Postpartum Support

In the weeks after my baby was born, I was floored by just how debilitated I felt physically, but also by how beautifully supported my family was by the community around us. Lucky for us I had been working in the birth world for six years already at that point and among our friends there are lots of doulas. Knowing that washers and dryers were three floors below in our apartment building, one friend picked up dirty laundry and brought it back clean and folded. We had a steady stream of meals prepared with care. Brand new babies bring a whirlwind of upended rhythms and exploded expectations and so the adults who care for them need all the TLC they can get.

 ...newborns are ever so sweet but equally exhausting!

...newborns are ever so sweet but equally exhausting!

With that in mind, the Bright Birthing team is excited to expand our support in the postpartum weeks and months. This spring Sara and I attended a postpartum doula training with Cynthia Jordan Fisher and Dianne Bearinger of Month 10 and Nearby Baby. We’re now offering postpartum support hours as an add-on to our normal birth packages or a la carte to families that don’t necessarily hire us as birth doulas.

Our training was informed by the Montessori and Waldorf backgrounds of the two great teachers, as well as the excellent resources they gathered and the expertise of lactation consultant Valerie Goodman, who came to speak about early breastfeeding support. Postpartum doula work can include listening to and validating a birth experience, doing laundry and preparing meals, tending to older children or pets, coordinating meal trains and delegating tasks to family, friends and visitors, supporting baby’s first bath, and almost always making referrals within the community for activities, care providers and/or groups that can further be of benefit to anyone with a newborn. If you or anyone you know may need a postpartum doula, please be in touch!

Kids & Nature Festival

We had such a fabulous morning at the Kids & Nature Festival! Ix Art Park is one of our favorite places in Charlottesville and this event brought out so many Bright Birthing families, such fun activities, wonderful puddles for jumping and splashing and it was a fundraiser for our friends at Little Planets, with plans to build a permanent structure at Ix including a yurt, mud kitchen and so much more. 

Rain or shine we love this community so much!

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Fourth Annual Truck Touch

We had so much fun at the bubble station collaboration between Bright Birthing and Debbie Wong of Nine Moons Midwifery!  We're excited to add this bubble machine to our event tool kit - watch for it next at our Yoga Picnic on May 12 and then at the Kids & Nature Festival on June 3. 

Nearby Baby

Nearby Baby's mission is to provide quality postpartum support to families with a newborn in the Charlottesville area, regardless of their ability to pay. This service will help to insure a healthy start for baby and a smooth transition for the family.

Nearby Baby is a fiscally sponsored 501(c)3, operating under The Social Good Fund Inc., a non-profit organization.

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Check out their crowdfunding site here

This kick-off campaign is a birth announcement for Nearby Baby; letting the world know that support is there for all families in need.  By Mother's Day we hope to raise $25,000. towards our 2018 goal of $75,000. All donations are tax deductible!
Nearby Baby will offer professional, experienced care for local  families in the Charlottesville area community after birth. We will achieve this by first providing quality postpartum doula training and practical experience for women. We will then send these trained doulas to homes in their nearby communities to support mothers, much like the way a village once cared for and nurtured its newest members and their families.
Doulas help in many ways such as breast feeding support, understanding a baby's needs and development, by providing a family time needed for self care and rest, by insuring baby safety, and more. This fundraiser will make these valuable doula services finally available to all families in Charlottesville, regardless of income.  It will also make the doula training possible, empowering women to support their neighboring families with each new birth. 

Spring!

There will be no village circle this month as we gear up for our annual May Yoga Picnic (date TBD). Below is a scene from two years ago - our practice that day, led by Sara, was designed for pregnant and postpartum participants and the weather was perfect! 

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Bright Spot #5 Virginia Discovery Museum

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Perhaps the best Christmas present my family received last year was an annual membership to the Discovery Museum on the downtown mall. The colorful windows had caught my eye often and we’d peeked in one day when we’d been invited for a birthday party when my kiddo was tiny (that day the normal attendance at the museum was overwhelming to brand new parents with a wee one and we didn’t even make it to the party, but I digress).

With an annual pass, very short visits are feasible any day we’re downtown and we can explore a feature or two if we’re not up for spending a full morning - though that’s fun to do as well. It's a great place for playdates and we have sometimes seen bigger kids there on field-trips, but it's also a wonderful spot to watch my kiddo explore solo while I follow her lead. A membership at the Discovery Museum also includes discounts and freebies at a bunch of other local businesses, including a free bambino cone at Splendora’s with an adult coffee purchase.

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In February and March there are big renovations coming to the back gallery of the Discovery Museum, so it’s definitely worthwhile to get in there ASAP to appreciate the current iteration before it is (closed for a while and) improved. Regular events include a group for parents with babies, toddler time that involves attended special activities, story hour, crafts and more. Check out their website for updated event information and details about the closure of the back gallery.

 

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Downtown Pedestrian Mall near Sprint Pavilion

524 East Main Street

Charlottesville, VA 22902

434-977-1025

vadm@vadm.org

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