How is it even possible that 2017 has come to an end?
This month, Sarah and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary as work wives - and my, what a journey it has been! Our honeymoon phase has long passed and we spent the early part of 2017 learning how to work smarter, got into a great groove and began functioning like a well-oiled doula machine!
With teaching space for prenatal classes in Orangeville, Brampton and Mississauga, combined with the incredible connections we've formed working with local Midwives, Obstetricians, L&D Nurses, as well as other pregnancy and birth related health care professionals, our goal has been to become the premier birth doulas, postpartum doulas and childbirth educators for expanding families in these areas.
It fills me with pride to be able to say that over the last year, Lifetime of Love Doula Services has supported over 75 families during their pregnancies - at the birth of their baby, and in the postpartum period as they adjust to life with a newborn.
Back in the Classroom
Anyone who knows Sarah or myself knows that we are perpetual students and will do anything to get ourselves back in a classroom and expand our skill set - and 2017 was no exception.
A very special congratulations to Michelle as well, for completing all of her requirements and becoming a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International this past summer. Since then she has also completed her Postpartum Doula Training through DONA and is working towards this second certification as well.
In the works for 2018? We are thrilled to be bringing Babywearing Educator Level 1 Course to our Mississauga teaching facility in February with Canadian Babywearing School. I have wanted to take this course for many years but have never been able to make the date or location work, so we opted to bring the training here so that I could attend - I can hardly wait for it!
Let's Get Social!
We continued to enjoy our collaboration in Orangeville with Discover Your Yoga and Mochaberry coffee for our monthly Mom & Baby Socials on the first Monday of every month. The success of our Orangeville social prompted us to collaborate with 5 Elements Yoga to bring families in Brampton an opportunity to connect during their first year at home on maternity leave. We run this social the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
We have been so fortunate to connect with incredible professionals in our community who have been guests at our socials and contributed to our rich catalogue of guest blog posts - thank you to each and every one of you for giving your time, efforts, and sharing the expertise in your field and being a part of our events!
Check out some of the fantastic blogs written by our 2017 guest speakers:
"The Postpartum Body & Pelvic Health" - Amanda Jones, MSc (PT), MSc (Med Sci), BSc (Biomed)
"Let's Talk About Poop, Baby" - Melanie Grime, RHN
"The Truth About Potty Training" - Martina Tecic, Holistic Practitioner
"The Cereal Debate" - Melanie Grime, RHN
"My Postpartum Body... and Sex" - Amanda Jones, MSc (PT), MSc (Med Sci), BSc (Biomed)
"Starting Solids" - Ashley Pickett, IBCLC
"Baby Carriers: The Top 5 List" - Dr. Jill Bailey
"My Pelvic Floor Works Hard For Me" - Madelaine Golec, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
"A Mom's Guide to Surviving a Canadian Winter" - Andrea Rideout, B.Sc., Dipl.Ac.
This year brought about the addition of a very special service for our clients: birth photography. Together with the incredibly talented and award winning photographer Alana Salisbury of 1486 Photography, we were able to offer our clients not only birth photography, but also Fresh 48 and Newborn Lifestyle photography as well.
With Alana taking some time off in 2018 to focus on her expanding family (congratulations on the newest addition Salisbury family), the equally talented Emily Jean Curd of Emily Jean Photography has joined our team behind the lens to capture those incredible priceless moments. Stay tuned: in the coming weeks we've got some exciting new announcements in regards to our Photography packages!
I think the best way for me to end this reflective blog post is to take a moment to thank the people behind the scenes who allow Sarah and I to do the work that we do. It isn't easy being the family of a doula - because our families (partners, children, parents) are on call whenever we are on call. So, a very special thank you to our closest family and friends who have been integral in our successes this past year.
We could not do the work that we do without your unconditional love and support.