I am very proud to be presenting this interactive workshop for expectant folks preparing for the reality of pain-coping in labor.
Join Judy Mclaren, a certified Birthing From Within® Childbirth Educator, seasoned Doula, owner of Dancing Star Birth and an integral member of Vancouver’s birth community for over 12 years, to discover and understand your perception of pain in childbirth. Gain confidence in your ability to cope with the intensity of labor and birth while exploring the pain coping mindset in preparation for the transition into parenthood.
Vairdy is once again so generously donating her time to one of my ideas... this time we are working together to raise fund in order to purchase a second hospital grade Medela pump and trolley for Squamish General Hospital! All the proceeds from these family portrait sessions will go towards purchasing the pump. Spaces are quickly filling, be sure to book in soon to guarantee your space!!!
When a past client comes up with a great idea to support other new parents, I am ALL IN! This particular idea not only supports new families, it also supports women-owned businesses that have a social impact, what's not to love?! These transitions kits make a great gift for yourself or anyone new to parenting. But make sure you contact me for a promo code before you place your order because Loretta is extending some love for my clients!
Here's what Loretta wants you to know about these kits...
Transition Essentials was created as a way of providing people with tangible self-care resources while going through a major transition in their lives.
Each kit is curated with products made by women owned businesses that have a social impact. Whether it’s an education initiative in Ghana they are contributing to, partnering with young female entrepreneurs in Uganda or offering leadership programming to young women globally, these business women are on a mission to make the world a better place for everyone. Their products are ethical and made with care.
The kits are curated with a lot of thought. We do this to ensure you are getting useful products with minimal waste. All our box fillers are made of recycled paper (we ditched the plastic!) and there is no unnecessary wrapping. We also do our best to reduce overhead so we can keep the prices reasonable and not cut down on the quality.
In each box you’ll learn a little about the entrepreneurs behind the products and receive gift codes if you want to purchase more later on.
I am very excited to be presenting this workshop with Safe 'n Sound Squamish! Geared to birth workers and anyone working with expecting and new families, learn how to create a more inclusive practice for gender diverse families. The workshop is free of charge however space is limited, registration is required. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we were even pregnant with our first, I dragged my husband to a Midwifery Info Night in Vancouver. He obliged, as the partner of a fresh newly trained Doula, and was curious to find out what midwives do and how they support families. He was blown away by the amount of information we left with. If you are expecting, or plan to in the future, I would highly encourage you to start gathering information from care providers now. Our local midwives, Roots Community Midwives, are holding an information night and will be happy to answer all your questions about midwifery care. Join the midwives on December 13th at 7pm, 210-38026 Second Ave. (Grinning Weasel Photography Studio). RSVP to email@example.com
My upcoming weekend immersion will complete my first year of mentoring Birthing From Within® childbirth preparation classes. Through Doula-ing and childbirth classes I feel privileged to have supported 83 families this year...and there's still another six weeks to go!
This is the time of year that I start spending more time reflecting and looking back on what has transpired. It's been another busy year of supporting expectant and newborn families. The addition of teaching prenatal classes has opened up an incredibly inspiring outlet for how I continue to serve local families. To say that I love mentoring my classes just doesn't do it justice. My Birthing From Within® classes have fuelled my desire to do more to support families in our community in a way that has taken over my birth work. Expectant families coming from all walks of life, working with all kinds of care providers, are coming together as a community to prepare and gather information for their births. Having such a diverse group of families has benefits beyond lively conversations in class. Before they have their babies they are already starting to build a village of support with other folks who are all headed towards the same transition into parenthood. The benefits of creating a support network before birth can make the entire process less daunting just by knowing you're not the only one going through it! My desire to reach deeper into the community to support these families has only grown. From working with another local doula to offer free Doula Information Nights to cultivating growth in our local La Leche League group and spearheading the Breastpump Fundraiser for SGH, the volunteer hours I have put into this community have been richly satisfying.
I am also very proud to be part of an interdisciplinary group who's goal is to improve care in the childbearing year for families in our community. The Sea to Sky Maternity Project has put out this survey for families who are currently pregnant or have birthed in the corridor in the past three years. Since the first step in improving care comes from understanding what needs to be changed, your participation is greatly appreciated.
Here's to another successful year ahead! Thank you for your support, Lunamama doula services wouldn't be where it is today without you!
