Holistic Reproductive Practitioner and certified Prenatal Yoga teacher in the Cowichan Valley. Serving Fertility & Birth Doula clients from Nanaimo to Mill Bay.
Operating as usual
At the start of this week I downloaded Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed on Audible and finished it by Wednesday—it was so inspiring! If you haven’t read/listened to it yet, I really do recommend it.
In the foreword Amy talks about watching the cheetah run with her family. The cheetah watches her best friend, a lab, chase after a stuffed dirty pink bunny and, once her keepers open the gate, she chases the same bunny. Afterwards a girl in the audience asks the keepers if the cheetah misses being wild, and they say “no, she was born here. She doesn’t know anything different.” The rest of Untamed’s theme expands from there.
It feels really good to put on these leopard print yoga pants and run, to get out of my thoughts and into my body. Each week I pace and push myself, and I surprise myself with meeting my running goals.
No chasing dirty pink bunnies for me. 🐆❤️
If you’ve been following my posts for a while, or know me personally, you have likely heard me speak about “working in-community.” It’s a value and an approach to how I want to travel through this world in my life, and how I believe in operating my business.
What do I mean when I use this term though?
Working in-community means that I believe that as a woman, and a female entrepreneur, I’m able to serve my clients and my community best by supporting other businesses alongside my own, even those that would be considered my “competitors.” Our Capitalist society would say that this is not a wise business move but I believe otherwise. I believe that when we celebrate the skills and dedication of one another we all win.
It’s always been easy for me to recognize the brilliance of others, especially my peers, even going back to my days as a student with artwork in shows—if I was watching our table or booth at a venue, I loved talking about the talent and beauty I saw in my peers’ artwork when people stopped to look. There are so many fantastic practitioners out there in our community, including photographers, yoga teachers, lactation consultants, and Doulas. Especially Doulas; I see and know how they pour themselves into their work with their clients because they’re passionate, and I know what this profession demands of them. It is the best job in the world but it requires a lot of us—not complaining, at all.
It’s nice to be seen, isn’t it? It’s human nature to want to be included and/or feel supported and connected. Deep down we all want a seat at the table. My table is round, and its seats are open to those who also share this openness to collaborate and see one another with appreciation and respect.
My open heart and optimism is a gift, not a weakness, even in business.
Today I’ve added a Community Resources page on my website. This is not an exhaustive list by no means, but includes: all the Midwifery clinics in Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley, childbirth and yoga classes, Lactation Consultants, Photographers, holistic wellness practitioners like Naturopaths and Acupuncturists, Counsellors, and some of my favourite Birth & Postpartum Doulas in the Mid-Island area. ❤️
rosewaterwellness.ca Community Resources Midwifes in Cowichan ValleyMatraea Midwifery Group170 Craig Street, Duncan(250)[email protected] Midwifery Collective#100 394 Duncan Street, Duncan(250)[email protected]ry.ca Midwives in NanaimoOl.....
For the Love Birth Services
Yesterday I gave my blog some love and wrote a post about how pain medication options comes up during prenatal discussions, and (regardless of what a birth plan looks like) when to consider an epidural during labour. Because here’s the thing: epidurals can be a tool, and they can absolutely be used in a compassionate and wise way.
The link to my blog post is in my bio—please check it out! ❤️
#doulalife #holisticreproductivepractitioner #vancouverisland #birthplanning #birthpreferences #cowichanvalley #birthnerd
Up on the blog today, I’m talking about epidurals! Not so much about the statistics and possible risks—there are so many other resources for this information—but rather when an epidural may be an option to consider, and some advice on what to expect. ❤️
There is no one way to labour and birth. Having a solid birth team that you feel supports you no matter how things unfold makes a world of difference.
rosewaterwellness.ca During prenatal visits I help my Birth Doula clients create a birth plan. The birth plan itself is not so much a set “plan” for how they anticipate their labour to unfold, but rather the consideration of the various directions a labour may go depending on many potential aspects (examples: variat...
For new parents 💗
We’re very lucky to generally have midwifery care through to 6 weeks postpartum, so please know that it is absolutely normal to feel like weeks 6-8 are emotional—it’s sad to say goodbye after having their amazing care throughout pregnancy, birth, and the initial postpartum. It’s also normal to feel some big emotions around 8 weeks, when it’s time for your baby’s first immunizations. 💗
Most of my calls for help come from parents with a 3 to 5 week old. Here are some things I've gathered over the years. Warning, it's a long one!
The first couple of weeks after having a baby are a bit of a whirlwind. You're surprisingly busy with check ups and weigh ins, cards and presents arriving, visitors galore (or at the moment, Skype and zoom calls galore!) figuring out nappy changes, working out how the heck to do up all the poppers on a baby gro at 3am...
You're still very much in the immediate recovery from birth phase and trying to take care of yourself. Partners are usually off work. People are offering lots of help, cooking and shopping and the like.
It seems that this first two weeks or so society 'allows' us to indulge in having a new baby.
Week 3 comes and things start to change.
