No matter how your baby came into the world, every labor and every delivery is PHENOMENAL. The newborn period, often referred to as the “Fourth Trimester”, is a “sacred window”, a time that a woman transforms from maiden to mother, a precious opportunity to deeply bond with babe. Postpartum care, particularly PP doulas are often referred to as gratified domestic servants. This is ELEVATED, EXALTED nurturing with emphasis on whole-body health and recovery of the mother, especially during the first 42 days. The mother should be resting, free to surrender to the oxytocin bliss post-birth, not worrying about anything other than recuperating and forming attachment with your beloved. We should be spending as much time, if not more, planning our post-birth sanctuary plan as we do for our weddings and our birth.
Throughout history, in nearly every culture there has been intimate care-giving provided by close female relatives and friends to support the well-being-physically, psycho/socially and emotionally of the new mama and her tiny new addition to humanity. Unfortunately, our culture does not value this time and we are pressured into “bouncing back”, going back to work, getting our bodies back, cleaning and cooking, entertaining guests so that they can hold the baby. WE NEED TO BE HOLDING THE MOTHER AS SHE TOO HAS JUST BEEN BORN. It is imperative that you get rest, rest and more rest as it will impact your health from “womb to tomb.” The job of the postpartum care provider is to work closely with mother and child, “mothering the new mother”, meticulously tending to their delicate needs during this most reverent time. Ashley’s role is to nurture and nourish so that the family can create a synergy with all parties feeling held, healed and empowered far BEYOND the forth trimester. She understands this work to be the most noble and meaningful of services. The health and vitality of a new mothers determines the health and vitality of our future generations. No one is able to give from an empty cup and birthing a new baby is the most monumental task of a womxn’s life. As mothers, in order to care for our loved ones, we must work to make sure that we are properly healed and supported.
Together, we create a postpartum *Sanctuary Plan* utilizing the pillars of PP recovery including extended rest, warmth, bodywork and meditation, highly nutrient dense meals (local, organic or from Ashley garden) and teas to restore, rituals, affirmations, community. We will utilize Mother Earth’s plant allies in the form of salves, waters, yoni steaming, compresses and oils. She will help educate and refer on the basics of breastfeeding and bonding, care for the baby so mom can take the time to bathe, breath, and be, tidy the home so the stress melts away or provide super fun, engaging activities to occupy and please the older children. In addition, she can point you to books, websites, podcasts and groups that will complement your style of mothering.
Ashley’s goal is to nurture the nurturer and provide skills that both pamper, please, and add peace of mind to the parents, no matter if it’s the first child or the fourth. In fact, it is never too late to hire a doula! For some families, the most overwhelming time is many months after baby arrives, especially if there are other children in the family and mama is depleted/exhausted/overwhelmed. She knows this well as she has been through the thick of it with her first from a very complicated pregnancy to birth trauma, postpartum depletion and anxiety. She had supreme redemption with her second and understands first hand the miraculous affects from proper care.
Before her journey began as a proud mama of two boys, an educator and care-provider, she owned and operated a healing arts practice in California for a decade. She first certified as a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2004; she has been a professional nurturer for nearly 20 years, passionately researching about health and wellness. She strives to utilize heart-centered, non-judgmental, compassionate care to educate families on ways to support optimal living. Her goal as a postpartum care provider is to be an aide to this new life navigation, creating as much harmony for mama and babe as possible. Commonly, a postpartum doula’s focus is infant-centiric. Ashley tends to the mother in ways that resemble our ancestral practices and uses GLOBAL applications to create true healing and happiness. She is a Certified Innate Traditions Practitioner. She is also training as Ayurvedic Doula, a practice dating back 5000 years. She has studied applications from the wisdom keepers from Meso-American to Moroccan, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. This wisdom is respected, honored and understood to be ceremonial, so Ashley makes every effort to only source the information and practices from those that are decedents of the native peoples (of the teaching) and give them 100% credit and reinvestment in their communities. Blessings Be on them.
