World Doula Week: Meet Willow

To wrap up World Doula Week, we’re sharing another guest post.
This post is by Willow Brown, a doula practicing in Santa Cruz, California:

Doula holding a smiling newborn baby

Last week I helped my little brother and his wife deliver their first child into the world.  I have been a doula for 10 years, and have assisted many couples through their transition into parenthood, but this time was different. It was personally significant for me.  To see my own flesh and blood come into the world, and to watch my brother’s face as his child was born was beyond words.  There was so much love and emotion in the room, it was so thick with birth!

Birth is a major event in a family’s experience; a time to stop all the hustle and bustle of life and get still.  I believe it is so important to do this, and I always encourage my expectant mother clients to take things off their plate and drop in with themselves, their child and their families.  It really can make a huge difference.

Assisting my sister-in-law pre-nataly, using acupuncture and massage, helped to quiet her mind, calm her nervous system and center her energy before she got deep into the throes of labor.  I believe that the pre-birth acupuncture made a difference in her birthing experience.  Generally, I believe that it’s best to start receiving acupuncture to prepare the soon-to-be mother for her birth at around 36 weeks, and to get treatment every week thereafter until you deliver. This can help to ripen the cervix and soften the cervical tissue for a more efficient effacement of the cervix.  The treatments might also help guide the baby’s head down deeper into the pelvic structure, which is how dilation occurs.  Giving her two massages the week before delivery helped her to relax and let go of tension from her muscles and her mind.

Her delivery (this was her first) went beautifully! She had no complications and opted to try for a natural birth, turning down an epidural initially (though she did want it in the end, but by that time it was too late. She was already ready to push).  Even my mom, who has been an OB nurse for 20 years and has seen thousands of deliveries, was very impressed with the quickness and ease in which the delivery went.  She attributed this to the pre-birth treatments, and now has a lot more faith in my profession as an acupuncturist.

The new parents are very fatigued, but very happy.  Baby Benjamin is healthy and nursing, and my parents could not be more thrilled to finally be grandparents.  They are staying present with each moment as it comes, but also looking forward to when Benjamin is big enough to ride in an Onya Baby carrier.  It wont be long before these newbie parents get to experience the comfort, style and very cool extra features that Onya Baby offers.

Doula, Willow Brown smiling holding babyWillow Brown has been licensed and practicing Acupuncture and herbology in California since 2008, she is also a highly skilled body worker and cranial sacral therapist, and understands the many complex layers one has to work through in order to heal and bring the body into balance.

As a doula (labor and delivery coach), she brings unique awareness and knowledge to her patients who seek support in their pre-natal and post-partum states. In addition to working closely with families during pregnancy, she also enjoys working with infants and children.

Willow has been practicing yoga since she was 13 and teaching yoga since the age of 21.  Her style is a seamless flow of balancing breath, body, and mind.  Her students leave feeling calm in mind and centered in heart. She also teaches Pilates, Chi Gong/tai chi, blending all these different bodies of knowledge into all her teachings.  With over a decade of experience, all her classes uncover the harmony and wisdom that is innate within us.