Posts by Category : Birth

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Birth and Postpartum Doula Business Tips

Birth and Postpartum Doula Business Tips

1. I am a business owner- These are words that you need to start saying in your head. When people ask me what I do, I do not say “I train doulas” I say “I am the Director of Birth Arts International, a doula certification organization”. See the difference. “I am a doula” versus “I own (insert your business name here), I am a professional doula.” See the distinct difference. This difference is apparent to potential clients. You are taking your place in the community by taking a place in your community’s league of professionals. Parents/clients/colleagues all benefit from your distinctions. Try introducing yourself to yourself a few times, make yourself believe in your professionalism and ownership of self. No one can own your company but you, but in order to be respected as such and valued as such you must learn to accept and believe this of yourself.

At Work

At Work

2. Make a business plan- Make a business plan, a list of goals, dream board. You can find business plan resources at- the SBA. Be realistic and be ready to do the work. Running a business is a full time job. Make sure you can work your schedule around your life if you have children. This can be a successful and fulfilling career if you have children and want to work around the needs of being a parent. Be realistic and reasonable with yourself.

Do not start your business from a place of competition or jealousy. Do not compare yourself to other providers, unless it is to improve yourself. Most clients will not choose you over another provider, just for price. Make sure your rates are reflective of your costs, not the other rates in the area. Be true to yourself. If your rates are too low, you will have an unsustainable practice, and you will potentially burn out. Be realistic with your goals, costs, finances, and make sure you are honest with yourself.

Competition is not to be afraid of. Make sure you view competition as a positive. So do not make fun of, diss, or second guess another practitioner. Be kind, and gentle. If you start your career from a negative, competitive and “nasty” place your business will not last. Having a business plan that you stick to will help you to keep focus, and give you something that you can work from and use to guide you as your practice develops.

Business investment- a lot of students feel they have spent sooo much on education, etc.. But the reality is that being a doula is a business that you can start with investment costs less than $1000.00. I can’t think of another long term career that you have that can see your seeing a profit in less than the first year. Remember this. Most businesses do not see a profit for the first three years. BAI offers the most intensive and beautiful doula training in the world, remember the value it is, and honor that.

It is essential that you pay for additional education, continue to improve yourself, skills, and keep up with the demands of your local market. You can find a variety of educational options at www.birtharts.com

When you invest in yourself you will be making your business and career path stronger. Make sure you do the work, skimping on your career plan, business plan, etc.. will only work against you. So do the work, after all it is for you.

3. Dress the part!- Do not show up in your sweat suit for a meeting with clients. Until you know your business style and you know what clients expect keep it simple. Does this mean you can’t have style and flair? No, but it does mean you need to be groomed and respectful. No cleavage, no miniskirts, no t-shirts with band names, beer/product/pithy cartoon logos, now is not the time to be “cool”. Parents do not want to see your underwear, bra straps, or lots of make up or jewelry. Parents can be offended from a variety of clothing issues.
Until you know the parent keep it simple. I know this sounds obvious, but once I had a client, about 15 years ago, who said she almost didn’t hire me because I had a tribal print tunic, she thought it was too pagan, or witchy. To me it was a cool shirt, so from then on I kept it simple.
Parents need to be able to visualize you at their birth. You do not know someone’s back story, marital history, or insecurities. Take this into consideration.
Look it is simple if you are respectful, polished and present a professional presence parents will feel safe in your hands.
If you have tattoos, dreadlocks, or lots of piercings be aware that not all people are accepting of alternatives in dress. This is not their issue, it is what makes them feel safe, do not take it personally. Other parents may feel the exact opposite, be aware and make sure you yourself do not judge parents, you are the business, and they are the client.

Some articles on professional dress

-How to Dress Professionally

-Tips from a BAI Doula

4. Promotion- Make sure you have business cards, a website, and advertise locally. Hang fliers, at health food stores, place cards at baby boutiques, ask to leave brochures at doctors and midwives offices. Make your website clean and easy to navigate. In your about you section detail your education, the training organization you worked with and additional beneficial education. Choose a simple business name the expresses to potential clients what you are offering, use an original logo. In the business would you will occasionally find that someone has stolen another’s logo. Make sure yours is original to your practice.
Choose an appropriate email address. If you own your URL make a local email address name@yourwebsite.com or if you use a free service yourdoulapractice@hotmail/yahoo/gmail.com.
Do not use silly names people will not identify with you. KittenLover21359@whatever.com is not very business-like.
Check out your competition, assess the market.

