The past weeks have been filled with professional changes for me. I am thrilled about some of them and bitter-sweet about others…
First the good news- Hearthside is partnering with Tarlow Chiropractic & Wellness and Sudharma Birth Services to bring holistic, women-centered care to the Wayne/King of Prussia, PA area. I am so happy to be offering services that help span the pregnancy/birth/lactation cycle in women’s lives. Dr. Tarlow offers chiropractic and cranial-sacral care to pregnant women and their newborns. Nicole Schwartz is a homebirth midwife and offers compassionate, skilled care to expectant mothers. I’ll be joining Nicole and Dr. Nancy to offer lactation guidance via two breastfeeding support groups and my Beautiful Breastfeeding lactation class, thus completing the total child-bearing cycle. Our vision is to join together to offer diverse services that support women and normal pregnancy, birth and lactation.
On the second Friday afternoon of each month from 11:30 to 1:00, I’ll be hosting a potluck breastfeeding support luncheon at the offices of Tarlow Chiropractic. We’ll offer a second support group (perfect for those mamas planning to return to work) on the fourth Saturday of each month, same location from 10 am to 11:30 am. Expectant, new and experienced mamas (and their nurslings) are welcome to join me for mutual encouragement, sharing of wisdom and to develop a social network of breastfeeding friends. Support groups are free, but please register with me via e-mail or phone.
On the fourth Saturday of each month, after the support group, I’ll be offering my Beautiful Breastfeeding lactation class. From 1:00 to 4:00 pm, we will explore everything mom & her support people need to know to get a great start in breastfeeding. This is a comprehensive class covering delivery of the baby, the first 40 days and beyond. Answering the Surgeon General’s 2011 Breastfeeding Call to Action, I’m expanding Beautiful Breastfeeding to include mom’s wider support circle. In addition to mom’s partner, I also invite mom’s other support people to the class- grandmothers, sisters, best friends- all are invited to learn about breastfeeding along with mom so her inner-circle is fully informed about the normalcy of breastfeeding. See my lactation services page for details.
If the above sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve read my article, Meeting the Need: Creating Communities of Lactation Support, published in the Spring 2012 edition of Midwifery Today. I am so honored to see my words on the pages of MT and my heart has been warmed by the outpouring of support from the lactation and birth community concerning the very important work lactation care providers offer to our new mothers.
Along with beginning the work at Tarlow Chiropractic, I’ve also recently applied to become an Affiliate Breastfeeding Specialist with a new company called Baby2Breast. B2B is a unique referral service that helps match moms in need of lactation support with qualified care providers in their local area. Certified Lactation Counselors, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, Certified Breastfeeding Counselors and others will offer their services to mothers needing help. This is an exciting way to help new mothers find timely, skilled, out-of-hospital lactation care when necessary.
Also putting a spring in my step, is that just a week or so before I was invited to join the work being done at Tarlow, I was offered the position of Aspiring Midwife Representative for the Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania. Again, what an honor! We have a lot of midwifery going on in PA. We have Plain (Amish) and Mennonite midwives here who have been practicing for generations. We also have modern DEMs and CPMs practicing here. I’m so excited about midwifery in PA and I’m honored to be representing my sister-students in this state. I have lots ideas rolling around in my mind to serve this group- I’ll keep you updated as things develop.
So many wonderful new things are happening with my lactation practice and with MAP that I’ve decided step away from most of my doula work for now. It’s a bittersweet transition- I love birth so much, it’s going to be hard to ‘pause’ that side of my practice, but I am content to take the journey that the Lord brings to me. If this is the time to focus on serving women and babies through breastfeeding support, that’s fine. If I can take this time before I am able to begin an apprenticeship to serve my sister-midwives through MAP, I am happy to ‘be with’ them in this way.
Ultimately, that’s what birth-work is all about for me- service to women to allow them to experience the natural beauty and power of their bodies. Lactation care is birth-work to me, just as doula-ing, or midwifery is. I am still being ‘with women’ as I support their breastfeeding relationship. I’m feeling really good about this new focus.
So with the new focus has also come a new website and a new name! Yes, I’ve put away Hearthside Doulas & Maternity Services for good and have transitioned into Hearthside Maternity Services. This name represents that I offer many kinds of birth-related services, but I’m not particularly tied to one specific type. I like being able to offer a variety of skills to my clients.
Hope you’ll stay tuned as Hearthside moves forward and thanks for walking the journey with me!