Your Vibe will Attract Your Tribe

  It can be hard to find your tribe as a newly pregnant mother, or even just as a mother in general. We have our pre-pregnancy friends of course, and don’t undervalue them whatever you do, but a mama tribe can be invaluable.

Vibe-Photo

Have you heard the expression, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”? I can’t emphasize how true this statement actually is. Express yourself, share the things you love, seek out likeminded people… they will come to you. Or maybe you’ll find a group that falls in line with your philosophies along your quest. So this may be the time to think about what your parenting philosophies even are. How do you picture family life in your home? How do you want to raise your child? Then surround yourself with people who share your sentiments.

group-of-moms

I floundered in and out of parenting groups until I finally found my tribe while pregnant with my third baby in 2005. The difference was that I actively sought a group whose members were doing the things I wanted to with this new baby. This included babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, gentle discipline and natural birth. So a simple yahoo group search later, and I stumbled upon the group that is now known as the Attachment Parents’ Village Calgary. I found my tribe in that group, and later in the Babywearing Calgary group as well. In Lethbridge I had to work to build my tribe, and thus the Bridge City Slingers was born. Then even later, I found my tribe in my roller derby league. And now almost 10 years later, I still value all of those tribes, I coach junior roller derby, and I co-lead the babywearing group.

roller derby tribe - family

I am not saying join those specific groups that became my tribe, but I am saying it is important to find a tribe that nourishes you. It is important to find a tribe that will lift you up when you are in need, and where you feel like a valuable member.

Rockabilly pinup moms

My one caution is don’t join a mommies group, just because everyone is a mom. While that can be a great place to start, as you may find some people you connect with, don’t stay just for the sake of staying. If the only commonality you have in your tribe, is that you’re all mothers, that is not necessarily going to be the most fulfilling tribe.

560811_10151255065511136_836861690_n

So go out there, be intentional, be honest, be authentic, and your vibe WILL attract your tribe.

Advertisements

Rent or Buy. The Birth Pool Dilemma

The options available for birthing families are endless nowadays. You can choose where you have your baby, with who, and how. While this has made birthing wonderful in so many ways, it has also made it a little overwhelming for some. All the choices can be daunting.

So let’s say you’ve decided you want to have a waterbirth. You’ve done all your research over at Waterbirth International and you’ve read all the benefits on my blog post Waterbirth. Now your only decision is what sort of pool to birth your baby in to.

227301_15606790025_9157_n 1929391_22295685025_9513_n

I have had two waterbirths. One was at the birth centre in Calgary (pictured above), and the other was in my home in Lethbridge. At the birth centre, I just used the jetted tub they had available, and it was sufficient. And no, I definitely did not use the jets. They got turned on once by accident, and I almost crawled right out of my skin.

1929551_27564430025_5118_n 1929551_27564425025_4817_n

When I had my baby at home (pictured above), I purchased a Birth Pool in a Box from Barbara Harper. At the time, BPIAB’s weren’t even available in Canada, and I had to pick it up at the Gentle Birth World Congress in Portland and bring it back. I can’t even describe the difference the large birth pool made comfortwise. Based on that comfort I experienced, I decided to make those pools available for people to rent, except at a fraction of the cost.

I’m going to break it down for you.

Prices to purchase your own single use pool:

  • Birth Pool in a Box single use pool $250
  • Shipping $30
  • Drinking water safe hose $30
  • Submersible water pump to drain pool $90
  • Air pump to blow up pool $35
  • Faucet adaptors for hose $10

Grand total: $445 (and this is before GST)

If you decided to go with the professional version of the birth pool, this would add another $250 to that total, making the grand total $695

51yeFAXn+lL 41H6HX6B21L._SY355_

Price to rent a birth pool, and what you get with the rental:

  • Birth Pool in a Box Professional
  • Disposable liner
  • Drinking water safe hose
  • Faucet adapters
  • Submersible water pump
  • Air pump to blow up pool
  • Delivery of birth pool to your door
  • Pick up of birth pool after you are done with it

Grand total: $185

You can find cheaper pools on the market, that is for sure, but I am looking at the same brand costs for comparison purposes. The reality is, I supply top of the line birth pools, and they can get expensive if you want to own one. I have birthed in these pools (well, the BPIAB brand), sat on the edges of them (yes, you can do that), flipped around in them weightlessly (the depth makes this possible), been in them with other people (oh so roomy!), and I know that they are your best option for comfort during labour and birth. I rent pools so that you don’t have to spend $410 – $660 to experience that level of comfort.

birth_pool_in_a_box1__58915_zoombirth_pool_box_artwork_1_1024x1024

I know all the choices can be overwhelming. Please pop me a message with any questions you have about waterbirth and your pool options.

On Inclusion and Authenticity

994476_10152319427162129_2080564366354386979_n

I am an inclusive doula. I also work hard to make sure my clients know my authentic self, just as I want to know their authentic selves.