Check out services like VistaPrint, or Staples Business Services.
Take a look at who other birth professionals are targeting, maybe they are overlooking an area of need. Are you all looking and promoting yourself to the same core group of people.
Here are some categories that you can assess.

Doula Support

Doula Support

• First baby
• VBAC
• Previous birth trauma
• Crisis/teen pregnancy
• High risk pregnancy/high risk/stillbirth/previous loss
• Homebirth
• Intrauterine insemination/in vitro fertilization
• Adoption
• Cultural diversity
Then decide if you can serve this population and if so how to effectively market to that area.

5. Create a clear contract- Have a client for clients to sign that details what you will and will not do, your fees, back up, cancellation of services, refunds, etc.. Make your policies clear. The small business associations in your community, or your organization can assist you. Stick to your contract. It is essential that you follow your end of the bargain 100%. Sometimes legal advice is needed when drawing up a contract, pay for it if you need it, or seek out small business resources in your community.

6. Look you are not perfect, life is not perfect but if you are respectful, stick to your core foundation, follow your end of the contract then you are going to have a more sustainable and profitable business. Remember this. Yes, you will have times when you say, “This sucks”, etc.. Shake it off, assess yourself and believe in your goal. Have friends outside of the birth world who will offer you friendship and distraction from work. Do not get involved with local birth world drama. Never bad mouth another doula, if you can’t address it directly to her, then you shouldn’t be saying it. Stop playing the gossip game, do not pass on the negative, doing this is your choice.

 

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Student Comments and Reviews Birth Arts International Doula Program

As we are coming to the end of the year I thought I would share some comments and reviews from our students. We are only sharing a few of the doula students comments, just to share with you our relationship with our students.

I love everything about this program! I especially love that it is all online, and I can work on the assignments when I can. It has made it possible for me to earn my bachelor’s degree, work, and still work towards my doula certification. I also love the additional herbal and holistic teachings that is included and how they relate to pregnancy and childbirth. I really like that more than the usual number of books and evaluated births is required. This ensures that I get a well rounded and full knowledge and understanding of many different types of birth and life situations.

A. Long 2013

Lisa Lute

June 12, 2013

I have thoroughly enjoyed this BAI course thus far. I am almost done with my certification and am so glad I decided to go through BAI. I am part of a local doula group here in Boise and I am the only none DONA trained Doula. At first I was a little self-couscous of this, but now am very proud! I have learned a lot about DONA and their certification requirements in the last year and I have to say that BAI beats them in every way hands down! I feel like I have received a well-rounded and thorough doula training. BAI does not just teach about the body and the birth process, but they go so many steps further. BAI dives into the spiritual and emotional aspects as well as getting into nutrition, herbalism and aromatherapy…..etc. A lot more course work is expected of us initially, but I believe we are better for it. I have learned so much through this entire process.  And I can’t wait to finish and have my certification in hand! I do not have any real suggestions that I can think of, just keep on doing what your doing and the great word of mouth will spread. I tell all my friends and acquaintances that are thinking about going into birth work to check out BAI. I can’t wait to check out some of your other courses!

 

I very much enjoyed and appreciated the BAI Doula Program. I have learned so much and I feel like I can take so much information away from this experience. I think that reading all of the books was great for me to understand what I as a doula can provide for a laboring mother and her family. Being able to watch birth and be a part of it has been one of the most miraculous experiences for me in my life. I truly feel blessed that I was able to be a part of this program.

Karen Hamel

I have enjoyed this past year tremendously.  I have learned so much.  I love my Birth Arts International Certified Doula Education Program Book and I will keep it for reference.  I will do all of the assignments listed in the book as I believe they will definitely benefit me.  The books suggested for reading have been so educational and I have learned so much from them.  All of the births I have been able to attend have been awesome.  I have had the privilege to attend at least 15 births over this past year and each time has been an amazing experience.  I will consider taking other courses with Birth Arts International in the future.  Thank you so much.

