As Your Baby Goes To School For The First Time

September can quickly start to feel like New Year for Mamas as our babies go to school for the first time. Our minds will race - "What if he needs me at bathroom time? What if she sits beside the mean girl at circle time? What if anxiety runs so high that she won't eat her lunch?" and 9 million more thoughts flood our psyche, cause our blood pressure to spike and our guts to turn.

 

Take a breath, Mama.  Remember a time you have not felt like this? I know I always felt like this. "Should we try to get pregnant now?  How will I deal with having a winter baby? What happens if I start to bleed in the pregnancy? What if I don't get my midwife at my birth? How do I know if my baby is getting enough of my breast milk? Should we vaccinate? Do I need to sign us up for infant sign language? We start solids when? "

 

Every single second of every single day is a huge learning curve. More so, I believe, for us. These tiny little dependant souls need us to be on, to be aware, to be constantly engaging our thought processes and to be looking out for them. What they don't need is us to be fully enthralled in worrying about them. They are hard wired to connect and succeed, Mamas.  They are going to be just fine. They are more confident about change than we are. We got them this far, right?

 

Think of what you have accomplished up to this point. You grew them, you birthed them, you nurtured, loved and protected them. You have given them a firm place from which to launch and a soft place to land. That is all you need to continue to do. Breathe, respond....and by doing so you will provide acknowledgement, validation and empowerment to your school age child.

 

In those first few days, don't overwhelm them with questions about their day. There is a lot of stimulation going on for them! New environments, new people, new routines....these are big challenges for ever growing brains and amount to lots of stimulation! At the end of the school day, you are the soft place to land. A simple "I am so happy to see you" is enough to let all of the stresses of the day slide off...and when they are ready to talk, they will. Bombarding your school age child with a million questions will exhaust them - and will in fact cause them to either cry, cling to you or become even more overwhelmed.  Offer a drink (because they will probably in fact be a bit dehydrated) a snack and "gather them up" by holding space and sitting with them. Let it be relaxed for as long as your child needs it to be. This ritual can become a huge pressure valve, a great way to re-connect and an important way to confirm your child's attachment with you.  Watch what it can do for you too.

 

Be brave, Mamas. You have done stellar work. You are loved, appreciated and oh so worthy. Trust that and know we are sending you so much love on this journey that we call being a Mama.

 

 

With much love,

the Babies Naturally team. xoxoxo

Kim is teaching Mom and Baby and Prenatal Yoga for us and we are excited!

Kim took her first yoga class in 2004 and it didn't take long for her to become hooked! When she became pregnant in 2007, her love of yoga expanded along with her belly as she participated in Prenatal Yoga classes and after her baby girl arrived, Postnatal Yoga classes.

As a new mama, Kim experienced first hand how beneficial Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga was to her body and mind. She loved how these classes created a community of support where mamas-to-be, new mamas, and experienced mamas could share their growth, joys, challenges, and wisdom with one another. When she decided to become a Yoga Teacher, she specifically chose a teacher training program that included Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga so she could pass this gift on to others. Kim received her 200-hr Yoga Teacher certification in August 2012 and the following March, took Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training with the renowned Monica Voss, Co-Owner and Director of Esther Myers Yoga Studio.

Kim is passionate about teaching and working with women, and especially supporting moms and mamas-to-be. Her Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga classes blend Hatha Yoga with a social circle to meet mamas' physical, mental, emotional, and social needs. She teaches mamas in all stages of motherhood to be physically active in a comfortable, safe, and fun way, to create balance and find inner peace during times of transition, to connect, grow, learn, and share with other moms in a circle of support, and to reconnect with themselves after baby arrives.

As a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance  and Owner of Kim's Yoga to You, Kim is excited to be partnering with Babies Naturally to offer Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga to local mamas! Please email her at kim@kimsyogatoyou.com to book your spot today in the Prenatal Yoga class or the Mommy & Baby class, and please feel free to visit kimsyogatoyou.com to find out more about Kim and Kim's Yoga to You!

 

 

Babies Naturally is offering Prenatal Yoga and Mom and Baby Yoga!