Often, partners go back to work around this time. And the first few days are usually ok because we've been gearing up for it and not expecting too much of ourselves, but it gives our brain the message that 'we should be able to cope on our own by now' which frankly, couldn't be further from the truth.
We also try and take on more by ourselves at night so that they can sleep because they're working in the morning, so you're actually getting even more of the pressure. And if they do help at night you often feel (misplaced!) guilt about it.
So there we are with this message that 'we should be able to cope now' ticking along in our brains. Alongside this comes the massive crash of ...well I don't like to call it the novelty wearing off, but certainly the high that you run on after having them seems to take a big dump, and the reality of new life sets in. This is life now, indefinitely, how the heck am I actually meant to eat/sleep/use the loo/stay sane/get out the house/RAISE ANOTHER HUMAN and do it really well, pretty much all on my own? And I'm meant to be feeling happy! Everyone else is happy aren't they?
The midwives have discharged you by now, so even though there is still support out there, that feeling of easily accessible friendly faces has suddenly disappeared.
Your baby starts to change. They start to wake up to the world a little more. And whilst it's nice to see them spending more time alert, it does bring it's own issues. Am I meant to be playing with them? What am I supposed to do? Are his eyes meant to look in opposite directions?? Does he have wind? Am I not winding him properly?
This alertness brings with it some interesting changes.
Firstly, they do not like being put down. Not one bit. You can understand it from their perspective, they've spent all this time snuggled up inside you with constant warmth and movement, being put down is the opposite to that. Plus their survival instinct says 'don't put me down I'll get eaten by a bear'.
But what this means is, you have a feed, they pop off the boob, you put them down all milk drunk and within minutes they wake up again, and, because they're a new baby, they look for the boob for help.
It's normal! But it feels like something is wrong. You wonder if maybe they're not getting enough milk??
Look up the 4th trimester. Trust me.
Another issue these new alert spells bring with them is tiredness. When they're awake they're absolutely bombarded with sights, smells, noises, sensations, and inevitably an adult in their face wanting to interact with them because they're so flipping cute. Its hugely overwhelming for them and it makes them crankyyy. So what do they want? Boob again! They can shut down and relax there. But it leaves you wondering again, are they getting enough milk? Alongside a healthy dose of 'am I making a rod for my own back by feeding and cuddling them so much?' No, you're not. It's normal. Its healthy. It's just what they need. You're wonderful.
The good news is, smiles are now not too far away! And there is something about those first smiles that just keeps you going. It's like magic.
Cluster feeding starts to rear its head at this point. Your partner gets in from work and you think 'Yes! Finally I can hand him over' but the baby has other ideas and wants to spend the entire evening either on the boob or shouting at it. It's hard to figure out what's happening and people start talking about 'colic' and you wonder if you should buy some colic drops and accept your baby is a 'crier'. Your evenings are spent trying to comfort this distressed baby, which is heart wrenching, and if you do put them to the breast you feel like there isnt any milk there and your baby is not as relaxed during feeds.
You also have what feels like insane PMS at this time of the day too. Weepy and overwhelmed. The bed dread sets in. You wonder if you'll ever get time with your partner again.
Eventually, you discover from someone that babies want to spend the whole evening swapping from boob to boob, that it's normal. That soft breasts in an evening don't mean empty breasts, that it's ok to use the boob to comfort them. That actually, whilst they're still fractious, there is a lot less crying when you let them feed more. You wonder whether you ever needed the colic drops. (Studies suggest they don't work, interestingly)
The first real growth spurt arrives! And it's a biggy! All of a sudden your baby just will not be off the breast for even a minute. You have several days of what feels like constant feeding, you're exhausted beyond belief, you feel like it's all falling apart and breastfeeding isnt working for you and your baby. That you're someone who can't produce enough milk. Your breasts feel empty and your baby is miserable. You may resent the baby. You may resent breastfeeding. But if you manage to push through those awful days you discover that it calms back down again just as quickly.
Why are you craving chocolate so very, very much! Shouldn't I be eating healthily for my milk? You know what? Yeah, we should all be eating healthily! But realistically do we? Not all the time no. Your milk will still be incredible even if you're ramming down slabs of cadbury. No, you won't make chocolate milk.
But your friend had to cut out dairy because their baby was so unsettled, maybe it's your chocolate consumption upsetting your baby!
Nah, dairy is fine for the very vast majority of babies unless they have an actual allergy which isn't as common as you think. Chomp away.
Your baby is suddenly NOISY. Grunting, groaning, straining, wriggly... even when they're asleep at night you can't sleep because you're watching them and thinking...are you awake? Do you need a feed? Surely you must be in pain with all that noise. It looks so uncomfortable! But they seem to be sleeping through it... especially around 4am onward when it's at its worst.
Someone mentions reflux and silent reflux. They suggest you raise the cot at one end. Holding them upright for 20 minutes after a feed. It doesn't seem to help. Spoiler alert, it's because this behaviour is normal. It's a pain in the bum, but it's normal. Their digestion is really immature at this point, it does get better.
