Posts Tagged ‘doula training’

Supporting Mamas Around the Globe – Blooma & Shanti Uganda

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Photo by: John Suhar | johnsuhar.com | @jtsuhar

As you mamas know, I run a busy yoga studio with three locations and lots of employees. I am always rushing to get things done, answer emails, and keep the place going. It is so important for me to step back and get back to the spirit and passion of birth. The journey to Shanti Uganda is so important to me, not just as the owner of Blooma, or as a doula, but as a mother and a woman. I need to continue to learn and grow and journey outside of my small, comfortable bubble.

I am blessed to live in a city that has so many resources for birth; the Twin Cities are filled with amazing doulas, birth centers, and mom and baby-first hospitals. There are postpartum support centers and places like Blooma, that welcome all mamas, working to lift them up. Every mother deserves to birth with care providers that can provide medical and emotional support for her and her baby. Unfortunately, not all moms have access to this level of care. Around the world, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and birth related complications – 16 of those happen in Uganda. We know that 90% of all of these deaths are preventable when moms are given access to high-quality care. This is the mission of Shanti Uganda, to provide quality care to women in need.

I remember when I first arrived in Uganda in 2009 to work and learn with Shanti, I was welcomed into the homes of local families. At first, Uganda felt so different from my daily life and I was humbled by the circumstances I witnessed. But as the days wore on and I connected with moms, saw firsthand the depth of sisterhood, family, and connection that existed, I was able to submerge myself into the mission of Shanti Uganda, and the service they provide to so many women and families. The daily distractions of my life – my computer, phone, my own “shit” – was abandoned.

In 2018, it is even easier to become isolated. From emails and social media, there is such a disconnect. We have to go back to community, connection, and support. Women need other women. Being in a fitness class, a book club, a moms group, a COMMUNITY is crucial in fueling your soul. Visiting Shanti and working with the women there was such a reminder of the importance of community. Watching moms carry each other’s babies, singing to them, raising them together. It is the deepest web of sisterhood and support I have ever witnessed.

It because of this sense of community and connection between women that we have to shift our focus to woman’s health, our children’s health, and the future of our globe. If we don’t start supporting women, we all suffer. Feel the vibration and rise up. Women have such an amazing power. We need to support women and show them what that power can bring.

 

So Why Shanti and Why This DONA International Doula Training?

Becoming a doula through Shanti’s DONA International Doula Training will change your life and your outlook on birth. Holding space for a mom at her most vulnerable stage while reminding her what a warrior she is, is a powerful experience. I often say that being a doula is like a drug. It makes you feel good, it is addicting, and it is oh so powerful. Moms need that one- on-one support and guidance from a doula to show her that she CAN do it, that she is stronger than she knows.

Pregnancy and birth are pivotal in a woman’s life. The way a woman feels about herself through pregnancy shapes her birth. Birth can empower a woman like nothing else and can bring them so much confidence in motherhood. But, a bad birthing experience can leave wounds that fester. It is so important to let women share their stories, ask questions, and LISTEN to their response. Women need to feel support as they transition into motherhood. Becoming a doula and working with birthing women makes a difference in the lives of individual women, and to the birth community as a whole.

Training at Shanti us unique because you can fully submerge yourself into the training. You are out of your day to day routine and can give all of yourself to this teaching. You wake up with other trainees, eat lunch with the facilitators, you are surrounded by the sounds, words, and culture of birth.

Photo by: John Suhar | johnsuhar.com | @jtsuhar

Working with Shanti Uganda is a gift that goes two ways. On my first visit I was able to bring my knowledge, experience, and a set of helping hands. But, I learned so much from each person I met, taking so much more knowledge and understanding back home with me.

The money you contribute to Shanti by joining this program is HUGE. It means respectful, maternal care that saves lives. It means supporting women and babies at the most critical level. What you will learn through Shanti will change your life. When you return home, you will have a deeper connection to yourself, your family, children, and relationships.

Africa. Birth. Yoga. Sisterhood. Look into your heart and think about what you want to do with this one precious life. Movement, action, support, education for all! The Shanti Uganda Birth House is a sacred and special place for a life changing training. Emily and I can’t wait for this upcoming adventure and we would love for you to join us!

Learn how you can join Sarah Longacre & Emily Shier for a DONA International Doula Training at Shanti Uganda

Written by Sarah Longacre, Blooma’s founder & owner. Mama, doula, yoga teacher, and lover of all things birth!

