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The Bumpdate: Student Doulas, New Faces and a Halloween Party!

The Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Friends and Families


Sweet Relief

Hello dear friends! Welcome to the best time of year in Houston. That sweet spot between the sweltering heat and the mildly annoying cold. This is the season of outdoor festivals, pumpkin patches and park playdates. We are gearing up for our third annual Spooky Baby Bash and group walks start again next month! Keep an eye on the event calendar for dates and locations.

I wanted to remind folks that there are multiple ways to keep connected with your HOH community. Of course every Thursday from 10-12 we have in-person postpartum circle and some weekends we have family events scheduled. We also have our community WhatsApp group for both pregnant and postpartum folks. Ask any of our staff for the QR code and join the conversations with your amazing community. The fourth trimester can be lonely after weekly visits to the birth center so we want to be sure you're staying connected with others in the same season of life. We fully believe that your mental health is huge part of your overall healthcare and support circles are our way of ensuring you have access to safe spaces as you navigate your way through early parenthood.


Meet the Student Doulas!

This past Friday we had a great Meet the Doula event. Our friend Bee the Doula introduce us to her amazing student doulas and answered questions about the benefits of doula support. In case you missed last week's Bumpdate we announced that we've partnered with Bee to offer student doula support at a special rate for Heart of Houston clients and Whole Heart Collective members. This is an incredible opportunity for folks looking for last minute doula care and/or affordable doula support for first time parents.

Folks who attended Sunday's Comfort Measures Class also had the unique chance to get some one on one time with each doula. Tiffanie, Dee, Alaya and Tiara each assisted at one of the six comfort measures stations we set up for class. If you missed this class don't worry we have another one scheduled for December 3rd and promise to have them back to help.

I asked each doula to send in a short bio so you can get to know them. Here's what they had to say:


Tiffanie

Tiffanie, the lawyer doula, is a practicing Texas attorney who discovered a passion for helping mothers have the birth they want and the postpartum care they need. The Passion was discovered three years ago from the natural birth of her daughter. Since then, she began learning and certifying as a doula. As a practicing attorney, she has been trained to advocate by all means for her clients. Never to back down from a challenge but always ready to overcome it.

Dee

I'm Dee Art, the Doula. I'm trained as a professional doula who gives continuous, physical, emotional, and informational support to expectant, laboring, and postpartum mothers and families. This doula is DONA certified as a Birth and a Postpartum Doula with more than 15 years of experience in Labor and Delivery. I'm also a mentee of Bee the Doula. If you think you might want or need additional support and coaching in the delivery room or at home, I would love to help.

Alaya

Hi, my name is Alaya, owner of Lay Naturals Birthing. After experiencing womb complications of my own including PCOS, I turned to contraception for help only to find out later that it caused my womb issues to worsen. Eager to heal my womb, I switched over to a holistic lifestyle, changing my diet and studying herbalism. I reversed my womb issues and became passionate to help other women take back their power and heal their wombs. I am now a certified doula assisting women in every stage on their journey to motherhood including fertility, conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I am so grateful that my experience has led me here.

Tiara

I am a wife and mother of two that has transitioned from a hemodialysis technician to a Birth Doula and Owner of Divine Hands. I have a deep desire to care for others! My passion for babies and working with pregnant women started at a young age and it certainly played a significant role in shaping my career path. Since my own birth experiences have fueled my desire to support others in their birthing journeys. By becoming a Birth Doula it allows me to provide the type of care and support that I wished I had received during my own pregnancies and births, I am dedicated to making a positive impact on others and their child birthing experience.


Find out more about each student's training and the various packages they offer HERE.



It's a Party!

I LOVE Halloween! It's by far my most favorite day of the year. I grew up in a religiously conservative home and we were not allowed to dress up for halloween or participate in door to door trick or treating. Predictably, like all the things my parents tried to keep me from, it's now my fave! In 2014 I started hosting annual costume parties for my doula clients and discovered the absurdity of family themed costumes. The First year we had tiny Liberace and his chauffeur, a family of garden gnomes and a family of the four seasons. We continued the annual parties for six years and the costumes just got better and better!

Our very first HOH Spooky Baby Bash!

When Mary and I opened Heart of Houston we continued the tradition and had an absolute blast with a whole new group of new parents.

