Remembering the Wisdom of Community w/ Brooke Baldwin

Founder of Feminine Profiles, Doula, & Mother.

Brooke is a postpartum doula, reiki practitioner and cook from Menlo Park, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University. Since then, her interests in holistic living, culinary & nutrition and mental health led her to leave her corporate job to become a doula to help families achieve rest and recovery during the postpartum phase & help individuals in all stages of life embody their greatest potential.

As a birth and postpartum doula, I’d love to hear more about your practice. Specifically, what are the values that you bring into supporting pregnancy, birth, and postpartum?

I value supporting every expecting mama and new mama to become confident and empowered in whatever stage of life they are in. Confident to do what is best for her and her baby, set boundaries, create routines that set the foundation for the whole family. I believe one of the beautiful strengths of the mother is to carry the energetic tone for the family; she is the heart of the family. My job is to make the mother feel cared for and to allow her to step into that role. I value simplicity and authenticity, I help mothers and all women shed the excess, complicated layers that are masking their instincts. Whether that’s by recommending reading materials, recommending rest, offering new perspectives or routine. I value simplicity and authenticity, I help mothers and all women shed the excess, complicated layers that are masking their instincts. Whether that’s by recommending reading materials, recommending rest, offering new perspectives or routine.

For those that haven’t had a birth doula or are thinking about it, can you share some reasons why it is important to have someone experienced with you during birth in this capacity?

Absolutely! The birth doula is there to be an advocate for the mother and needs and wishes of the mother during the transformational birthing stage. The birth doula and mother get to know each other intimately over the course of the pregnancy so that when the time comes to bring new life into the world, the birth doula can advocate for medical preferences, offer pain management support, breathing techniques during the birthing stage and also to help guide the expecting mother for what to expect during the birthing process and overcome preconceived fears, apprehensions or expectations. Women have deep evolutionary wisdom about how to bring life into this world, and my role is to be her greatest advocate during the waves of labor.

Can you tell us a bit about reiki in the container of birth and postpartum?

Touch is such a lost art and medicine in what I sometimes see as a “sterile” world. Reiki is the art of directed healing energy through gentle and intuited hand placements on the body. In the pregnancy window, I find it so helpful as the mother gets accustomed to the changes within her body. Reiki can help release emotions stuck in the body and allow new energy to fill its space. Additionally, I can teach the mother how to do self- administered hand placements to help ground her in moments of unease, unfamiliar or unpleasant emotions in the prenatal and postpartum season..

I think this is an important one; did you always know you wanted to support mothers?

Yes, I always knew I was a mother. I have always had the innate desire to tend to others, nurture and mother others, mother myself, and intuit the needs of those in my community. I came to this work through deep shadow and inner child exploration and radical commitment to my authenticity. It took me many years to step into that trust. Speaking to ancestral lines, my great-great grandmother was a midwife in the early 1900s, Emma King. She lived in Oregon and Idaho helping deliver babies. In her obituary, she was credited with opening a maternity home and homesteading of 200 acres of sagebrush in Idaho. My grandmother was an artist and herbalist. I do believe that our ancestral lines carry magic, divine wisdom and a duty to carry out ancestral visions.

What is your relationship with herbs like? How do herbs support birth and beyond?

My relationship with herbs is growing, I do not consider myself an expert by any means, but I have seen how much benefit that have brought my life, both physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have a small herb garden planted in our backyard that I continue to experiment with so that I can bring this knowledge to the women I serve.

Can you talk a little bit about tending to a garden and what your relationship to food and eating seasonally is?

Our garden is small but mighty. We grow swiss chard, kale, tomatoes, radicchio and various bitter greens and lettuces. And a small herb garden! And we have several chickens as well. I am blessed to live in an area with year-round farmers markets and my connection with my food is so important to me. I could talk for hours on this topic. To me, food is the cornerstone of community, health and prosperity.

On your vision board of the world, what does modern motherhood, birth and early postpartum look like?

This is such a personal question and will look different for all women. However, for me, modern motherhood looks like women reclaiming their femininity in our over- masculine world. It is women reclaiming the space, support, and community needed to raise our next generation. Modern motherhood, birth and early postpartum looks like women thriving in community with each other, learning from each other and finding emotional and spiritual support through each other. The role of the doula is here to fill those gaps in a world that is still remembering the wisdom of community.



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