Educational Partnership: Lilith & Blossoming Bellies

Post-Partum herbal sitz bath

Post-Partum herbal sitz bath

First of all, dear readers, I must thank you for your generous response to my “restructuring” post and for all of your wonderful support for your favorite products!

One of the reason for making more room in the Lilith landscape is so that I can move forward with my herbal study, a path that has been certainly aided but also hindered by an ever-expanding herbal bath & body business. I spend so much time processing orders and preparing products that I can’t properly focus on my true love: herbal medicine.

Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to reach out to some local services supporting natural childbirth and mothering–to let them know that Lilith’s Apothecary products for pregnancy, post-partum, and new baby exist, but also just to perhaps engage more with a community of services very much in line with my own interests in herbal medicine. I was incredibly fortunate to have made contact with an amazing woman, Brittany Sharpe McCollum CCE(BWI), CD(DONA), the trained and experienced doula behind Blossoming Bellies birth services.

Far beyond a mere introductory exchange, Brittany and I enjoyed an enthusiastic conversation that progressed into plans to create curricula around the use of herbs during pregnancy, labor, delivery, post-partum, and childcare, with intended audiences of doulas, midwives, and possibly new women. Just in the same way that Brittany advocates the empowering of women to take control of their own bodies in the natural birthing process, I am an advocate of empowering women to use herbal allies at these critical times. Along similar lines, I believe, the hegemonic medical ‘establishment’ has created fear about and certainly a medicalization of birth that takes women away from the control of this very natural process, and certainly has created fear around the use of even the safest of herbs during pregnancy and childbirth. It is important that, through education, we advocate the use of safe, empowering, and natural approaches toward natural pregnancy, child birth, and mothering. In this, Brittany and I are brilliantly in alignment.

B.S.McCollum_HeadShot2As for Brittany and Blossoming Bellies, her story is a wonderful one. After the birth of her son in 2006, Brittany discovered a passion for women’s health, informed decision making through the process of labor and birth, and the need for support in the postpartum period. Moving away from her roots in journalism and creative writing, Brittany began devoting much of her energy to the study of natural pregnancy and childbirth. Her fascination with the body’s amazing abilities and her desire to aid women in rediscovering these abilities inspired her to enter the world of the birth professional.

Brittany completed childbirth educator certification with Birth Works International and completed birth doula certification with DONA. She now teaches several different formats of the Birth Works childbirth education preparation class series and supports women and their partners in labor through emotional, physical, and informational support. Brittany is also trained by Birth Arts International, a program based on the midwifery model of care, which includes basic information about the ancient wisdom of herbs. As a breastfeeding advocate, she has also completed breastfeeding counselor certification with Nursing Mothers Alliance. Her services also include postpartum doula support, in which she fills the traditional role of assisting the new mother transition into parenthood through breastfeeding support, discussion of infant care, and help with household necessities such as laundry and pet care.

Through regular attendance at workshops and conferences and through hands-on support, Brittany continues to embrace her passion for informed decision making and the power of the female body in birth. In supporting families through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, Brittany helps ease the transition into parenting and build confidence in childrearing in both the mother and her partner. Information about all of the services Brittany offers can be found on her website at http://www.blossomingbelliesbirth.com. Her services and workshops are supportive of the Philadelphia region, but if you are trying to find a doula in another region of the country, Brittany would no doubt be of assistance in directing you to a good resource.

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8 Responses to Educational Partnership: Lilith & Blossoming Bellies

  1. [...] Educational Partnership: Lilith & Blossoming Bellies [...]

  2. Navessa says:

    LOVE THIS!
    as a doula in training myself – it is definately inspirational to read how others support such a special time for women and babies. :)
    if you have a favorite herbal book for pg and postpartum, please let me know! :)

    • lilithsapothecary says:

      Fantastic! I’m so glad to get your support in this matter, and I love working with those who advocate and support natural childbirth. Thanks Vanessa ;-)

  3. Toyin says:

    Brittany is a wonderful Doula and friend and I was fortunate to have her by my side during the birth of my son. Her “Doula-heart” speaks loud of her desire to empower women; reminding us how strong we truly are. She is inspirational!

    • lilithsapothecary says:

      Wonderful testimony! I can tell just from my own interactions with Brittany that she would most certainly be a wonderful support to have during the birth process. It’s great to hear about your experience! I am excited about Brittany’s enthusiasm to expand her own knowledge about the use of herbs during pregnancy/birth/post-partum as well as that of her fellow doulas.

  4. Lindsey says:

    I adore herbal medicine! I have always been drawn to herbs and natural healing as a child. I recently found out a few years ago that my great grandmother was an amateur herbalist in the mountains of North Carolina and a midwife! So cool!

    I’m a planner and love to learn and educate myself about everything so I started studying pregnancy and childbirth 2 years before we started trying to conceive! I fell in love with natural childbirth and home birth. It just felt normal to me. I gave birth to my daughter at home and am a huge advocate of natural childbirth and breastfeeding.

    While I was educating myself about pregnancy, labor and birth I decided to study to become a doula but after I had my daughter I decided that I wasn’t ready to be called in the middle of the night and leave my baby to be at a birth for who knows how long so I put that on hold. While being an at home mother I found a new love…herbalism. I decided to answer the call that had been calling me since childhood. I am in the process of becoming a professional herbalist. I have looked at several options and was wondering if you had any tips or suggestions for me. I am looking into some correspondence courses but will still need some lab courses to qualify for the Herbalist Guild.

    • Lindsey says:

      PS! I love your posts!!

    • lilithsapothecary says:

      Hi there Lindsey,
      Thanks for your comments! It sounds like you have some family tradition in herbal study around childbirth, and that is really great!

      Of course I think everyone’s path is ultimately their own based on one’s circumstances, but you might look into Aviva Jill Romm’s courses because she focuses on childbirth/children & women’s health. There are so many great teachers out there…maybe I should do a post on some various courses/programs that have a great reputation. Good for you for striving for the AHG, though. That’s the goal! If you’d like to chat further don’t hesitate to email me at lilithsapothecary@gmail.com
      ~Sarah

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