Patricia Hoxie

Leslie Westenhaver
Student Suggestions
I find myself at the end of this journey to become a Certified Doula and I am truly amazing at all I have completed in the past two years. Going into this course, I honestly thought I would be able to finish most of the work within 6 months with one year being the longest it would take me to get the clients and such to complete all the requirements. Little did I know that as soon as I signed up for the course, I would find myself pregnant with baby number five and go through the first year hardly able to complete much of anything. Still, despite many of the setbacks and frustrations in figuring out childcare with 5 young children, I wanted to push myself to complete this course within the time limit given. Now here I am, about to submit all my paperwork for the course and I see what a long way I have come from the person who joined up almost two years ago. I feel this course is absolutely and completely thorough and come back to the page often to read through different things, from the links to rebozo use to the traditions of healing, and I am so proud to have worked through the Birth Arts International certification for doula over some of the others I had looked at before. I love that there is a Facebook group where I can go to voice any issues I might be having with my certification work or to network with other fellow Birth Arts doulas. I am proud to be a part of this group of wonderfully wise women and look forward to serving expecting women and their families for many years to come!

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Stretch Mark Herbal Recipes

Belly Balms and oils are wonderful ways to nourish skin when pregnant. They can often lessen the appearance or occurrence of stretch marks. Eat whole foods and drink plenty of water to nourish your skin. The following recipes are from my new book 475 Herbal and Aromatherapy Recipes.

Stretch Mark Massage Oil 

1 cup cocoa butter, melted
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
2 tablespoons rose hip seed oil
3 tablespoons wheat germ oil

1 tablespoon Borage Oil
12 drops Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) EO
10 drops  Neroli (Citrus aurantium) EO
6 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) EO

Blend the melted cocoa butter with the other oils. Pour the mixture to a clean jar. Add the essential oils. Allow the mixture to cool to a comfortable temperature before using it. Use this wonderful blend once or twice a day. This is great for pregnant bellies and breasts.

 

Belly Balm or Stretch Mark Prevention Oil

This oil feels wonderful going on. It is smooth and moisturizing and can help with the itching that so often happens when the skin starts stretching. In a double boiler, melt the carrier oils listed below. Carrier oils are nut or seed oils, like almond oil, Shea butter, coconut butter and olive oil, for example. These are pressed and not distilled.

1 cup coconut oil

¼ cup cocoa butter

1/8 cup apricot, almond or grape seed oil

1/8 cup Kukui nut (Aleurites moluccana) oil, Shea butter or mango butter (I love using mango butter.)

When these oils have melted completely, remove the mixture from the heat.

Stir well and add the essential oils, then incorporate them in well.

10–20 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album) (try to purchase from an ethical source*)

15 drops Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

15 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil

There are additional options for essential oils. Use what you like and/or can find locally. You can also try rosewood, rose, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), tangerine and  Neroli (Citrus aurantium). If you blend your own mixture, be sure to keep the amount of essential oils used at less than 50 drops total.

Massage the balm all over thighs, breasts, stomach and anywhere else that needs nourishing and moisturizing. I have also used this on my face. The oil is nourishing to all of you skin, not just skin that is being stretched by pregnancy. This also works on teens who are developing stretch marks from growing so fast.

Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

You can get Demetria Clark’s Herbal Healing for Children at Amazon.

 

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Growing a Birth Community

Growing a Birth Community

BAI Training with Mavis Gewant

BAI Training with Mavis Gewant

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18

When I first became a doula in 2009 I tried to start a doula network, facilitating meetings and workshops. I desired a community of colleagues, sharing their experiences and encouraging one another in their journey to empower women during the childbearing year. Unfortunately after 12 months roughly hosting regular meetings and plus two workshops, it had not thrived like I had hoped. I live in Delaware, up until several years ago it was near impossible to find a doula.

Most people had no idea what a doula was or did, if they had heard the term. The handful doulas I knew of lived an hour north of me bordering Pennsylvania. I had to surrender to the fact that the community I live in just wasn’t ready for a doula network. I put it on the back burner until the community was ready. However, I never surrendered my deep longing for a birth community.

 

Over the years as a birth professional I actively sought out doulas in my area; aspiring, new and seasoned alike. I worked to keep communication going, by adding those with an expressed interest to my email list or newsletter; to inform them about activities and events they may be interested in. Rarely I heard beyond the initial email inquiring about how to become a doula. It was disheartening for me.

This experience led me to change my approach a bit. Several times a year I attend events like baby fairs, holistic health expos and lactation educational seminars as a vendor so I can reach two types of audiences: consumers and health care professionals. It’s a really great opportunity to network with supporters in the community and potential advocates who can help promote your cause on a professional level within state health departments, health care practices, hospitals and various other organizations.

