Refer Me and Get a Special Gift!

Check out my brand new referral program. Now, not only will you be helping a loved one find support for a satisfying, empowering birth experience, you’ll also get a treat for yourself!

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TONIGHT! Free screening of Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion

Doula DVD

Just a quick reminder about the screening of Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion this evening (Wed. March 28th) at 7:30pm at the Centre for Social Innovation, Annex. The address is 720 Bathurst St. and the screening will be taking place in Meeting Room #4on the 3rd floor. There will be an informal meet-and-greet with myself and two other Toronto area doulas – Jennifer Elliott and April Kowleski – after the film.
Directions for getting to and into the building:
CSI Annex is located on the West side of Bathurst St., just South of Lennox (about a block South of Bloor St.). We are directly South of the Bathurst St. Theatre (in the old yellow brick church).
The doors to the building lock at 5:30 pm, with the exception of the northernmost door, which remains unlocked until 7pm. That door is on the North side of the building, just a step or two from the sidewalk on Bathurst. That door allows for wheelchair access to the building and opens next to the elevator. If you prefer to take the stairs, they are also immediately inside that door. Go straight up to the 3rd floor and through the first door you see. The room will be right in front of you.
If you arrive at the building after 7pm and are unable to get in (or if you arrive before but get confused or lost about where to go), please call my cell phone at 647-408-4328 and I will let you in.
Please arrive before the screening is scheduled to start at 7:30 as I will be switching my phone to silent-mode for the duration of the film.

Embryonic Stem Cells – To Bank or Not To Bank? Part 2 (Periods!)

Following up on yesterday’s post about fetal blood and whether or not to bank what remains in the umbilical cord, allow the baby to receive the blood still contained within the placenta before clamping the cord or both, today’s post will explore the amazing discovery of stem cells within menstrual blood and their viability for treating illnesses of various kinds.

This incredible realization, presents an awesome opportunity to harvest and store stem cells in a way that is non-invasive, regularly available, easy to procure, cost-effective and free of the usual ethical concerns that plague stem cell research. In addition, the stem cells found in menstrual blood have been found to be highly proliferative – reproducing every 24 to 36 hours. While stem cells from ‘cord blood’ can be subcultured a maximum of 12 times, the stem cells found in menstrual blood have so far been subcultured up to 47 times. Also incredible to note is that the stem cells found in menstrual blood retain embryonic markers, meaning that they can morph into a wide variety of healthy cell types including heart, nerve, bone, cartilage and fat. When you think about the number of menstrual periods that the average woman will have in her lifetime (roughly, about 480), that is an incredible number of stem cells that could, theoretically, do an incredible amount of good. (Please note that the research I am drawing on – linked to above – was partially funded by a stem-cell storage company – clearly more research of a significantly more impartial nature is in order).

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It’s all about self-care – Update: SPA TALK POSTPONED (more info soon)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, from taking on a new (though temporary) role at the Centre for Social Innovation, attending webinars and workshops, meeting with potential clients and forming new and exciting partnerships with people around town, I have barely had time to sit down at my computer and think about blogging.

Coming up soon, I’m hoping to write a short piece about a doula meeting that I attended recently on postpartum mood disorders and I’m also looking forward to meeting with Cristina Sacco from Boygirl Photography about some cross-promotional ideas we’re cooking up. Stay tuned for more info on that stuff and more! Plus next week I’ll be attending a meeting on hypnobirthing with the awesome Jennifer Elliott, and I’m sure that will provide me with plenty to blog about. for now, though I want to talk about a really exciting new friendship.

This morning I met with Katie Grennan from Alma Natural Spa. Katie is a member of the Centre for Social Innovation, like me, and has recently opened her beautiful spa at Yonge and Eglinton, where her clientele is treated to toxin-free, natural spa treatments – all of the ahhh with none of the blaah. I totally gelled with Katie’s philosophy behind natural beauty care and she was super interested in hearing all about doula care and the awesome results that women who have doulas see.

Toxins in our cosmetics and beauty products are a concern for may of us these days, but for pregnant women and new moms (especially those who are breastfeeding), the concerns are even greater. Knowing what we know about the carcinogens and hormone disruptors and who-knows-what-else in so many products these days, it makes sense to choose safe, natural, healthy options for our health and for the health of our children. It’s nice to know that there are places like Alma out there where we can go and get pampered without having to worry about what the products going into our skin and the air we are breathing are doing to harm us.

Given that Alma’s mandate appeals especially to pre-conception and pregnant women as well as new moms, Katie suggested that I speak about doula support at Alma’s speaker series in the new year. I am really excited about this opportunity! First, it’ll give me a chance to talk about birth and the benefits of good support, which I can never get enough of. Second, it will be a great opportunity for me to talk directly to women in the community who know the importance of self-care based in healthy practice. After all, if you care enough about your body and your baby’s body to choose a natural spa, it stands to reason that you’d see the value in doula care that can help you have a more satisfying birth experience, both psychologically and physiologically and all of the ramifications that that can have for health, self-esteem and empowerment.

I’ll be speaking on Wednesday, January 11th at the spa. I’ll keep you posted on the details as the date approaches! This will be a great chance for anyone who is interested in learning more about doulas and what we can do for you in an intimate and personal setting, without the pressure of scheduling interviews or actually shopping around for a doula.