Announcing: Student Doula Mentorship Program

Announcing: Student Doula Mentorship Program

A few months ago we received not one, not two, but three emails from new doulas who were looking for mentorship as they stepped into their new roles serving local families. We love supporting both new and seasoned birth workers in our community with our quarterly Doula Peer Reviews and our local Blue Ridge Birthworkers Facebook page, so now it’s time to take it one step further. We’ve been supporting families as they walk their journey to parenthood since 2011, and it only seemed logical to help support our local doulas on their journeys, too.

Today we are excited to announce our new Mentorship program. Each of our students will join Two Rivers for six months of hands-on learning with:

  • An invitation to join us for two prenatal visits
  • An invitation to join us for two births
  • An invitation to join us for two postpartum visits
  • A silent seat in one of our comprehensive birth and breastfeeding classes
  • Support through our student’s own first solo birth or postpartum work
  • 6 monthly round-table workshops on the core elements of doula work
  • An invitation to our quarterly Doula Peer Reviews
  • A private Facebook group just for our students
  • Mentorship for up to a year
  • Tuition is $800, with scholarships available for doulas who partner with The Frederick Doula Project 

This program starts after a new doula has finished their training and fills in the gaps in practical knowledge. Our students come away from mentorships with several, if not all, of their certification requirements completed.

Our first session starts July 1, 2018

 

Click HERE for more information

 

 

Photo credit: Bergen Howlett Photography

Life After Birth | Melissa + Griffin

Life After Birth | Melissa + Griffin

Dear little one,

37 months ago, we met for the first time and started our nursing relationship. You were a tiny, fiesty one born unexpectedly at home, both 4 weeks early and in 2.5 hours. This was the end to a long journey to get you here to us: infertility, IVF, losing your twin, and severe hyperemesis gravidarium. You took to nursing immediately and enthusiastically, and I finally felt that SOMETHING in this whole adventure was going the way it should.

Until it didn’t. Or at least it seemed like it didn’t.
Six weeks of age brought a GI appt as you were referred by the ped who was concerned that perhaps you also had reflux like your older brother. Mama gut said you didn’t, but that you did have some food intolerances so I quit eating dairy in the interim. You were gaining weight, albeit slowly, and we were following this closely with weekly weights. We had seen a IBCLC and even the dentist who looked at your tongue tie and upper lip ties and proceeded with craniosacral therapy which seemed to help with the restrictions (as well as you re-enacting your birth each session by wanting to be held upside down).
The GI walked into the room. Looked at a graph, not at you sleeping in my arms, and pronounced you “failure to thrive”. He then declared that I needed to stop breastfeeding.
Wait. What? What? My heart hit the floor and the tears came shortly after. I managed to keep it together enough to tell him no, I would not stop, but that I could pump and fortify (add calories) if that was needed. He left and I called your dad and sobbed.
We left with the plan being partially fortified feeds and little to no instruction on an elimination diet. At the end of it all, you ended up with MSPI (which is now just milk protein intolerance still at 3 with liquid cow’s milk) and we both ended up gluten, dairy, soy, tree nut, and peanut free. I’ll spare everyone the long frustrating details. You gained weight with the extra calories and restrictions. Mama survived a restricted diet and we were both able to successfully reintroduce almost all the foods (no gluten for mama-celiac and still no liquid milk for you) by 2.
Life After Birth | Milk Story | Melissa + Griffin 4
That diagnosis shook me to my core. I sobbed. I grieved that *I* couldn’t provide all you needed to grow and be healthy. Despite my sadness, I fought to keep our nursing relationship intact. You see, you loved nursing. You were a very intense nurser. Much more so than your brother. I knew that for us, for you, just giving up and formula feeding was not going to work. I had to fight. I cried every time I fed you a bottle for the first few weeks. I hated the cycle of pumping, adding formula, then feeding the bottle. But we kept on and you grew.
Along the way, mama (and you) got lots of help and support from other nursing mamas that kept us going. A supportive pediatrician helped. Lori who did your CST helped. Dr. Virts who released your ties at 6 months when your latch became painful helped. Daddy helped by feeding you bottles while mama pumped and cried. Daddy helped by being supportive of us continuing to nurse.
“Ee-es” you called nursing when you became old enough to have a word for it. When you first started using this phrase, you would also sign “eat”. I nursed your brother to past 2 and figured you would proceed on this path as well.
I didn’t expect you to nurse past 3. I admit, there were many times between 2 and 3 where I wanted to call it quits, it was driving me crazy. But, I also wanted you to wean peacefully and on your own time, like your brother. I was fervently praying that wouldn’t take until 4, lol.
Life After Birth | Milk Story | Melissa + Griffin 5
It’s now been 3 days since you last nursed. You ask some times at night when you rouse. You sleepily say “ee-ees” and pat my breast. Then you snuggle up on my shoulder and go back to sleep. In this moment, inhaling in your little boy sleepy scent, I am glad that I waited for your time. That I let you choose the end of this story.
And I am ever grateful that we had this story and this journey.
Love,
Mama
——

More about the LIFE AFTER BIRTH PROJECT

More weaning stories at the LAST LATCH PROJECT

Images by Bergen Howlett | Photography for Two Rivers Childbirth

Mother’s Day Giveaway | 2018

Mother’s Day Giveaway | 2018

In our line of work, every day feels like Mother’s Day.

But this year, we’d like to make one mama’s Mother’s Day a whole lot sweeter with a $50 gift card to Up On The Hill Children’s Boutique and a $50 gift card to Etsy.com.

Between now and May 12th, 2018 we are asking for your reviews. You can drop them on our Facebook page, our Google page or on Bergen’s Doula Match page so that even if you’ve left a review at one or two of those locations before you can still enter.

Reviews help future clients find and hire us. If we’ve served you in the past as your birth doulas, your postpartum doulas, your placenta specialists, as your childbirth educators, or even if we have touched your lives through our community support groups, we’re asking that you take just a few quick moments to leave us a positive reiew.

You can even encourage your partner to leave a review, too. For some extra entries. Just saying.

We’ll keep track of everyone’s reviews as they come in and On Mother’s Day we’ll use a random number generator to select one name.

 

Facebook   |   Google   |   DoulaMatch

 

Thanks, Loves!