homebirth, and a comprehensive Birth Plan, so that you have a clear roadmap that will help you achieve your goals for your birth
- Support for your birth partner if you have one, so they can fully understand what your birth vision is and how to best support you to achieve those goals you’ve set out.
“How Much Is The Program?“
Many of the packages offered at Empowering Moms give you the option of a full payment, monthly payment, or per-session plan so that no matter what your budget, you can still Take Charge of Your Birth.
The most you could expect for an investment on the monthly plans is $350 per month if we met every week for 90 minute sessions.
That’s 6 hours of the best birth education and 1-1 support over one month, plus an additional hour or more each week implementing the tools you learn so that you’re in the best possible position to take charge!
For comparison, the average session for birth trauma recovery is about $150 per weekly session and the long-term effects of a preventable birth injury can last a lifetime.
You could also purchase 10 books on pregnancy and birth for $25 each for a total investment of $250; however you still may not know how to make sense of all the information, may not have time to read all those books, and won’t also have access to additional resources to help you make the most of that information.
With the Take Charge of Birth program you will have access to all the information that you could possibly need, way beyond what you could get from 10 books on birth! You’ll also be more likely to avoid the common pitfalls most parents fall into when navigating the maternity care system AND have access to additional support and resources that can get you on the fast-track to finding a doula, a midwife or other supports you need for the birth experience you desire to have!
“How Do I Know if the Program Is Right For Me?“
This isn’t something I can tell you until we meet on our first session, but one key way to know that you’re ready to Take Charge is if you feel that you deserve personalized care in your pregnancy and birth.
If you are not content with the idea that you could walk into a hospital with a cesarean rate of 50% or higher, and you would like to avoid being part of the statistic of 1 in 3 women with birth trauma, then likely you’re in the right place.
If you also don’t like the idea of someone else deciding what’s best for you and your baby, and you want to know how to advocate for yourself in your care, then you’ll find the Take Charge Program especially helpful.
If however you feel that a healthy baby is ALL that matters, and you’re willing to sacrifice your body and risk having a traumatic birth and a preventable cesarean, then the Take Charge Program likely won’t do anything for you.
If you would prefer to let other people make all the decisions for you on what is best, and aren’t ready to assume responsibility for your choices and have full bodily autonomy, then you probably won’t be a good fit for this program.
If you’re not prepared to commit to 90 minutes a week and don’t want to take action to get yourself the education and shift your mindset from patient to consumer in your maternity care, and you’re not willing to seek help and aren’t coachable, then the Take Charge Program is not for you.
However, if you are committed to showing up each week for between 30 to 90 minutes, are willing to do the work between sessions, and are determined to take action and become a more empowered version of who you are now, then I invite you to test out the Take Charge Program for yourself.
Low Risk Introductory Offer!
The program MUST be a good fit for you, and if it’s not then the best time to find that out is before you’ve made a huge investment of time and money!
This is why, before you enroll in a 3, 6, or 12-month program, we want you to make sure that you’re ready to Take Charge of Your Birth and will do the work!
We’ve created an Introductory Package for the Take Charge of Birth Program that will allow you to test it out, and if you’re not satisfied or we determine it’s just not a good fit, your investment will be fully returned to you!
It’s not fun asking for a refund after you find out that something isn’t a good fit, so the Introductory sessions are designed for a low-risk investment that will still help you get a little further than where you were OR you’ll get your money back after that first session!
That means that you’ll only pay an upfront investment of $225 today, which will cover 3 introductory level sessions.
If you feel after the first session that you can’t meet the time commitment or that you didn’t get exactly what you were hoping for, you can ask for a refund on that session or notify me by email within 3 days afterward and I’ll refund the full $225 back to you.
Otherwise, you’ll be invited to book your next 2 sessions AND after the Introductory sessions if you would like to continue working with me then you can upgrade to a higher level package and take full advantage of the additional resources in the library from 6 months up to a year, as well as be able to tap into my wide network of connections for additional support outside of our weekly sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
“Can you guarantee I won’t have a cesarean?“
The World Health Organization has stated that the optimal rate for cesarean births is between 10-15% of all births.
The reality is that the cesarean rate in Canada is often much higher than that, ranging anywhere from 20% to even 90% depending on which hospital and which care provider you choose.
Things can and do come up in pregnancy where a cesarean is the best choice for you and your baby, however that choice belongs to YOU. While no one can guarantee who will and who won’t need a cesarean, the likelihood of needing one with a completely healthy, straightforward birth with a midwife is very low and the aim of the Take Charge of Birth Program is to help you navigate the information that is out there and decide what risks you are willing to assume and which ones you aren’t.
