My name is Lesley, and I was a Home Daycare Provider for over 20 years. I have worked in daycare centres and in community resource centres. I now own A Sacred Journey, where I am a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I teach Reiki, I teach Prenatal, Birth, and Postpartum Classes, I volunteer for many community groups, and I hold monthly women’s support groups. Most importantly, I am a mom to four now adult children and a proud Nana.
In all these years and under all these different hats, here is what I have learned. Daycare providers and Parents see things from under to extremely different lenses and they struggle at times to understand each other.... but I have found there are a few topics they will agree upon.
1. They both agree that children need to be safe, loved, well care for, and both parties love the children
2. They both value children and see them as competent individuals
3. They both value children and their need to explore outside
4. They both are aware children have physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and phonological needs
5. They both agree children deserve and need love
At times both struggle to see each other’s sides on:
1. Providers think they deserve more pay; which they do. Some providers feel that some parents take the time and energy, put into their children and do not value it. They feel unheard and frustrated that parents do not see all the work they do with the children each and every day.
2. Parents struggle over the costs of daycare with the fact that want to have money left over to share time with their children. They want the very best of care for their children. Some parents feel that the provider is taking over a role that they do not want to give up.
There are of course are more issues, feelings and options, but these are the main ones. Under all of these issues, really what is happening if providers feel undervalued and parents feel taken advantage of by a system that does not help families meet the expenditure needs of having children in this world. There is funding for lower income families and higher income families are able to cover the cost; leaving the middle income families at times struggle with the daycare costs creating hard feelings between providers and parents.
Okay, simply stated... so now what..... You have to pay for daycare or not have a job right? This matter of fact position makes parents feels like being stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Where do you go? How do you choose the very best of care? How do you keep a positive relationship with your provider, when you feel frustrated over rates and the time they spend with your children?
Where do you go and how do you choose the very best of care?
Start by creating a list of what are you most important non-negotiable for a home provider. But try and remember, no one is you, no one is going to be perfect and do the entire thing you would like done with your child. Providers do try, but they are not able to be someone they are not. Look for someone who is as close to the personality and skill set that you are expecting for care. Find a daycare question or check list to bring to the interview. Start talking to people, ask friends, join facebook groups for providers and parents, spend some time reading the providers comments to other parents, especially when there is contention; it will shed a huge light on how the provider handles stress and how they truly feel. These conversations will also share what is important to the provider and what they will fight for.... most times it is about money, late fees, or non payment. Money issues in childcare are one of the number one problems, late payments, bounced checks, or no payment at all; all the while the provider is putting out money for food, crafts, and emotional energy.
How do you keep a positive relationship with your provider, when you feel frustrated over rates and the time they spend with your children?
Communication is huge in maintaining a positive relationship with your provider. When both parties are aware of situations and the need of each other they are able to be supportive so both are feeling heard and valued. Ask yourself some questions.... How does your provider get to the doctors? What if her child needs eye glasses or allergy testing during the day? How does she get to the bank if you give her a cheque? When does your provider get time off and how does that look is she dealing with business at night time too? Can she stop for a coffee when she is done work? How does her lunch break work? Having an awareness of the other person’s side day helps both sides be more flexible with each other.
Paying daycare fees on time is the next big thing. There is nothing worse than having to ask a parent to pay their fees. It makes the provider uncomfortable and they worry there is going to be an argument over it. Money is one of the biggest struggles in this world.... they question I will ask parents is this... do you have to remind your boss to have the pay cheques made up for you, or is it completed like always on payday? Now here is the biggest one, would you go back to work tomorrow without getting paid?
Behaviours of being undervalued these feelings can come on both sides of this coin and make a good relationship bad in a few moments.
The best advice I can give is to keep communication with each other, if you do not like the provider or parent at the very start the feelings will probably not get better. In fact, when you are upset with someone, every little thing they do does get under your skin more and make you more upset with them. Show each other how much you value each other, the work, energy and love that the other gives the children you both care for and love!
Best of luck to both sides in finding common ground....
