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Denver, CO 80205

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Full Spectrum Doulas in Denver + Boulder, CO

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¡ BIG NEWS ! LUNA DOULAS + BRAVING COLLECTIVE

Skylar VanSteemburg

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Hi Everyone!

Wow, lots of updates for y'all.

Luna Doulas had an amazing year! We supported over 15 families through birth and postpartum, successfully designed & implemented an abortion doula curriculum & training with our amazing colleagues at the Colorado Doula Project, and helped get the Denver Health Doula Program -- a volunteer based free hospital doula service -- off the ground as some of the first volunteers. We are so happy that we've been able to stick to our mission of providing full spectrum care to so many folks around the Denver area. 

Additionally, Sierra accepted admission at Yale School of Nursing in their Certified Nurse Midwifery & Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Masters program. She departed for New Haven in early August, and Skylar has begun her prerequisite studies to apply to similar programs next year. 

In Sierra's (greatly missed) absence, Skylar has been wondering just where to take Luna Doulas next. Lo and behold a moment of perfect synchronicity: The Braving Doula Collective was ready to add a new doula to their mix! 

So what does this mean for Luna Doulas?

It means that not too much is changing! We will still post, update, and take clients much like we have been rocking for the past two years. The biggest and best change is that Skylar is now supported by a fantastic team of 4 doulas. Braving uses a team model to give clients the best support possible, just like LD, so it seems it will be a perfect fit. 

To learn more about Braving's team model of doula care for birth & postpartum, head on over to their website

While there is a little bit of sadness at letting go of something we've worked so hard on for so long, we know it's the right move and are so excited to be supported by the amazing team at Braving. 

Just like the moon waxes and wanes, we are constantly evolving, changing and shifting through life's cycles. 

Let's brave them together!

Much love, 

Skylar & Sierra

New Season, New Projects, New Packages!

Skylar VanSteemburg

You may have noticed that things are changing around here... but we promise, they are for the better!

First off, we are so proud and thrilled and jump-out-of-our-seats happy to announce that we are officially on board for two brand new (incredible) volunteer doula programs in town: The Denver Health Doula Program, and the Mountain Midwifery Volunteer Doula Program. Both of these programs will enable us to offer compassionate, accessible and skilled doula support to those who would otherwise be unable to access it. This is an exciting step for our community, and we're psyched to be a part of it!

With the change of seasons, we are also rolling out some new changes to our services to better meet the needs of our clients. Based on your feedback, we are now offering two labor doula packages: the Full Moon and the Express. The Express Package is the same as our previous level-one doula package -- you get a complimentary consult with us, one prenatal visit, face-to-face labor support and one postpartum visit. We are finding that this package works really well for our clients who have given birth before or who are short on time! The Full Moon Package will become our new "basic" package -- you get all the services listed above, plus an additional prenatal meeting with us! Many of our clients who are welcoming their first kiddos or who have more in-depth hopes/intentions for their births have really enjoyed having a second prenatal meeting, so we decided to build it in!

You may also notice that we’ve bumped up our prices a bit to reflect the increased amount of time we’ll be working in-person with clients. Not to toot our own horn, but we think the benefits are totally worth it! In addition, slightly increasing our pricing helps cover the costs of the volunteer work that we’re doing. So, by working with us, you’re getting all the goodness Luna Doulas has to offer for yourself AND contributing to our big-picture hope that doula support can, and will, be accessible for all people. Your patronage directly enables us to extend our support and services to an underserved family in our community -- so thanks!! As always, we’re also committed to offering payment plans and sliding scale services to Luna Doulas clients on a case-by-case basis.

Want to learn more about what we do and how we can support you in your birth goals? Click here to contact us today!

Your Body was Built to Give Birth

Skylar VanSteemburg

In her book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, midwife Ina May Gaskin memorably says “Your body is not a lemon…Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”

Great advice, right? Unfortunately, for many people, especially during pregnancy, learning to think positively about our bodies is easier said than done.

At Luna Doulas prenatal meetings, we frequently remind our clients to trust, connect with, and listen to their bodies. If you are into meditation or affirmations, we might suggest focusing on the words “my body knows how to give birth.” But I’m also aware that the advice to feel confident about your body and its awesome abilities goes against a lifetime of cultural conditioning that tells us that our bodies are only important because of how they look, that they ought to look a certain way, and that they are never good enough.

On top of that, much of the terminology related to pregnancy, labor, and birth seems designed to make us feel bad about ourselves. Dilating early in your pregnancy? You’ve got an incompetent cervix. Experiencing a long active labor? You’re failing to progress. Those contractions might feel pretty strong, but according to the monitors, they’re insufficient. If there are concerns about the size of the baby in proportion to your body, you might be told that you have an inadequate pelvis, and if you are expecting a baby after age 35, that’s a geriatric pregnancy.

And, of course, all of this is compounded for those who are plus size, disabled, POC, trans or non-binary.

I’ve never been pregnant or given birth, but I’ve had my own journey with body image that is ongoing, and full of steps forward and steps back.

Recently, I joined a group of friends to participate in a marathon relay. It had been over a decade since I entered a race with the intention to run the entire time and my body has changed in the intervening years. I found myself feeling self-conscious about my shape to the point where I felt awkward even telling people I was training for a race because I imagined that they were judging my non-runner’s body.

On the big day, I began my portion of the relay heading down West Colfax towards Mile High Stadium in a thick crowd of people. As I settled into the groove of my run, I began to look at the other runners around me and noticed that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t appear to be straight off the cover of a fitness magazine. In fact, there were people larger than me and smaller than me, taller and shorter, younger and older, leaner and bulkier, and everything in between. I realized that there’s no such thing as a typical “runner’s body” because every body belonging to a runner is a runner’s body, and there’s no wrong way to have one. And, best of all, our bodies aren’t just here to be looked at; they’re here to help us sense and feel and move and do fun things like relay races!

This idea that there’s no wrong way to have a body keeps popping into my head as I work with pregnant clients, as I hear them tell me that they are gaining too much or too little weight, that they hate the way they look, that they’re worried about how long it’s going to take to get back to their pre-pregnancy size, that they don’t believe that their body will be able to give birth.

It can be hard to turn off the voices you’ve internalized and change the way you think about yourself. I’m not an expert, but I invite anyone who is experiencing these kinds of doubts during pregnancy to do things to build a positive relationship with your body, just like Ina May suggested. Practice self-care. Exercise and move your body in a way that feels good. Check out resources like PlusSizeBirth.com. Think critically about the messages that society sends us about our bodies. Throw away the gossip magazines about celebrities “getting their body back.” Surround yourself with people who love you, and extend compassion towards yourself.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies again this week because of the spectacular physiques on display at the Olympics. Whether I’m marveling at Simone Biles’s power to seemingly defy gravity, or Sarah Robles’s ability to lift more weight than I would have thought humanly possible, I love seeing the diversity and variance in the athletes’ bodies. Shot put champion Michelle Carter perfectly sums up my feelings: “You have to understand everyone’s body was built to do something.”

So no matter what other messages you are getting, remember: your body was built to give birth.