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Category Archives: Personal

Love Local, Be Local

by Amanda

        Let’s talk local and community for a minute.

       Last night I had a great evening attending the Fraser Valley Boss Ladies networking event and ended up sitting beside a sweet woman who not only makes the most ADORABLE pies In A Jar but is also the creator of Loving Local in Chilliwack, BC.  She creates events/markets that bring vendors, live music, food trucks and so much more together.  I told her that she was awesome and how big of an undertaking that must be!  But honestly, I love her idea of bring local people together to create a community of support and empowerment.  For business and personally. She wrote this on her page:

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success ~ Henry Ford

        I love this as it relates so much to building up your village around birth and raising children together.  I’m not talking communal living here, although how sweet would that be?!  I mean having people around you who build you up daily, pouring into your life and you into theirs.  They sit with you over coffee and listen to your struggles, they help you discover the answers, and shine joy back into you. They come alongside as your children grow to be beautiful role models and help guide them through the harder times.  Did you have this growing up?  Aunts and Uncles perhaps, or maybe family friends?  It made all the difference in my life… especially as a teenager, but you know what?  That village was created long before I became a teenager with the trust and love already established. I want this for my children.

 

Happy loving family. mother and child girl playing, kissing and hugging

Pregnancy is tough.  Birth is tough.  Raising children is tough.  It’s time to build your village.

If you don’t already have people in your “village”, I want to challenge you today to reach out.  Build relationships by joining groups (online and in real life), talking to your neighbors and creating a space in your home that is open for others to come in. It starts with you. Go and be local.

Also, check out Loving Local’s event in August called “Made In The Valley”.  I will definitely be there!

-Amanda, Owner & Doula

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Blessings For A Mother

by Amanda

Let me introduce you to Edolbina.  She is the sweetest, seriously guys, the sweetest!  Her spirit is gentle and caring, she loves people and has a fierce passion for birth.  Rightly so that she would choose midwifery for her career and mission.  She enjoys watching her little boy explore the world, loves supporting her husband through life and will be there first one there if someone needs help.  Plus she has a love for iced coffee as much as I do!

Blessing Way Pregnancy

This weekend was a day that we could surprise and pamper her!  Edolbina is expecting her second sweet little babe and we couldn’t be more excited.

Blessing Way Pregnancy

If you aren’t sure what a Mother Blessing (Blessing Way) is then come take a look into our lovely gathering of women.

Blessing Way

Basically, it’s a way to honor, encourage and love on a women at her time prior to giving her.  It’s showing her that she has a strong village of support from the women around her.  Spending time reading beautiful words to her, pampering her with relaxing foot baths, painting affirmation flags for her birth space and so much more!  Oh and of course, delicious food!

DSC_8318

Birthing Affirmations

Rather than the usual focus on materialistic items (baby gifts) and games about the baby, this is a time to spend in connection to prepare for birth.  Positive stories are spoken and lots of love given!

Blessing Way

We are wishing you all the best in your beautiful birth Edolbina.

You are a rockstar!

Pregnant Woman

Also, want to give a shout-out to Lydja with Hourglass Birth Photography for using her talents to capture this event!

-Amanda, Doula/Owner

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Agency providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Business Manager (and more!): Please welcome Kara

by Amanda

The Yellow Bird Team is at it again!  We are busy creating a strong team of women ready to support you and your community.  We are thrilled to announce that Kara Wieler will be joining the team as Business Manager and Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula in Training.  She is skilled and educated in business operations and has a beautiful heart for women and birth.

Read more about Kara below.

Doula Still Birth 1

Kara Wieler!

I am an adventurer, a business woman and a mother of two very active boys aged 2 and 4. My passions are traveling, helping mothers and living outside of my comfort zone.

After living the last year and a half out of a travel trailer, touring western Canada with my husband and children, I am ready to settle down and start serving the community that I grew up in.

This December, I came to Chilliwack to partner with Amanda and Jaclyn at Yellow Bird Birth. Starting January 4th, I will begin a year of education with the StillBirthday Foundation ( http://www.stillbirthday.info/ ) to become a Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula. My hope for after this training is to be able to provide a necessary service to grieving parents during the most difficult time of loss: supporting the birth process and helping parents cope in the stages before and after. I also hope to facilitate a support network for women struggling with miscarriage and fertility problems.