We are super excited to let you know that Kimberly Ellig Picken will be teaching Prenatal and Mom and Baby Yoga at our location starting this fall! Kim comes to us with a very impressive resume, experience and a lovely heart! Watch out for her bio on the website soon. In the meantime, you can contact her to register for the classes. Here is what you need to know....the class dates are as follows:

Prenatal Yoga - Wednesdays, 7-8:15 pm

Sept. 17

Sept. 24

Oct. 1

Oct. 8

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Oct. 29

Nov. 5

 

Mommy & Baby Yoga (for precrawlers and slow/near crawlers) - Thursdays, 11-12:15 pm

Sept. 18

Sept. 25

Oct. 2

Oct. 9

Oct. 16

Oct. 23

Oct. 30

Nov. 6

The classes will be $110 (taxes in!) for the 8 week sessions and you can register with Kim by contacting her at kim@kimsyogatoyou.com to register.

Pool for your water birth

We are giving away one of our Passages Midwifery pools for your water birth!  All you have to do is comment here on the blog and tomorrow, the first day of summer, we will announce a winner! Good luck and happy birthing. xo

Sarah's Women Only Crossfit and Mum and Baby Bootcamp!

Good Morning!

 

Here's what's coming up this summer - I've got to fit it all in before this baby comes!  I'm due October 20th for those of you that I haven't seen for a few months!  We're excited…and nervous... and I'm not real keen on the idea of a minivan!  Mostly excited though.

 

Women's Only Crossfit

Women's Only Crossfit is currently running Mondays at 7:30pm and caps at 10 women.  I will give first priority to the women currently in the class. The summer session will run for 10 weeks starting July 7th excluding the holiday Mondays.  SO, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug 11, 18, 25, Sept 8, 15, 22.

 

A NEW Women's Only class will be starting Wednesdays at 10:30am for 10 weeks starting June 18th.  The dates will be June 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, 20, 27.

 

Cost for the women's only 10 week sessions are $153 plus tax = $172.89.  If you are doing both the Monday night class and the Wednesday morning class, you'll save 10% so total $311.20 for the 20 classes.

 

Crossfit classes include mobility, strength and conditioning, so a typical class would look like foam rolling and warmup, then heavy strength - deadliest, squats, bench press, push press, then  a W.O.D (workout of the day), which is conditioning using a combination of weights and body weight movements, running, rowing, skipping, burpees for time.

 

Mom and Baby fit

Mom and Baby fit has been a ton of fun this year, and so far we have managed to miss the rain every week!

 

Summer session will be 8 weeks and will run July 8, 15, 22, 29 and August 5, 12, 19, 26.  Cost is $80 for the 8 weeks.  $70 if you refer a friend, and $70 if you are coming from the Spring session.  Class capped at 20 people.  Priority given to those currently in the Spring session.  Payment is due June 12 - after that I will open the class up to new people, you can bring payment to the current classes or send by Email Money Transfer.

 

Doula what?

AND, since this seems to be a catch all update newlettery type thing, I should also mention that I completed my doula training last December and am excited to be attending my first birth in July.  My first 2 births are at a student rate of $375, so if you know of someone who is looking for a doula who has had an unmedicated (twin) birth, and needs support, I would be so grateful if you would pass along my name!  I am available for births in June, August and September 2014 and then starting up again in February 2015.

Email Sarah at sdhutchison@hotmail.com to register or enquire!

Hope you are well,

Sarah

How to Parent Really Well and Get Your Ass Handed to You

"How" to parent is a mystery to me. "Parenting" as a verb is contrite. I have never understood why being a parent is so brutally hard until I took a long hard look at myself.  I knew it was hard. So overwhelmingly hard on so many days. What I couldn't pinpoint was the why.  I followed the rules, tried different "methods" and listened to my Mama voice and yet I still wondered if I had "done" it right each and every day. There are those nights you lie awake wondering if you will ever get your child to forgive you and how you can reverse the damage you have done to them. Then you look at your own stuff and discover you -YOU- are the reason parenting is so hard. Yep, it was me all along.

The way we view the title, the verb, the "job" - PARENT- dictates the way we will be with our children. What does your definition of PARENT look like? You see all of the facebook memes about how you are your child's parent, not their friend and that then allows you to do x, y and z. There are the ultimatums written by women to young girls essentially slut shaming them and warning them against relationships with their boys. Historically, we are all meant to dread the teenage years and wait for our children to rebel and spin right out of control.  We are to hope they don't get pregnant while in high school and pray that they go on to post secondary education and not get caught up in the hazing in Frosh week. From a societal perspective, we need to "control" our children, govern over them and make sure they don't do the stupid things we did so they will have a better education, better job and better chances than we did. Crap, it is a lot of responsibility.  If that is how you want to look at it.

