A mother to four children and a seasoned childbirth educator, doula, author, speaker, and breastfeeding counselor, deeply devoted to uplifting humanity!
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Reverence, Love, Truth, Gratitude and Strength
In 1986, I discovered I was expecting a baby. Although I had always been intrigued by psychology and understanding the motivations behind people's actions, it was during my first pregnancy that I delved deeply into these interests. I had the wisdom to approach this experience with mindfulness, placing significant emphasis on the entire process. This involved not only the practical aspects, such as the details of daily nutrition, but also going deep into the spiritual aspects of life and establishing a meaningful connection with nature.
I thoroughly explored every aspect of preparing for childbirth. Eventually, I discovered two women who conducted prenatal classes together. During that period, these classes were quite extensive, spanning eight to nine weeks with weekly sessions that covered every imaginable topic related to pregnancy. My goal was to ensure a positive birthing experience, but I also harbored a natural skepticism and distrust towards institutions. I wasn't particularly fond of hospitals and desired an independent and joyful birthing experience that felt empowering. I deeply contemplated the arrival of this new life and envisioned a scenario that would be beneficial for them. Fortunately, I had the support of these women who shared my vision and provided encouragement.
My thirst of knowledge for the magical process of giving birth and all it encompasses for a succesful delivery, resulted in being annoying to my initial doctor, even though being a female I was expecting a better experience. I wanted to know what to expect and I wasking too many questions such as "do I really need that other test?",or needing to express my concerns: "I was thinking about having a doula with me”. She didn't had valid answers and was just getting annoyed with me to the point that one day she said to me “you know I do not think you are gonna like having your baby here."
"I truly enjoy supporting people to have their best experience of pregnancy,through birth and those young years with children that can be so taxing and exhausting with a constant wondering if you are doing doing things properly."
"I find genuine satisfaction in assisting individuals to make the most of their pregnancy, navigate the birthing process, and navigate the challenging early years of parenthood. Despite the inherent challenges and exhaustion that come with raising young children, along with the constant uncertainty about whether you're doing things right, I still derive immense joy from providing support."
I felt I was right to want to know so I started searching for someone who shared my values.Luckly, I discovered a group of male physicians with a genuine appreciation for the birthing process and whom stood out from the norm. One of them shared a story with me about encountering an article by Frйdйrick Leboyer the renowned author of "Birth Without Violence" in the 70s. He emphasized the significance of a more gentle approach to newborns, in era when babies were traditionally handled roughly, with practices like being held up by the feet and slapped under bright lights, Leboyer advocated for a more considerate approach, including dimming the lights and introducing a warm bath, later known as the Leboyer bath. Finding these doctors, who embraced such thoughtful practices, was a truly special experience. Remarkably, for the norms of that period, one of them even incorporated Tai Chi into his approach and sported Birkenstocks, which trully resonated with me!
Feeling at calm and pace through this connection, it made me confident that I could have the birthing experience I envisioned increased. Indeed it happened just as I had hoped. Giving birth was not bad, but rather a very positive and fulfilling experience. I build strong connections with other moms and dads from the prenatal classe and we formed a close-knit group. One day, a fellow participant asked me if I would be interested in teaching prenatal classes, and that's when I realized that, indeed, it was something I wanted to pursue.
I completed my childbirth educator certification program and also took courses through the International Childbirth Education Association. As part of the program, there was an expectation for students to be present at births. This lead me to want to get the doula certification as well. I was trilled at to be the first one to welcome the baby in this world.
Understanding the importance of mother's milk and the success of breastfeeding, I develop a strong interest me to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and began volunteering with La Leche League Canada, an international organization dedicated to breastfeeding support (La Leche means milk in Spanish).
My expertise grew as I worked with women through La Leche League. Over time, I advanced to become an accreditor of leader applicants and eventually took on the role of a doula trainer.
Being a doula is incredibly challenging and hard work due to the demands of being on call, the difficulty of leaving own family for unpredictable periods of time which makes very tough for everyone. While being called to attend such a great numeber of births made brought honor and gratitude to be part of such significant moments, I realized the on-call lifestyle was not serving the greater purpose I felt I have a calling for. Many of my friends transitioned to become registered midwives with the changing landscape in the medical field. I found more fulfillment in the educational and breastfeeding consultation aspects of my work, and I do believe that making a big difference in peoples life and babies wellbeing by spreading the knowledge I accumulated through my research and experience.
"These are the two main reasons that drives me today to be as excited as at the begining of my career for the miracle of new human life:
"I may be among the only few grandmothers who apprehensively awaits the phone call about announcing the arrival of another grandchild, as I tend to be overly protective and feel an immediate sense of responsibility!"
The Birth of The Birth Place
In collaboration with like-minded partners we decided to establish The Birth Place as a hub of education, resource and valuable input for expecting parents. We launched two physical locations in Canada, offering the best for baby and mom retail products that we believed in its considered added value for baby and her family. Additionally, we conducted prenatal classes for both mothers and fathers. The session were filled with cheer, laughter and took place in a relaxing environment. We also hosted various professionals, including music therapists and naturopaths, who addressed in timely manner specific topics related to parents expecting babies and dealing with toddler issues.
Throughout the years, I have consistently found fulfillment in leading prenatal classes, observing the changing approaches over time. We transitioned from weekly meetings over two months, followed by post-birth gatherings, to the current trend of condensed one-day prenatal sessions. The demand for instant access to comprehensive information grew as people's lives became increasingly hectic. Despite the industry undergoing numerous changes, my passion for teaching endures. I remain committed to imparting knowledge in a way that enhances the overall experience for individuals.
The reason why some of us have such enjoyable birthing and child rearing experiences, I believe, may be because we actively strive to ensure it. On the other hand, some people might not be aware that they can have a truly positive experience. I find fulfillment in supporting individuals to discover the best possible birthing experience for themselves and their families. With four biological children, stepchildren, and grandchildren, I am always fortunate to be invited to witness miracle of new grandchild coming into this world.
Well-being of a parent
While deeply loving the work of parenting and teaching the childern to become well rounded adults we must recognize the substantial amount of effort and challenge this requires. It aligns with what Barbara Colorado, a prominent parenting educator, emphasizes – that parenting is the least efficient job in the world. I often remind parents of that the challenges of the most important function in their family life as parents must be met with realistic expectations and credit to their efforts. I often see this missconception and belief that instructing a child once will be sufficient when in reality, the parent may need to repeat instructions countless times.
A good example is forming the habit of good oral hygiene. The parents will have to spend lot of time, remind them and make it a joyful bonding experience. In the same time it is crucial for parents to understand that this need for repetition is not a reflection of the quality of their parenting skills; it's simply the nature of the parenting responsibilities. Having someone to emphasize parenting expectations, helps the parents to prevent unnecessary feelings of failure and frustrations that transfers to children even when they try to hide it. Parents end up recognizing they haven't fallen short in any way, it is just a natural part of the growing up process. It is important for parents to have someone to call when in doubt and part of my services is to be a phone call a way to put concern to rest, to validate their work and offer solutions.
Confident parents raise happy, healthy children with joy and ease.