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.
You'll here us talk about non-judgmental support A LOT in our work as doulas. This is the pillar on which our agency stands. But we're often asked, what does non-judmental support really mean?
I remember the exact moment when I realized how important being a judgment-free doula was. I was at a baby shower chatting it up with some friends, including the guest of honor, the mama-to-be. Someone in the group asked if she had a birth plan. I saw her face fall as she looked directly at me, then looked quickly away. Her demeanor changed as she told us that she had already scheduled a repeat cesarean.
Earlier in her pregnancy she had come to me asking about VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I remember gushing about how amazing VBACs were and how empowering they can be. I remember telling her that she should go for it! I recall side-stepping her fears about uterine rupture, explaining that they are a rarity and I recall dismissing her fears about going past her estimated due date and needing to be induced. I cringe now thinking about the assumptions I made and how I projected my personal beliefs onto her.
It was there at that baby shower that she held a mirror up to my face. After sharing that she was choosing to have a cesarean, she shared that she was nervous to tell me. She was scared that I wasn't going to be supportive or that I would try to talk her into having a VBAC.
My spirit was crushed.
I was mortified that my passion for supporting natural birth had come across as judgmental and that my words and actions had caused shame and fear. As a doula, I often touted myself as non-judgmental and while I intentionally never made anyone feel bad about their birth experience, it was at this baby shower that I began to wonder just how non-judgmental my support really was.
Talk about a wake up call!
In that moment I made a decision that changed my approach as a doula. As I apologized to my friend for my judgments and for making her experience seem less than, I made a commitment to myself to do better and be better. I became a doula to make a positive impact on birth and the best way I know how to do that is to be open and unconditionally supportive of all choices. And it is that attitude that we look for in all the doulas we bring onto our team.
Our support involves no judgment.
completely, 100% Judgment free.
Your birth is yours and yours alone. Yes, there will be family, friends, care providers, and your doulas surrounding you with support and love. But it is your body and your baby, therefore the choices you make are yours. We vow not to project any certain agenda or philosophy onto your unique experience.
Our doulas offer a safe space to share your beliefs about birth and parenting, your fears, and your desires. Together, you and your doula will create a birth and postpartum plan that encompasses all your needs. And while she is there to answer your questions and offer guidance, she trusts in your capacity to make the informed decisions that are right for you. Even if your plans change down the line, the non-judgmental support will continue.
It is our belief that with the support of your judgment-free doula positivity will surround your pregnancy, birth, and parenting journey. It is our belief that in providing space to learn and make your own decisions you will find confidence. It is our believe that in being there 100%, no questions asked, you will find comfort and peace of mind.
The birth of your baby will forever change you. This is your experience, and we will be by your side, no matter what. Your choices are yours, not ours. Your birth is yours, not ours. Your body is yours, not ours. Your baby is yours, not ours. What is ours is our desire and passion for spending this time with you, your partner and your family, offering unconditional support and care. And we offer it happily.
What better person to feature during one of the biggest baby boom months of the year than a midwife! A special shout out to all of you who got busy around Christmas & New Years... you've kept the doulas, midwives and doctors on their toes this month!
Have you had the chance to meet Nancy Pol yet? If not, put it on your to-do list, especially if you are expecting or plan to become pregnant soon.
Nancy is a Certified Nurse Midwife (and all around amazing human being) with Beach Cities Midwifery. Beach Cities Midwifery has 3 birth centers to serve the growing families in Southern California: Laguna Hills, Long Beach, & Corona. They provide well-rounded, client-centered care for all women, but especially the pregnant and birthing ones. Nancy is just one of the incredible baby catchers they have on staff.
We had the honor to chat with Nancy about her work as a midwife, her passion for serving families, and the other things that bring her joy in life.
We know you're excited to see that baby. We're excited for you to see that baby, to hold that baby, to love that baby!
BUT we're here to tell you: it's not all about that baby.
Being a helpful & encouraging postpartum visitor is about more than the birth and the new life that has emerged, it is also about supporting the transitioning family and helping the new parents stay sane!
To be honest, it's easy to get caught up in the euphoria of being around a newborn. They're just so fun to look at and they smell divine. But while you're staring at that sweet baby, your friend is hungry and tired, and probably hasn't showered in a few days. And she needs your help.
So, what can you do to help??!
In a culture that glorifies stress it can be a challenge to slow down. Too often we equate being busy and exhausted with being productive and along the way, we’ve lost the art of taking care of ourselves. When it comes to self-care too many people see it as just another thing to cross off their ever-growing to-do list. So how can you prioritize yourself when society encourages you to glorify busy and pushes you to your limits?