Little Bear Mission Statement:
To educate, support, and celebrate mothers as they build confidence in their abilities to birth, breastfeed, and follow their own intuitive path into and through their calling to motherhood.
IBCLC | DOULA | BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER
As a nurse, my dream was always to support women during birth. Welcoming your new baby is the most sacred experience a woman can participate in, and protecting the intimacy of birth and new-motherhood is important to me.
But as I became a mother myself I quickly realized that the medical system was not equipped to do that in a way that families truly deserve. As I experienced new-mom-gaslighting from healthcare providers including pediatricians and lactation consultants, I began a transformation like I never expected...
I learned to advocate for me and my baby in the midst of a broken healthcare system.
I overcame breastfeeding challenges when everyone else told me I couldn't.
And then I committed myself to helping other mothers do the same thing.
As a birth doula and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant my goal is to help you find your inner confidence, channel your inner mama bear, and advocate for yourself and your baby. My goal is to help you find peace with your breastfeeding experience and achieve goals that others tell you are impossible.
While I don't have a magic wand, and can't solve every issue, I can promise you that when we work together you will be equipped to make decisions from a place of both intuition and information. You will be equipped to make decisions that you feel confident in and at peace with. You will know that every step you have taken has been toward transforming into a Fierce Mama Bear.
Little Bear Core Values:
Pregnancy is a normal part of life. Little Bear promotes celebrating pregnancy as a normal, though unique, part of life. Mothers are encouraged to trust that their bodies are capable of growing and nourishing their baby. Fathers are reminded to trust the design of the woman's body and learn ways to support her through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.
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. Skilled and informed labor support is critical in improving birth experiences and outcomes. 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. Breastfeeding journeys may not always look how we imagine, but there are ways to preserve the connection of breastfeeding and capitalize on the benefits of breastfeeding even when breastmilk is not the primary source of nutrition.
Breast is not best, Fed is not best. Informed and Supported 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). I have since participated in multiple continuing education programs. Most notably, I completed the IBCLC Masterclass which has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to support you through breastfeeding babies with tongue ties and lip ties.
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.
Little Bear Lactation is currently supporting families in Wichita Falls, TX and surrounding areas.
Little Bear Lactation is currently providing Telehealth Breastfeeding Support for families across America.
Labor support services & Birth photography are not available at this time. If you are interested in birth preparation please contact Jaimie Zaki directly.