Our Team is Growing!
I met Jenny Bee a few years ago when we lived in the same neighbourhood. One day, out of the blue, she asked if she could come to a Rock the Cradle Open House and bring some business cards. I was a little hesitant at first but I agreed because sometimes life brings you wonderful opportunities when you least expect them. Jenny joined the RTC team that same evening! She is an amazing woman and a wonderful addition to our team as a prenatal and postnatal Yoga Instructor and Therapist, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Infant Massage Instructor. She also organizes beautiful Blessingways for our expectant moms.
Meet Doula Jenny Bee (Berthiaume), Our Yogi Mama
What brought you to focus much of your yoga work on moms and babies?
I taught kids exclusively for what seems like a long time and it was super tiring! I had my own little ones at home (who often came with me when I taught!) so I exercised my patience with other people’s kids and didn’t have much for my own. The transition to postnatal and then prenatal was natural and gradual. I still teach kids from to time and love it because I’ve found a balance. But I really enjoy prenatal and the continuation of postnatal. Having the experience as a Doula is invaluable for my students, too.
You also offer private yoga therapy sessions. How do these sessions benefit new moms?
Although we say not to come to a group class before six weeks, there is plenty of yoga a woman can do in the first days and weeks postpartum. No sun salutations of course! But simple, guided movements and breath. A good measure of self-care which helps us rest, feel rested, and recuperate.
What is Ayurveda?
That’s a big question! It’s yoga’s sister-science. The Science of Life. We learn about own true nature and how to make simple changes to bring our whole selves into balance.
What is your Ayurvedic constitution and how does knowing it help you in your life?
I’m somewhere on the Pitta/Vata spectrum. So, fire and air. Knowing the qualities of these doshas (which make up my own personal nature or prakriti) allows me to better understand and therefore take care of myself. I am so grateful that it’s helped me become an even better mother, because I GET my kids and all of their special qualities and idiosyncrasies. We can’t treat all children or humans as though they’re the same. They’re not. We are all incredibly unique and we need to reflect that in dietary choices, activities, routines etc.
What does a consult look like?
I like to get to know a client and their constitution and I can gently guide them toward something that makes sense and helps them thrive in all areas of life. I really got into Ayurveda when I started to see how totally different one baby is to another, and I love passing that information onto moms so they can be the best parents for their own children.
Is it true you are writing a book on the subject?
Yes! A Yogi Mama’s Guide to Yoga, Ayurveda and Your Child. It should be out this summer, 2018. It’s at the publishers as we speak! As the title promises, it’s a guide for parents who want to bring yoga and Ayurveda into their lives. Tricks that I know and use, and which can be surprisingly simple and intuitive. It’s for anyone whose interest is peaked, who wants to use yoga and Ayurveda to improve the health and happiness of their own kids.
You also trained as a Birth Doula several years ago. What made you travel this path?
I was a journalist when I got pregnant the first time and would always write about what was most important in my life. At that time, it was pregnancy. I wanted to know everything! In the end, I really think I knew too much (ie: every possible worst-case scenario in pregnancy, birth and parenting) but I also discovered the super important job of a Doula. I then did my Doula training while I was on maternity leave.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love prenatal education–opening women’s and couples’ minds up to different options and possibilities. ‘What do you mean I get to make choices?’ ‘What do you mean I can labour in the position I choose?’ We want our clients to have the most positive birth and parenting experiences possible – so their being part of the decision-making process in their own stories is key.
Do you have a preferred labour-coping technique?
Breathing. When I teach people “how to breathe,” in my prenatal yoga classes and birth workshops, they’re sometimes underwhelmed by the simplicity of what I’m teaching. I’m all about a calm, natural breath, long, slow, complete exhale.
What did you learn about being a doula from your own personal birth experiences?
Being a Birth Doula is up there with being a midwife in terms of difficulty and importance. I admire my colleagues who are full-time Birth Doulas. They sacrifice a lot and are fully committed to serve.
What’s your favourite thing about newborns?
What do you think is the most important part of your job?
Support. I teach Yoga way more than I doula, but my teaching pre-and postnatal yoga is a form of doulaing. I am supporting and accompanying, encouraging women to listen to their own wisdom and guidance.
What is your favourite fact about doulas?
The intervention rate is cut in about half when you have one.
You are now organizing Blessingways or Mother Blessings for Rock the Cradle. What are they and how do they differ from the usual baby shower?
A Mother Blessing is a sacred ceremony (based on an old Navajo tradition) that focuses on the woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. Close family and friends gather to nurture the mom-to-be, to impart wisdom, and make her feel that she is ready to birth and welcome her baby. It is a beautiful and unique way to honour a mother-to-be, spending time with her, sharing a meal, telling stories, debriefing fears as well as to instill confidence and strength. I am really enjoying organizing Mother Blessings for our clients!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I like to take yoga classes. (But I guess that’s not outside of work!) I love music, and my kids are old enough now that I am able to go out and enjoy live music (relatively) guilt-free. I basically listen to two types of music: those that fit into the “yoga” category of chanting, kirtan, bhakti yoga; and jazz. Which is fitting since we’re a household made up of a yoga teacher and a jazz musician! Kind of predictable, really!
If you’re interested in taking a prenatal or postnatal class with Jenny, you can find her at the following studios: Espace Varana, Equilibrium Yoga and Naada Yoga. You can also follow her on Facebook at A Yogi Mama’s Guide.
If you’d like to have Jenny as your Postpartum Doula, take private yoga sessions with her, or book an Ayurvedic consult or a Mother Blessing, please contact me at 514-975-8973 to discuss the details.
We also have a monthly Open House every 3rd Wednesday of the month at Equilibrium Yoga, 4812 St-Laurent Blvd – come and meet the team, learn about our services and see how you can benefit from having caring and knowledgable support during this exciting time.
We look forward to meeting you!
p.s. Join our growing community of parents who birth and parent with confidence! You can find us on YouTube, Facebook, in our private Facebook group ‘This Motherhood Journey’, on Pinterest and Instagram. And please sign up to our newsletter for videos, tips and tools on all things pregnancy, birth and postpartum! The link is right below. Looking forward to connecting with you!