Wow! I cannot thank you all enough! With the support from Squamish Hospital Foundation, Vairdy Photography, This is Beauty-AnnaMarie, Grinning Weasel Photography, Squamish Savings, and all the individual folks who supported this fundraiser directly or through one of our events...THANK YOU SO MUCH! THE PUMP HAS ARRIVED!
It was no small feat! With a good dose of patience and support from Roots Community Midwives, Dr. Kim MacDonald our local OB-GYN, Mountain Maternity and nearly every OB nurse at SGH, there is now a brand new Medela Symphony Plus and trolley at Squamish General Hospital! Seeing first hand how quickly this community is growing, I knew we needed another pump and I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have made it happen!
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.
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!
This week of celebrating Doulas and all we do, I want to acknowledge my fellow birth workers. The ones that will back me up in a flash or that randomly show up with coffee and real food (that doesn't come in the form of a granola bar or energy chews) that make going on during a long birth possible. To those who listen when things are hard and who celebrate triumphs, thank you. Not having "colleagues" can make it a tough at times but having fellow birth workers makes all the difference!
What better time to celebrate this work than when the ground itself starts to show signs of new life. Spring equinox, return of fertility and of course...world Doula week. I don't really need a reason to celebrate this work, after-all, this work is my life, it's the kind of work that is all encompassing. And I love it. I get to witness new life coming into this world and the transformation of couples into parents and families growing by one (or two!) at a time.
Someone asked me recently what I like about this work, they couldn't fathom the late night/early morning calls to births, the long hours, the not knowing when you get to sleep or eat or see your own family. I smiled, like birth itself, it's hard to explain the most tender moments that strike right into my heart and make it all worth while. Seeing the unbelievable strength of a birthing woman as they make it through transition, watching their partner see that same strength and be beyond proud...locking eyes with a laboring woman and not speaking a word but being able to translate to her that she's safe, she's strong, she's going to be alright. Seeing a new life emerge, watching the new parents in awe of their baby, supporting the first latch...these are just a few of the moments that keep the fire burning to continue doing this work.
Image credit: Bloom Business Solutions
Originally posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
Birth, one of life’s most epic moments, and so unpredictable. For some Moms having a hard time adjusting after baby arrives can be in part due to the way baby actually arrived. As a Doula I am well aware of the unforeseen path of birth and have been with many families who experienced something completely opposite of what they had in mind. In my own experience our first baby had a birth plan of her own and we were blessed with a wonderfully supportive birth team who encouraged us through every step. I pray that every woman is made to feel as I did - I floated on a cloud of love and strength. This is one of the reasons I continue to support families during their births, I feel that every woman should have the chance to have a positive birth experience. We had a considerable sized team...My husband was the ultimate protector, my sister the endless fountain of love, Jenn had constant faith in my ability to birth this baby, Andrea had the touch of an angel and the most beautifully calm energy and our midwife gave us all the confidence to persevere.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to be without all that love during a birth but some births take a path of their own and don’t allow for much tenderness. Both Mom and babe need to heal afterwards, bonding is important and helping Mom understand and accept her birth is a huge step in her gaining strength in her ability and confidence in herself as a strong mother. I would love to see a sisterhood of Moms sharing and healing their birth stories to then move forward and shine as the wondrous women they have become in their new role as ‘mother’. We need to support each other and our births, the more respect we give each other the more our babies will grow up to be admirable human beings who can be excited about birth, not afraid and fearful of it.