 

You could also seek out networking opportunities with like-minded women through babywearing groups and breastfeeding groups like Le Leche League. While these groups are not directly birth related, they are still a wonderful resource. 8 years ago we had no Le Leche League, but today we have two! When Delmarva Babywearers, first formed about 8 years ago about 5 women attended monthly. Their babywearing group has exploded into 6 meetings a month (some social and some instructional) with 15-20 women attending! I encourage all new local moms and my clients to attend their meetings. I have found it to be one the best sources of passionate advocates to tap into. While they may not be actively involved in every birth-relative initiative, they can help spread the word to new members joining their group.

 

Another fantastic option to creat a birth community is through an established organization like Birth Network National, who have chapters nation wide. The Birth Network is comprised of parents, professionals and advocates. Your state or community may be in need of you to start a chapter. An organization like Birth Network National has already done all the work to establish and can give you ideas on how to create a birth community. In Fall 2012 I started the Delaware

Birth Network with great anticipation. In June the Delaware Birth Network hosted a successful “Doula Night”. Several women came out to support doulas, learn about becoming a doula and learn about what doulas do. I wish I could tell you our monthly meetings have a lot of people attending or even regular attendees. However, Delaware has tremendous obstacles to overcome to grow a thriving birth community. I firmly believe in time with a lot of hard work and creativity we will reach more people.

 

At the end of May I had the great privilege of hosting a doula workshop for Birth Arts International, which 12 wonderful women attended. One of the most touching parts of the workshop was that one of the women who attended was a former doula client of mine! That is powerful and beautiful! I had planned this for nearly 9 months and been dreaming of ways to grow the birth community in Delaware for 5 years. For quite some time I have been the only active doula in central Delaware. While some may say by hosting a doula workshop I’m “training my competition”, I disagree, I believe there is power in creating colleagues so your impact may be greater. Helen Keller said it best, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

 

In order to continue seeing growth in the community we must also facilitate opportunities for continuing education for birth professionals. Fall 2013 Delaware will be having its first placenta encapsulation workshop. In 2014 I hope to host a workshop with Lara Catone, to teach a workshop to birth professionals, about diastasis, pelvic floor health, scar tissue and it’s effect on labor. The neat thing about the workshop with Lara is that while I feel is vital information to all birth professionals, it will also be open to consumers. It’s a great opportunity to blend parents and professionals together!

 

If you are waiting for a birth community to start thriving in your area, stop waiting and start getting busy! The “community” may be waiting for YOU to cultivate it! Reach out, network, prepare to be rejected and ignored but don’t give up. It may take years but it will be worth it. If you are so fortunate to live in an area where there is an existing and thriving birth community, count your blessings and please go hug those pioneers that paved the way. They will appreciate it more than you know.

Cindy Collins is a native of the San Francisco Bay area but now resides in Delaware with her husband and 3 boys.

Before she became a doula she was a professionally trained baker, holding a degree in baking & pastry. In addition to being a doula she volunteers as the chapter leader for the Delaware Birth Network. She is also an herbalist studying dually with Heart of Herbs with Demetria Clark and Herbal Medicine for Women with Aviva Romm.

Cindy is also a professional photographer who specializes in maternity, birth and nursing portraiture. For more information she can be reached at euphoricbirth.com and euphoricherbals.com

 

 

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Meet the Doula- Heather Keeney

  • Heather Keeney

    Heather Keeney

    1. Why did you choose BAI?

    The logo! Seriously. When I first decided to become a doula, I did a lot of research online. I found tons of info about some of the larger organizations (DONA, CAPPA, etc.), and while the information was good and piqued my interest, it didn’t really resonate with me. Money was also a concern—we were a single income family at the time, and it was looking like following my passion was going to have to wait a bit, because I just couldn’t afford the training. Then one day something with the beautiful BAI logo popped up on my screen, and it was like someone was saying, “HEY! Over here!” I read through the information on the Birth Arts website, and I KNEW I had found where I was meant to be. When my scholarship application was accepted, it was like coming home.

    2. What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?
    That even though we arrive at the same destination (birth), we don’t all follow the same path to get there. There is no one “right” way for us to birth our babies. I learned that in order to be the best doula I can be, I had to let go of some of my own notions about what a “good” birth looks like. A hospital birth with an epidural and an OB can be just as good as a homebirth with a midwife and no meds at all—what matters most is how a woman feels about her experience. I learned that in order for me to best serve the women I work with, I may have to leave my activism at the door, and I learned how to be okay with that—not every client needs you to advocate for her in the same way, or for the same things.