I love diversity. I love meeting all sorts of people with diverse lifestyles and varying past experiences. I believe that diversity keeps us grounded in reality and allows us the opportunity to be authentic. Being true to yourself and unapologetically authentic is an amazing feeling, and I am proud to say that I run an inclusive doula business. I will provide care without judgement.

11742745_10155789836210510_7176122022927182405_n

As a member of the LGBT community myself, I understand how scary it can be looking for a care provider and doula. I understand feeling the need to hide and not necessarily be authentic. There is a certain level of hesitation and fear that comes along with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and polyamorous, particularly when you are meeting people for the first time (doulas included).

1297580621591_ORIGINAL

**pic from http://www.lfosterphotography.com

If you are looking for a doula that is not only inclusive, but understands the challenges on a personal level, pop me a message. I would love to chat with you more about your authentic self and how I can be of service.

I can wear your baby

1931392_320090835025_3295567_n

I don’t wear my babies anymore. I often miss it, although I cherish the memories I have with my little ones tied on to me. I wore my youngest until I physically could not wear her any longer, and even now at age seven, she would want to go in my Amauti if I let her. I run a dayhome for my day job, and I am blessed with the sweetest little toddler that loves to be worn. Yesssss… I can still wear babies. And any of my friends that come over will no doubt hear me say at least once, “I can wear your baby”. I love it, okay?

549783_10152670771645026_2054413340_n

I am pretty passionate about babywearing for numerous reasons. With my third baby, I was determined to figure out this whole “calm baby” thing that I had heard of, yet never really experienced myself. I needed a calm baby, because I was already at the edge of losing my sanity. I love my older two immensely, but I also found them extremely challenging. I spent so much time researching, and a common theme I came across was that a worn or carried baby cries less. SOLD.

1923879_69243500025_4806_n

All I cared about at the time was my baby’s temperament, but some other amazing things came with babywearing! For instance, the baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing synchronizes with mamas while being worn, helping the baby to get used to this out of womb business.  Dr. Nils Bergman does extensive research on how skin to skin contact dramatically improves the health of premature babies, even more so than an incubator. On a somewhat side note, Dr. Bergman’s research on Kangaroo MotherCare is what inspired a friend and I to book him as a keynote speaker at a conference we hosted. He is brilliant, and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, definitely take it. But listen carefully, he talks very fast. 

Once I decided that I was going to babywear my baby, I purchased a fleece pouch made by Hotslings.  I had him in there from day 1 and he loved it!  I would snuggle him on my chest and then slide him to my back when I needed to do something, trusting the way I could feel him resting on my back, and never worrying about any sort of mishap. I know that if anyone ever saw me wearing him the way I did then now, I would likely be the topic on a very busy babywearing forum. But I stand by my methods of wearing, as I was so in tune with my baby and his safety. This was also before people could social police the use of baby carriers, because frankly, there were none around. I didn’t know anyone who wore their baby the way I did. I am not referencing the Bjorn style carriers, I used those with my first two babies, and they were pretty common.

This was the original pouch that I used from newborn in to toddlerhood. Wait! Gasp! A baby on my back in a pouch?! Oh the horror. Yes I did that. 

I also did this (well, with my fourth):

1929600_34410400025_6828_n

My baby spent plenty of time in the pouch, but I continued to research carriers.  The next carrier he was worn in was a Mei Tai.  A Mei Tai is a traditional Chinese carrier that is used to tie the baby on to you.  It has a body panel and two straps that tie around your waist and 2 straps that go over your shoulders, weave through the baby’s legs and tie off at your waist (depending on carry).  After the first 2 initial purchases of carriers I may or may not have gone a little crazy with the carrier stash building.  I proceeded to buy an Ergo, a few more pouches, a ring sling, a water pouch and a Didymos wrap. It was around that point I started EcoBaby Canada (my brainchild that I shut down in 2013). It seemed like the right thing to do.  🙂

The idea of a happy baby when worn was so appealing that I invested my whole life to it.  I wore that child everywhere, and you will never guess what.  He was happy.  He was gentle and calm.  And our breastfeeding relationship was amazing, I noticed every little cue he gave and managed to feed him before he lost his little mind.  I absolutely loved having him close enough that I could smell that sweet newborn smell and kiss the top of his head at any given moment.  Now, I understand that babywearing does not necessarily equal a happy baby, but I know for certain that it (among many other factors) contributed to the happiness of my baby.  And thus, contributed to my happiness.

This was the first carry we did with the Didymos wrap.  At that time, there were no local distributors, so I learned from a book, and ordered this beauty before ever even seeing a wrap.

I co-founded the “Bridge City Slingers” – the Lethbridge Babywearing Group while expecting my fourth in 2007. I still miss that group greatly. I have moved on to co-lead the Babywearing Calgary group, and I love it here, but I think I will always miss my original group. With that said, you should see the Babywearing Calgary lending library, it’s nuts!

988770_10152894542825026_2119652031_n

Sometimes I put my littlest biggie on my back just to test a wrap out.

So that is my history with babywearing, and what led me to be as passionate as I am about it. It really saved my life, and I can’t imagine what life would have looked like without my babies tied to me.