Today’s blog is created because of my niece's posted on Facebook today “Membrane sweep next Tuesday, so Coby will hopefully be here on Wednesday and if that doesn’t work I’m going to be induced the week after!” My niece's post “lit a fire” under me and sparked the creation of this article. I found myself collecting different articles and clinical reports to showcase valid opinions, you know the "Great Thinkers" on these subjects. One of the best learning, I found in my academia time was I do not need to know everything; I just need to know where to sight it from. You will find most of the links on the reports are from “US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Pub Med .gov and Ina May Gaskin, Midwife and Author foloowed by two youtube videos to a a visual expression” As I sit here, in Waterloo region, in Ontario, I pondered, how can my Labour doula learning help my niece in Alberta as she gives birth to her son.
I know, some of you are going to say, there is a great amount of research on waiting for the baby to start the process of labour. However, being a doula also means to support women on their journey of their birthing process. There are many times when a doula needs to remember, it is not their birth or
story. The birth story itself belongs to the family and to support them on their way.
Meet Cody, Erin, Trinity, and Tanix, they are waiting on little Coby.
As a Great Auntie, I am going to say, I value my niece enough to know she knows, her body and her family’s needs more the I ever possibly could. Here you go my dear niece Erin. I hope this helps you birth you little man. Welcome to the family little Coby, we cannot wait to meet you!
I am sure there are other ways to natural induce labour, but these are the ones, I found and chose to write upon today.
In my journey researching different traditions within birth work, I found some unique beliefs and paths. One in particular is the Chinese custom called “Zuo Yue Zi”, or more publicly known as the ritual of “Sitting In”. This is a time where the mother and child spend 30 days or more in the gentle and secure surroundings of their home. The process itself has been coined “Chinese Postpartum Confinement” because that name brought (some people) to see it as a caged, its name has been changed to a time “the Pampered Seclusion”; has been practiced for over 2000 thousands years. The process of giving birth is a time of great transition. In the research I have done, it expressed that the tradition practitioners, believed this is a time of vulnerability and pronounced transformation. Sometimes in times of adjustment, it is helpful to take time to let the changes develop into norms.
In this time, there are a few things that happen or do not happen, as the women spend this time in postpartum recovery.
If you are looking for more information on this topic, there is a wonderful book called Sitting Moon: A Guide to Rejuvenation after Pregnancy by Daoshing Ni ( Sitting Moon) “Sitting Moon provides women with information on how to prepare for a new child and how to have a healthy postpartum period. The book includes information on nutrition, especially Chinese nutrition, what physical changes a new mother might expect, common ailments and how to help heal them, qi gong, acupressure, meditation, and exercise. Also includes recipes for the first four weeks after birth and meal plans.”
If you are looking at more holistic Chinese Medicine or more natural help within your in Pregnancy, check out this YouTube video for some ideas. A Healthy Pregnancy with Wu Ming Qigong (Video) There are many Chinese Medicine or Natural Path practitioners in the world, search for them or ask your doula she may know of some practitioners personally.
Lesley Cressman, CLD, SBD
The greatest of a families joy can turn horribly wrong in the blink of an eye. As a family, we had to mourn our beautiful baby girl. I learned of my granddaughter passing, when I was away on a retreat. I had to make the hard choice of listen to my Adult daughters wishes for me to stay because I could not change what was going to happen. Or listen to my mother voice within me, say my little girl has no idea what she is going to go through. I chose to come home to her. I am so glad I was there for her, her husband and the whole family.
As a mom, I was able to help and witness my daughter give birth to the most beautiful baby girl, my darling granddaughter, who sadly had passed on. This was the hardest day of my life so far. To be unable to fix my daughters problem, and allow so much emotional and physical pain to impact her. This was one of my worst fears as a mom, not being able to keep her from harm.
I was so proud of my daughter and son-in-law. They love each other so much, they love their daughter, and they love their family with their whole heart; which was apparent in how they maneuvered the journey though the loss of their daughter. They have taught me so much on compassion and the differences between sympathy and empathy. Thank you both for allowing me to share in your joy and sorrow.
