World Doula Week

It sure feels good to read about doulas in the news these days. Being recognized for the important, satisfying, and appreciated job we do brings value and meaning to this work. There are many sayings out there but one of my favorites is, “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it” – John H. Kennel MD.  That’s right. Doulas really do make a difference in the birthing room. Many studies have shown women who have a doula with them in labor are more satisfied with their birthing experience. Continue reading

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Sometimes you just know…

Vermont Doula - Susan Kunhardt

When I was pregnant with my first baby at the age of 36, somehow I just knew I’d be breastfeeding on demand, sharing my bed with my baby, and using cloth diapers. My husband and I did  not even discuss this…it was a given for both of us. I had friends who were parents, and I had a few “surrogate” children of my own – those special little ones who’d come for the weekend and help with a cooking project or planting the garden or gathering the eggs from the hen house.  And yes, most of my friends nursed and slept with their babies and were stay-at-home moms, washing diapers while holding their little one in a sling or a Snugli. Continue reading

Why I love lotuses….

jewel-lotus-2When my daughter was in pre-school, she made me a necklace of macaroni threaded on yarn. I wore it and loved it. She made me a necklace of brightly colored plastic beads on an even brighter pink plastic cord. I loved it and wore that, too. Next came a big wooden beaded necklace on a very long shoe lace followed by a black corded necklace  with a single metal charm in the shape of star. I loved them all and wore them all. And then a few years ago she gave me another necklace….a silver lotus on a thin silver chain. I love it and wear it all the time. A lotus. A symbol so old, whose seeds can last a thousand years and still be viable. A lotus. Representing perfection, elegance and beauty, purity and grace, the most divine qualities of the feminine. A lotus, whose roots are in the ground and whose leaves and blossoms float on the water. A lotus is often associated with Buddhism, symbolizing divine birth. I am not a Buddhist but I do believe it is better to be nice than to be right, to be gentle and kind and not hard and firm, to sometimes just listen and not speak.  As a lotus unfolds, its beauty becomes breathtaking.  I think a pregnant woman is just like that…unfolding, becoming more of who she is, becoming a mother, unfolding, opening. And like a lotus, her hidden inside jewel is praised for she is growing a baby, the ultimate gift a woman can give herself and her world-the promise of a future. A lotus, floating and grounded, attached and yet unattached. A lotus, letting go and holding on. Opening. Unfolding. Becoming.

light pink lotus