Doula Still Birth

-Yellow Bird Team

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Power of Wisdom and Experience

by Amanda

Nervous Pregnant

Newly pregnant, I went straight to the local book store and bought an armload of pregnancy and newborn books. I would read them during my lunch breaks at work, at night before bed and any chance I got to sit down and rest. I obsessed with knowing the details since I was nervous about how my body would grow and how at some point I needed to get this baby out of me!

Somehow I thought knowing more facts would take away the anxiety.

My doctor wasn’t much help, bless his heart, he hadn’t personally experience birth and couldn’t relate on an emotional level.  I needed someone to mellow me out and bring me to a place where I could start imagining what I wanted my pregnancy and birth to look and feel like.

You can find advice all over, a group of moms getting together and trying to top each others terrifying births (at least this was my experience) or being told I should “just get the drugs” from online forums, or the best of all.. random people in the grocery store giving me information on how I shouldn’t have a home birth/use a midwife.

Then I found it.  A women who had older children, who was calm, wise and very encouraging.  She had been there, through it all.  She gave me non judgmental advice on enjoying my experience.  Not putting all the focus on the birth but the postpartum period as well.  Making sure I was keeping my marriage strong and involving my husband throughout all the months.  She had power of experience and approached me as a mentor, not someone out to frighten me or give me false expectations.

I appreciate all she did and I want to encourage you to find the same! Someone you can trust and who cares for you.  I’ve had many mentors during different phases in my life and I believe it is how us women are meant to pass on knowledge and live in a loving community together.

-Amanda

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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The Crazy of Tandem Nursing

by Amanda

The Crazy of Tandem Nursing

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!! I would love to share with you my adventure in breastfeeding, more specifically, what tandem nursing has looked like in my life and in my children’s.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I was encouraged by an amazing network of experienced mamas who supported me and my choice to breastfeed my first, even before I had her. Our nursing relationship started within the first hour of her birth and besides the first two weeks of constantly being latched (and the discomfort that came with that), our relationship grew and progressed very positively. I only once didn’t have enough milk, and that’s because I didn’t pump enough before leaving on an anniversary trip with my husband. But my sisters, who thankfully were also both breastfeeding their babies, shared some milk they had stored up and I had an amazing weekend away.

I had the goal of nursing to two years old, but that was more of a milestone than an end date.

Fast forward to having a nursing toddler and being pregnant with my son. I didn’t realize it, but my milk supply pretty much dried up. I had never heard the term “dry nursing” until recently, but that is what my daughter was doing. I was a bit sore and had to set boundaries and cut feedings short now and then because I was uncomfortable, but I still enjoyed nursing throughout my pregnancy and wasn’t ready to give it up.

Breast feeding two sisters twin baby girls at same time.

When my son was born, my colostrum came in, then my milk came back with full force…..ouch! The first month of tandem nursing was tough. The first few weeks after birth are generally no walk in the park, but adjusting to life with two nursing children left me exhausted and an emotional mess. My daughter started acting like her two year old self, tantruming daily, demanding my milk and attention constantly. I felt guilty every time I had to tell her to wait for milkies or cuddles. My son was pretty easy and loved sleeping on his own, what a blessing that was, and he always was the priority to feed, change, and sleep! But I was in a constant state of planning the next feeds and naps and meals for my daughter and I, stressing about the crying fits…from all three of us!

Then I had an epiphany. I realized if I stopped nursing my daughter that day, she would be completely fine. If I ended our nursing relationship, that would be 100% okay for both of us. We had 2 amazing years, and she is a well adjusted, securely attached, and healthy 2 year old who knows she is loved and cared for! There would be no negatives (besides the initial emotions) for either of us, there actually would be some positives for me! So I decided I would stop nursing her, and be okay with it, whenever I chose.

Terms like Extended Breastfeeding, Child Led Weaning, and Tandem Nursing filled my Facebook newsfeed daily, and I used to feel like I wasn’t a good enough mom unless I made those things happen. But I got real with myself and my family needs. My daughter didn’t NEED to be breastfeeding and I didn’t NEED to nurse her. We would be okay.