I am still involved in the babywearing world, as a co-leader with Babywearing Calgary, helping doula clients, and also while working at Babes in Arms. I love seeing parents have that Ah-Ha moment when they get their baby snuggled in on their chest and watch him/her drift off to sleep.  I also love reassuring the parents who have a baby that screams every time they go in a carrier, and helping them troubleshoot and figure out what needs to be tweaked to make baby more comfortable and happy.  All in all, I love everything about babywearing and I have dedicated a good portion of my life to researching it, learning it, practicing it, and teaching it. I am so thankful that even though my youngest is too big to wear, I can still help others, and wear my lovely dayhome baby. So even though I may not have a baby of my own to wear, I can wear your baby… or even better, teach you how to wear your baby.

PS… I can also help you wear multiples 

#straightoutta

I have not seen “Straight Outta Compton,” although I did drop my teenager off to see it last week for his birthday. He says it’s great… but he is 15, so take that with a grain of salt. 

Whatever the case, after the release of the movie, I noticed a handful of hilarious memes popping up on the interwebs, using the “Straight Outta” stamp. Initially the stamp was created so that people could put their own hometown in it, but of course people found other uses. And I felt compelled to make some of my own. 

I put a calling out for some baby pics that I could “meme”, and with the submissions, here is what I did:

  
   
   
  
    
   
Aren’t they cute?! If you have any newborn pics you’d like “meme’d,” send it in to me and I’ll meme it up for you. Or you could just download the “straight outta somewhere” app for free and have some fun with all your pictures. 

I will warn you though, it is a little addictive. 

KangarooCare Giveaway

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, I have an incredibly beautiful breastfeeding/babywearing necklace available for one of my lucky readers.

The necklace comes to us all the way from Estonia, and is made of Apple wood and 100% cotton. Wooden beads are naturally antibacterial, and are nice for babies to play with or chew on.

aboutvarja

“Breastfeeding & babywearing necklace is a the must-have accessory for every mom, because it makes mommy beautiful and baby happy 🙂

KangarooCare necklaces help to catch your baby’s attention while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and avoid pinching your nose or pulling your hair. KangarooCare necklace is also a perfect accessory for babywearers, because it keeps your baby hands busy while you are walking or doing your homework. Babies just LOVE playing with these beads! Bright cotton covered beads and different textures help to improve the vision of your baby, evolve the fine motor skills and stimulate him or her to look and explore.

KangarooCare’s breastfeeding & babywearing necklaces are completely safe for your baby to chew on, because they are made using only the best quality natural materials, and are really sturdy.”

I am giving away ONE Flower Rainbow Necklace

untitled (39 of 49)

untitled (20 of 49)

untitled (19 of 49)

Giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents and will run until August 19th at 12:00am. Enter below!

Enter here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

World Breastfeeding Week 2015

Breastfeeding success is not determined entirely on a simple, “yes I’m going to breastfeed”, or “no, I don’t think I will breastfeed.” Certain systems are put in place which can either support and enable breastfeeding, or they can restrict the success greatly. I really think the hyper sexualization of the female breast causes a lot of issues, particularly with breastfeeding in public (free the nipple!). I also don’t feel as if there is enough support available, in our health care system, our work environments, and in our social groups to support a strong breastfeeding relationship. With all the health/bonding benefits that come with breastfeeding, we really do need to work on these issues.

I was the mother that did not get the support, or even understand the importance or need for breastfeeding with my first baby. One week in, and I was bleeding and crying at every single feed. That breastfeeding relationship turned in to exclusively pumping, and lasted about 4 weeks. With every baby I nursed a little longer, and became a little more passionate about helping women navigate their journey through birthing and breastfeeding. My fourth and final baby, I breastfed until she was three and a half years old. I am thankful for every single one of my breastfeeding journeys, as they have helped me become a more empathetic and supportive person, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding struggles (which reminds me, post on surviving thrush will be coming soon).

World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1 – 7, 2015, and as we pass the halfway mark, I thought I should probably share a little bit of info on exactly what WBW is.

First, let’s look a little bit at the objectives of WBW:

wbw2015-obj

And now, let’s look at the elements of support needed for women to successfully breastfeed in our society today:

wbw2015-element

**we are lucky here in Canada to already get one year paid maternity leave, but our sisters to the south are not so lucky. Most Americans don’t get a maternity leave at all.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week everyone, and in closing, please enjoy these beautiful breastfeeding pics:

In-honor-of-the-World-Breastfeeding-Week-2015-by-Tammy-Nicole-Photography-11__880

In-honor-of-the-World-Breastfeeding-Week-2015-by-Tammy-Nicole-Photography-16__880

In-honor-of-the-World-Breastfeeding-Week-2015-by-Tammy-Nicole-Photography-1__880

The three pictures above were taken from Bored Panda

breastfeeding-770x330

The above picture was taken from an Australian article

aboutvarja

The above picture was taken from Kangaroocare