"Mother is not a title. Mother is a verb. It is not who you are. It's what you do." - Shonda Rhimes
I have two little girls. They are passionate and curious. We walk (or bike) most places. Well meaning neighbors love to comment that "I have my hands full". I always reply, "Thank you. Yes, I do."
I have my handsfull because I choose this. I have chosen been a stay at home mom for four years. I choose to walk and carry my babies because I feel good when I go outside and move my body. I am proud of their energy and enthusiasm. I also have my handsfull because of the kind of society we live in. It is me and my girls most of the time. My husband works long hours, and our families live else where. I am almost entirely responsible for the childcare and home care. It often seems like I am struggling to reinvent the wheel and "learning on the job". I have a wonderful group of friends that feel like sisters but they too are juggling nap times and quick trips to the grocery store. I know I am not alone in this feeling of isolation and overwhelm.
When I think about handsfull in another way I think of the respect and support mothers in older or other traditions have. In particular, I think about the postpartum time. I think of a mother with her hands full of her baby. Because she has time to cuddle up in bed. I think of women surrounding her with their hands full of help. Cooking for her, cleaning, tending to childcare, errands. Their hands full of her hands as they share stories. Outstretched hands cupping hot cups of tea, herbs for healing, oil for massage. Mother and sister and daughter and cousin and neighbor sitting together holding their handiwork and talking.
"Fullness" is a blessing- a sign of an intentional life rich with the good work of family life. The feeling of "overwhelm" is also busy with constant tending and cooking and cleaning but depletes rather than fills you up. Let's work to redefine this term- one mother at time: handsfull of love.
I believe in the magic of our daily lives. In the warmth and safety imparted by a simple bowl of soup. In the friendship and love conveyed in a held hand and the deep comfort of a quilted bed...these are the moments that feed our soul.
This is your legacy as a mother. Claim it. You deserve this kind of nourishing care in this intimate time. Postpartum is a time set apart. There is magic inhernet in these early, healing and learning days. Allow for the slow time to settle and sink into this powerful transformation from maiden to mother.
I help families prepare and create the space needed to nourish and honor a new mother and her baby. My "tools of the trade" are simple yet, timeless. Armed with nourishing foods, a warm touch, a mothers empathy and a deep appreciation for the hard work of postpartum, I want to help you get to know your beautiful baby, yourself as a mighty mother and your new family as a strong and loving unit.
Kate Klein has been supporting women and their families in Brooklyn for the past eight years. She is a trained Doula of North American (DONA) birth and postpartum doula, participant in the Newborn Mothers program and is in the process of becoming a Mother Roaster through Sacred Postpartum.
Kate worked a birth assistant at the Brooklyn Birthing Center and had the privilege of attending over 100 births there. Eventually, she became more involved in the clinical work and prenatal visits as a Medical Assistant and taught birth childbirth education classes.
Since the birth of her two daughters, Kate has become passionate about supporting the entire parenting journey from pregnancy through birth and postpartum and beyond. The postpartum period is a very tender and intimate time for a new family. In her role as a postpatum doula, Kate offers her gentle presence and support in the way that each individual family needs. The initial 6 weeks after the birth is a time of great healing and growth: the mother and baby undergo deep physical and emotional changes and the surrounding family also experiences a profound transition. Kate is knowledgeable about initiating a healthy breastfeeding relationship, bonding with your newborn, developing healthy "self-care" habits and integrating spouses and siblings in this special time. Kate is additionally experienced with herbal medicine, babywearing, and simple and healthy meal preparation.
Kate is a graduate of Oberlin College and enjoys riding her bike with her daughters, all kinds of fiber art and baking.
FAQ - let's dive a little deeper about my practice
1) Can I use a postpartum doula if my partner and mother are home and caring for me?
2) Can use a postpartum doula if I have twins (or more!)
3) Can I use a postpartum doula for my second/ third/ fourth child?
4) Can my mom/dad/sister take one of your classes?
5) Can I receive postpartum care after the intial 6 weeks?
6) Can I use a postpartum doula if I have delivered at a hospital/ home/ birth center?
7) Can I use a postpartum doula if I choose not to breastfeed?
8) Can I use a postpartum doula if my baby is in the NICU?
MY VOW TO MOTHERS(Created during Sacred Postpartum Training)
I vow to...
-Hold your space as a sacred place of growth, healing and beauty
-See you for the woman you are and the mother you are becoming
-Give you a compassionate heart, a listening ear and a warm touch
-Serve you in the way you deserve and desire
-Fill you up, hold your hand and tend to you with love