    3. Tell us a little about yourself.
    I am a 36 year old mother of 3 boys, ages 17, 4 and 2 and a half, as well as one middle-aged furbaby: a Siamese cat. I’m fortunate to have a truly amazing man as my partner in crime—without his unwavering support and belief in my dreams, I would never be able to do what I do. I’m a voracious reader (my favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett), an avid crocheter (I love anything with granny squares—they make me super happy!), and a lover of good beer (I’ve never met a Belgian Tripel I didn’t like.) I really enjoy crafty endeavors—any time I see something I like, I catch myself wondering, “Could I make that?”, sometimes with hilarious results. Other than the work I do as a doula, I am a stay-at-home mom, and plan to homeschool my two youngest.

    4. Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.
    My Business—Ordinary Miracles—currently offers both birth and postpartum doula support, as well as breastfeeding education and support and independent childbirth education. My plans for the future include being able to offer customized aromatherapy and herbal products, and to facilitate mother blessing celebrations. My doula “dream” is to someday work with a community organization that focuses specifically on teen mothers… or to found one myself.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrdinaryMiraclesDoula
    Web: http://www.ordinarymiraclesdoula.com/
    Email: OrdinaryMiraclesDoula@gmail.com

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Be a Media Superstar!

Working with the Media
All new doula’s, cbe’s, etc.. always want to know how to market their practice.
Here are some easy tips.

mediarelationsMaking Contact
Television- Each major station will have a local affiliate. Try searching “NBC affiliate {your city name}, or if you know search the stations call letters. Visit the contact page, and find the phone number for the contact desk. Ask to speak to the assignment desk, and get their names. Other roles you can ask for all “health reporter” “morning show producer” or an assignment editor.

Radio- Research the station and directly contact the local stations, send your story ideas to the hosts or producers directly. If you are asked to do a phone interview, do not use a cell phone with spotty connections or use a phone in a room-full of people. Having children, etc.. in the background is a distraction, even a barking dog can be. I had had more than one fire truck or ambulance in the background of a live radio interview. It is unavoidable, so make sure you remove the most background noise as possible.

Newspapers- Do the same as you did with the television, and call the paper and ask who to be directed to, a metro or city editor, health or family reporter. Send the person you are directed to a pitch or speak to them professionally.

Write a Press Release
A press release lets local media know of your events, news, etc..
Here are some links they explain how to write a great press release.
http://www.ehow.com/how_4797913_write-good-press-release.html
http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
Make sure your press release is direct, to the point and snazzy.
Do not have typos, or industry only language.
Make sure you have all of your contact information. Make sure your email address is professional. A long or silly email address reflects directly on you and your business.
Send it to all media outlets that you want to know about what you are doing.
Do not limit yourself to one town paper, or even your town, send them to all in the county. Press releases can also be sent to local free papers also. Just because one editor does not have time for your story, or is not interested does not mean another will not be.

Follow up calls
Make sure the said media outlets got your message.
If they ask you to call back, or express interested make sure you do just that.
Add that persons name to a media contact list.
If they are not interested do not keep calling.

Media Relations
If you are nervous and don’t know what to say, email Demetria, she can even on a weekend take a few minutes and talk to you about talking to the media.
Make sure you tell them you are working with Birth Arts International. People who read articles always want to know where they can get trained too, or who you are working with. Linking yourself to your organization increases your visibility also.

Interview Clothes
Be comfortable and yourself. Remember though how to dress and act will follow you for ever.

Be Yourself and Be Effective
You are fabulous just the way you are.

Some outlets will ask you to submit the questions you want ask, make them good.
“Why are doulas an important aspect of childbirth?”
Do not be baited into any type of provider bashing, or personal kinds of debates. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into but isn’t this “bad” debates. What you say can stick with you forever.
Be calm, clear and rational.
Make sure you have good answers to the obvious like “What is a doula” or “what does a childbirth educator do”, “Why is it/are they important?”

Be you, be memorable and be clear. I know you will be great!

Be on the lookout for the follow up article- Dressing for a TV interview.

 

 

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Postpartum Tea

After the journey of birth mother’s often need additional nutritional, emotional and physical support.

Moms will need extra nutrition, and this tea is a staple in my herbal and doula practice. Clients love it, as do the midwives and family members.