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Blooma is Heading to Uganda: Join Us!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

In October 2018, Blooma founder Sarah Longacre and DONA doula Emily Shier will be traveling to the Luwero District of Uganda. Together, they will lead a DONA International Doula Training of a lifetime! We want you to join us! Along with doula training, participants will enjoy yoga with Sarah, cultural experiences, safaris, and more – all while supporting a great organization, Shanti Uganda and the community of women they impact each day.

Get to know Shanti Uganda:

We imagine a world where all women have access to a midwife and are respected, empowered and able to thrive throughout the birthing process. At our Birth House, our highly skilled Ugandan midwives, doula and lab technician provide a holistic approach to maternal health – fostering a supportive and respectful birthing environment. We offer full birth services, pre and postnatal care, follow-up visits and immunisations at an extremely low cost to our clients. In addition, Shanti offers weekly prenatal yoga classes, workshops on nutrition and family planning, sexual and reproductive health education for teens and a community garden. Shanti Uganda works hand in hand with the community we serve to provide holistic, respectful care to the whole family.

Founded in 2008, Shanti Uganda is a registered Canadian charity and Ugandan Non- Profit Organization. We stand up for maternal health by putting women first. A safe, respectful and comfortable birthing experience should be a right for every woman; however, thousands of women all over the world suffer and die needlessly every day because of complications from pregnancy and birth. Shanti is working to change that in Uganda, where 16 women die daily. 90% of these deaths are preventable with access to quality, respectful care that’s exactly what we offer to women in the Luwero District of Uganda.

Why take a Doula training with Shanti?

We are so proud to partner with Blooma on our upcoming DONA International Doula Training in October 2018. In 2008, our organization was founded by a yoga teacher and doula with a background in international development. Since the beginning, we’ve been inspired by the power of doulas to create positive birth experiences for moms. We hosted our first Doula Training in September of 2012 and since then have welcomed 10 groups of inspiring women to Uganda – raising over $84,000 for our programs. We believe deeply that a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge is life-changing for everyone involved. The Doula training is also one of Shanti’s most sustainable sources of funding, a way to truly travel with purpose.

Why does Blooma love Shanti?

Back in 2009, Sarah Longacre was part of an amazing group of women with Off the Mat Into the World who raised $150,000 for the construction of our Birth House. Sarah then came to visit the site and even helped in construction! The Birth House was completed in the spring of 2010 and since then we have supported over 1,300 births and impacted 46,000 lives. Blooma and Shanti Uganda share so many of the same values –  we are both care for women passionately and honor their birthing experience. We both strive to create open-hearted communities of support.

 

You are formally invited to visit us and experience the training of a lifetime. If you’ve ever been drawn to experience Africa, support women or connect with a grassroots organization this is your chance!  Learn more about this experience and sign up here.

Written by Kate Hyde Operations Director with Shanti since 2016. 

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Why I Became A Doula

Friday, March 10th, 2017

I will never forget being present for my sister’s first birth back in 2010.  I had graduated college just one year prior and was in that funky place where I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life.  Part of my plan was to apply to medical school, so attending a birth was something I thought would be great on my application. My sister, her husband, their care provider, my mother, and I were all present in the birthing room.  It’s an experience I will never forget and one that I have taken with me on my current adventure as a birth doula. 

I am passionate about birth.  It inspires me.  It intrigues me.  I can’t get enough.   It is in my deep passion to work with birth professionals (midwives, OB/GYN’s, family practice M.D.s) in a collaborative way.  I completed my DONA-Approved Doula Training at Blooma this past November and fell even more in love with birth. The training covered all things doula including how to serve each mother, certification, and building a new doula business, creating partnerships, finding internships, and more. The training was engaging and hands-on. We rehearsed several different birth scenarios and discussed how to support expectant families in each of those scenarios. As a group, we practiced comfort measures on each other and discussed ways we could provide safe, trusting support to mamas throughout labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum experience. 

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I have always been a doula at heart and I am certain a lot of you might feel the same.  It’s in my blood to support others.  To help them see their light, their strengths, their brightness.  To remind them that everything will be okay.  To just simply be there.  Have you held your friends hand when she had to make a hard choice during her pregnancy?  Did you lend an ear to listen when your sister needed to tell her birth story?  Did your mother or aunt delegate duties for immediate family and friends to help assist in a smooth transition for you and your partner after your baby’s arrival?  In a time when women are coming together to lift each other up, being a doula is a natural expression of support.

