If you are going to write a plan while pregnant, write a postpartum plan.
Think about how you will be taken care of while you are consumed with your sweet new baby. In those early days, your main tasks are feeding and sleeping. All the other household chores, errands, and meals can be delegated to those well meaning family and friends. They want nothing more than to help… and maybe get a glimpse of the baby.
Even with the current restrictions, they can still help by dropping off meals, taking your dog(s) out for a hike, pulling your garbage bins to the curb and back…
Over a week, write down all the chores and errands done in and around your house, then put them on your postpartum plan. Hang that plan up or have it on your phone so when someone asks what they can do to help, send them your plan!
At this point, my clients have been receiving emails regarding doula support with the latest details as they become available. I have attended several virtual meetings and webinars to uncover as much information as I can for myself and my clients. Working closely with the North Shore Doulas through Zoom meetings, we are supporting one another so that we may support you. Our commitment to you all at this time is stronger than ever. Navigating this uncharted territory is not easy for any of us, but with information, support, and connection (albeit virtual), we are doing what we can in a very unpredictable time. The point of this post is not to give medical advice but rather to provide a starting point for gathering information so that you can make informed decisions about your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. For specific protocols and policies, always speak to your care provider.
GLOW Prenatal Retreat
I am pretty darn excited to be part of this special event! On March 30th you will find us nestled in at the stunning Cheakamus Center preparing growing families to thrive through comprehensive workshops, building community and celebration with nourishing food!
Glow is a prenatal day retreat set in an ancient cedar rainforest, aimed at:
- Empowering and Inspiring confidence in expectant women and couples,
- Guiding women and couples in creating personalized family plans to THRIVE into the "4th trimester"
- Reclaiming birth as a sacred ceremony and celebration; dispelling fear and embracing trust
- Celebrating life, birth, family and community.
We will explore everything no one tells you about having a baby, including such topics as sleep, returning to intimacy, taking maternity leave, proper self care, baby care basics and more. Think beyond birth and prepare for the lifetime that follows it.
Glow is an inclusive space. All genders and gender expressions are welcome. All variety of family types are welcome.
Gender Inclusivity Workshop
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
Curious about Midwives?!
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!
World Doula Week, March 22 - 28
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
Healing & Your Birth Story
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.