parenthood

Saying Farewell to New Mama Cafe

In 2014 our doula agency was founded and with it came a regular gathering of new moms that we eventually named “New Mama Cafe”. This weekly meeting was a welcoming, safe space for moms to connect over coffee and conversation while their babies played in a safe environment. At its peak we had approximately 20 moms walking through our doors each week with their adorable babies in tow. What a joy it was to see familiar faces each Tuesday and get to great new moms and babies as well!

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.

Enjoying the Holidays with a Newborn

The holiday season is a time of joy and merriment. The days are packed full with holiday parties, family gatherings, shopping for gifts, twinkling lights and overflowing conversation. But, if you have a newborn or a baby on the way, you may be wondering how to not only survive the holiday season, but actually enjoy it! We're here to lend our best tips for a happy and memorable holiday season with your baby.  

DOC August 2017 Schedule

You may have heard by now that Doulas of Orange County has moved to Irvine! Our bigger, more accessible class space provides the perfect setting for Parenting & Childbirth Education, Yoga, Play Groups and more!

We are proud to offer a full schedule for the month of August with additional classes being added to the calendar in September!

YOGA

Weekly yoga classes are the newest addition to our calendar! Taught by co-owner and yoga instructor, Lauren Jacobs, our weekly prenatal yoga class gives you regular opportunities to relax, stretch, and bond with your baby as your nurture your pregnant or postpartum body. Classes begin late August! Registration is now available! 


THE POTTY SCHOOL

Michelle Swaney of The Potty School is now teaching regular classes at our office in Irvine as well! Featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, and MSN, Michelle's expertise and techniques are a must have for all parents looking to gently and effectively teach their children how to potty train.  Classes are appropriate for ages from 0-18+ months and include Elimination Communication, Potty Training 101 and Parent+Me Potty Training. Classes begin August 28th!


NEW MAMA CAFE :: WEEKEND EDITION

We've had the joy and delight to meet many of you at our weekly New Mama Cafe gathering on Tuesdays! We always love seeing your smiling faces and watching your sweet babies grow week by week. As the weeks & months have gone by, we know that some of you have returned to work or varying nap times make it a challenge to come to the Tuesday mom & baby group, so we are excited to announce a monthly gathering for new moms in OC. We call it the Weekend Edition of New Mama Cafe

Held on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 9:30am at Tewinkle Park in Costa Mesa, this group offers an opportunity to meet other new moms and share the ups and downs of mom life! Check out the Dad version held on the 3rd Saturday of the month at Mariners Park in Newport Beach!


PARENTING & CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION

Doulas of Orange County offers the largest variety of prenatal & parenting programming in all of Orange County. Our monthly classes include Babywearing 101, Breastfeeding 101, and Baby Care Basics. Other classes, such as our Confident Birth 4-week series and Comfort Measures workshop are offered every other month. 

With curriculums developed by DOC owners, Lauren and Chelsea, these informative and enjoyable classes provide you with all the knowledge and skill you need to walk into your birth & parenting journey with confidence! Group classes are great for those that are interested in creating community and meeting new parent friends, while Private classes are fully customizable for those that want to focus on the topics that matter most to you!

Check out our Classes & Workshops page for more information and to register!

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This is just a glimpse of what August holds here at Doulas of Orange County! Stay tuned for more offerings in September like Infant Massage, Infant & Family CPR, movie screenings and more! 

Lessons on Compassion from "Call the Midwife"

There's nothing like a good Netflix binge to help calm the mind and reset the body for the week ahead. I've had a particularly rough week emotionally, so when Sunday rolled around with it's rainy OC weather and nothing on my to-do list, I figured what better time to catch up on "Call the Midwife!"

For those that are unfamiliar, "Call the Midwife" is a PBS show all about midwifery care in the 1950s and 60s. It is a beautiful show that portrays the dramatic ups and downs of midwifery, birth, life, and death in the impoverished East End of London. Each episode is guaranteed to tug at the heart strings. 

In episode two of the fifth season, there is an interesting commentary on breastfeeding vs. formula feeding with a beautiful lesson on listening to an individual mothers needs and desires.

Without going into too much detail (because really, if you aren't watching this show yet, you should!!) one of the midwives is extremely vocal of her disapproval of formula feeding. Keep in mind that formula was a new phenomenon in the 1960s and that some people could barely afford to put food on the table. Sister Evangelina, the notoriously vocal midwife touts the benefits of breast milk as being the perfect food for baby and bonus, it's free! 

As a Birth & Postpartum Doula, I of course, know her views to be valid and correct from a logical standpoint, but I cringed at the words she used and the attitude she portrayed, essentially poo-pooing anyone who dared challenge her expertise and views. 

Fast forward to a mom struggling to breastfeed and this same midwife (while encouraging her to keep trying), dismisses her fears and the pain breastfeeding was causing her. It took bleeding nipples and a full emotional breakdown for the midwife to finally admit that she was wrong and that formula was NOT, in fact, evil.