postpartum doula breastfeeding baby newborn
breastfeeding, community partnerships, postpartum, Self-Care

Why you might want a doula after your birth

written by Hanna Donati

At one time, a whole village would gather around to nourish and support a new mother. Traditionally, communities would ensure mothers could stay in bed for up to forty days to ensure optimal postpartum healing and bonding. Mothers were fed, pampered, and supported emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Unfortunately, as a society we do not place value on rest. We expect ourselves to “bounce back” without allowing our bodies precious time to heal. We expect ourselves to continue our lives as normal on our own-except this time, with a brand new baby and a body rapidly changing hormonally, physically and emotionally. We have lost the cradling support of our “village”, and the rates of postpartum depression, birth injuries, and unsuccessful breastfeeding journeys are proof that we need to reconnect to this ancient wisdom.

Postpartum doula services can fill this void. Entering into motherhood is a sacred time of a woman’s life. Birth and a new addition to the family means life altering change. Although it is an exciting, precious time, many women feel stressed about the prospect of learning how to breastfeed, care for a newborn, and keep themselves (and the rest of their family) fed and clothed! In fact, when talking with my birth doula clients, one of the few things they knew about the postpartum period was that it was “terrible.” This breaks my heart!

You don’t have to be in the immediate postpartum to take advantage of a postpartum doula. Some families have support when they have a newborn, but things get sticky when the adults in the home have to transition back to full time work after a leave, and your help seems to leave you when you most need it. Don’t hesitate to contact these great service providers to see if this service is right for you.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?

  • Emotional support; an expert in your home in real time to support you
  • Provide evidence based resources to you on newborn care, breastfeeding, the postpartum period
  • Help create biologically normal routines and practices
  • Allow time for you and/or your partner to get some much-needed rest
  • Family education and older sibling support
  • Physical support for your postpartum body, helping with lifting and
    information on how the body recovers from childbirth including surgical
    birth
  • Overnight infant care works beautifully with any way you choose to feed
    your child and you get sleep
  • Breastfeeding guidance and resource referral
  • Newborn care guidance for you or other family members
  • Prepare nourishing foods with what you already have in your fridge, within the framework of any diet you adhere to
  • Light housework including organizing baby clothes, doing dishes, laundry, and making beds

Want in?

Anja has partnered with two local doula groups so that her clients can receive special offers through Bloom Doula Services of the Fox Valley (serving Oshkosh and surrounding areas) and Green Bay Doulas (serving Green Bay and surrounding areas). Please contact those providers and mention that you are or have been her client.

 

 

 

about me, announcements, community partnerships, postpartum

Some new things. . .

What is bringing you joy these days? Summer has been delightful, and feels so very fleeting, as we quickly approach the July 4th holiday.

We’ve been up to some good work in the last little while in the office and have some updates for you.

Hanna Donati is officially on staff now and will be doing some administrative work to help me to continue to provide excellent care for you. She also has her own doula business, and teaches private childbirth education classes. You will see her at some appointments and births; learn more about her here.

I’m really excited about a new partnership with Bartelt Holistic. I will be renting a room in their beautiful location in Oshkosh to see clients once a month. They are located in downtown Oshkosh, and I have a room there the third Thursday of the month, with limited times. I really hope that this helps clients who are driving from far away to have an option that is closer to them. Call now to reserve your spot for midwifery, lactation, or Arvigo® care appointments. They have a charming classroom space, and Hanna and I are percolating some ideas for that room–stay tuned.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

about me

An Anniversary

I meandered over to my LinkedIn account the other day, and found messages in my inbox congratulating me on my work anniversary. After briefly wondering just what anniversary LinkedIn was marking, I realized that I filed the first of my legal paperwork for my solo practice on April 13, 2017. It is indeed an anniversary.

Milestones tend to prompt some introspection, an inventory of the perhaps non-tangible ground that’s been covered. So, I’m taking stock of all that has transpired over the last year and more on my journey to solo practice.

I was part of a local partnership practice since 2009 that is very busy. Prior to starting that business in 2009, I was a student midwife for about a year and a half. I’ve been mostly on call, tethered to my phone, with my brain always imagining the scenario in which I have to leave any given situation in order to quickly get to a birth, for 10 years. It is always a joy, honor and privilege to attend a birth. I still feel excited to get the labor calls; and I take enormous joy in traveling to your homes, often under the secret cover of the night, to quietly help you to welcome your little ones into your homes and families.

But, for real, 10 years is a long time to live an on-call lifestyle. And, truth be told, I haven’t been so diligent about my own self-care. For years, I have run on coffee and random snacks, little sleep and not enough exercise, and more M&Ms than I should probably admit to. Though I love whole foods and no one has to coerce me to eat my vegetables, I was often too tired to prepare healthy food and relied on not-so-healthy restaurant fare. In 2016, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, plus adrenal stress. Of course I was.

The diagnoses prompted me to start cleaning up my act and attempt to manage the symptoms of overwhelming fatigue, body aches and pains, disrupted sleep, disrupted periods, depression and anxiety. Then in September of 2016, just a month after my diagnosis, my mother unexpectedly died. At the ages of 23, 20, 19, and 14, my kids lost their sole remaining grandparent; my husband’s mother had died just a little over a year prior. Everyone grieves in their own ways, and their stories are not mine to tell; suffice it to say, I felt throughout that autumn that my family and my life really were coming quite undone.

I knew that I couldn’t keep up the pace I was going, or the pressure of a busy practice with an unrelenting overhead, all while trying to heal my body, grieve, and be there for my kids and husband. My business partner and I began discussions about me selling my share of the practice, and I began preparing for a smaller, slower paced practice. That was all finalized on June 30, 2017.