Working with parents every day I am astounded at how deeply our own conditioning is engrained. We do what our own parents did to a certain extent or we do the polar opposite and hope for the best. The modeling we were subjected to is embedded within us and we either continue to perpetuate the parenting we experienced or we make big changes so our children don't feel the way we did growing up.  If we feel comfortable with our own childhood experiences we move forward. If we don't, we can flounder. If we don't want to model what was modeled for us then how do we move forward with parenting? If we were hit as children and don't want to hit our own children yet yell at them instead are we really changing anything?  Yelling, screaming, the silent treatment, sending the child away to their rooms - all of these treatments can be extremely damaging. Just because we are not doing exactly the same thing that was done to us do not mean we are not causing harm to our own children. So what are we to do?

 

What if we were to drop our title - Parent  - and consider this..... I am an imperfect grown up human raising a small human? What if we drop the story we have constructed around what a "Parent" is and focus on forging a loving relationship with this small human(s) in our charge? Now before you think that control needs to be exercised over children consider this: control is a form of power. Power does not have leverage as children grow into adults. To control something, someone, the situation - means that we can't trust and must exert power and control over to manage it. I am asking you to do this...trust your children.  John Holt says:

Trust children-

Nothing could be more simple or more difficult. Difficult, because to trust children, we must trust ourselves. And most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.

 

Resonating with you?  Did you feel trusted as a child? Do you trust your own children? What if we believed that our children could be trusted? What if, right from conception, we trusted our children? What if we believed our babies were conscious, aware and worthy of respect?  What if we respected every aspect of our children from the time we first held them in our arms? We can. It starts with us. We have to heal our beliefs, our wounds, our toxic mind thoughts. We need to understand our triggers...you know, that "button" we believe our children push. That "last nerve" they get on.  It's not them. It is all about you. Yes, you. You are your own stumbling block.

 

As parents we are our own self-imposed obstacles. We don't understand why we get so upset with parenting until we really learn how to self-reflect. We need to lean into our stories, strive for healthy improvements (cause there is absolutely no perfection in parenting!) and find out how to be our authentic selves. It is heavy work. It is conscious day to day work. It is not impossible. We are not alone. We need each other in this journey, this relationship building endeavour with these little humans. I am so grateful for my best friends in this journey. They are more than happy to be in the arena of parenting with me as I get my ass handed to me. They keep me real and I can talk to them and let them know when I feel vulnerable. Their empathic hearts bring me back from the edge - sometimes on a daily basis.

 

You will birth your baby and fall in love. You will be so freaking exhausted. Yes you will. You will announce some days that babies suck. the.life.right.out.of.you. And we will agree with you. Every single word.  Your babies will grow and get ready to develop into brilliant toddlers, inquisitive preschoolers, knowledge hungry school age children and those crazy teenagers that scare the crap out of us. You will get your ass handed to you. A lot. And you know the best way to respond when you do? Work on your stuff. Really ask yourself what your "stuff" is. If you think you don't have stuff then you are either really lucky or you haven't figured out what that "stuff" is yet.  But you will.

If you want your kids to be around you when they are adults you will work on your stuff. Try to respond instead of reacting. Acknowledge your children, validate them and stop throwing out the stale meaningless "good job."  Work on your stuff so your child will feel (not know, cause feeling and knowing are two very different things and register differently in our attachment with our kids) heard, empowered, acknowledged, responded to and trusted in every interaction they have with you. You can't have a relationship based on fear and shame. For real. Say sorry when you should. Don't try to be perfect. Be willing to fail. Be willing to be loved when you fail. Find your tribe and have them walk alongside you as you grow this relationship with these little humans. There is a definite hierarchy needed in our relationship with our children. Our children look for a strong attachment with us. If they don't get it with us, chances are they will try with their peers as they grow.  Allow the natural drive to connect that children have with us to develop by clearing up your own hurts. And know that no matter what, nothing will prepare you for parenthood. You are the best way to parent really well. Work on you and the relationship will evolve into a solid attachment. Trust yourself that you are enough and you can get there.  We see it every day. It is possible. xoxo

The Grandparent Class!

Babyrearing has changed so much in a very short period of time!  From generation to generation our techniques, tools and stories about raising families has changed dramatically. What's a Grandparent to be to do?  Well, let's talk about it!  In this 2 hour class, Grandparents to be will learn all about birth practices today, infant feeding, sleeping and soothing. We will also discuss what the parents of this new baby need and how to support them as they go through this incredible life change!  We will have a question and answer period and the Grandparents to be will able to explore any other issues pertinent to the arrival of the babes!