YOU ROCK! Mamma Tea and Infusion

  • 2 parts chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita)
  • 2 parts hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
  • 1 part rose petal (Rosa spp.)
  • 1/8 part lavender flower (Lavendula officinalis)
  • 1/4 part rose hips (Rosa canina)
  • 3 parts lemon balm leaf (Melissa officinalis)

Make this by the gallon. It is rich in nervines, vitamins and minerals. Mom, family and care providers can drink this throughout the day, hot or cold.

 
Your health is your choice. We are not responsible for what you do with this information, it is for educational purposes only. Do research, learn and take control of your health.

 

Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

You can get Demetria Clark’s Herbal Healing for Children at Amazon.

Mountain Rose Herbs

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Natural Remedies for Postpartum Depression

Natural Remedies for Postpartum Depression

These suggestions can prove helpful for managing and alleviating postpartum depression naturally. They are also great overall tips for assisting in alleviating baby blues.
Placenta Therapy- a great description is here.

Young Woman Suffering from Post-partum Sitting on Chair by Window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Homeopathic medicine

Phosphorus: applies to these issues, indifference, apathy towards loved ones.
Cimicifuga: applies to these issues, depressed for both emotional and hormonal reasons, a dark cloud has descended.
Pulsatilla: applies to women who are emotional, tearful, and sensitive when hormonal changes occur as in the postpartum period.
If a women feels like she can be violent, or self harm immediately assistance from a medical practitioner is required.
Vitamin D

I am not a huge fan of vitamin D supplementation, but if needed please give this a try. I think everyone needs 20 minutes of exposure to the sun a day, with no sunblock. This can be a few minutes at a time, but we need real sunlight, no pill can replace the benefits of the sun.
Sunlight

Is nature’s remedy for depression. If we have limited access to the sun we can get seasonal disorders and become depressed. Try to get 20 minutes of sun a day. Use a hammock and rest in the warm sun, or a chaise lounge and allow yourself this one on one time with the sun. Try taking a 20 minutes walk, so you then get some movement and sun and fresh air.
Niacin

Eating a diet rich in niacin has been shown to alleviate depression. A supplement can be used, but I believe food is the best source of all vitamins, but do what works best for you.

“The best food sources of vitamin B3 are found in beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Bread and cereals are usually fortified with niacin. In addition, foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body coverts into niacin, include poultry, red meat, eggs, and dairy products”.1

Aromatherapy

Essential oils can play a great roll in altering and improving mood. We know lavender can calm and relax and individual, and this can be helpful for an anxious and stressed mother. If a gentle uplifting is required Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon and Sweet Orange. Lemon and Sweet Orange are stronger upflifters and work great in a room spray. If you want to feeler cleaner and unmuddled a room spray with Sweet Orange and Spearmint will do the job. It is also excellent to use mints and citrus oils together. They compliment each other  and work to uplift Sprig of rosemary, herbs and bottle of aromatic oil for aromatherapyand energize. Neroli is great for calming nervousness and anxiety. Chamomile can assist with depression that is a moody and irritable variety.

In a four ounce spray bottle add 3 oz. water and

30 drops Grapefruit essential oil
25 drops Sweet Orange Essential oil
20 drops Spearmint Essential oil

Mist the room for an uplifting scent.

 

Herbal Remedies

Research each remedy before using for safety and to make sure it will work for you.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- full of vitamins and minerals, great for uterine toning.

YOU ROCK! Mamma Tea and Infusion

2 parts chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita)
2 parts hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
1 part rose petal (Rosa spp.)
1/8 part lavender flower (Lavendula officinalis)
1/4 part rose hips (Rosa canina) 3 parts lemon balm leaf (Melissa officinalis)

Make this by the gallon. It is rich in nervines, vitamins and minerals. Mom, family and care providers can drink this throughout the day, hot or cold.

Milky Oats- great for nourishing the nervous system, you can even eat oatmeal.

Rose Hips-  They are a great source of vitamin C, nutritive and tastes wonderful especially blended with other herbs.

Motherwort- is excellent for anxiety, stress and relieving the weight on your chest, or a heavy heart.

Other good herbs are: Nettles, Skullcap, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Rose, and Passionflower.

St. John’s Wort oil topically- This wonderful infused oil can assist in soothing sore muscles and nerve ending. I tell clients it is like wearing sunshine and most agree. The smell and action of the oil is uplifting.

