Brood’s Birth Story

by Brood

Brood: noun / ˈbrüd 
Synonyms of brood
1: the young of an animal or a family of young
2: a group having a common nature or origin
3: the children of a family

The name Brood was inspired by visions of a large group of squishy babies, toddlers and kids — sun-kissed, muddy and laughing. It’s also inspired by the concept of creatures caring for their own, in order to survive, and thrive. Collectively caring for one another through knowledge sharing and hands-on support while finding joyful moments along the way — that’s the spirit of our Brood. It was co-created by two new parents and a full-spectrum doula who not only saw, but intimately understood how in-person care during pregnancy and early parenthood can positively transform the family AND the care worker. Around the globe people are experiencing increased isolation, crumbling healthcare systems, financial and climate anxiety — all of which impact our ability to step into pregnancy and parenthood with confidence. And we see the way through: in-person doula care, community and joy.

Since March 23, 2022, Brood’s official birthday, our incredible birth and postpartum team have been a part of hundreds of birth stories. And Brood has a birth story too. As we come up on our first birthday we are reflecting on our own origins and the amazing journey it’s been so far.

Everything started in Spring 2020. In the peak months of the pandemic, much was stripped away. The noise and pace of our existing routines, the in-person connections throughout each day, the rituals and routines of every season. Gill and her partner Brad welcomed their first baby on a beautiful spring day in April 2020, in the early, deep lockdown. On the suggestion of her friends who were parents and had used a doula, they hired Emma to be their postpartum doula. Their community of friends and family pooled together resources to get care for the new family paid for — a crowdfunding hack we are big fans of here at Brood. Emma provided emotional and physical support, and essential feeding and newborn care at a time when family and friends could not physically be there or help out. Lizzy, who conceived just a few months later, experienced her entire pregnancy in lockdown, with her family blocked out by the closed US/Canadian borders. After witnessing Gill’s incredible care experience with a doula, Lizzy and her partner Pat hired Emma for prenatal, birth and postpartum care for their first baby, born February 2021.

What made this full spectrum doula Emma so special? Well, other than being truly magical, they were one of the most trusted doulas in Vancouver, running an agency of fifteen birth workers, and had spent the last decade caring for families across the city. As our world remained locked down, Emma safely came into our lives to provide feeding and sleep support, newborn care and home cooked meals and freshly baked treats. Through day and night shifts, Emma provided healing help for c-section recovery, input on their birth plans and supported a 24 hour labour and birth.

It was in this intense, anxiety-riddled yet quiet time, that we were able to reflect on our shared experience of providing care, and being cared for. Our lives intersected with Emma, just as we became new parents — and Emma, like so many other front-line care and birth workers, were giving their all to stay healthy so they could provide in-person support for families. The cracks in our care system were visible for all of us.

During one of our many postpartum visits and park hangs as a bubble (two new babies, two new parents, and one epic doula), Emma shared their vision for doula care to become something bigger, broader and more accessible. They had learned so much from their mentors and years of running a successful doula agency. There was an opportunity for an emerging care model and to modernise a centuries-old practice, and Emma needed help.

Gill and Lizzy have over two decade careers and backgrounds in marketing, communications, branding, community building and as long-time friends we had always wanted to work on something together. And, like so many other parents on leave, especially in the core pandemic years, our life and priorities had shifted. Could we build something that would allow us to bring life-changing care to as many families as possible — while allowing us to be present in building our own families? In late-winter 2021, we all said yes, and jumped right in.

Bright orange background with the word Brood in white lettering in the center of the image

Brood as it is today, with our experiences and offerings in family care, was born and developed by people on both sides of the experience — the caregivers and the receivers of care. The special sauce of two new parents and a doula led to a holistic look at the circle of care, tapping into both sides of this experience. The three of us understood that care is not singular — it’s not only about the family, or the parents or the baby, it’s also about the people providing the care, and our extended networks, communities and organisations.

So many of the same things that new parents go through, we’ve been through as a team and business. We talk about how we had a “newborn business baby” in those early days building Brood. How we were just like “new parents” – looking for guidance and help, trusting our gut, and learning as we went.  That early period was like the first week postpartum, where you’re high on that adrenaline and oxytocin, and the sleep deprivation hasn’t quite sunk in yet. We had all the excitement and energy and slowly over time, reality sank in. You begin to see what’s working and what’s not. You try new things, fail, and try again. You start to get into a rhythm and flow and then some sort of regression hits (read: business pivots), you lose a little more sleep, and then you get back on track. 

At the end of the day, the one constant has been caring for each other, while we care for others. It’s not always pretty, in fact it’s really messy, mucky and hard. Like parenting — running and growing this business has been a true test for all of us, but we’ve been able to show up at work in a way that is real, authentic and imperfect, and we like it that way. And like new parents and families, we couldn’t do it alone.

Bright orange background with the word Brood in white lettering in the center of the image

Thank you to our team of doulas, who are passionate about birth, newborns and holistic, evidence-based care, and bring this energy to families day and night. They are engaged in their own communities, some are parents, dog-owners, students, writers, musicians, artists and more! It’s an honour to be the backbone of the care team bringing them into homes across Vancouver, Squamish and Victoria, BC.

With the support of our amazing community and peers, our Clinical Advisory Board, our advisory board, partners and parents, our friends and other amazing young brands, we are able to keep showing up every day. We are deeply grateful for those who have been there for us since the beginning, who have invested their time, money and energy into our brand and the people behind it.

Leading through the lens of deep care, trust and friendship, combined with our complimentary skills has meant that the three of us, our employee #1 (hi Kar!) and our doula team is able to do our best to fight for this kind of care to be available and accessible to as many people as possible. 

For trusting us with your care, your community and your beautiful babies, we thank you!

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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.


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Brood logo written as brood in lower case

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