It's a common scenario, a new parent sitting alone in their home, thinking they are the only one having challenges with the transition of becoming a family. Whether it's breastfeeding, sleep, health concerns or a sibling adjusting to the baby, it's not easy and can feel quite daunting. I remind new parents that they are definitely not the only ones going through a tough patch, but we rarely ever see what happens in other families homes in those first few weeks.
Sometimes, our idea of what it should be like is terribly unrealistic. Often, we see families out and about, they seem to be handling this transition flawlessly and we may start to judge ourselves according to what we see. What we may not realize is that their baby is likely weeks if not months older than a delicate newborn. Perhaps the birthing parent has had time to recover physically from the birth, perhaps the partner was able to take a lot of time off work to be home and help with the new baby...maybe they even had support day and night to help them all get some rest and ease into parenting. Regardless of someone else's story, it probably wasn't a breeze at first, and there are adjustments for everyone. The problem as I see it, is that we tend to go through these adjustments and challenges alone. Here in Squamish, the majority of the families I support do not have a large network of family and friends close by to help out once baby arrives. Instead of having a conversation with a relative or friend, there is a tendency to jump online to diagnose and validate our feelings but with the overwhelming amount of information at our fingertips that in itself can be its own stressor! So what to do? Well, for starters, be gentle with yourselves in this transition. And know that the majority of new parents aren't floating seamlessly through this transition. It is very important, essential really, to build your tribe and create that network of "family" and friends if you do not have that.
Meeting other families while you're still pregnant can be a great way to build this community. In Squamish we have great yoga and fitness classes, prenatal classes, community centres, HPOP etc.. Squamish Baby does a great job of listing local gatherings, I highly recommend having that site on your radar.
And remember, once your baby arrives, it's OK to stay in and go into hibernation mode. There are so many changes that take place in those first few weeks, and often the birthing parent is still quite vulnerable. Having loving support around you is one of the best things you can do for your recovery and transition into early parenting. And know that there's no right way to do this, you will always do what is best for you and your family in the moment. It gets better, it really does.
Lunamama Doula Services is fundraising to purchase a second breast pump for Squamish General Hospital!
I have seen first hand that families birthing in our local hospital could benefit from having a second breast pump. While our town continues to grow at a rapid pace, there is often more than one family at a time who need to use the breast pump, Right now, there is only one pump. Sharing the pump makes extra work and takes extra time. With a hungry new babe, waiting for the pump can add stress to a family who may already be experiencing breastfeeding challenges. It's time for a second breast pump!
A Medela Symphony Plus with a trolley costs $2650.00 and while that's a lofty fundraising goal I believe we can make it happen for families birthing in our community. Watch for upcoming events in support of this fundraiser!
Once upon a time I was a fiercely independent and strong willed individual. My first career as a dancer, ballerina to be exact, taught me perseverance and determination that I carried with me after my brief career ended. I could do anything if I just practiced hard enough and put my mind to it, even if it meant falling over and over and over... "No one else could do the pirouette for me, it was all up to me". Unfortunately, this train of thought crept into my experience as a new Mom, but the ability to get back up again after the fall had disappeared, so it constantly felt like all I was doing was falling, over and over and over again. Then slowly, and with much resistance, I branched out and started to meet people, other people who like me, had a new baby and needed a tribe.
Fast forward six years and I still feel those pangs of fierce determination to pick myself up and go full steam ahead on my own. With the help of many dear friends along the way, I've grown to lean into the hard bits and instead of refusing to grab the hand reaching out to help me up, I'm grabbing on. It's no good mucking through the shit life throws at us alone, it's much more enjoyable with a sidekick...or four!
As a doula, my replies to invites for brunch, playdates, meetings or any other type of scheduled affair are often accompanied by my constant caveat - "if I'm not a birth!" Lucky for me those replies are met with the expectation that if I don't show I'm likely at the side of a family who is about to welcome a new human into this world. And lucky for me, I've found a tribe of friends who get it. Friends that are willing to watch the kids, or who swing by the hospital with coffee and actual real warm food, or who understand why I'm asleep at 1pm, those folks are a close second to my partner, and without them I couldn't do this work.
I know how fortunate I am to have people in my life that I can lean on, I hope they know how much they mean to me and my family - and to the families I support through birth. This work has taught me many things, one of which is to say Yes when help is offered and to be humble enough to ask for it when its not. Everything is better with friends, we were never meant to do this alone, so reach out to your tribe and celebrate your triumphs or ask them to help you up if you're struggling, trust me, it's worth it!