Rest

Getting adequate rest is essential for mental and physical health. Make sure as the partner of a postpartum mother that your make sure she needs the assistance she requires. Every mother is different, and each birth experience leads to an individual postpartum experience. Take care of her, and Moms take care of yourself. Do not feel that you have to have the same recovery times as your friends or family members. Give mom a foot massage or a backrub to alleviate stress and stimulate lymph fluid. Make sure spouses and partners that you do not expect something from this massage. When I make this suggest mother’s often roll their eyes, in this instance it is for her and not foreplay unless she decides to. Excuse me for being so direct, but I am just wired that way.

Advice to Family

Family members be kind. New mothers are going through so much, make sure your actions do not make her feel less than or insecure. When visiting the new addition to the family, do a load of laundry, wash dishes, fold clothes, clean the bathroom, make a meal. Do not make the mother feel like she needs to serve you. This is not about you and your needs, it is about honoring and serving the mother. If you are great to a mom postpartum she will appreciate and remember that forever.

If you can’t do this for the mother, then talk about hiring her a postpartum doula. This is a skilled and trained professional who can assist mothers after birth. It will probably be one of the best investments you make for your family.

Give mom time to take a bath, read for an hour only stopping to feed baby, time to take a walk, nap and make sure you are supportive. This is just possibly a month or so in a woman’s life that the people around her can care for her and make sure it is not about them. Mother’s will give back for their rest of their lives, this is something you can do for her, that can shape her new parenting experiences. Do not ask the mother to travel, let her nest and recover. Be amazing and supportive!

To learn more about postpartum depression and the baby blues.

When to get help with Postpartum Depression

If you or a loved one thinks you need help, then please seek it out. Remember the people around you love you.

Postpartum depression, although as you can see by reading the links above has risk factors, it can still strike anyone.

 

If you think that becoming a postpartum doula sounds like the career for you, supporting and assist mothers with their now babies, please visit www.birtharts.com

If you are interested in learning more about herbalism and aromatherapy visit- www.heartofherbs.com

Sources
1 Source: Vitamin B3 (Niacin) | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b3-niacin#ixzz2Z7V3MxJC
University of Maryland Medical Center

 

Disclaimer- Nothing written here is intended to prescribe or diagnose a health condition, it is for information purposes only.

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SPIRITUAL CHILDBIRTH Bringing Sacredness Back to the Birth Process

SPIRITUAL CHILDBIRTH Bringing Sacredness Back to the Birth Process  by Mary Betsellie 

Childbirth is a deeply spiritual endeavor. It is an awesome task that a woman’s body is designed to carry out. It is at this time that a woman has the honor to stand at the doorway in which life and death passes.

During labor and delivery, her senses are at their sharpest including her intuition and connection to the non-physical world. A woman is in her greatest power during childbirth. She is completely open on all levels, working with the co-creative forces of nature to allow the miracle of life to pass through her.

However, it seems as if there is a great dichotomy in the birth process. It is that while a woman is in her greatest power she is also in her greatest vulnerability. For a woman who is supported, provided for and protected from outside interferences, that vulnerability is her greatest power. It is unfortunate that for millions of women across the country, birth has been or will be anything but spiritual and empowering. It is when we do not care for a birthing woman holistically (body, mind, and spirit) that she goes from being empowered to weak and desperate. Over-dependence on technology, greed, and fear have brought a dehumanizing effect into the delivery room. Birth has been reduced to a medical event, treated more like an illness than the blessed and sacred miracle that it is.

Here are some steps a woman can take to experience the divine nature of birth, whether she is birthing in a hospital, birthing center, or at home.

 

Take a non-hospital based childbirth education class:There are many philosophies from which to choose. Pick one with which you are comfortable. Some of the more popular ones are Calm Birth, Birthing From Within, HypnoBabies, HypnoBirthing, The Bradley Method, and Lamaze. Interview various educators to select one that shares your birthing philosophy. Gaining the knowledge of how the body works will only reinforce that you and your baby both have the inherent wisdom needed to birth.

 

Consider hiring a Midwife instead of an Obstetrician:Midwives are highly trained professionals working with a more holistic approach. They typically are better equipped to support the body, mind, and spirit collectively. With a Midwife, a birthing mother is more likely to be an active participant in the birth of her child, allowing her to embrace her divine power. (Some midwives follow the holistic model of care more than others.)

