The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Friends and Families.
New Kid on the Block
Happy Tuesday dear ones! We're all feeling a little giddy around here today. We had the honor of meeting a brand new baby this morning. It's sometimes hard to believe that we get to be a part of such a monumental event for our clients. That there are so many uncontrollable variables in labor and birth makes it that much more remarkable when things goes as predicted. The little one born this morning was born less than an hour after her parents arrived at the birth center. Mama had a full night sleep and woke up knowing today would be the day. Did I mention it was her due date? There was a curveball or two thrown at us but the new trio are comfortably bonding in their bed at home. I'm so proud of our team for working together effortlessly to make this punctual kid's birthday a beautiful one. Welcome to the world little one, we are glad you're here.
Stay Connected to Your Community
It's hard to believe that we are expecting our 100th HOH baby this week! It's even harder to believe that our 2023 calendar is filling up! With so many new HOH families and Whole Heart Collective members we want to be sure that everyone knows how to stay connected to each other. If you need any assistance accessing these areas please email Jessica.
Groups: Our weekly online and in-person groups are open to all Heart of Houston clients and Whole Heart Collective members. RSVP to the event page to receive a link to the online meeting rooms. Expectant and postpartum members welcome.
Private Member Area: Members also have access to the "members area" of our website. Here you can chat with fellow members in the forums. You can also access our digital library of learning material including recording of some of our core classes and other presentations.
WhatsApp: We have two chats for our families. One is for the birthing person and the other for the non-gestational partner. These chats are very active and typically where folks go to schedule meet ups outside of the birth center, ask questions or just share the highs and lows of parenting.
Events: Our hope is that you and your family are able to attend some of the various events we plan each month. Now that our first crop of babies are becoming toddlers our goal is to continue providing programming that will keep you connected to your HOH friends.
Circles: Don't forget we have safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ families to meet and bi-weekly playdates as well.
Be on the lookout!
Looking forward to 2023 I am super duper excited to finally be taking the leap into midwifery. I'm officially a student midwife, y'all. Yo, that feels so weird to type. Over 20 years ago I was introduced to midwifery when I landed a job with UTMB Regional Women's Services & Pediatrics program in Pasadena (the stinky one, not the one on the west coast.) This location typically served uninsured and low income brown folks, like myself. This was the first job to offer me healthcare and the first time I'd been insured since elementary school. What I witnessed and learned there has directly influenced my every step on the journey here. I learned that the human body is as unbreakable as it is fragile. That in the moments of earth shattering news, hearing words of comfort and empathy in your mother tongue is medicine that cannot be manufactured. The most important thing I learned is that there are systems and structures in place that make it nearly impossible for birthing bodies of color to access the quality of care that non-minorities receive. I wanted that to change.
I started out wanting to save birthing folks from the medical-industrial complex and burn the system down in the process. Instead, I found that folks didn't need saving. They just need the space and gentle encouragement from a familiar voice to make them feel safe enough to do what can only be described as magic. I love what I do because of the people I get to love and support. I can't wait to get to know you better in your prenatal visits and walk with you as you navigate this new adventure as a parent. Thank you for being a part of my story too.
Meet Hanna Castle, LCSW
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Hannah Castle and I’m a Psychotherapist in Private Practice.
How do you serve/help the pregnant and postpartum communities? I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and I’ve been working with children and families for over 10 years. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and then moved to Houston and started my own family. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, postpartum depression or the everyday stresses of Motherhood, I help Mothers feel less overwhelmed. I provide optional home visits for the fourth trimester because having someone present can be extremely comforting. My practice is also virtual for your convenience!
How did you get into this line of work?
I started working with children experiencing the effects of trauma and quickly realized that while I loved getting to work with children, the impact of working with their parents is so much greater. When I was able to support their parents in becoming an emotional support to their children, the outcomes were more effective. After having children of my own, I realized the need for Mothers to have emotional support for all of the stressors of Motherhood.
What do you wish everyone knew about your area of expertise?
I wish everyone knew the most important part of therapy is the relationship. It’s important to “click” with your therapist, and if you try it out and don’t, you can try someone new ! Therapy is about learning more about yourself through a safe relationship and when you feel safe and comfortable, only then can you be truly honest.
What is most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding is when Mother’s leave our sessions with more compassion and grace for themselves. Motherhood is hard. We get to acknowledge how hard it is and that is normal and not a deficiency. It is life-giving to remind Mothers that they are doing more than enough, actually have them hear it and let it sink in. I love when they come back and say "I heard you in my ear saying...". I want you all to internalize that warm, validating cheerleader in your ear!
Tell us about something (or someone) you love.
My two girls. They are so silly and creative and loving. They remind me how important it is to tell stories and dream. They love giving gifts to people and just knocking on neighbors doors to say hi! My oldest is constantly sharing about inventions she has. It reminds me of my own child-like dreams. They made me quickly realize what lights me up in life and work. I wouldn’t have such a passion for this work if it weren’t for them. This practice blossomed after they were born, and I recognized how much support we need as Mothers. I want to be a strong and regulated Mother for them, and I want that for all of you, too.
This Week's Events
New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100
Postpartum Support Group: Alternating Wednesdays 10-12 on Zoom. Every Thursday in person 10-12. Link to zoom room has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Feeding Clinic: Twice a month during Postpartum group. Keep an eye on schedule for specifics
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public!
Birthworkers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm