Last week I took a master class on that amazing piece of cloth, the rebozo, with Gena Kirby. Gena has an amazing passion for the rebozo as a cultural staple as well as a tool to use during birth. She helped us understand much more about our attitudes towards both birthing moms and dads and our place in the birth as doulas. She gave us this quote (a common saying from Africa):
“Being pregnant and giving birth are like crossing a narrow bridge. People can accompany you to the bridge and they can greet you on the other side but you walk the bridge alone.”
She went on to say that the rebozo was like the rail of the bridge. Sometimes you don’t need to use the rail, having it there is support enough. Sometimes the rail is essential. It depends on your journey.
Below are three photos I took during the class. The first shows a laboring woman supported by 2 rebozos while pushing. The second shows the laboring mom being supported under her shoulders while the rebozo helps her move her baby. The third shows the laboring mom holding the ends of the rebozo while she pushes. Thanks to Gena, I’m incorporating some new ideas and techniques into my doula practice!
Spring is the time we start to see green again, new leaves, new fawns, baby birds in nests. We get to enjoy wonderful weather and flowers. We often walk along the Trillium Trail and see those wonderful three petaled flowers. For doulas, birth is also springlike, too! We love to see new moms with their new babies. We enjoy helping them into the world and helping their moms become confident mothers. With success in breastfeeding, babies grow wonderfully.
As I walk along and think about the joys of spring. I actually stop and smell the roses. Some are fragrant, others are just pretty. My walking about and seeing the spring renews my spirit and has me looking forward to the next amazing springtime birth. My hope and my prayer is always that the birth will be one that brings joyful memories to the mom and dad.
Two wonderful new conferences are coming. The first is the 12th Annual Family Centered Maternity Care Conference sponsored by “Heart & Hands” Doula Service. It will be on March 24th at the Monroeville Doubletree hotel. The day’s speaker is noted midwife and author, Tonya Brooks. She has caught more than 5,000 babies both at midwife centers and in homes. She is author of: “Giving Birth at Home” and “The Parent’s Guide to Perinatology”. She will speak about the home-birth movement, reducing inductions of labor, improving your chances of a VBAC more. Download the conference brochure here and sign up!
The second is the Western Pennsylvania La Leche League conference on April 28th and featuring La Leche League’s Co-Founder Marian Tompson. The conference is called: Mother to Mother Support: Our Foundation Our Future. I will also be speaking at two sessions. The first is “Communicating with Health-Care Providers: How to be an Effective Health-Care Consumer” and the second is “Influencing Breastfeeding Behavior through Advocacy and Action”. Sign up for this conference here.
Both of these conferences will be fun and full of great information. Come to both and I’ll see you there!
I decided to make soup tonight. I had carrots, potatoes, beef, yellow beets, red beets and cabbage and I found myself making borscht. I don’t think it’s because I have no imagination, rather, I think I have fond memories of borscht and when I have the ingredients at hand, that is what I want to experience again. I love using the vegetables from our CSA (community supported agriculture). Also, my whole family enjoys borscht.
I also really enjoy the experience when I am able to attend a birth for a mom I have supported in birth before. There is something so satisfying about the honor of supporting a mother another time in labor. Her births are not the same, but they often do have a familiar flavor. As a doula, I have already developed a birthing groove with her. Some of my fondest birth memories, are of being with a mom for her subsequent births. Those memories are treasures of my heart.