 

Saturday June 28th, 1:30-3:30 pm.  FREE and parents to be may accompany the Grandparents!

To register email carol@babiesnaturally.ca

Learning to Love Your Body....a free giveaway for this class- cause we love you.

This six week class every other Monday from 7-9 pm will open your mind, body and soul to self-compassion and self-love. As women we are so vulnerable to our engrained shame issues surrounding body image and weight and this can lead to dysmorphia and negative self-talk. You will learn how to deconstruct these beliefs through safe and gentle exercises in a group of like-minded women. We will have weekly check ins between classes to communicate and stay in touch with "homework"  that has been assigned and will have concrete "learning" exercises and activities. To register email carol@babiesnaturally.ca .  Six meetings face to face and six check ins.  Unlimited one on one email support. $75 and one lucky commenter on the blog will win a free registration. All you need to do is tell us what you would like to gain from the group. With much love, Carol and Tracey xoxo

Mama and Baby Dance!

Want to get out of the house, get on your feet, and get your groove on with your baby? 

 

Babies Naturally is introducing a unique and new class that allows Mama to be active, socialize with other new moms, and spend quality time with their babies while having a ton of fun! Classes are for non-walking babies who are able to hold their head up on their own.  Moms are to bring their own forward facing carrier that they feel comfortable with in order to move hands free.  The class will run 45 minutes long for 6 weeks, and each week Moms and babies will learn a new dance style (think Hawaiian, Salsa, and Line Dancing!). No previous dance experience is necessary.  Our class starts Monday June 2nd from 12:30- 1:15 at our centre in Hyde Park (1124 Gainsborough Rd., Unit 10) The cost of the class is $75.00. To register email Carla at legguitar@hotmail.com and get your groove on!! 

Embracing Imperfection in Parenting

Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. Hands down.  23+ years into it I am still discovering that I really don't have a clue if what I have become as a parent has done more harm than good. Advice has been plentiful, confusing, helpful, isolating, damning and shaming. At times well intentioned advice has made me want to bitch slap the individual soliciting said advice ( "If you spanked her, she wouldn't act like that in public") or I have been driven to launch a well devised rhetoric in response to thoughtless comments on my child's emotional meltdowns (which were, in fact developmentally appropriate as she was reacting to the environment she was in.)  Mostly I find myself spinning and wondering what I would change if I was to start my child rearing all over again. But the spinning stops when I look at them and realize that they live life passionately. And they have taught me more than anyone else ever could.

Here's what I do know....I love my children and would fall on a sword for them. Aside from their father, I have never felt such a deep connection with anyone else in my life. They have forged my first true authentic connections and allowed me to then forge the same connections with other human beings by teaching me that being authentic does not equate to being perfect.

 

In this crazy "please other people" and "work really hard to fit in" society that we live in it is especially hard to JUST BE YOU.  Being a parent means being judged. Hell, being a human means being judged. Being a parent also means your first chance at existence without being judged because your baby does not judge you! Your baby wants you....in all of your imperfect glory!

 

Once I learned to let go of what I thought I should be (dependant on what other people saw, defined or judged me as being through their lens) I was able to fully embrace who I really AM.  Every single glorious imperfect cell of my being. I started showing up imperfectly on every imperfect day.  Every day has struggles and strengths in it.  I cannot be everything for everyone all of the time. And that, my friends, is perfectly okay.

 

You will, however, be judged when you strive to embrace imperfection and value your true sense. You might need to drop caring for extended family all of the time, stop showing up as the "perfect wife/daughter/sister/friend" and take your time to learn what feeds the fire in your belly. Ask yourself if what you are doing feeds that little flame in your belly or dampens it...for using the flame as a metaphor for authenticity means that you get to set boundaries for your family, know what feeds your soul and find out what works for you.

 

Truly allowing yourself to be able to practice embracing imperfection is not easy. It is a soul scorching endeavour at first and very very uncomfortable. "What will others think? What happens if they like the older version of me better? What if I truly don't know what embracing the imperfect means and I am wrong?"  You will know. You will know because you will feel freer emotionally. You will know because you will feel like you are enough. You will know because you will have less of an emotional response in your body. Anxiety will lessen. Connection with your children will deepen. You will feel like you are "showing up" in your life with less effort and self-judgement. You will not feel like you need to make yourself smaller so that others can feel important. You will be able to stand your ground....calmly. Boundary setting will feel effortless. Guilt will diminish and shame will vanish. Don't embrace perfection. It does not exist. Perfectionism means nothing more than trying to seek and win approval and acceptance.  Practice self-acceptance and compassion.  Christopher K. Germer states that:   " A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life."

