A weekly newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness families.
Happy Monday, friends!
We've reached the halfway point of November which means Thanksgiving is within sight. So many of our HOH families are transplants to Houston and traveling to see family for the first time in a couple of years #thankscovid. So whether you go by car or plane or if you plan on just staying in town, we hope you and your loved ones enjoy your time together.
Our final partner's event of the year will be this Sunday from 2 to 4:30 so please feel free to stop by and meet some of your fellow Heart of Houston families, hear some birth stories and ask all your questions.
Over the weekend
When Mary and I were in the planning stages of the birth center we talked a lot about our hopes for the space. Obviously we wanted to support low intervention birth but we both wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome, heard and well, loved. This weekend was a perfect example of what we had hoped for. On Friday night Bee led a fun and challenging yoga practice for all the folks in attendance. She and her team are so lovely and bring enough of food to feed a small village, which is exactly what we're becoming! If you are interested in joining us you'll have another chance this Friday the 19th at 6:45pm.
Saturday morning our sweet babies were treated to a baby massage and yoga demo from our friend Zoie Drake of Bloom and Grow. I can tell you that there is no better way to start your weekend then listening to babies babble to one another while getting their tiny feet massaged. Zoie will be introducing Saturday baby yoga class starting in the new year.
Early Sunday morning Bethany and I helped welcome the sweetest little girl earthside Her parents worked long and hard to get her here and eventually she conceded. I have a feeling this little gal will always operate at her own pace! Welcome to the world Abigail. We are so very happy you're here.
On Sunday we hosted two events for Houston area birth workers. Birth workers are really good at attending the needs of others but not so great at doing it for ourselves. We are hoping to shift that thinking a little by offering a monthly circle where folks in the birthing community can come together to support one another in a safe and judgment-free space. We had doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and birth assistans sharing space and yummy muffins from Mary's kitchen.
Immediately following the birth worker meet up we hosted our very first queer parent support group. Houston has a large and diverse LGBTQIA+ population but not many spaces dedicated to parenting. After Sunday's meet up it's clear that our community is ready for something geared towards raising kiddos and making connections with families that look like our own. If you or someone you know is looking to join us please shoot me an email for more details! firstname.lastname@example.org
It's no secret that I love doulas. When I first started doing doula work I was a childless 30 something year old that had zero problems staying awake and supporting birthing folks for days on end. The longer I practiced and the more I learned and the time I spent with laboring people decreased significantly. I began to understand that my presence in early labor might actually be slowing down natural rhythm of physiological labor. We are mammals and mammals need to feel safe in order for our brains to go to the very primal place where labor happens. It's not that my clients did not trust me, it's that they knew their partners better and could "let go" easier when it was just the two of them in their own space. I like to tell folks I'll join them when they stop having fun. Usually that's the start of active labor and about the time that they start feel slightly overwhelmed. Seasoned doulas can usually tell where in labor process folks are by just listening through a couple of contractions. If you call me and you're chatty I'll probably tell you to take a hot bath and go to bed! Obviously we are sometimes surprised (completely wrong) but one of the things I appreciate most about labor is that there are universal signs that apply across an even playing field. Activities helpful in the early phases of labor are usually not as helpful in transition so having an understanding of the mechanics of labor can help your support team give you useful suggestions at different times during the labor process. Next weekend our friends at Premiere Doulas of Houston will join our Sunday pregnancy group to give us a breakdown of the phases and stages of labor and how best to support the laboring person. This is also a great opportunity to meet a few doulas and learn more about all the magical things they do. We hope you'll join us!
Events are virtual unless otherwise noted.
Latch Clinic: Now on Zoom Wednesday 11/17 at 10am, Leah Jolly IBCLC will join our weekly postpartum support group to answer your feeding questions. We have breakout rooms now so you can spend a few min in private with Leah if necessary.
Take a Walk PP Circle: Thursday 11/18 10am Discovery Green (Open to the public)
Partner's Night: Sunday 11/21 Expectant couples are encouraged to join newly postpartum HOH families to hear birth stories and tips on surviving the fourth trimester. In person.
Pregnancy Group: Sunday 11/28 the doulas of Houston Premiere Doulas will discuss the stages of labor and ways partners can support you along the way.
Postpartum Support Group: Every Wednesday from 10-12ish and Thursday 9:30-11:30. Zoom link has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.