A birth doula is someone who provides continuous support to a woman throughout her labor and delivery. My work as a birth doula starts by encouraging families to educate themselves and make informed choices. For expecting moms, my role as a doula is to discuss birth preferences and be with mama as their birth journey unfolds.  Sometimes birth is exactly what a mama has envisioned, often there are many twists along the way. During labor and birth I do not project any hopes or expectations, instead, it is all about the mother and her needs. I am there to provide the tools that will help expectant families feel safe and comfortable, and I encourage them to be advocates for themselves along the way. 

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Are you considering becoming a birth doula? From the start of this ‘doula adventure’ it has been crucial to surround myself with a support team.  To those interested in becoming a doula here are a couple tips from the newbie. 

– If you are considering this path, it’s for a reason.  The world, a mother, a friend, a sister needs you.  Find a training program that is the right fit for you and get yourself registered!   Don’t let fear or doubt hold you back.  (Take a look at upcoming Doula Trainings at Blooma)

– Find your doula tribe.  This includes a crew of devotees that are your biggest cheerleaders; and honest, loyal, people who will keep you in check.  I have several doula friends on speed dial.  I know they are there to answer my questions while I’m in a birth, or to assist with advice in starting my business.  I also have a couple mama friends who aren’t necessarily doulas, but are just as important.   Network and meet with other doulas as much as you can.  Share ideas.  Make it full of community — not competition.  Let’s be real, there are 1,000s of moms giving birth every day.  We don’t need to compete with each other.  

– Be very honest with your family.  My husband knows I could get called to a birth at any moment.  He respects the career I chose, acknowledges this, and is ready to step up and handle anything that comes up at home while I’m at work (and doesn’t complain when my cellphone goes off at 2am in the middle of the night).  

– Self care:  Make sure you are caring for yourself.  Feel perfectly fine with saying no, and undoubtedly excited about saying yes — both when it feels right.  Schedule a monthly massage.  Clear your schedule the day after a birth to sleep, relax, walk, play, be. 

Let’s all be doulas for the powerful and inspiring women around us. Support motherhood, womanhood, sisterhood.

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Learn more about Blooma’s DONA Approved Birth Doula Training. The next training will be led by Emily Shier and begins April 7th . It will include training for emotional support, physical comfort measures, natural labor & the impact of hormones, supporting women with pain medication, cesarean & vaginal birth after cesarean, working with Care Providers, supporting newborns & breastfeeding, postpartum client contact & support, Professional Doula Memberships, Certification Options, and more.

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Written by Amy Peterson-Kelley, Doula, Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga Instructor, Kids, Toddler, & Byob Yoga Instructor.  Wife, dog mom, sister, daughter, and auntie to 6 beautiful children!  You can find me on Instagram as @amykelleydoula or visit my website at www.amynkelley.com

 

 

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My Blooma Journey: Motherhood, Yoga, Community and Beyond.

Monday, December 26th, 2016

On the journey of parenthood, there are many things that divide us; but I like to believe that there are many more things that unite us. When it comes to parenting, we all long for community, desire acceptance, and need a safe, sacred space where we – and our choices and experiences – are heard and understood. 

Years ago, I was new to the Twin Cities area and was also newly pregnant with my second child. I had worked in the health care sector for years and could help support my family financially. But, I wasn’t in love with what I did and I struggled to find the balance I knew I needed. 

One of the biggest problems in finding balance was that I wasn’t great at carving out time for myself, and certainly, not in a way that encouraged me to “connect” with my baby. It wasn’t uncommon for days to pass without a single thought of my pregnancy, the baby, or what I needed for myself. This only left me feeling more drained with each passing day. I knew this wasn’t sustainable for myself, my family, and my new baby. I needed a change. 

It was around this time that I hesitantly walked through Blooma’s doors. To clarify, I was no yogi. In fact, I was fairly convinced that yoga was not for me. Frankly, yoga seemed like a waste of time. Even so, I left the treadmill at the gym and stepped into the Blooma studio. I moved. I flowed. I breathed. I listened to my heart. I listened to my baby. I found intention. I found community. I discovered how to simply BE. I was hooked. 

From that point on, my yoga mat became a near permanent structure beneath my feet. I clung to every word relating to birth, empowerment, fear, love, and everything in between. I valued the brief interactions post-practice with instructors and fellow mamas alike. I raced out of my corporate office at the end of the day to be greeted by the calming energy that the yoga studio brought to my day and my heart. Blooma was my breath of fresh air amidst an ocean of uncertainty, fear and letting go…

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Months went by. The Prenatal Yoga Classes, that I attended so regularly, prepared me for one of the biggest moments of my life. After much anticipation, I birthed my baby on a pale Christmas Eve morning in runner’s lunge, a pose I had practiced so frequently that my body recognized it as familiar. The woman – my doula – who held my hand, hair and heart throughout my birth experience was the same woman who had guided me through countless yoga practices. Her voice brought me comfort and confidence. She was exactly what I needed during my birth – and Blooma had brought us together.

