When what we say really does matter. What is it about a pregnant person that elicits such free social commentary from strangers? “Are you sure it’s not twins?” the owner of my local bakery (who was also pregnant) asked me as she handed over a medley of pastries. I...
Amedeo Hope was born on September 14th, 2021, at 3:37am. Having conceived in December of 2020 after making a choice to become a solo parent, my pregnancy was as idyllic as possibly could have been (with the exception of that pesky first trimester!). I chose a long-term friend to be an anonymous donor — it felt important to me that my child would have access to the person who contributed to their genetics, and understand the importance that chosen family and community would play in their upbringing.
We are excited to announce that we have expanded our Brood doula postpartum and birth services to Victoria, BC and the surrounding areas. This is the land of the lək̓ʷəŋən People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. We have an amazing team of doulas that are excited to bring the Brood energy to those living and birthing on Vancouver Island.
Oh the holidays. Wrought with everyone’s mixed and varied expectations, constant safety negotiations and delayed flights (thanks covid!) and finding the perfect gift for everyone from “friends” at work, to your father-in-law, to kids and friends. And what about the pregnant people or parents-to-be in your life? Or maybe that’s you!
As a parent and caregiver myself, I know what the most valuable gift is for a new family. Spoiler alert: it’s not the tiny little onesies, classic books or soothing stuffies. Don’t get me wrong, I loved those too, but the most valuable gift I received when I was pregnant and postpartum, was the gift of support.
I felt trapped by my condition, and I hit rock bottom. After a pep talk from my husband, I picked up my entry level DSLR and learned it inside out, carried it with me on my doctor-prescribed daily walks, and kept my creative juices flowing and my mind fresh by offering quick photoshoots for friends. I started assisting and second shooting with other photographers so I could learn more. My camera became my therapy— physically and emotionally.
At Brood we believe you can’t talk about pregnancy, birth and postpartum without talking about miscarriage, pregnancy loss and abortion. Sharing about the full spectrum of reproductive care is one piece of the puzzle in helping to eliminate the stigma when it comes to topics like miscarriage and abortion.
Unless you have lived experience of pregnancy loss or training that guides you in supporting people who have, knowing how to hold friends and family through such tender times can feel heavy. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with grief can take your breath away—it’s human nature to want to back away from that. Sometimes, that resistance is immobilizing, other times it helps create space and time to process your own emotions.
We could not do this work if it weren’t for the countless people and organizations that have paved the way, and that tirelessly work alongside us. We are in awe of every single birth worker, educator, parent, activist, and medical professional that has fought to make family care accessible and affirming for all families.
Pregnancy loss is unique in that many people might share the experience but only the pregnant person is physically, cellularly metamorphosed. This can be hard to navigate if you’re supporting someone through miscarriage and abortion: learning how to hold your own feelings both away from and in relation to is something that comes with self-work and compassion—things we have to learn and practice.
I have a confession to make: I used to be an incredibly judgmental doula. And no, before you ask, I would never judge my clients out loud and outright, but no one was stopping me from thinking about my judgments. I also would never go as far as to insert my own personal opinions in my clients’ decision making, but knew that had I been the person making the decisions, it would look a whole lot differently than theirs.
Early in my doula career, I supported a family through an unexpected stillbirth. At the time, since I was so new in practice, I felt completely lost with how best I could support this family now moving through grief. It was a stark reminder that no one can ever truly prepare for what grief and loss feels and looks like.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month — it’s almost certain someone in your life has been touched by pregnancy and/or infant loss. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss and abortion. 1 in 4 pregnant people will lose a baby in pregnancy, birth or infancy.
We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.