Pregnancy, labor and birth have always been powerful metaphors for my life. It’s been 26 years since I was pregnant with my first born, but the giddy, excited feeling knowing that a whole little person is forming and going to be born is unforgettable. It was similar imagining a solo practice–purchasing new equipment, designing the logo, creating my own procedures, and reveling in all the spreadsheets. (I REALLY dig spreadsheets.)

But nothing is all giddy excitement. (Did your parents say, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt,” when you were growing up? That was a favorite of my dad’s, addressing a general air of chaos brought on by a household of six kids.) A new thing also brings worries, doubts, queasy stomachs, and a whole lot of hard work. I’ve had to self-talk some of the things I say to laboring clients in the middle of the night.

home birth affirmations waterbirth appleton wisconsin green bay de pere manitowoc neenah menasha oshkosh fond du lac

“Just breathe”

“Take it one step at a time”

“You can do this”

“You are doing this”

“It will be so worth it in the end”

And you know what? It is worth it. A year on, I am delighted by

  • office mates who are filled with laughter and joy
  • a leisurely drive into the country to get to my office (it’s really not that far away, I promise!)
  • the opportunity to walk at the state park on my way to or from work
  • a slower paced practice, with time to soak all of you in, and hear your stories, and hold space for you and your babies
  • an opportunity to continue to support Heather on her way to becoming a midwife
  • a new assistant, Hanna, who is intelligent and excited and dedicated to the work
  • Arvigo® work being integral in my care
  • the opportunity to participate as part of the teaching team for two Arvigo® workshops since January
  • repeat clients who have followed me to the new place, whose kind words of encouragement and appreciation have meant more to me that you can possibly know
  • new clients–for home births, Arvigo® Therapy, and lactation consults–welcome! I am grateful for your business

The storms of life come and go. Labor lasts for sometimes seemingly endless hours. Eventually, we are delivered. Delivered into new time and space, a new sense of being, a new opportunity, a new soul to nurture and love. The stormy experience gets integrated into our beings, teaches us lessons that we can return to time and again, and helps us to create something beautiful in the present.

May it be so.

belize blue morpho butterflies Anja Farin LLC Arvigo practitioner midwife midwives healing transformation belize

 

Arvigo, events, Self-Care

Arvigo® PechaKucha

That’s quite a title, isn’t it? Almost like a foreign language. Lucky for you, I’m a pretty good explainer.

My son’s very awesome public school has an annual fundraising event called Pecha Kucha. This is a simple, brief presentation style that originated in Tokyo in 2003, that helps folks to start having community conversations about great ideas. Each speaker presents a power point, 20 slides, with 20 seconds to talk about each slide. The slides advance automatically while you’re speaking. Let me tell you, as a speaker, you really have to figure out how to make your point concisely. It was a lovely challenge.

I tend to shake like a leaf in a windstorm when I’m speaking publicly, even though I’m not afraid to speak, and I usually say yes to these types of opportunities. I was grateful for the structure of the talk, and the solidness of the podium to hold on to as I was speaking.

Of course, my topic was Arvigo® Therapy. I can’t talk about it enough–I think it’s such a great tool that can help so many people. If you want a general overview, and you have 6 minutes and 40 seconds, you can view my recorded presentation here.  As I write this, it is April 16th, and we’ve had two solid days of an intense blizzard named Evelyn. Everything is closed down, and roads are impassable. It’s a great day to watch some of the other Pecha Kucha presentations from all over the world about so many topics. Learning all the time, but especially during blizzards.

Stay safe and warm, Midwesterners! The rest of you from balmy climates are so jealous that I live in a veritable snow globe, I just know it. This photo was taken yesterday, before ice started raining from the sky and an additional ten inches of snow fell. Totally jelly, aren’t you?

midwife blizzard wisconsin midwife
Blizzard Evelyn 2018

 

support, cultivate, nourish, anja farin llc, tea, mugs, herbs, midwife
events

Upcoming Events

My introverted self is going to be out and about in public in March. I hope that spring will grace us with her presence for those events, because I’d mostly like to stick around home with a warm cuppa and some knitting if it’s terribly winter-y. Anyway, if I’m overcoming my introverted nature and the weather, I hope you’ll come out to meet me. It’s always great to see some warm and friendly faces at events. I really value our local community and the cool events that folks put on, and look forward to being involved in more things in the future.

First up, I will be doing a brief three minute and forty second PechaKucha presentation at this event, hosted by my youngest son’s very awesome school. I’ve chosen to talk about Arvigo® Supported Pregnancy, since it’s a thing I want lots more people to know about. I’m working out how to include the howler monkeys I encountered in Belize into the presentation, because, well, monkeys, people. They were so cool. If you can’t or won’t click through to the Facebook event, PechaKucha is on Tuesday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at The Fox Club, located within the Wisconsin Timber Rattler’s Stadium. The event is free and open to the public, with appetizers and a cash bar. Maybe it would be a fun date night for you and your sweetie?

Secondly, I will have a table at The Belly to Baby Expo, put on by Green Bay Doulas on Saturday, March 24th from 12:00 to 3:30 pm at The Meadows in Green Bay. I’ll have some cools mugs for sale, definitely some dark chocolate to giveaway, and I’m happy to chat with you about breastfeeding, home birth, Arvigo®, pregnancy, etc. I never pass up an opportunity to snuggle a baby, either, if you’re willing to share a squishy little person for a bit. The event has it’s own website (linked above), plus a Facebook page, plus a Facebook event. Stop by and say, hi!

newborn, midwife, anja farin llc, home birth, breastfeeding
sweet little one who came to play at a park reunion