I had given birth, but I continued to crave Blooma’s energy. In my postpartum days, I religiously attended New Mama Group and BYOB, all creating community and new friendships with fellow mamas who were in the trenches right along with me. Blooma was the one place I could openly breastfeed my baby (because openly was the only way I knew how) and that was enough reason for me to show up, day in and day out.

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Before I knew it, my baby was crawling and we were attending Little Movers and Crawlers Classes together, and then Tots Classes. My oldest son enjoyed Little Kids Yoga and I hit up Vinyasa Classes when I could, in an effort to fill my own cup and focus on myself.As time continued to pass, I felt that my coveted community, my place of prenatal and postpartum solace, was slipping through my fingers. I still had Flow and Barre Classes, but my prenatal and postpartum connection was swiftly ending. My baby was growing. I had spent nearly every day at Blooma. I didn’t want LESS of my Blooma community, I wanted MORE. I grieved at the thought of slowly removing myself from Blooma’s walls. 

I began to seriously reflect on how much I wanted to give back to the community of other new parents, birth workers, and instructors that had selflessly given to me when I needed it most. I wanted to be a part of providing a loving, open, sacred space for prenatal/postpartum mamas to show up, find themselves and connect with their babies, just like I had done in the years before.

Of course, I continued to work the 9-5 job I always had, but I took risks. I didn’t have much of a plan and had no idea where I would end up, but for the first time in my life, it didn’t matter because I knew I had a hell of a lot of passion behind the momentum that was driving my decisions. I dove head first into the numerous training’s Blooma had to offer including the BYOB Yoga Teacher Training, DONA Birth Doula Training, DONA Postpartum Doula Training, and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. I also pursued, with encouragement from my Blooma tribe, the training needed to become a LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator.

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I originally pursued the training’s to give back, but I’ve discovered that I’ve received so much more. In the end, I left my job in health care and dedicated my time to serving women as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Yoga Instructor, a New Mama Group Facilitator, and a Childbirth Educator within the Blooma community and beyond. Originally, I stepped through Blooma’s doors to say “I gave yoga a try” and instead I found what I had unknowingly been seeking for far too long: deep-seeded desires around acceptance, community and sacred space. 

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I’m grateful to say that Blooma has showed up for me in ways that I least expected. It is a yoga studio but it is much more than that. Because of Blooma and all that it is, I have discovered the foundation to help confidently build my family, my community and my inner self.

 

In love, light and gratitude, Sarah Bach-Bergs

Blooma Yoga Instructor, LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA-Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula, Mama of two crazy boys, wife, friend, and wilderness lover.

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Photo Credit:

First image and Black and White Photo: Meghan Pate

New Mama Group Image: Danica Donnelly

 

 

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Postpartum Doulas: Solving a Problem Many New Moms Experience