Being aware and prepared will set you up for success. It is a very realistic goal to feel uplifted, confident and empowered after baby becomes a child of the Earth, if you create a proper sanctuary plan. 4 hours are dedicated to getting to know you and sharing education on what to expect post birth. We will then start navigating what meals, drinks, pampering tools and techniques you desire while keeping things flexible. Ashley recommends packages starting with a minimum of 16 hours, 4 prenatally, 12 postpartum, with option to add additional hours.
Evidence-based Information and Advocacy: Ashley is a Certified Innate Traditions Postpartum Care Provider, elevated care beyond the scope and practice of a doula. She has studied with mentor/elders including the marvelous Rachelle Seliga Garcia of Innate Traditions, Jenna Furnari of Ayurveda Mamas, Kimberly Ann Johnson of Magamama, Kerry Ingram of Mothering Arts, Marcia Thuermer, a DONA International Certified Instructor, Kelly Garza, Layla B. and many more. She is continually researching peer-reviewed, academic research to provide the most up to date information and correlates it to global ancestral wisdom.
Emotional, Physical and Psycho-Social Support for Mommy: Checking to assure you are properly healing, answering questions, making sure you are getting enough rest, birth-story debriefing, listening deeply without judgement while keeping things confidential, reassuring your care-giving skills, making sure you are eating enough of the right foods, keeping you comfortable and helping with walking and propping on bed or couch, looking for signs of the baby blues and perinatal mood disorder, assistance with the basics of breastfeeding and gifting ideas to promote attachment and bonding.
Baby Care: Heart-centered, gentle, respectful care for baby including diapering, bathing, cord care, holding and soothing, feeding and nurturing so that you have time to rest and refresh. If you have older children, this can allow time for you to spend special time with them. She is a Certified Waldorf Teacher, specializing in holistic child development (birth-7) since 2011.
Partner Support: To ensure that everyone feels confident and comfortable with the new baby and aware of the great needs of the new mom, whether the spouse, partner, relative or friend, the goal is to have everyone on board the train to optimal health and well-being for all parties. If you need assistance with extended family that may not be exactly who you want by your bedside, have no fear, Ashley utilizes great tact so that you may ride the wave of oxytocin bliss without having to be the host or educator. She will help enforce the BOUNDARIES. The only people that should enter the house are those that cherish the MOTHER and come bearing healthy food and a deep desire to help tend to the home and mother, without warranting unsolicited advice or comments.
Specialized Diets: Always highly nutrient dense, she pours love into all the scrumptious food and drinks she prepares. GF, Paleo, Vegan/Vegetarian, can easily be accommodated while still utilizing traditional PP recovery recipes. She is an passionate and accomplished sustainable hobby farmer and home cook. She is trained in Ayurveda and cooks with a global lens.
Intentional Childcare: While the work of the doula is to serve mother and baby, she is a Certified Early Childhood Teacher and is happy to accommodate those families with older children so that mom and dad have as much free time as possible to bond with the newest addition.
Healing Arts: Ashley has great respect for the tremendous amount of energy that goes into carrying and delivering a baby. Healing is expedited utilizing professional skills to soothe mother and child with a variety of techniques. From womb care and belly binding, reflexology, acupressure, moxibustion to Abhyanga, you will have plenty of resources to feel perfectly pampered.
Errands: If you need supplies from the grocery store or drug store or other essential errands, Ashley can be your gopher so you can rest and not drag your babe around town.
Referrals: When out of the scope of Ashley’s practice you will be referred to other professionals (ex: doctors, therapists, chiropractors, lactation consultants, sleep specialists (not sleep training), acupuncturists, nutritionist etc.) She has a network of miraculous local ladies that specialize in therapeutic care for new mamas.
Organization: Help with laundry, nursery, baby announcements, and thank you notes.
Pet Care: Ashley is passionate about animals, quite the animal advocate, and will be more than happy to care for the other members of your family.