Locals we love: Dianne Bearinger

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Each time I adjusted to the transformation of becoming a mother to a new little person I was so lucky to have the support of the great teacher, spiritual guide and postpartum doula Dianne Bearinger. This weekend will wrap up my fourth trimester and we had our final postpartum doula visit with Dianne last week so this feels like the right time to compose a more formal message of gratitude and endorsement than the little note card I jotted for her personally.

Dianne holds circles for women exploring crucial and deep questions through storytelling. She reflects and writes as introspective practices. She tutors children and leads parents to trust their own instincts through not only postpartum doula support but also parent-child classes that bridge from babyhood through toddlerhood into childhood.

It certainly put my partner’s mind at ease knowing that we had Dianne’s visits in the weeks when he first went back to work after each baby’s birth. In the past couple of months she was with us two mornings a week and on those days (at least) my partner knew he could be at the office on time as she helped out so he could escape!

Since Dianne was our postpartum doula after my eldest was born they’ve had a really beautiful relationship - I am not sure whether my daughter would put it this way, but I think of Dianne sort of like a fairy godmother. When Matilde was a newborn Dianne set me up with wonderful arrangements of pillows to literally hold me up while I figured out nursing with my tiny mighty baby. This time around often when Dianne came she spent one-on-one time with Matilde so I could focus on our new baby. Together with my daughter, Dianne baked bread, folded and put away laundry, took care of all our dishes, kept our fridge in tidy order and always left me feeling more confident than when she’d arrived.

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!