You still haven't got the hang of latching and you're wondering if you're meant to be feeding in different positions. You've seen women in cafes feeding making it look as easy as breathing, and here you are still needing 18 hands, 7 pillows, 3 pints of water and toe curling pain. You speak to the gp because you've heard pain isn't normal. They prescribe you thrush treatment. A word of warning. It almost always turns out not to be thrush. It's extremely common to still be figuring out how to latch at this point and the pain is usually coming from that. Please reach out for experienced support with latching before considering medications.
You've never eaten so much in your life, aren't we meant to be getting back in our jeans?? (No. )
Around this age, we feel like we should at least be beginning to have our 'sh1t' together. We should be understanding our baby's different cries, we should know how to soothe them. We shouldn't be feeding all the time. We shouldn't be in pain. They should be sleeping in the moses basket or cot, not in our arms or on our breast. That we should start to be in some sort of a routine by now. But none of this is happening.
You. Are. Normal.
Up and down the country parents with 3 to 5 week olds feel like they're drowning. They can't figure out what's going on or how to sort it. Whether they're doing the right or wrong thing.
The answer, for your baby at least, is snuggle up and put them on the boob. And if they're not on the boob they want cuddling or rocking and that's ok! Get snacks. Watch Netflix. Trust your bodies that they know what they're doing. And if feeding hurts, get help. Even if doesn't, reach out.
Cut yourself some slack. You ARE doing brilliantly.
3-6 weeks sucks. Big time. But it gets so, so much better. I promise. Reach out x
Posted @withregram • @bythemoon The lungs are where we carry our grief energy. It's so obvious when you're grieving, the pain you can feel in this area. This is why the expression of our grief, healthy support and healing support are so beneficial.
Holistic Reproductive Practitioners help their clients release heavy energy, emotions, energy in motion. Using Reiki, reflexology and space holding techniques, we are well equipped to confidently be present with clients through all kinds of losses.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. A month where we remember and honour babies lost, our own and our client's.
As loss doulas and holistic reproductive practitioners, we are empathetically connected with those we serve. We long for babies with our clients, celebrate their conceptions and mourn their losses when that is their experience.
#lossdoulatraining #lossdoulas #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness #miscarriage #stillbirth #fertilitydoula #fertilitydoulatraining #fertilityreflexology #fertilityReiki
Michelle Milward is a great photographer here in the Cowichan Valley ❤️
michellemilwardphotography.ca One of the best things about newborn photos is it’s a great way to get new photos of the whole family, including any older siblings.
This week I’ve been thinking about the power of creativity.
Eight years ago I went back to university to take more Creative Writing classes because I was in the process of applying to UBC’s MFA in Creative Writing program and I wanted to brush up my skills after having graduated from VIU a few years beforehand. I took a Long Poem class and spent a term writing cantos for a verse-biography on Edgar Cayce’s life. I felt awkward and shy to be researching and writing about such an esoteric figure as “the Sleeping Prophet,” and trying my own hand at a process that was akin to automatic writing. However, I felt so inexplicably drawn to the project that I hoped it’d be what I’d turn into a book during future graduate studies.
Then life unfolded in a new direction: I got engaged, got married, and wanted to start a family. I felt okay about holding off on grad school, and I made a promise to myself that I’d resume writing my verse-biography later on.
Lately my unfinished book has been on my mind, and I’m feeling the urge to begin working on it again. This morning I went searching through the Rubbermaid bins of my writings down in our basement, looking for the hard copies of those cantos. I’m still looking for them but I found this portfolio for another class 7 years ago, which also feels like recovered treasure today.
This is a long-winded post but it has a point to it: our creativity and our personal projects are deeply meaningful. To be creative (in any form) is nourishing for our sacral chakra. When we hold back our creativity, whether it’s because other activities take priority or a fear of producing something sub-par, we unintentionally disconnect from a flow of energy that helps us to manifest our dreams. We get in our own ways without even realizing it—it’s an honest mistake.
Fertility isn’t just about our reproductive biology. Energetically your ability to be creative, to be experimental and playful, to connect with your sacral chakra and channel that energy with intention and hopefulness is fantastically beneficial (emotionally and mentally too).
What are some ways that you connect to your sacral chakra and/or like to be creative?
Visit our beautiful garden sanctuary to immerse, learn and practice whole yoga, including postures, chant, meditation & philosophy and spiritual events.
Yoga Classes in the Cowichan Valley
Sticks Stones Yoga Studio is for All Levels! We offer day retreats and outdoor yoga as well as a hike into nature to enjoy peaceful meditation and relaxation.
Meditation through movement.
Harmony Yoga Center is a warm, welcoming yoga and wellness center in the heart of Duncan, British Columbia.
Original Hot Yoga Beginners Class is one of the most fun,challenging, effective and invigorating Hatha Yoga classes in the world. Here you will improve your strength, health, well-being, balance and flexibility. Now also available, Inferno Hot Pilates!
Budha Yoga is a grass-roots community based yoga practice founded on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia.
Using our breath to mindfully flow through our practice...connecting mind, body and spirit I offer private and group classes....pm me for details