Suddenly the pressure was off. I gave myself the space and the control of our nursing relationship. I set some boundaries, I only nurse at bedtimes and wake ups (4 times a day), and sometimes less or more depending on our happenings of the day. Nursing her became then enjoyable again, a special mommy-only time that I treasure. I believe Child Led Weaning can be a beautiful thing, and I plan to continue nursing as long as it works for both of us (and my family as a whole). But it is okay to be done, feel like it is no longer a good thing, or even need to cut down on the number of feeds. It is OKAY! And Good! And as a mother, I will give myself that space for a healthy relationship with my child, whether that means nursing or not.

Breastfeeding two little sisters twin girls at same time

Mother’s discontinue breastfeeding for many reasons. We will all come to a point where we no longer are nursing, and there needs to be healthy talk about those times of transitions. They can be emotional, stressful, confusing, and physically difficult (your hormones might go crazy!). We hope that your time nursing ends in a joyful, peaceful way that benefits both mother and child. If you are struggling with your breastfeeding journey, please contact us. We have amazing Lactation Consultants and trusted support resources for breastfeeding moms, lets make breastfeeding work for you and your baby!

-Jaclyn

Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Why I Had a Hard Time Sleeping.

by Amanda

The first time I noticed it was when I got in an argument with my husband. I packed up my son in the car and drove to a beach an hour away. It had been a small fight over something silly but I made it into a much larger emotional deal and took off. I needed some time to take my shoes off and walk in the sand with my little boy.

The second time I noticed it was driving home on the highway and realized I would be driving over a bridge and that I should plan out exactly what should happen in case it collapsed and I needed to get my son out of his infant car seat. I calculated the time it would take and exactly how I would maneuver over the seats and out the window before we would lose air. My heart pumped faster as I drove across.

This started to become a daily occurrence and each time I would get a little scarier and over the top. Planning how I could escape if there was a fire and how I would get my child out, or if we were in a store I would take notice of the exits and the best escape routes. I’m an emotional person in the first place but being 6 months postpartum with hormones flying, I thought this was normal. That each mother felt like this for their children. I started exercising and that seemed to help keep my anxiety down but then I went through my second pregnancy and it started again. My family and friends didn’t know about this since I thought it was normal and couldn’t quite explain my thoughts.

The worst day. My husband was away for a week, my son was 2.5 years and my daughter was 5 months old. I tucked the little ones into bed and turned on a movie to wind down for the evening. I did my usual checking out the window but turned off the lights and relaxed. After my show was done I went into my bed, closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.

I heard a noise, jumped out of bed and checked out the front window. It must have been the neighborhood cat which I logically knew but my mind wouldn’t calm. I checked every window in our home, every one of them. Then I walked around and turned on the lights in each room. I peaked in to check that my children were sleeping soundly in their beds. My heart was racing and nothing was helping. The house was lit up, no reason to be scared. Logically, no reason to be scared. But I was paralyzed.

I laid there stiff in my bed. Under the covers scared to move in case I would miss a noise from outside, wanting to pack up my children and run to my vehicle so we could drive to my mom’s. It was safe there and she would protect me. Only 10 minutes away but I couldn’t fathom leaving my front door. I was scared to walk from the house to the truck so I was stuck. In my bed awake until 3:30am waiting for something to happen to me.

This was post-partum anxiety.

This continued to happen, week after week I would have at least one or two nights of no sleep, staying up until early in the morning.  Until the sky started to get light again.

Being open about my fears has been key. I try to talk them out loud when they begin and make sure I am understanding the difference between normal and anxiety. I often would wake my husband up during the night to discuss it and get it out in the open. However, the most help has still been exercising. When you see photos of me hiking way up on a mountain cliff, it’s not because I am trying to be competitive (even though I love doing that too), it’s facing my fears and pushing my body to limits that I never thought so that I can take back the control of being scared and anxious. I know who I am more than I have my whole life now.

While I don’t mean to make women worried with these stories, I want to make it known that post-partum anxiety is much more common than you may figure. Women are dealing with these same fears all over the country right now. If this is you, please know there is help and we can point you in the right direction to resources. I tried to reach out to my midwife at 6 months post-partum and no one returned my messages. I don’t want this to be you. Postpartum anxiety is real, serious and there is help.