A special thanks to Lisa at Kitchener Waterloo Midwifery Associates for all you did for our whole family; specifically with my daughter and her husband, as we lost our Brie. Your gentle and caring spirit, was more than appreciated. Even after our terrible loss, you still kept a close loving eye on my daughter Mandee. Thanks Lisa, for sharing our joy and our tears with such grace!
A loving grandmother of a sweet little angel that was far to precious for this world.
The Announcement From My Daughter, Mandee:
I have to share some terrible news today, this morning our beautiful princess was born, unfortunately we also had to say goodbye. We named our daughter Abrielle, she was perfect.
I'll never live another day without thinking about you Brie, you were more than wanted, more than planned... We waited years for you, and this morning I finally saw your beautiful face, and it was everything I imagined it would be. I love you princess.
At 38 1/2 weeks I woke up and the baby wouldn't move, I tried everything to get her to move without luck. My fears were confirmed at the hospital, no heartbeat. I delivered my daughter about 24 hours later, in the same hospital. The Doctor told us that she had suffered an "umbilical cord accident", which occurs in about 1/150 births. We named our precious daughter Abrielle Niccia Simas, she was born at 6:10 am on May 30th 2015. A small girl with her daddy's long legs and my red hair, a perfect combination of my husband and me. She will be forever missed ♥
Written by Lesley Cressman, CLD, SBD and Foundher of A Sacred Jouney
The number one question, I have been asked lately is What is a Doula? The repetitiveness of this question made me realize, it's impossible for a pregnant women to want a service that she know little about!
According to the dictionary definition, A Doula "is a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born."
Okay, so does my midwife or doctor. So why would I need a Doula?
So here's my thoughts, a Doula really is that catchall person in your support team.
Personally, I see those support needs to include the above, but also to include those that are not listed yet that are important to the intended family. The questions from my client, so far at all seem to have different levels of individual importance. My clients have expressed the following concerns: comfort measures, concerned about the possibility of another C-section, first-time births, and for birth after a silent birth, known as a rainbow birth. Each of these clients have their own needs, and it is my goal to meet the needs as each individual family requires. There are a lot of different hats the doula wears, moment by moment within the birth experience.
I hope I was able to shed a little light, and my views of what to a doula does as she travels with a family on the journey of birth. Please know that each birth experience that a doula is a part of stays in a little space in her heart. A doula's truly enjoy supporting women and their families in this exciting and transitional time.
A Sacred Journey, Waterloo On,
Lesley Anne, CLD, SBD and Founder of A Sacred Journey
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“What is Bengkung ? Well, it is a traditional Malaysian belly binding method. Essentially it is the practice of tying long strips of cloth around the abdomen during the postpartum recovery. To en-sure a strong support to the woman's womb after childbirth.” Valarie Lynn, author of the mommy plan.
Ask me about the many medical, physical, and emotional reasons for belly binding.
Birth Sealing Ceremonies close the journey of giving birth, it allows one the opportunity to celebrate what when well and to mourn for that did not go as expected.
These are services offered at A Sacred Journey for free to her Labour and Postpartum Doula Clients .
Lesley Anne has successfully completed the learn acupressure to encourage an optimal natural birth online course. Courses like this will be a stable expectation from the Sacred Journey. As a whole we strongly en-courage the least invasive, comfortable experience by listening to a woman’s natural rhythms, as she births her child. The most important part of the process is to allow the mother, the power to birth as she sees fit: natural, unmediated, medicated, with the midwife, with an OB, or with her family practitioner. As a doula, our role is to nurture the mother, the partner, and assist the medical staff and whatever they need.
The actual meaning of the word Doula is a person who serves.
Lesley Anne has successfully completed her in class components for Labour and Postpartum Doula services. This class has only built upon her strong foundation from her early childhood education child development program; it created a new frame of reference with current research-based data on what is promising practice within the rhythms and rituals as a woman births her own child.
As she works towards her certification requirements, Lesley Anne is proud to offer student doula rates to her clients.