Sweetmama doula

birth integration: your north star for a calm & confident pregnancy, birth & motherhood journey

hey there!

So… you’re becoming a mama.

are you excited? scared? both?

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For some women, becoming pregnant is a life long dream come true. For others, a total plot twist. Either way, it’s a lot. You want to feel good, look good, have a healthy baby, have a healthy partnership and household. Oh yeah, and your body is going to change down to the very last cell. No biggie, yeah?!

You want to get it “right” but what does right even mean?

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if how you feel is:

  • scared

  • anxious

  • unsure

  • nervous

  • pretty good but I could feel better

and how you want to feel is:

  • calm

  • confident

  • connected

  • at ease

  • joyful

  • ready

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 then birth integration is for you, mama

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 I get it… you want to cruise through this whole motherhood thing like it ain’t no thing.

But here’s the thing: It is a thing

having a baby is a big thing. The biggest thing you’ll probably ever do. And it can feel scary

it doesn’t have to be that way

that’s why i’m here

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You know

You know you want this whole birth and motherhood thing to go off without a hitch. You know other women who’ve had empowered birth experiences. Or maybe you don’t know anyone who’s had a positive birth experience. But you know you want to have one. You know their experiences don’t predict your experience. And you know you’ve seen new mothers who are tired, worn out, and don’t have the time as new mothers to start a new self-care habit. Maybe you know new mothers who are totally rocking it. You know you’d at a least like to attempt to rock it, too.

What you may not know is

Having an positive pregnancy, birth and motherhood experience is not dependent on whether your birth perfectly matches your birth plan, your baby never cries and sleeps all night, breastfeeding comes to you both like breathing, you and your partner transition into co-parenting like a honeymooners, you have zero complications in your pregnancy and labor, you give birth in a hospital, birth center, at home or in the O.R., your in-laws behave as if you personally scripted how they’re showing up for you and your partner, you have all of the money in the world to design a Pinterest-worthy nursery and not stress one moment about finances.

It actually doesn’t depend on any of that.

It depends on you.

And not in the scary, unreasonable way like IT’S ALL ON YOU, WOMAN. But rather in the way that:

  • connection

  • self-awarness

  • feeling your feelings

  • making space

  • facing your fears

  • kindness to self

all make a HUGE difference—I would argue all the difference—in whether you feel empowered or not in your birth experience. Because an empowered birth and postpartum don’t only happen from successful intake of the facts and stats about phases of labor (though that can be helpful for some) and how many wet diapers to watch for in a 24-hour period.

It comes from being able to trust yourself to listen to your inner knowing.

 
 

birth integration: the content

We begin in Module 01 with a welcome and definition of our terms. Then we get into the good stuff! There are also bonuses galore including printable affirmation cards, inquiry question worksheets, a guide to essential oils for pregnancy and birth to support the key concepts of the modules below, and more (like course index checklists for all you beautiful Type A mamas!)

 
 
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Module 02: Making Space

Because in pregnancy, birth and motherhood, all the feelings come up. Making space for all of it is really important. Are there feelings, or thoughts, you have but are afraid to admit about this experience? When you feel sad, angry, jealous, anxious—any of the feelings we sometimes label “bad” or “negative”—what do you do with these feelings? These are the kinds of questions we explore in Making Space. We also look at practical ways to make space in daily life, setting up a sacred space, and affirmations for reworking your thinking to give room for whatever truth comes up for you in this process.

Lessons

  • What Does Making Space Mean?

  • Physiology of Pregnancy

  • Should vs Should Not

  • Six Ways to Create Space

  • Making A Sacred Space

  • Integration Steps


Module 03: Radical Compassion

We’ll break down this lofty concept and apply it to real life. The kinds of questions we explore in this module are: How do you speak to and about yourself? What does it take for you to soften? What makes you shut down? We’ll explore the impact of connecting to ourselves as children as we prepare for our own child’s arrival, and how we compare ourselves—or don’t—to those around us, when this is helpful and when it’s not. Like with all of the modules, there are practical, action steps of yoga practice and meditation (in both video and audio formats!) to help you further explore this concept in your Body-Mind. We also explore the hormones of pregnancy and birth for those mamas who need some hard facts to feel empowered!

Lessons

  • What is Radical Compassion?

  • Compassionate Comparison

  • The Young Self

  • Integration Steps

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Module 04: Facing Fear

This module does a lot of the heavy lifting due to the lack of positive birth imagery and stories in our culture. Back in the day, by the time a woman gave birth, she had already seen her mother, her cousins, and her sisters in the community give birth and/or had experience offering labor support. She knew it took a minute to have a baby! How do you deal with fear? Can you fail at birth? are the kinds of questions we get into here. We also explore the phases of labor and I’ve incorporated a section of one of my favorite books for light module pre-work to serve as groundwork to support you in facing your fears around labor, birth and new motherhood.

Lessons

  • What is Fear?