 

Hire a Birth Doula: A doula understands that the birth process is much more than a physical event; it is a journey that will engrave deep impressions on the soul of the laboring woman and her partner. She is the one constant human being that is there for the birthing mother and has the tools to support her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Doctors and nurses usually have several patients they are attending at once and even a midwife is not always available for the entire labor. Many doulas are also trained in other healing modalities such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Aromatherapy, Massage, and Yoga.

 

Have a Mother Blessing: A Mother Blessing is a celebration that is done in place of or in addition to a baby shower. The main focus of the ceremony is on the Mother rather than on the baby. It is an intimate celebration where the Mom-to-be has a chance to connect with the important women in her life on a heart and soul level and to receive empowering support and encouragement in the form of positive messages regarding birth and her strength. There is a strong spiritual element to a Mother Blessing, stirring the souls of all who attend to remember that at one time or another all cultures held birth and the act of bringing forth life as sacred and holy.

 

Have a Homebirth: Homebirth is safe, legal and happening all of the time in this country. For many women, home is the most comfortable place to be, providing privacy and control that cannot be had in a hospital or birthing center. At home a woman is free to listen to her body, instinctual urges, and spiritual guidance. Many women can and do have spiritually empowering births in hospitals and birthing centers but home is the place she is most likely to birth in her feminine power.

 

Talk to the spirit of the baby: It just might talk back! This can be done even before conception. It is called pre-birth communication. Moms and Dads all over the world have reported connecting with their children long before they landed Earth side. The child spirit may come to you in mediation, in dreams or even in full consciousness. Sometimes the communication just comes in a knowing. Take time each day to sit quietly and allow the time to connect with your baby.

 

Women have been gifted with the bringing forth of life through their bodies. It is an awesome task indeed, not to be feared but respected and honored for the miracle that it is.

 

 

Psychic and Astrology Readings
631 901 4174 voice and text
www.magicalmoongarden.com

Doula Support

www.sacredspacebirthservices.com

sacredspacebirth@gmail.com

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BAI Student Profile- Angie-Pie Valentin

Angie-Pie Valentin

I chose BAI because the programs seemed to be far more extensive and in greater depth than programs with other certifying organizations. I also really liked that there were scholarship opportunities and that once certified, I would not have to continue to renew my certification or pay more. It wasn’t until I started the program that I found that there were many, many more benefits – like a community of other birth workers at all different levels of their journeys and that the Director would be so warm and genuinely caring of each of the students and their progress.

I have learned so much about myself since enrolling in the Birth Doula Certification Program. The program curriculum pushed me to dig deep within myself to access strengths I never knew I had. I have learned to better cope with everyday life challenges and obstacles, I have learned how to better care for myself by nourishing my soul and body

but most of all I have learned to listen to others in a way I never have before which in turn enables me to care for and support them efficiently. The BAI Birth Doula Certification Program has not only taught me new skills and tools but has taught me how to apply them in everyday life and everyday situations, including those within my family and personal relationships as well as advocacy for my own well-being, not just as they would pertain to birth work. This program is truly invaluable as the impact on my life has been so great. I highly recommend every doula take this program. Hands down.

I am a single “mumma” to two children, a former surrogate, and founder/ director of Doulaville Birth Services. I absolutely love my work as a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth & family educator and placenta processor. I one day hope to become a homebirth midwife but not until my children are a bit older.

While I am passionate about birth work in general, I am

  • especially passionate about community awareness and connecting free/low cost birth service providers with families who have no/low income through Doulaville CARES! a unique program designed to do just that – link families with birth workers so that every woman can in fact have a doula should she want one. You can learn more about Doulaville at www.doulaville.org where you can meet the Doulaville Doulas in the Seattle-Tacoma Puget Sound, in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the Doulaville CARES! Directory of free/low cost birth service providers across the entire U.S. and growing in Canada too! I hope to grow the Doulaville CARES! Directory into a comprehensive resource for expecting families and birth workers alike.

    Angelina “Angie” Valentin
    Founder, Director, Doula
    Doulaville Birth Services in Seattle and San Francisco
    www.doulaville.org
    angie@doulaville.com

    Doulaville Doulas in San Francisco Bay Area & Seattle Tacoma Puget Sound

    www.doulaville.org

    Support through the childbearing year by preparing, supporting and nourishing women and their families. Doulas in Seattle Puget Sound & SF Bay Area.