Pregnancy and empowerment — for me, those two words didn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand when I was expecting my baby in 2015.
My options for prenatal and motherhood preparedness workshops seemed limited in availability and in scope. Where would pregnant Rachel go for the best advice in Edmonton?
What prenatal vitamin or supplement was actually good? My doctor, and not even my midwives, could cover it all — not holistically, not emotionally. What about how to speak up for myself during birth, be my own advocate, know when to go to the hospital? Yah right! What about healing after a rough birth? Talking about real possibilities, moods, breastfeeding, not being able to breastfeed? Tongue ties and lip ties? Postpartum depression? Taking the right supplements, using the right herbs and essential oils — because they’re not just for crunchy moms anymore — mainstream preggos and moms are using them, too!
I signed up for the public health class, but opted for pre-natal education sessions with my doula instead, which were incredibly helpful, but still couldn’t cover everything, and it was just one-on-one.
So, what did I do to prepare?
I read online blogs and joined community forums, asked my midwives questions, and talked with other pregnant women in pre-natal yoga about anticipating birth, motherhood, and preparing for big changes. My cousins, friends, family and coworkers offered excellent advice and did their best to share their top nuggets of wisdom. I toured the hospital. I saw medical beds and devices, sterile rooms, beds with stirrups, nurses, vending machines, sitting areas and long hallways.
This wasn’t even close to what I really needed.
I never did feel fully confident. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough for other classes or workshops — or know of any helpful local blogs (hahaha) — but I felt like I was walking the motherhood plank towards an ocean of unknowns, just about to take the plunge. No water wings.
That’s where Lauren and Jill are bridging the gap for pregnant Edmonton women, with a new, alternative prenatal workshop.
Pregnancy + the Empowered Mother: an Alternative Edmonton Prenatal Workshop
Lauren is an Edmonton Doula, Herbalist, and highly sought out private holistic practitioner (Lauren Mary Holistics) who creates her own botanical skin care, baby care, healing teas and remedies. Her calling is to support pregnant and new mothers. She started “crunchy” but saw a need to realign her approach to support all pregnant women, not just naturally focused ones.
Jill is an LPN with 12 years of experience caring for pregnant women and babies, with two lovely young daughters of her own. She is incredibly knowledgable with natural remedies, not just prescribed ones. She created her own local, hand-made skin care line called Essentials by Nature. Jill may work in the hospital, but she has a broad perspective on health and what really works.
Lauren and Jill are sharing their knowledge through a comprehensive, full-day prenatal workshop, called Pregnancy + the Empowered Mother
If you are pregnant in Edmonton, don’t miss out. The next workshop is Sunday, February 11 at Navina Yoga, from 9am – 5pm. Whether you’ve just found out you’re expecting, 4 or 6 months along, or due anytime — I highly recommend you register.
You’ll get to enjoy a calming, relaxing atmosphere, with tea and snacks, and will learn and incredible amount.
What You’ll Learn
- How to manage pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting
- That your health is important, beyond your short, 1-hour checkups
- What nutrition you need to support a growing baby and mommy
- How to fight cramping, insomnia, muscle aches and more
- Which herbs are actually safe and which aren’t (you might be surprised)
- That you can actually say “no” to certain labour and delivery interventions
- How to use essential oils safely during pregnancy, labour and afterwards
- What the vagina bacteria you have does, and how to pass that to baby even with a c-section
- Where to get support after you deliver baby
- That life may be challenging with a new little one, and how to find help and community
I attended their first workshop last November, just a couple of months ago. Although I’m not pregnant, I kept thinking back to my own experience, having so many “Ah-Ha” moments. I felt like I should have educated myself better on what to do during pregnancy, and how to have a healthier, happier, and less anxious pregnancy.
That being said, I did my best. But if there had been a workshop like this that existed, I definitely would have benefited. For example, I suffered a hemorrhage after my birth with Alex. However, I didn’t know the powerful benefits of placenta encapsulation and therapy of acupuncture that could have helped me recover faster.
I also had a huge dental cavity after I’d given birth, and I didn’t realize it was because my growing baby was taking first-pick at all the minerals for my teeth. If I had taken additional supplements to support my own calcium intake, I might have avoided that cavity.
The knowledge I gained for my next pregnancy is huge.
Thank you, Lauren and Jill, for serving expecting and new mothers. Hosting this workshop, sharing your knowledge, and welcoming women to come and learn and ask questions can make an incredible difference for us all.
Expecting Mamas in Edmonton, I highly recommend signing up for this workshop and if you come, you’ll see me there for the second half of it.
A special thanks to Dallas Curow, one of the pregnant mamas who attended the workshop. She is a photographer in Edmonton, and so kindly took photos for Jill and Lauren. Dallas welcomed her little one Felix into the world on December 12, 2017.