New Parenting Workshops in Irvine!

Up until now most of our focus on classes has been preparing expecting parents for birth, breastfeeding and baby care. And while we truly believe those things are important, we know there's so much more for parents to learn as they adjust and grow with their little ones. 

That is why we're incredibly excited to be collaborating with the best Orange County educators to offer parenting classes and workshops at our education center in Irvine. 

We hope to see you at one or more of these workshops soon! For any questions about these classes, please contact the individual instructors. 


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Montessori 101: Setting up the Home Environment - May 3rd, 4-5pm

Discuss how to incorporate Montessori at home with your baby, starting from birth. Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. We’ll explore how to set up your play space to promote learning and how to help your baby develop their concentration, perseverance and independence through play. You will leave with a better understanding of how to meet your child’s developmental needs throughout infancy.

Berenice Saint-Saens of Monti Kids received her International Montessori teacher certification and has helped guide children 0-3 years old and their families. She has now transitioned out of the classroom and is working for a wonderful company, Monti Kids, that empowers families to bring education to their homes starting at birth. Workshop is $15/person.


Parenting for a Peaceful Community: Introduction to Nonviolent Parenting, June 24th 10:15am-12:45pm

Peace begins at home. As parents, cultivating and maintaining authentic connection with our children throughout their childhoods will support the development of emotionally healthy and self-aware children, peaceful families, and ultimately a peaceful society. However maintaining this connection through the daily demands of family life in our fast past culture can be quite a challenge. Nonviolent Parenting shows us how to keep those doors of connection open no matter what, even through the challenges of setting limits and power struggles.

In this 2.5 hour Introductory session, taught by Leslie Hillenbrand of Comadre Wellness, participants will be exposed to key concepts that include:

  • Setting limits & boundaries with your children while creating an environment of empathy and connection
     
  • Supporting your child's growing self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Ways to assist your child in expressing their own feelings and needs verbally as well as listening to the feelings and needs of others
  • Tools that encourage your child to make their own positive choices and develop solutions to problems where everyone’s needs matter
  • Developing self-empathy and releasing parental guilt and shame
     
  • How to cultivate emotional intelligence and problem solving in our children using the latest research in brain development

Leslie Arreola-Hillenbrand is a Chicana mother to two biracial girls. She holds a B.A. in Child Development & Family Studies, a B.A. in Family Life Education and is currently working towards her Masters in Social Work with an Emphasis in Community Mental Health at CSU Fullerton. She believes that strengths-based, community-based, culturally competent, & trauma-informed parent education and mothering networks rooted in Nonviolent Communication for Latino/a communities is a living social justice movement towards opportunity and equality for Latinx families. 

The cost of this workshop is $30 per individual or $45 per couple. 


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New Parent's Workshop: Improving Partner Communication - June 30th, 10am-1pm

– Do you feel like your partner doesn’t listen to you?
– Do you find yourself nagging, or feel like you are being nagged more than you used to?
– Does it feel like there is more conflict since baby arrived?
– Do your partner’s words or actions sometimes make you feel unappreciated?

This workshop will address these issues and more.

Having a baby adds many stressors to a relationship, and poor communication can exacerbate the problem. Additionally, even the most connected couples may feel like their relationship is being neglected in the first months (or even years!) of parenthood.

Erin Harris of Healthy Communicator designed this seminar to help both prenatal and postpartum couples learn how to more effectively talk to each other by looking at each other’s personal communication styles. This seminar is $95/couple.

Sleep Coach or Sleep Consultant... which one is right for me?

Sleep Coaching, Sleep Training, Sleep Consulting... so many terms that essentially all mean the same thing, right? 

Not always.

After extensive research and trainings to learn about the science of infant sleep, I've come to realize that while the terms may be intermixed, they don't always describe the same service. And because I believe in full transparency, I want to share a bit more about the differences in approach and what makes our in-home program so unique. 

A Match Made in Heaven: Doulas & Montessori

We are excited to be partnering with Bérénice Saint-Saëns of Monti Kids to offer a new class to help parents prepare their homes based on Montessori principles. Dr. Montessori described child development as the continuous gaining of independence and Montessori 101 will provide a comprehensive introduction as well as insight on raising your child to be self-confident, capable, and self-sufficient. A child who is raised with independence lives with dignity and has the confidence to take on challenges throughout life. 

In the Spotlight: Heather Ayala

Happy Spring everyone! Our April is off to a great start with some new and exciting classes on the horizon, including some nutrition workshops led by Registered Dietitian and all-around awesome human, Heather Ayala.

Heather's adorable, cozy office here at Doulas of OC is where she counsels clients on balanced nutrition and helps them set and meet any particular health goals they may have. Her compassionate nature and wealth of knowledge keep you focused as you make gradual, gentle changes that will impact your health for a lifetime! 

We had a chance to sit down with Heather to learn more about her passion for nutrition, wellness, and what makes her unique! 

Motherhood Shouldn't Be An Island

Last night we hosted a viewing of "When the Bough Breaks" a heartbreaking documentary about the realities of postpartum depression & psychosis. We were joined by local OC birth professionals, members of the community, and a number of mental health professionals to not only watch this film, but to discuss what we can do to make postpartum support more acceptable and more accessible. 

It's no secret that there is still tons of stigma surrounding mental health and treatment options in this country, but what struck me most after viewing this film was the overall lack of understanding, education, and resources surrounding perinatal mood disorders. Simply put, our healthcare and societal systems often set women up for failure, leaving them feeling confused and isolated with nowhere to turn. There are no specific standards for screening and care providers see so many patients each day that it's common for those needing help to slip through the cracks.

That's if these women reach out for help in the first place as the fear of being judged often keeps women silently suffering.