There is no risk-free way to give birth, however the majority of cesareans are performed as a result of additional interventions that were recommended to reduce a very small risk that may not even apply to your situation. This one-size-fits-all approach to maternity care has led to recommendations for cesarean due to “failure to progress” or “big babies” and neither of those things are evidence based.
With the Take Charge of Birth Program, you will be in a better position to see when the concerns are legitimate or whether it’s to avoid a potential lawsuit in that 1 in 1000 chance that something happens. You’ll know how to weigh the risks and benefits, learn how to ask the right questions to get the real answers, and be more confident in making decisions from a place of confidence instead of fear.
In other words, you will be far less likely to fall into the trap of being talked into an unwanted cesarean only to later read your records and find out that you could have avoided it and had a straightforward vaginal birth.
Additionally, if for whatever reason a cesarean IS what you feel is right for you, you’ll also have a solid birth plan for having the best possible cesarean and plan for a much easier recovery period afterward.
“What if I end up having medical complications? Are you a doctor?“
I am not a doctor and I do not give medical advice.
What I can do is help you find and research your options, consider what is most important to you in order to make a plan around the additional medical support you may need.
I can also help you compose a list of questions you can ask of your care provider and keep you aware of all your rights and options so that you don’t feel unduly pressured into just “following orders”.
Even if you are choosing a planned cesarean or an induction of labour and even if your baby needs specialized care after birth, you deserve to be the one to weigh the risks, benefits, and alternatives of any treatment plan and make a decision according to what is most important to you.
If you do need additional medical information I can put you in touch with one of my many contacts who are medical professionals and who can further assist you in understanding your options.
As previously mentioned, my job is to be your coach, advocate, and educator. I can provide you with information, resources, referrals to birth professionals in my network, and support you every step of the way to move forward in your birthing vision.
“Who is in your network?“
My network is constantly expanding to include more birth professionals, many of whom I communicate with regularly in both a professional and personal manner. This network includes nurses, midwives, doulas, and some doctors who believe in a mother’s right to make decisions in her own care.
I am very selective of who I include in this network because I do not wish to send my clients to anyone who will not support them fully in their choices for themselves and their babies.
What I can tell you is that I have partnered with the CEO and Founder of BeBaby, I am a Transforming Birth Luminary, Gloria Lemay has referred her students to seek me out for help finding information and resources, Cristen Pascucci of Birth Monopoly spoke to me on the phone way back in 2015, I have emailed Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth and she has written back, and if you ask most doulas in the Fraser Valley and BC Lower Mainland if they know me, or have heard of Improving Birth Abbotsford, or Empowering Moms, there’s a pretty good chance they do, or if they don’t then someone higher up the chain in the Doula Services Association definitely does because I meet with those ladies weekly on zoom!
This puts me in a powerful position for connection, which means that if you have a question or specific need, chances are excellent that either I already have the information in my resources library, or I can go get that information from someone I know.
“Can you help me find a doula then?“
If you’re in the Lower Mainland then I could absolutely get you in contact with multiple doulas, all who would be able to refer you to someone in their network, and even if you live elsewhere in Canada there’s someone in my network who likely knows someone who knows someone else.
I also make it my mission to connect with birth workers who share the vision of Empowering Moms and bring them into my network, and I am constantly befriending doulas in particular.
“Can you help me find a midwife/supportive doctor?“
I can tell you that I will go through every single connection I have and if there is a care provider out there to support you, I will find them.
I can also assist you in composing a list of questions for interviewing care providers, help you stay vigilant for red flags in the beginning, and help you know how best to advocate for what you want in your care.
“This all sounds great, but what if my partner isn’t on board?“
It’s important for your partner to be supportive as the two of you are a team. We have a special resource section of our website just for partners and any family or friends that you may have supporting you.
That said, this is your birth and your body. Birth trauma will not affect your partner the same way as it will you, and will not have the same impact on your health.
I can also tell you that if you feel your partner isn’t convinced then you might want to bring them to the first session to see how having this extra support in your pregnancy will benefit them as well. If you continue to work with me after those first introductory sessions, then there will be additional opportunities to bring your partner in on our virtual calls and we can come up with a plan together for your partner to support you, then bring them on board so they know exactly what to do.
This is very similar to how a doula would help support your partner, however the difference is that you would have more time and more support so that you and your partner would already know which doula is right for you, should you choose to hire one.
“Okay, I’m convinced. How do I get started?“
Step one is to click the button below and enroll in the Introductory Package.
When you enroll, you will receive the confirmation email with your receipt.
