Little Bear Mission Statement:
To educate and support mothers to build confidence in their abilities to birth, breastfeed, and follow their own intuitive path into and through motherhood.
A few fun facts about me...
1. I love red wine floats - yes, that's right. Chocolate ice cream in my Malbec
2. I can't function if I don't start my day with coffee (or an herbal tea with coffee roast)
3. Christmas is my favorite holiday, but summer is my favorite season... so sometimes I think I belong in the Southern Hemisphere.
Now you know my quirks... let's talk about birth and babies. I am a mom to three amazing Little Bears, and I have had every kind of birth experience... Okay...not EVERY...but from Cesarean, to epidural VBAC, to unmedicated home birth... I've been there. I know the crazy emotions that come with different kinds of births and I know the sacredness of the birth space, regardless of where that is or what it looks like.
And I know, first hand, why preparation and support is so dang important. With my firstborn, it felt like people were constantly chastising my parenting decisions - from criticizing my birth plan, to reminding me breastfeeding "might not work" people could not resist reminding me I was a "naive first time mom".
But that bullshit has to stop. You deserve to have someone on your team who supports your goals and will help you navigate through the myths, horror stories, and conflicting advice to figure out which way is up...
And yes, I'm also a photographer! I believe the photography can be therapeutic. I believe that documenting even some of the hardest times in our life through photographs can help us process our experiences from a different perspective. We can talk more about that later...
At the end of the day, Mama Bear, I'm here to serve you.
Let's schedule a virtual meet & greet!
IBCLC | DOULA | PHOTOGRAPHER
Little Bear Core Values:
Pregnancy is a normal part of life. Little Bear promotes celebrating pregnancy as a normal, though unique, part of life. Clients are encouraged to trust that their bodies are capable of growing and nourishing their baby.
Birth Matters. Little Bear believes that birth experiences matter for both mother and baby. Birth experiences can have long term, far reaching impacts on women, babies, families, and society as a whole, therefore birth demands the care, attention, and respect of all involved. Photography can help some families process their birth in a unique and meaningful way.
All babies deserve to breastfeed. All mothers deserve support. Breastmilk is the biological best nutrition for infants, and Little Bear believes that it is each baby's right to continue being nourished through biological design. More importantly I believe that each mother who chooses to "give breastfeeding a shot" deserves the education, support, and respect to optimize her experience and reach her goals. Some people will worry about this and may think, "what if I can't breastfeed?" My goal is always to ensure a well fed, healthy baby regardless of the food source. I support all families in making the decisions that are right for them, however, I am dedicated to ensuring these are empowered, well-informed decisions. Informed is best.
Education is the key to autonomy. All families deserve to be well educated so they can be aware of options, benefits, risks, and navigate through the truth vs. myth of each decision they face. Autonomy can not exist without information.
Confidence. Little Bear's goal is to ensure each family is approaching their decision making through pregnancy, birth, and parenting with confidence. Our society tends to minimize the knowledge and intuition of new mothers and fathers, so Little Bear's goal is to use education, support, and respect to cultivate a sense of confidence in each family, regardless of actual decisions made.
Jaimie's Education & Experience:
I entered the healthcare field in 2011 as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and continued my education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. I have worked in a variety of environments including geriatrics, Emergency Department, Wound Care, and more.
In January 2015, I left the workforce to focus on my pregnancy. In June 2015, we welcomed our first born child. My birth and breastfeeding experiences led me to find a passion in supporting mothers. From healthcare providers who ignored concerns to family members who expressed doubt, I learned that the systems in place did not provide the education or support that all parents deserve. I learned the importance in being well informed and confident. Thankfully, I had resources available to me, and have always been extra stubborn, so I found a way to persevere. It was the most difficult time of my entire life, but also the most important. After battling Postpartum Depression, I decided that it was time to join the forces in bringing change to how our society treats pregnancy, birth, new mothers, and babies.
In 2016 I began pursuing an education in breastfeeding support. I began by volunteering with a local breastfeeding support group, have continued my education by completing the Lactation Education Resources lactation program, earning my Certified Breastfeeding Specialist designation. In 2019, I achieved the highest lactation related credential of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Through nursing school and my nursing career, my goal was always to become a Labor and Delivery nurse. During the first birth I attended as a nursing student, I was doused in cord blood from head to toe when the doctor cut the cord. Everyone joked that this was my baptism into Birth Work.
At the time I didn't realize how symbolic this actually was. Emotionally, I knew this was the field for me. But practically, I had a lot of growing and learning to do. Looking back on that experience the first thing I think about is, "Why didn't she let that cord stop pulsing before clamping and cutting?!"
My next experience was observing a planned cesarean delivery. That experience left me shaken. Instead of focusing on the birth and giving the family the respect they deserve, the medical staff joked and even accepted phone calls from friends and family members as if there wasn't an alert human being lying on the table, awake and vulnerable. This stuck with me forever.
When I delivered my own son by Cesarean Section, this experience came back to haunt me. I was terrified of being treated with the same disrespect. Thankfully I had a provider who understood and respected my concerns. Unfortunately, the entire birth was traumatic. My birth, however, set the trajectory for the rest of my life. It was shortly after this experience that I began considering becoming a doula. I spent time educating myself, experienced an exciting VBAC in 2017, and finally, in 2018, was able to find the time and emotional capacity to embark on my doula training.
I am trained and certified as a Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula through the Madriella Network.
I am looking forward to the honor of supporting your family during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. It is important to me that you release the fear society has engrained in you, and learn how to embrace your birthing and motherhood chapters of life. Allow me to help you prepare for birth, manage labor, navigate breastfeeding, and find confidence in yourself as a new mother.