evolution

Next month it will be 10 years since I took my first birth doula training. Something about a decade makes me reflective. So much has happened in that time, various jobs (both full and part-time), new doula-related skills and certifications, growth and loss in our family. So it goes. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do this work and I’ve learned so much.

As my doula work has evolved, I’ve been able to focus more on my strengths and preferences in the field and I’m on the cusp of defining a stronger practice that will benefit myself, my family, and of course clients! Here are just some of the changes hatching…

Building in Queens

I want to continue to build a practice in Queens, as supporting local families and not having to commute for hours is wonderful! One step on this is a new parent / breastfeeding support group I’m hosting on Tuesday September 24 from 10 – 11:30am at 2nd Story Pilates and Yoga in Jackson Heights. There will be SNACKS and FREE BOOKS. We’ll see how it goes and maybe it can become a regular gathering!

Secondly, as I was recommitting to evolving my practice and focusing on Queens, the amazing Leigh Cohen was ready to leave doula work. She put in so much work and heart into growing the Astoria Doula Collective and I was thrilled that it worked out for me to take over. I can’t wait to help doulas find work and help Queens families find support! I will revamp the website (it’s pretty glitchy right now, please stand by) and Collective offerings so keep an eye out for fresh new things. Our doulas have a wide range of talents, expertise, and skills to benefit growing families. Follow us on the socials (@astoriadoulas on FB and IG) and tag us when people are looking for support!

More Classes and Consults

I truly enjoy teaching and coaching new parents, helping them figure out newborn care and what works best for their family. And mostly reassuring them that they can do this! I’ll be doing more postpartum consults that focus on education rather than the “mother’s helper” tasks that can sometimes define postpartum doula support (which is also essential).

Next, the former Your Birth Experience has recently come under new ownership and been revised and updated as Flourishing Families. I’ve gotten back into the training and I’m excited to offer a very different childbirth/baby/breastfeeding course to local parents, hopefully as soon as November. As they state:

“Flourishing Families is now a holistic Childbirth Education and Doula Training designed to inspire and empower individuals to CONNECT with what is most important to them, IDENTIFY their needs and desires, and become EQUIPPED to create meaningful experiences they will cherish for a lifetime.”

It’s a unique course because it’s all about turning inward and figuring out your ideal birth (and breastfeeding/baby) experience rather than learning about ALL the things. So while it won’t be for everyone, it’ll be a great option for the local parents with whom this resonates, who want something short and intimate. There will an an option for a combined birth/breastfeeding/baby course (probably 8 – 10 hours over 2 – 4 meetings) or just taking one or two of the three! I hope to have dates and locations finalized soon!

I’m continuing on the infant sleep educator course with bebo mia. They are offering an updated course starting in February and I am excited about the revised content and its emphasis on infant neurological development. I’ve worked with so many exhausted parents as a postpartum doula and I look forward to helping them learn how to be more well-rested and instill healthy sleep habits for the whole family. This will eventually be a class so new parents will be better prepared for sleep challenges, with the option of private consults to help parents troubleshoot sleep issues. It won’t be sleep training, I know other amazing professionals to refer to for that!

I’m also completing a training in pregnancy and infant loss with Nneka Hall so I’ll be better able to support families as they navigate those painful experiences.

And one more fun thing!

I had an enjoyable meeting and interview with Jasmine and Shruti from Freshly Moms this summer, a small food company focused on nourishing, easy snacks and meals for the newly postpartum parent. I trekked out to Jersey in the melting July heat and of course got lost and ran late, so embarrassing! I don’t think the interview was shared (unless I missed it) but I loved the chance to meet the women who run it and help support their vision of supporting new mothers. Check them out here and get 15% off your first order with code PMC10! (If you sign up through my affiliate link AND use code PMC10 I will also get a small commission on your first 2 months’ purchases, so thank you kindly.) And say congratulations to Shruti who just had her second baby!

And so, as I add services that I’m more energized by, I have had to drop some as well. I’m no longer doing placenta encapsulation or belly binding. I enjoyed the times I was able to connect with clients for those services, but the time is right to move on.

Thanks for your support and be in touch!

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