This pregnancy support group offers you a place to explore your unique initiation into motherhood. Becoming a mother is largely unpredictable, and full of conflicting feelings and experiences. What’s often hailed as a most joyful time is quietly rife with anxieties previously unknown, feelings of loss and regret, and fears about doing it right. Now, COVID has added yet another layer of ambiguity to the process.
We offer support and reconnection to the sacred nature of birthing and all that it means for you. We know that personal exploration bolsters intrinsic resilience — an asset to challenges you may have in pregnancy, birthing, child-rearing and beyond.
This group will meet online via Zoom for an initial round of three sessions.
- Wednesdays, 4 – 5:30 pm PST
- Initial 3-session commitment required
- $60/session, sliding scale available, insurance receipts provided
- Co-led by Lindsey Walker, LMFT and Mara Hesed, Birthing Doula
Why This is Important
Becoming a mother is one of the most profoundly impactful moments in a woman’s life. It is so important that we go into it feeling balanced and ready. We tend to focus on physical health and nutrition throughout pregnancy, but leave out the psychological piece. Likewise doctors and nurses are trained to care for the body, not necessarily the human. We are solely responsible for our deeply impressionable layers of consciousness–including our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. We cannot control the outcome of birth, but with the right tools, we do have the power to shift our perspective about it.
In this workshop, we will cultivate these mental tools. Working in a group, we have the unique opportunity to uncover our own individual needs, as well as support other women in their process. We will work to divest ourselves of misperceptions that could be potential roadblocks, exercise the psychological muscles needed to keep us grounded and cultivate a hospitable inner landscape in which to receive our baby. Members of the group guide their own explorations and healing, and by helping others, we feel ourselves in union.
Mara Hesed – Doula, Los Angeles
I became a doula in 2012 after the difficult birth of my first child. My unconscious motivation to become a doula was likely to heal that trauma. Now, as the mother of two children, I am happy to be able to speak to my first-hand experience of both a medicated birth that ended in c-section and an unmedicated vaginal delivery.
I’ve trained with Penny Simkin, Ana Paula Markel and Kathy Killebrew. I’ve helped dozens of couples prepare for and give birth to their babies. Using my 15 years as a yoga teacher to help guide couples toward equanimity and empowerment, my hope for each mother is that no matter how challenging your birth scenario, you are able to see the unmatched beauty in it.
Lindsey Walker – Marriage & Family Therapist, Seattle
I have several years of training and a specialization in couples and relational therapy. And of course, family relationships comes to mind when preparing to have a baby. That can mean so many things, and whatever that does mean to a woman often comes to the surface during this time of great change. Relationship issues that have traveled down generational lines can feel all the more relevant. New mothers stand connected to the pain from the past and the potential for a new future. Not to mention, you have the responsibility of care for a tiny baby and healing your own body from pregnancy and childbirth! What a load!
Becoming a mother myself showed me the need for communal support pre- and post-partum. It also gave me the desire to help women understand how powerful the transition to motherhood is, not without its trials. My wish is to reaffirm your full experience as part of the powerful nature of pregnancy, childbirth, and the transition to motherhood.
Once Upon a Time in Los Angeles…
Mara and Lindsey met at a yoga studio. Their journey together has included many successful collaborations that have led to – among other things – a husband for Lindsey, a deep and abiding friendship, and an immeasurable amount of personal growth as they continue to teach and learn from each other.
Q: If I’m not a first-time mom, is this group right for me?
A: We do welcome parents at all stages of their journey, and that’s because we believe we can all learn from each other. The beautiful thing about a group setting is that we are helped by helping others. And you will be in a great position to support some first-time mamas, even as you do your own work.
The rule of thumb about second births is the only thing we can expect is that it will be different from the first! So we really have to approach each birth experience almost like it’s the first time. And especially if there was any difficulty with the first birth, it can almost be harder to go into another birth holding onto trauma from the last. Also a lot of times women fell less emotionally supported the second time around, because everyone is already so busy with Baby One. But it is no less important to feel connected to and prepared for Baby Two (or more!)
Every time a new life enters this world, it is a new rite of passage and a new process of initiation. The circumstances are different every time, and every time it takes a little attention to carve out space–in our lives and homes and hearts–for another miracle to occur.