The Practice of Practice

The Practice of Practice

As a recovering perfectionist, I have spent most of my life avoiding trying new things. Basically, the math in my head went something like this:

  • I receive love when I am perfect (when I am perfectly behaved, when I follow the rules, when I get 100% on a test or project, etc)

  • Therefore when I am not perfect, I am not worthy of love

  • Well, that’s terrifying

  • I can’t risk not receiving love

  • Therefore I will only do things that I know I can do perfectly

  • NO NEW THINGS!

Our culture values striving for excellence, which usually turns into striving for perfection – on the surface, this seems really admirable. Why shouldn’t you always try to be perfect at what you do?

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6 Tips for Flying with Newborns and Toddlers

6 Tips for Flying with Newborns and Toddlers

In my oldest daughter’s first year of life, I took her on 17 plane rides. I wanted my family outside of Alberta to spend as much time with our new baby as possible. We went to Ontario twice and to BC six times. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal, but reflecting back on that first year it occurs to me that it was A LOT of flying! And it gave me the perfect opportunity to hone the process.

Whether you’re facing a quick 45 minute flight or eight (or more) hours, here are my top six tips for flying with your littles.

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Chiropractic and Pregnancy: Top 5 Reasons to Add a Chiropractor to Your Birth Prep Team

Chiropractic and Pregnancy: Top 5 Reasons to Add a Chiropractor to Your Birth Prep Team

When you think about all of the physical changes the body must go through from conception to birth, it is no wonder that so many people see chiropractors in pregnancy. It is a common myth that pain and discomfort are just par for the course and that to be pregnant means to be uncomfortable. Chiropractic care can not only help you to feel great but also prepare your body, spine, and pelvis for birth. Here are the top five reasons to add a chiropractor to your birth prep team.

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My Transformation Into Fatherhood: An Interview with Peter Jennings

My Transformation Into Fatherhood: An Interview with Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings is a realtor, a husband, a father, and a fierce friend. For this Father’s Day, Peter shares his experience of becoming a father and using doula support during his transformation into parenthood.

Peter and I have been married for five years and partnered for ten. Together, we have two daughters and had two very different birth experiences. Our first daughter, Hazel was born in hospital under obstetric care with birth doula support and postpartum doula support. I had an epidural and an augmented labour with pitocin. For the birth of our daughter Zoe, we had a home birth with midwives and doula support.

Read on to hear about Peter’s firsthand experience of becoming a father, how each birth transformed him, and how doula support impacted each experience.

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You and Your Pelvic Floor

You and Your Pelvic Floor

There’s a myth in our culture that a weak pelvic floor is just the price pregnant folks pay for giving birth. We’re thrilled to share this guest blog post from Claire Harris of Intrinsi, a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor health, to help set the record straight.

As a physiotherapist with a special interest in pelvic health, I am passionate about empowering people to discuss their pelvic floors, and how important it is for overall health. It’s an easy topic to sweep under the rug, but a little bit of leakage after your friend tells a joke is no laughing matter! When it comes to pregnancy and your pelvic floor, there are a lot of strategies to manage any concerns you may have, as well as preventative tools to ensure you are setting yourself up for success during this exciting (and often stressful) time.

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The Limitations of New Parenthood

The Limitations of New Parenthood

Stepping into new motherhood, I felt really prepared. I had an arsenal of doulas in my corner and I had a library of resources to draw from (should I need them). I felt quite confident that I could face the unknown and roll with the punches. Even with all the reassurances, it was still an initiation that my heart wasn’t prepared for.

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Relationships Are Hard

Relationships Are Hard

Welcoming a new baby into your family is an exciting and joyous occasion and it also puts significant strain on even the most rock solid relationship. Drs. John and Julie Gottman discovered that “67% of couples had become very unhappy with each other during the first three years of their baby’s life. Only 33% remained content.” (source >>)

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2018: Year in Review

2018: Year in Review

2018 was a year of joyous hellos for Five Elements Birth Services. We welcomed Emilie Sanmartin, Stephanie Gould, and Jules Kisiloski-Cope to our team of incredible, heart-centered doulas. Christine Jennings, Peter Jennings, and big sister Hazel welcomed their newest addition, baby Zoe, in March. What a joy to have Zoe as part of our extended Five Elements Birth Services family.

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Why I Won't Promise To Teach You Everything You Need To Know About Birth

Why I Won't Promise To Teach You Everything You Need To Know About Birth

When preparing to give birth and become a parent, Birthing From Within teaches that there are three kinds of knowing that are essential to the process. It is essential to explore all three kinds of knowing because even if we spent every day together for the next four years learning only about birth and postpartum and parenting, I still would not be able to teach you everything you need to know. Why? Because at its heart, birth is a rite of passage.

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Learning How To Advocate For Yourself

Learning How To Advocate For Yourself

In an ideal world, every pregnant person would have the ability to carefully and intentionally choose a maternity care provider who was a good match for them.

In Calgary, the reality of choosing a maternity care provider is more akin to “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. This means that sometimes you and your maternity care provider are not a good fit for each other and the relationship may suffer from a breakdown in communication, mutual respect, and/or trust.

Sometimes, you may be able to change care providers. But if not, or you choose to stay with your current care provider, what can you do to cultivate a more positive, functional relationship? How can you advocate for yourself and your baby in a kind and assertive way?

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Community Partner Spotlight: Bethany Galster Photography

Community Partner Spotlight: Bethany Galster Photography

Bethany Galster is a photographer who loves photography. That may seem like an obvious thing to say, but listening to her speak about her process, and what photography has meant to her in her own life, is a joy. It’s obvious that she values the power of honoring the transformative, along with the completely ordinary, moments in our lives.

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An Insider's Guide to Gestational Diabetes in Calgary

An Insider's Guide to Gestational Diabetes in Calgary

I have had two sugar babies. "Sugar babies" is a term used online by expectant parents who are pregnant with, or have given birth to, babies when they have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

In this post we will explore how gestational diabetes is diagnosed, options for management, options for your birth, and resources to learn more.

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How Acupuncture Can Support You During Pregnancy and Postpartum

How Acupuncture Can Support You During Pregnancy and Postpartum

We are excited to introduce you to Registered Acupuncturist Megan Gusdal, who works at the ATMA Collective in NW Calgary. She offers intuitive, gentle, and effective support to clients for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. If you have questions about acupuncture and how it may help you, read on.

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You Deserve A Doula. You Deserve A Back Up Too. Part VI.

You Deserve A Doula. You Deserve A Back Up Too. Part VI.

We recognize that one of the reasons that people hire a doula for their birth is for continuity of care. In other words – you’re banking on a familiar face being by your side the day your baby is born.

We would love to be able to guarantee that we will be at your birth, and while we make every effort to ensure that we are, it would be irresponsible of us not to make arrangements for the possibility that we may not be.

Sometimes there are events entirely beyond our control (an illness, an injury, two babies at once) that mean we can’t be your person on your day, as planned. That is why we have carefully chosen some of the best doulas in Calgary to step in for us if we can’t be there on your day.

Still, you may be wondering what it’s actually like to have a back up doula attend your birth.

Here is what some of the clients within our collective had to share about their experience with a back up doula.

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You Deserve A Doula. You Deserve A Back Up Too. Part V.

You Deserve A Doula. You Deserve A Back Up Too. Part V.

This is part five of our back up doula series. Over the last few months, we have shared a bit more about who each of our back up doulas are so that you can get to know them and love them as much as we do. We are really looking forward to sharing the final installment of our series next month where we will share some our clients' thoughts and experiences with back up doula support.

(Did you miss Part IPart II, Part III or Part IV?)

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