Speak to yourself the way you would speak to your beloved. Show yourself self-love and speak love to yourself. Not only are you modelling for your children, you are changing your self-perception. Give up the ideal, the notion of the ultimate, the image of perfection.  Look to healthy daily striving and know that your best does not mean PERFECT. PERFECT is an illusion. Healthy striving is realistic.  Be warm with yourself and know that you are more than enough...every single imperfect aspect of your wonderful self. 

 

 

 

With much love,

Carol xoxo

In Support of Support

We are a group of (crazy) women in love with supporting women, their babies and their families. We know how hard it is day to day to fulfill the societal and family expectations of being a mama, wife, sister, daughter, friend, partner....and quite truly without each other we do not know how we would get through each day. The "sisterhood" we feel with each other can quite honestly run "deeper" with each other than it does with our own blood relatives because of our special kind of crazy. And because of the level of honesty we have with each other. We can truly be ourselves around each other without the judgement that comes with the stories that are often attached to us by our families.

One of our group beliefs is that we will meet you where you are... no story attached, no judgement, no harsh penalty for being you. In working with families we have learned our biggest lessons. Mamas, babies and families teach us so much! Yes we continue with educational studies every year, yes we stay up to date with evidence based practices, yes we spend time self -educating - but the best education is working in the birth and parenting community. Each human being has taught us that "normal" is only a setting on the dryer (and even then we question it) and that none of us can be categorized. We understand that our FOO (family of origin) impacts the way we walk in the world greatly and that the big picture of who we are because of where we come from gives valuable insight into how we operate. We are the sum of our experiences...and then some.

 

Support is necessary for human survival and for thriving. Support walks us through the days we cannot fathoming walking ourselves. Be it birth, breastfeeding, lack of sleep, temper tantrums, family dysfunction, moving, losing a job, feeling like you've lost your way in the world and death. Every aspect of everything we do warrants validation....that is our basic human need. We all need to know that we matter. We all need to know that we are worthy and that what we are going through has impacted us and perhaps changed us.

Support comes in many forms. A nod of the head, a smile, a touch, a gentle voice in your ear. A hug, a text, a phone call and "I will be checking in on you" can be the hope that we all hang on to.  Sometimes we need someone to believe in us when we cannot believe in ourselves. Support is the foundation of change and growth. We find out more about ourselves when our vulnerability is supported and not shamed. Being vulnerable is perhaps our biggest challenge ...and to walk in vulnerability, to have compassion bestowed upon us and have empathy bash shame allows us to heal. We can find out who we truly want to be, how comfortable we are in our own skin and how to  begin loving ourselves if we are supported in all facets of our emotions. The dark will give way to light, but only if we embrace the dark. I have come to believe that the pain that is "the dark night of the soul" can be a cradle for the light if we have support. Holding emotional space for each other without judgement and WITH compassion and empathy unlocks the key to growth, healing and validation. Drop the story, listen with the intent of hearing and not formulating an answer. Be kinder than necessary and your heart will thank you for it. xoox

What Does The Doula Say?

We get asked all of the time what our lives look like as doulas. We thought we might give you the light hearted version of what we do and say, peppered with some of the realities of being on call.

Let it be known right away that we love wine. Like a lot. If we have back to back births as I did this past February it is a given that there will be wine delivered to my house for off call.  If we schedule a meeting we bring wine. We generally schedule meetings citing wine as the reason to get together. We find a new wine, we share. Someone dies in your family and you don't get flowers.. you get wine.  Heck you get a repeat client having her third baby, we cheers you. With wine. So the moral of the story here is this: we don't drink when we are on call. We can shout out on Facebook that we are dying for a glass of wine and wonder if we should open it and a lovely midwife will remind us that perhaps opening a bottle of wine would precipitate a birth.  (Cause babies are sneaky like that....) We listen to the reasoning and cry. The crying is mostly because we are all mothers and let's face it...wine is helpful to most mothers. So it is not unusual to hear one of our doulas say " I will just have water because I am on call" at one of our staff meetings. And as soon as her water was finished she got called to a birth and the babe showed up just over an hour later. For real.