  • Phases of Labor

  • Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle

  • Name it to Claim it

  • Integration Steps

I’m feeling a full-body YES! I want birth integration!

what will it cost me?

now ‘til January 11, 2019, this course is available for $111

$111 gets you lifetime access to the course, including all future upgrades and additions. Everything is downloadable. All of the videos, yoga practices, guided meditations, printable affirmation cards, inquiry question worksheets… all of it is yours to keep forever, mama! You’ll secure the course at this price before it becomes available on January 11th (and the price goes up!)

what you get

  • beautiful, narrated slides for each lesson

  • over 10 hours of recorded content

  • 3 1-hour yoga practices

  • 3 guided meditations

  • all lessons, yoga practices and meditations in video and audio-only format; learn in your own best style

  • printable PDFs of slide decks, affirmation cards, and inquiry question worksheets

  • Spotify playlists to accompany the yoga practices and meditations

  • all slides are printable, and everything is downloadable!

  • this course compliments all other birth prep/childbirth education courses

  • bonuses including a guide on essential oils to enhance integration of concepts

  • a private Facebook group of other badass mamas who are taking responsibility for their birth and new motherhood experience

  • the opportunity for expanding your community, ask Qs, & share challenges and breakthroughs with a cohort of like-minded mamas

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a bit about me

Hi! I’m Kara Mears; a mama, Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Registered Nurse and Founder of SweetMama Doula. I’ve been practicing and teaching yoga for nearly fifteen years; I do my very best every day to walk my talk. I love solo walks in the woods, swimming in the Atlantic, fairisle sweaters, and early, quiet mornings. I’ve supported dozens of mothers in labor and postpartum. With a previous BA in photojournalism that I earned before my nursing and doula days, I am fascinated by the commonalities of journalism, birth work, and yoga. I find joy and fulfillment in the creative process of witnessing a story, watching the action unfold in real time, and calling upon my keenest observation skills. I believe with my whole heart that peace on Earth begins at birth. To this end, I am passionate about empowering women on their journey into motherhood and welcoming babies into this world. I hope you’ll join me on this birth integration journey and appreciate the time you’ve taken to explore if this is the right option for you.Hi!

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(After January 11th, the price will be going up! If you’re feeling a YES!, jump in now, mama!)

I’ve taken a couple of Kara’s prenatal workshops and I can’t rave about her enough. With each workshop she led the class through a series of movements and poses which felt ah-mazing. By the end I felt renewed, relaxed and lighter, the tension in my muscles had melted away. More importantly, I felt as if I made space. Because of her experience as a doula and a nurse, I felt I could trust her to lead me in and out of poses that would be safe and gentle. I have incorporated some of the movements into my own daily stretching routine at home, and I’m hoping to attend another workshop with Kara soon. Overall Kara has a way of making you feel calm, centered and confident. She is clearly passionate about her work, and I would highly recommend her classes. I’m so excited for her Birth Integration course to become available!
— Christina, prenatal yoga student
Kara is such a nurturing and caring person and it shows in her teaching. Her workshop was the first time this pregnancy where I got to be just with my baby, moving and breathing with him in mind. The pace and flow of the class left me feeling refreshed and relaxed. I left feeling more connected to baby and Kara facilitated the whole thing. ❤
— Atlee, prenatal yoga student

faq

I have no yoga experience

I totally understand how this could make you feel like you can’t take this course. After all, the yoga is a really important part. New things like yoga can be intimidating. Please don’t let this stop you! This course and all of the yoga sequences are designed for all levels, which means they are appropriate for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Did you know most women first come to yoga when they’re pregnant with their first baby? Pregnancy is a beautiful time to start this practice. Yoga is a tool that will serve you throughout your whole life. I suggest taking live classes—at least 1x per week—especially if you are new, to connect with a live teacher and your local community of mamas. This will enhance your understanding of the postures and support your practice of the videos inside this course.


affirmations, mantras? it all sounds a little woo—woo to me

This is where I could agree with you. Almost. Growing up, I was never exposed to the idea that you can shape your reality based on your thoughts. Yet in my adult life, I’ve seen countless times just how true this is. Affirmations are based on the laws of attraction, energetic vibration and the power of the mind—all of which have been proven time and again in research. This doesn’t mean we are in control of everything and that it all will work out exactly as we want as long as we think positively. And yet, we are always in control of two things: how we act, or react, and what we spend our time thinking about. If you practice focusing on negative thoughts, you’ll get negative outcomes. If you practice focusing on positive thoughts, you’ll get positive outcomes. Either way you’re right, so why not choose the positive? Choose your adventure and feed the good wolf. There’s enough yuck in the world. Be a force for good, starting of course for yourself and your family!


I don’t have time. this sounds like a lot of work.

Preparing your mind, body and spirit for your birth experience and new motherhood is so important. I think the most important. This course is for women who are making their birth experience their highest priority. If that’s not you, it’s ok. This course probably just isn’t for you. Taking one hour three times a week to move your body in a grounding, strengthening practice, spending 5-15 minutes a day in meditation to calm and focus your mind, and another small bit of time a day to reflect and journal on the topic at hand all require blocking time off and are such nourishing tools to make time for. This course is designed to work inside of a full life. That said, you are having a baby (or already have one!). Your life is going to change—and likely already has—so prioritizing what’s most important to you is essential. Making Space is one of the first modules for a reason!

Birth matters.
— ina may gaskin, mother of modern midwifery, author, speaker, OG