-Amanda

Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Do You Love Your Strength?

by Amanda

When was the last time you loved every part of your body? When you took a moment to appreciate every muscle, visible or not? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and became in awe of your reflection?

Your body’s strength. How it has adapted to life changes. It’s softness. It’s hardness. The beauty it’s made of.

I haven’t always thought this way. It’s been a journey.

In my early twenties I started a dance class at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford. At first I was nervous and self-conscious but the more I relaxed and followed the music, the more fluent my movement became. Catching my reflection in the mirror and appreciating the way my body moves and flowed and pushed through each step. It was amazing and I loved it! After a while I started instructing my own classes and made a point to the women to love what they saw even if it didn’t feel natural at first. Pick a favorite part, legs, shoulders, or even how their hair flipped through the air and just be in awe.

Pregnancy is where the real changes happened. Emotionally and physically. While I didn’t enjoy maternity jeans and giving up my heels, I loved the changes and new shape as I was growing my baby. I was fascinated by how each cell had a job and did its part to nourish and prepare for birth.   I loved that my arms were strong enough to grip the squatting bar as I pushed my baby out. I respected how my pelvis expanded to let my baby be born with ease and how after the whole birth process, I had a boost of hormones that left me on a high for hours, unable to sleep.

Pregnancy

It was hard at first but I started hiking to regain my endurance and strength after my pregnancies. I guess it was the feeling of climbing a mountain, seeing the view at the top and knowing I did it! The rush of pushing through with adrenalin releasing as I climb over steep cliffs and scramble to the very top of the highest mountains in the valley. Just the other day I took on a new adventure with the encouragement of two sweet women. I kept thinking over and over, how did I get this far? Where did this strength come from? I love what my body can do!!! I was in awe… with very sore legs and a little sun burnt but definitely in awe.

Next time you are looking in the mirror, find something you really love… appreciate a movement your body does… respect the amount of time it took for you to get to where you are today.

Hiking

-Amanda

Birth Doula and Mother Of Two

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Happy Mother’s Day!

by Amanda

Mother NewbornTo My Children on Mothers Day

No one else

will ever know

the strength

of my love

for you.

After all, you two are the

only ones

who know

what my heart sounds like

from the inside.

Author Unknown

-Amanda

Doula and Mommy of Two

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20 Things to do in the Valley…While Pregnant

by Amanda

So you are pregnant…perhaps you are feeling a bit run down, tired of sitting at your desk or on your couch binge watching Netflix, and just needing to do something good for yourself. Well boredom be gone! Here are 20 things to refresh your mind, body, and spirit right here in the Fraser Valley that are doula and preggo-mom approved!

1. Walking is so good for you and your baby so take a stroll down the Vedder River Rotary Trail. This Chilliwack favourite is a flat, dog and stroller friendly trail that runs for 8km along the Vedder River. But have no fear, there are picnic tables, benches, portable toilets, and 5 different access points/parking lots along the way so it’s easy to just do a short section and return, or go for as far as you can and call someone to pick you up at the next stop!Vedder Rotary Trail2. Need some veggies or a hand made gift? Check out the Eco Market at Sardis Park! Every Wednesday evening from May to October, you can experience live music, yummy food, fresh produce and local artist sharing their crafts!

3. A La Leche League meeting is a great way to prepare for your baby and to meet other mom’s who have been where you are now! Questions are welcomed and you can know you are getting the best breastfeeding support from the lactation experts and experienced moms.

4. Rainy Day? Need to float? Head to the Chilliwack or Mission Leisure Centres for a dip. Swimming is an amazing way to stretch and gently work your muscles while taking the pressure off your back and feet!

Fraser Valley5. Need some baby gear? There are many swaps that happen throughout the year all over the valley. Some of our favourites are the Cloverdale Swap and Lil Rascals Swap Meet in Chilliwack.

6. Take a good read, like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, to Wired Monk and enjoy a naturally decaf Roobios Tea Latte. Yumm

7. Need a perfect fitting nursing bra? Want to pick up some lovely things for baby or postpartum momma care? Head to With Child Birth and Baby Boutique and Nicole will set you up with all the goodies you need!