Within 24-48 hours you will then receive a personal message from me and I will provide you with a list of get to know you questions and invite you to book your first session.
Sessions will take place over Zoom, and the call will be recorded for you so that you can review it and take any notes afterward. This will allow you to be present and focused on our session and not have to worry about writing anything down.
If you have trouble accessing Zoom or don’t know how to set it up, I will personally walk you through the process of downloading the application and installing it. Once it’s all set up, it’s easy to access and you’ll wonder how you ever did without it!
If, after our first session you don’t feel that you will benefit from having my support or feel that you aren’t able to commit to the program then I will refund your purchase and you can keep the recording and you’ll have a clear idea of what you can do to get at least a few steps further than you were before our call.
If you choose to continue working with me then we will set up a schedule for the next 2 calls and you’ll receive your Birth Vision template and be invited to fill it out and return it to me via email or we can go over it together on our second call.
You’ll then receive another email within 24-48 hours with your recording of our session for that week, some notes about what we talked about, some steps you can take to accomplish some small goals that will align with that vision, and if we edited or filled out the Birth Vision together then you will also receive that document.
You may also receive links to additional resources or information that can help you understand more options or help you get additional support you need.
When you book your final call with me, we’ll go over questions you can ask your care provider or what to look for when interviewing care providers, and you’ll have a clear idea on what red flags to watch out for and how to advocate for what you want in your care.
We will also go over options for the higher-level packages available, should you like to continue getting support and utilize my library of resources and the connections within my network.
If you choose to enroll in these packages, the $225 you invested in the Introductory Package will be applied to the new package you wish to enroll in, and your next session will be booked with the first payment due within 48 hours of that session.
If you choose not to enroll in the additional sessions and have full access the resource library then you must contact me 48 hours before our scheduled call and no payment will have to be made.
If you paid the full amount in advance, you will be refunded that additional investment you made.
You will have lifetime access to the resources library once you have completed your sessions within the Silver, Gold, or Rose Gold level packages and access will be revoked if you cancel your package. For as long as you are a client of Empowering Moms, or once you have completed a Silver (3-Month), Gold (6-Month), or Rose Gold (12-Month) package, you will have the library to go through at your leisure and unlimited support through messenger.
After you complete your program you can upgrade to another package or study the resources on your own and book sessions based on your needs rather than on a set weekly or bi-weekly schedule.
“Can I see you more often than once a week?“
You may not book more than one session per week however you will have messenger support for any quick questions or if you need a little boost of encouragement.
The reason I prefer this weekly schedule is because after a session you will be receiving a recording of the call and action steps to take that same week. Ideally you want a 4-5 day buffer between sessions so that you can implement these steps and get further ahead in your goals and vision so that on our next session we can go over what you discovered and make a plan around those breakthroughs.
If we meet too often it won’t give you time to have those “aha” moments and I want to make certain that we’re moving forward.
If you’re feeling stuck implementing one of the action steps, you’re welcome to reach out and I’ll help clarify things for you, but otherwise the schedule is set at weekly for best results.
I do make exceptions for emergencies, or if you’re really having a difficult time and an additional session would be helpful.
Depending on the type of package you choose, these additional sessions may be booked at a reduced upfront fee or may be included at no extra charge.
“Can I see you less than once a week?“
The program works best when I can see you weekly, and you can get good results bi-weekly if that is easier for your schedule, however any less than that leaves too much time for you to possibly lose focus, momentum, or something could come up to discourage you.
This is especially likely if you do not have a strong support system already in place and do not have access to the perspectives and knowledge of midwives, doulas, and other birth professionals on a day-to-day basis.
You also lose out on having accountability, and evidence has shown that when people have someone to hold them accountable and keep them focused on their goals they are more likely to succeed than if they do not have that level of support on a regular basis.
If you feel that you cannot commit to 2 weekly sessions per month at 90 minutes each, then it is unlikely that the program will be a good fit for you. However, you also need to ask yourself what the cost is to you not putting that time in to create that birth vision and take those action steps every week to move you forward so that you can Take Charge of Your Birth.
I can’t make you commit to the program and if you aren’t ready to Take Charge of Your Birth right now then I will still be here when you are ready, however the Introductory Package works best when you are less than 25 weeks pregnant and the sooner you enroll the more time you will have to plan out your birth and postpartum for this baby, or a future pregnancy you are planning to have if you are not currently expecting. I know this because I implemented the Take Charge system when I was planning my second pregnancy and wish I had known about it with my first baby!
So, if you’re ready to get started today, you can click this button below!
I’ll see you soon ❤