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

{By: Jill Reiter CPD, CAPPA Postpartum Doula Faculty} I became a mother in a flurry of chaos. Was it the same for you? My husband had been deployed in Iraq for four months. He arrived home less than 24 hours before our daughter was born. Yippee! Together we welcomed our daughter into the world. I blinked and 17 days passed. He had to go back to Iraq to finish his deployment. Saying goodbye and not knowing if he would return to us broke my heart. I was alone and isolated. The isolation wasn’t only because my husband was in Iraq. Many mothers experience this feeling after their baby arrives. I wished for someone to give me permission to share how hard it is to be a new mom. My family and friends tried to be supportive. For all their advice, what I heard was, “You’re doing it wrong.” They knew where my baby should sleep, what she should eat, and how I should do things. Even books on parenting vastly differed on what was “right.” No one asked how I was feeling, or why I made the choices I did. I wished someone would have said…
  • “You are doing a good job!”  
  • “I have answers to your biggest questions.” How do I calm her when she cries? Am I feeding her enough? Is she getting enough rest?
  • “Go take a nap or shower. I’ll watch your baby.”  
  • “I made dinner for you.”   
  • “Why don’t you relax and snuggle your baby while I tidy the kitchen?”
woman in rainy window Fast forward a few years. I was a mother of three and looking for work. I wanted a job with flexible hours. I wanted to do something that was empowering to me and other women. I wanted the time I spent away from my family to be meaningful. I wanted to make a difference. That’s when I learned that I could give other women the kind of support I had wished for. I became a postpartum doula. Baby bathtime You haven’t heard of postpartum doulas? I get that a lot. I also work with a lot of new parents. People search me out to support them. I believe we’ve heard the word “postpartum” so often when discussing Postpartum Mood Disorders like Postpartum Depression, as in, “I have postpartum,” that we’ve forgotten the true meaning of the word. Guess what? “Postpartum” actually means the time after you have a baby. Experts disagree on the exact length of the postpartum period so I describe it as the first few months after you have a baby. After birth, every woman is “postpartum” or in the postpartum period. Postpartum doulas support families who recently had a baby or babies. The more people talk about postpartum doulas, the more families will benefit from our care. What do postpartum doulas do? We “mother” the mother. We answer questions. We listen. We teach. We help make life easier for new parents. We are non-medical. We follow a scope of practice.  My career is now full of snuggle time with newborns, aha moments with new moms, and dads who grin ear to ear while calming their new baby so mom can rest. So many people I talk to about my journey say, “I could have used a postpartum doula after I had my baby.” Are you the kind of person who answers questions for new parents?  Do you bring them a meal?  Do you give them tips and tricks that make life easier for them?  If a friend or family member has a baby do they look to you for answers? Could you see yourself as a postpartum doula? Whether or not you are a mother, you can join me in supporting women. The value you offer as a helper can become your career. This journey begins with a three-day postpartum doula training. Training creates a foundation of knowledge. You’re invited. You matter, and if you are reading this, I bet you are called to make a difference in the lives of parents and their babies. During training, I’ll share all the information you need to help you start this journey as a professional. I’ll be there to mentor you. I will provide you with the support you need to help others and to make a difference. And together… we’ll create a new story of early motherhood. We’ll support new mothers so they don’t feel isolated. We’ll help them understand their babies. We’ll mentor them to find their way. We will change the world, one family at a time. Mixed Race Young Family with Newborn Baby Join Blooma’s upcoming Postpartum Doula Training with Jill Reiter. Learn, laugh, and share space in a training filled with like-minded women who are all seeking to help mamas navigate those first tricky months of motherhood. For more information about Jill Reiter and her work as a postparutm doula, go to www.theafterbabylady.com or find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/theafterbabylady  

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Inspirational Postpartum Doula Training with Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Do you have a passion — or even an untapped interest — for nurturing mothers? For empowering, educating and supporting them, especially during the postpartum period? Whether you want to explore that calling for the very first time, or continue your education, Blooma (Minneapolis) is thrilled to offer a postpartum doula training with one of the world’s most inspiring and revered doula trainers. Debra Pascali-Bonaro‘s DONA-approved postpartum doula training (Feb. 10-13, 2014) is unlike any other. ** Early birds: sign up by Dec. 15 and get $50 off! ** Debra laughing Rebozo 2 Women who took her previous training at Blooma rave about it:
I cannot recommend (Debra’s training) highly enough, even if you think you are not interested in being a postpartum doula. It made me a better birth doula, for sure. She is totally inspirational and a fantastic trainer. —Jess Helle-MorrisseyREAD MORE

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Birth Doula Training at Blooma Minneapolis, July 2013

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Been dreaming of becoming a doula, or already working in the birth field and wanting to increase your emotional, physical, and informational support skills? Fascinated by the amazing power of women and can’t get enough of the miracle of birth? emilysYour journey has begun! Join us at Blooma Minneapolis, July 26-28, 2013 for this birth doula training led by Emily Shier. Emily has attended over 300 births in homes, birth centers, and hospitals as a Certified Birth Doula. READ MORE

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Ask a Doula: Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Postpartum Doula

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Blooma recently hosted an amazing postpartum doula training led by the incredible Debra Pascali-Bonaro. The Twin Cities is XX postpartum doulas richer!

Blooma recently hosted a postpartum doula training led by the incredible Debra Pascali-Bonaro. The Twin Cities is now 20 postpartum doulas richer!

It’s fairly normal for parents to focus so much on pregnancy, labor and birth, that the postpartum period isn’t always considered until you’re knee-deep in diapers, sleep deprivation and a whole lot of sweet baby love. So how can you plan now to make sure you’re well supported once baby is on the outside of your beautiful belly? Enter the postpartum doula. What does she do? Is it worth hiring one? We asked Brook Holmberg, a birth & postpartum doula, Blooma prenatal yoga teacher, and one of the beautiful trainees pictured above, for her top five reasons to hire a postpartum doula. Mamas, if you used a postpartum doula, tell us why in the comments below so others can learn from your experience!READ MORE

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