 

At any given time you will hear us telling clients that we will come support them with breastfeeding issues but we better take their number in case we get called to a birth. Then we re-schedule our days. We tell our children of driving age that "sure you can have the car because I am not on call."  We schedule our classes around our on call schedule.  We have missed holidays, our own children's birthdays, our partners holiday parties and our own wedding anniversaries because we have been attending births. I have been at births on Mother's Day and my own children's plans for me went by the wayside. They absolutely have come to understand this is a distinct possibility in the work I do. I made my son's grade 8 graduation by the skin of my nose because I was attending a birth.

 

Our children know that they can wake up in the morning and we won't be there. My children have grown up with this and it takes a lot of juggling on my partner's part but has become so much easier as they have grown. Now in the age of texting (seriously cell phones were not even around when I started attending births!) my children are excited to hear how the Mama and baby are doing. This past February they were all on tenterhooks as I attended the birth of a woman that is as close to attending my own daughter as I will get (her Father is a dear family friend) and there were tears of joy from my whole house as the happy news was delivered after she brought her premature daughter earthside. This is most definitely a peculiar lifestyle....yet most birth workers would not change it.

"If I am not at a birth I will be there" echoes in our every day conversations. We drive back from vacation cottages because we have clients go into labour. We go to weddings in other cities when our first time mamas are in the early stages of labour. We are available to them the whole time we are somewhere else. We have back up for each other in case there will be an overlap. We never have to use our back up. We take our cell phones to the soccer field and get called off when our clients call. Our whole team knows what is going on and sends love and well wishes to our Mamas. And they want an update (with permission of course) once the babe is earthside. Then they too, celebrate. Generally with wine.

 

The stuff that comes out of our mouths turns heads. In the hospital parking garage someone might hear "I am leaving now and yep, she rocked it! Not even a tear and he was over 10lbs. and he nursed like a champ." On the three am car rides home after a beautiful home birth the universe will hear thanks being given up for the privilege of bearing witness to a new soul making their way into the world. Our Bluetooth conversations always end with one of our team mates saying to us "Now go home, get some rest, I will cover your day for you and I will check in on you later. Love you." And we do truly love each other. We have supported each other in our births and postpartum. We have rocked each other's babies and shared milk, we have made dinner when life has thrown us a curve ball and we cannot face cooking. We have cried over losses, laughed over beer pong (or Somersby cider pong....yum) kissed each other's foreheads and texted each other 50 times a day. We have held each other up through family death, crazy stupid family dysfunction and our own children's struggles. Because of our shared passions in birth, breastfeeding and families we mesh like this. We know the lifestyle we all live and the commitment it takes first hand and are truly empathetic with each other. Pushing each other to go on vacation and recharge has become a real team affair....when one of us books a vacation we all cheer and cannot wait to hear the plans come together.

 

"You need to rest....you haven't slept in days" is what you will hear us say to our Mamas. We also say it to each other.  We have placentas in our fridges and my kids know enough that an ice cream container in the freezer does not always mean that ice cream is what is inside.  We freak out over Ina May's latest publication and we go crazy over policies and procedures that we know aren't always the best practices for our Mamas.  We listen to birth trauma stories, we help process pain, we offer hugs, love and are fully invested in our Mamas. We are a bit crazy, too, at times but we are blessed. Yep, you will hear us talk about a cervix, a uterus, mastitis, blocked ducts and overactive letdown all the time.  You will hear us voice our opinions on birth, circumcision, the treatment of children and the importance of evidence based medicine and birth practices. We are a crazy lot, we birth workers. And we love it.

 

Babies Naturally is now .org. We have grown, grown up and moved!

We are absolutely thrilled to launch our new website. We have grown as an organization and are always looking at ways to make our classes and programs easier to access. We have all "matured" and wanted our website to reflect that.  Welcome! Poke around and look at the beautiful work done by the very talented Laura Carrelas of www.ltcphotos.com for capturing our team of practitioners.  We are also thankful for the work of Tricia McConnell and the birth pictures she captured! Stick around, get to know us and enjoy our new site! 

