As 2017 comes to a close, we've been reflecting on our journey over the past year.
Our clients were stay-at-home parents, photographers, engineers, coaches, teachers, scientists, counselors, musicians, lawyers, chemists, pilots, acupuncturists, entrepreneurs, professors, loan officers, researchers, business people, car salespeople, military officers... the list goes on
Nearly half of our birth doula clients moved during their pregnancies. (This number astounds and amazes us! Brave souls! We've heard this so often we've started calling a move during pregnancy "extreme nesting.")
We attended births in hospitals, birth centers, and at home
Some babies came before 36 weeks, and others well past 41 weeks
Many of our clients were welcoming their first baby, but we also worked with a family having their 4th and everything in between
Our clients' birth experiences were so different from one another, each with its own twists and turns
Marlee supported postpartum clients through everything from challenging breastfeeding issues, to learning to bottle feed, to trimming tiny baby fingernails, to giving babies their first baths, to teaching tummy time techniques, and more
We attended our first canine birth! We adopted a cocker spaniel in August and found out she was pregnant 4 days before she birthed her 3 beautiful puppies on our couch. A fellow dog-loving doula, Christine D'Esposito, informed us that we were "midwoofs"!
We started offering childbirth classes to our birth doula clients. This has been one of our favorite things of 2017! The relationships between us and our clients can go so much deeper when we spend time exploring ideas around birth and parenting together during a private class series.
We began offering standalone lactation counseling services. Feeding a baby can be so difficult, and we've loved being able to support Orange County and Long Beach families in this way.
We dove deeper into our local community of doulas and other birth professionals. Now we host the Doulas Association of Southern California (DASC) south Orange County circle for doulas and birth professionals. It's so meaningful for us to build relationships with others who do this work. We're thankful that the local birth world is supportive and enriching!
Most of all, we're so grateful to our clients for allowing us to be part of their journeys.
Whether we taught a few private birth prep sessions, attended at birth, spent time in the early postpartum weeks, or met only once or twice for breastfeeding support, we're so thankful for the opportunity to do this meaningful work in the service of families in Orange County and Long Beach.
We wish all of you a peaceful, healthy, and meaningful journey in 2018!