8. Don’t forget about prenatal fitness! Stay healthy and enjoy some time stretching and moving your body at Nurture You Prenatal Fitness Classes at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford.

Prenatal Fitness Class9. Capture this precious time as your body grows and changes with a beautiful maternity photo shoot with Roxanna J Photography.

10. Looking for some baby swag?? Head to the Baby and Tot Show this October at the Tradex!

11. Treat Yourself! Head to Duft and Co Bakehouse for some delicious fresh pastries! And bring a girlfriend to wander the shops in Historic Downtown Abbotsford.

12. And while in Downtown Abbotsford, head to Precious Kargo to pick up some Charlee Dee baby accessories! They have the cutest drool cowls, bow ties, top knot head bands, and soother straps!!

13. Have a Blessingway lovingly orchestrated by Miranda from Elderberry Birth. Gather the women in your life to soak in their wisdom and blessings for your journey into motherhood whether it’s you first or fifth baby.

Pampering14. Let the pampering begin! Head to Gentebella Salon and Spa for a prenatal massage, and while you are there you might as well throw in a mani/pedi or facial!

15. Reconnect with your partner with a Babymoon at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. Walk the beach, enjoy the natural hot springs pool, and indulge in a delicious meal. Take this time to relax and dream about your birth and your growing family.

Harrison Hot Springs16. Don’t have time for a weekend getaway? Enjoy a coffee and dessert date at Decades! Choose an intimate table and comfy chairs and let the conversation flow!

17. Take an afternoon and go antiquing in Fort Langley. Find that vintage high chair you’ve always wanted, or a new treasure in one of the many local shops!

18. Take a picnic to Heritage Park in Mission. Bring a kite for the kids (or yourself!) and take some cute selfies in the gazebo or on the bridge.

Pregnant Picnic

19. Take advantage of the nice weather and go to the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove! Bring some lawn chairs or cuddle up in the car. The drive-in is always a fun night, and the kids love it too!

20. Have a date with your Doula!! Get ready for your birth and ask all those burning questions in the comfort of your home. It’s never too early to learn how to use your breathing and birth ball for a joyful birth! <3

-Amanda & Jaclyn

Birth Doula’s in the Fraser Valley.

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Meet the Doula: Jaclyn

by Amanda

Welcome to our blog! It’s my turn to share about who I am with you lovely readers.

My name is Jaclyn and I live in the Fraser Valley. I define myself as a wife, mother, and a natural living/birth enthusiast. I met the man of my dreams when I was in my late teens, and 3 years later we were married and falling so deeply in love! Next came the most beautiful little girl, and just recently, a handsome baby boy! My family is my treasure and am daily reminded of how blessed I am to have them…even though they produce endless amounts of dirty dishes and sticky fingers! But I have always desired to have a large family so these 2 littles are just the beginning of many more babies and years of motherhood!Jaclyn Doula Hiking2

I find joy in being outdoors, drinking tea, singing and dancing throughout my house…and car, and in multicoloured/patterned fabrics with which I dress myself, my children, and my home!

My passions are for my faith, family, and for birth! My journey into the birth world as a doula started when I witnessed my sister’s giving birth to their first born babies (4 months apart, t’was a busy year). I was overcome with a love for labouring women and the power they posses. I was also blessed to have a mother who was a doula. She passed on her trust in birth and knowledge of a woman’s power through labouring and raising her babies. I was taught to have confidence in and love myself deeply, something that I feel every woman needs in every area of life.Jaclyn Pregnant

Yellow Bird Birth is truly an adventure for me. When I “grew up”, I had only dreamed of being a wife and mother (which I love as I have said before), but I now I get to pour out my passion for birth into others lives as a doula and placenta encapsulator in Chilliwack and Abbotsford. And I do pour love into placenta prep! I feel called to this work and find great rewards in it. My hope is to change the birth world, to encourage families to stand up for their right’s and desires in maternity care, to show our community how valuable doulas are and how much they are needed, but most of all, to witness families bring their babies earthside safely, peacefully, and joyfully!

-Jaclyn

Birth Doula, Placenta Encapsulator and Mother Of Two

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