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Happy Spring, Joyful Births!

Trillium Spring


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 Great Upcoming Conferences

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!

Making Borscht


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.

We’re Not Alone

“We`re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we`re not alone.” – Orson Welles

I wonder how many births Orson Welles observed? I would guess none. I have never yet seen a birth in which the baby being born was alone. There is always at least, his mother. Beyond her, there are usually many people caring for both mom and baby. No one is alone at their birth. Even if he is referring to being alone in the birth canal, it is his mother’s body and she is with him every step of the way.

I can’t speak for death. Many people have loved ones around them as they die. Some die alone. But no one is born alone. No one I supported as doula labored alone. We humans crave support and companionship. Doulas enjoy being a part of the miracle of birth.

September 2011 was a banner month for me as a doula. I was privileged to attend five births in September. Each birth had its beauty and interest for me. Each birth was the unfolding and beginning of a baby’s life. Each baby started its nursing relationship with its mom. None of these babies were born alone. Not one.


Buddhism regards birth as one of the four inescapable sufferings of human life. The others being: old age, sickness and death. I hope that  I can ease the passage of birth for the mother or baby. I try to help the father and family through the birth. I assist mom and baby with breastfeeding. If I can help make this transition from pregnancy to family life a satisfying one, that I have done my job as a doula. Then I feel that I have added to the happiness of the world, one birth and one family at a time.