With much love, 

Carol  and the whole Babies Naturally team 

xoxo

Positive Sleep Solutions- The Class You Asked For

Before I became a Mom, experienced parents all told me to enjoy my sleep. To literally catch up on my sleep because I would not sleep again for years to come…if ever! Once I became a parent I quickly realized they were right. Sleep became one of the most sought after, difficult to attain, luxuries of life no longer afforded to me. I felt like I would never have a full night’s sleep again. I was physically in pain from sleep deprivation. I could not think straight and was an emotional puddle who could barely form sentences! The problem was that this was going on a lot longer than the first 3 months. I began to believe this was simply parenthood. I told myself my daughter would simply grow out of her night wakings. It was normal right? After all, other parents had warned me that good sleep would be a thing of my childless past!
Thankfully Carol (Peat) entered my life and awoke me to the the reality that if I was suffering from such an extreme level of sleep deprivation, so was my daughter. She was struggling as much as I was. Something had to change. I could not bare the thought of leaving my little girl to cry herself to sleep, but we had entered a critical point where no one was getting the proper rest. This put us at risk for so many bigger problems. Our immunity was compromised, our cognitive functioning was decreased and we were all literally walking around in a fog. Carol taught me the science of sleep and this armed me with the will to make the changes we needed. I realized it was simply not necessary for my daughter to “cry it out”. There were other ways to make healthy sleep progress. It did not come without some protesting. It did not come without the need for reassurance from Carol that we were in fact doing what was best for our daughter. But it started to work. It all started to click and we were sleeping We were ALL sleeping. It was like the sun came out in our world again! We had a happy, well rested child and that was the best outcome anyone could have imagined!
The principals of the Sleep Solutions program can be applied to all stages of our children’s lives. Once you understand the science of sleep and have the tools to fall back on, your family’s sleep will never spin out of control again. We would be fooling ourselves to think that we will never be thrown off track with our children’s sleep….they get sick, cut teeth, sleep in a different environment, we go on vacation, etc, but when you have a child with the skills of independent sleep, they come back to their healthy sleep routine without much effort. With this program you arm yourself and your child(ren) with the skills to create healthy sleep hygiene for the rest of their lives. That is a true gift.
Here at Babies Naturally we offer a Sleep Solutions class followed by four weeks of individual support. This ensures you have the best understanding of the principals of independent sleep and an adequate amount of time to implement any necessary changes. This class will run every second month. Check the Classes Page for the next class date. We do require payment confirmation before the class. Please email Tracey at stpetticrew@gmail.com for further details.
Happy Slumbers!

Hello Monday

On this last Monday of September we are saying HELLO to:

Mamas having spring babies and arranging for us to support them

Mamas wanting support in keeping their attachment to their school age children strong

Mum and Baby group opening their hearts, making new friends and understanding that we are all so very the same yet so very different

Mamas to be waiting patiently for their babies to decide when it is time to come earthside

Being on call and visualizing peaceful births

Pumpkin spice lattes….they warm up more than our tummies!

Inner reflection as the nights draw in sooner and our souls heed the call to rest

What are you saying HELLO to? We really do want to know.

One mama will win a $50 Babies Naturally gift certificate.

With much love,
Carol xoxo

Allison Pays Homage to A Defender of Birth

There are few experiences in life that change you forever. Some are obvious, but some are not obvious until they are in hindsight. This past weekend changed me in both ways.
My family recently experienced a great loss. My eldest aunt, Mary Lou, passed away suddenly, but peacefully in her flower garden cradled by her husband of 45 years. She was a force to be reckoned with, a rebel, a rule breaker, and lived by her own terms until the day she died at 73.
She was a nun, but left the convent and married the love of her life. She was a nurse, and a doula, and challenged the medical system. I only learned recently that she was not only my own mother’s labour support, but supported many of the women in my family during childbirth. Amazingly, she was also one of the very early fighters for the father’s right to be present in the delivery room. Something that is common practice today, but not so long ago was unheard of.

Working in the business of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and having beliefs that challenge some of the protocols of modern medicine can often feel like we are fighting a losing battle. I am so grateful for the experience I shared with my family this weekend, because it reminded me of the enormous effect one person with passion can have on such an immeasurable number of people. Story after story was told of how this one woman inspired countless others to listen to their hearts, to go after their dreams, to trust their instincts, and to stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.

So it is with great pride that I take this opportunity to remind all of the amazing women we have the honour to work with every day, the defenders of babies, the powerful protectors of intuition, that you ARE making a difference. That all it takes is one person to create change, but we are many, and our army gets bigger every day.

In honour of Mary Lou Atkinson 1940 – 2013.
Thank you.

“Listen to your heart; it knows where it’s going.”