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Terri Woods, CLD ~ CAPPA Labor Doula & Trainer ~ Evidence Based Birth® Instructor

Happy World Doula Week!


Let me be the first to wish you Happy World Doula Week – because it does not actually start until March 21st and ends on 28 March!
I would like to tell you about two things I am doing to celebrate, on behalf of Blessed ChildBirth and Doula Services, and the SLO Doula Connection Referral Service.
The local hospitals, Sierra Vista and French/Dignity Health in San Luis Obispo; Marian/Dignity Health in Santa Maria; Twin Cities in Templeton; and Mee Memorial in King City, will all be receiving the gift of a “Peanut Ball” which can help women in labor and/or with an epidural. I have been asked by nurses about the one I bring to labors as a doula, and this will make it easier on everyone to have one in place. They are a very low-tech but helpful way to assist the baby in having more room to descend, and that is a good thing! Click on this article by my CAPPA Labor Doula Director Ana Hill to learn more. You might also choose to order your own at Cutting Edge Press, good friends of mine on the East Coast who were so kind to get these quickly shipped to me in time! I recommend the 40cm ball for most, and the 50 or 55cm for taller women.
In fact, studies show use of the peanut ball and having a doula may decrease the overall rates of Cesarean birth. To find out more, you are invited to my talk on the “Doula’s Role in the ACOG Consensus on the Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean”, hosted by the Sierra Vista Birth Center at the Sierra Vista Auditorium in San Luis Obispo, CA on March 21st, 2015, between 6pm and 8pm. You may sign up on the Facebook event, or just show up! Hope to see you there, and feel free to fill out a contact form if you would like further information.
Any donations will be placed in the Doula Scholarship Fund, to be applied to training doulas who qualify for the Grand Challenge: women of color and/or fluent in Spanish who want to pay it forward!

SLODC Flyer1_Sierra Vista 2015

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Welcome Back to Blessed ChildBirth & Doula Services : I hope you enjoy our new look!

It is good to be ‘home”! I spend part of the first of 2014 in the Philippines, but from the end of January until Christmas, I was in the beautiful county of New Zealand with my extended family (whānau).

I am always willing to travel, and to train doulas as I go, but there is no place like home! My own mother and father remind me of that, and I am blessed to have whanau around the world.

I was fascinated by the various words and symbolism around birth in the Māori society in New Zealand. In fact the word for family (whānau) also has another meaning—as a verb, it means to be born or give birth. I was there as my daughter Kate finished her New Zealand Registered Midwife training, and so I was still immersed in the birth world! New Zealand has a normalized woman-centred model of care where midwives are lead maternity carers in all birthing locations, and they have excellent outcomes.

I used part of my time to start visualizing a new logo and website. The Koru, or Māori spiral, is locally carved into jade (pounamu, or greenstone) or local abalone (paua) shell jewelry. I had given these to my daughter and son-in-law upon the birth of their children, and I wanted to incorporate it into the “branding” of my birth work business when I returned to the States.

Paua and pounamu are both considered to be treasure (taonga), and I treasure my daughter, son-in-law, and my grandchildren. In fact, there are pictures of all of them scattered throughout this new website. I am a doula and doula trainer, but I am a Mom (Mum) and Grammi first!

Koru is the Māori word for the unfurling fern frond of New Zealand’s silver fern. Both the symbol as the baby fern are characterized by an inward, circular or spiral shape. This shape, as well as the fresh fern frond, resemble new life, growth, a fresh start, new beginnings. But koru also, more spiritually, stands for; nurturing, tranquility, purity, personal growth, awakening and positive change.

I will continue using the Koru as the symbol of the SLO Doula Connection Referral Service in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Monterey Counties of California.

A double Koru is the stylization of the two unfolding fern fronds symbolizes the bonding within a family. As each frond unfolds to leave the protective circle, it reaches out for new life, new growth and so reflects the life cycle.

I am using this symbol as my logo for my own Blessed ChildBirth & Doula Services, and I hope you love it as much as I do. Please search around the website and re-familiarize yourselves with my services. I hope that they reflect the spirit and meaning of the Koru and Double Koru. These meanings are found in many cultures and religions, and as I myself follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, I pray that we all find new life and peace.

To birth – to life – to new beginnings!!

Many thanks and much love (Aroha) to the treasured women who “got” my vision:

Locally: Pacha, the brilliant artist who created my greenstone logo http://www.purelypacha.com/

Sarah Juliusson, the perfect guide to doula me through website birth http://thewebsitedoula.com/

And to the amazing midwives in my forever whanau: My daughter Kate and sister Vicki, I love you.

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