While not required, I like to say we aggressively encourage you to come in a family themed costume. We'll also have crafts for the little ones, snacks and a some photo ops for the whole family. RSVP on our event page and we look forward to see you and your little critters there!





Welcome New Birth Assistants!

You might see a few new faces around the birth center this fall. We are super excited to introduce you to the newest members of our HOH team. As we say goodbye to birth assistants Tori and Carolina we recruited two new RNs and someone you just might know.

Emily Hardy

Registered Nurse, Birth Assistant

Hello, my name is Emily Hardy! I have been a registered nurse since 2018 and I currently study nurse midwifery at Texas Tech University. I began my nursing journey working as a labor and delivery nurse in the hospital setting. It was there that I began exploring midwifery care and the benefits of out-of-hospital birth. I strongly resonated with the midwifery model of care and its support of bodily autonomy, holistic care, and minimal intervention. I then transitioned to working as a birth assistant in the homebirth and birth center settings and absolutely loved it! I am passionate about physiologic birth, birth activism, and midwifery care. I believe every birthing person deserves a safe and empowering birth experience. I am so excited to join the Heart of Houston team and support clients and their families. Aside from birth work, I enjoy reading, traveling, and learning foreign languages. I am also a big foodie (perks of living in Houston) and love to swap recipes and food recommendations with anyone and everyone!


Mary Bratcher

EMT-B, Birth Assistant, Massage Therapist

Mary joined the Birth community as a Doula in 2007, and has been growing her skill set for service ever since. Currently, she is licensed as both an EMT-B and Massage Therapist, holding National Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She is looking forward to serving the team and our families as a Midwifery informed Birth Assistant.






Christine Ellis

Registered Nurse, Birth Assistant

Hello, I am Christine Ellis. I began my journey in 2000 after experiencing the birth of my third child in a free-standing birth center with midwives. The difference between that birth and my previous hospital births opened my eyes to the beauty of birth when attended by supporting caregivers. During my two-week postpartum visit, I accepted an offer to join the team at the center as a birth assistant and office manager, where I attended many births in the center and at home. I received my nursing degree in 2006 and have worked in labor and delivery in the hospital setting ever since. I am a strong advocate for supporting birthing people’s rights and needs. I feel it is essential to have a presence in the hospital system to continue advocating and promoting better care as well as mentoring the next generation of birth workers. I am working towards becoming a certified Birthing from Within childbirth educator and continue increasing my knowledge for supporting birthing people daily. I am so excited to return to the midwifery/birthing center model of care at Heart of Houston!





This Weekend


There is still time to sign up for another great fitness class with our friend Sarina Ogidan of Sarina Inspires. Class is this Saturday from 10:30-11:30am. This class is free and open to the public but you must register. Read all about it and what you can expect HERE.










**Quick note! Our bi-weekly Anxiety Group will be on break from November through the remainder of the year. Please reach out if you are in need of other resources. We'll keep you posted on 2024 dates!**

Upcoming Events

  • 10/16 Core Class: Postpartum Planning **MOVED TO ZOOM** Email for link

  • 10/18 Core Class: When Plans Change 6-8pm in person. Our clinical director Mary Love reviews possible interventions in labor and birth.

  • 10/21 Pregnancy and Postpartum Fitness with Sarina! Free and open to the public. Please register!

  • 10/22 Core Class: Pumping and Bottle Feeding 2-5pm Our resident IBCLC Leah Jolly will give you all the information you need for successful pumping and/or bottle feeding your little one.

  • 10/29 Halloween Spooky Baby Bash! 2pm Free and open to past and present HOH and WHC members! Please RSVP






New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100


Monthly Ongoing Events

  • Thursday In Person Postpartum Support Circle: 10-12 in the community room. Open to current HOH & WHC members. Feeding clinic first and third Thursdays of each month.

  • Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public.

  • Babywearing Beginners Series:Every Third Saturday 4-5pm Free for HOH & WHC

  • Birth workers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm midwives, student midwives, doulas, birth assistants, Obs and L&D nurses are all welcome to attend.

  • Yoga with Bee: Select Mondays from 10-11am Open to the public members donation based register here.

  • Various Childbirth Education Curriculums starting soon: Bradley Method with Anne Zwicky


That's all for now! Have a great week everyone.




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