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Austin, Texas
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512-222-5655

AustinBorn is a modern parenting center in Austin, TX offering classes and services in an inclusive atmosphere. We offer birth + postpartum doula care, group prenatal classes, childbirth education, loss support, postpartum support groups, breastfeeding support group, lactation counseling, breastfeeding education and special workshops. Come say hello and check out our cozy space. We can't wait to meet you!

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Filtering by Tag: birth

February 16th: My 5-Week-Old Daughter's Due Date

Austin Born

As a doula, I am reminded time and time again that nothing about birth is predictable. No matter how much we plan or what we envision for the day we bring a child into the world, plans always change and sometimes tough decisions need to be made. It’s all about how prepared and empowered we are by the ups and downs, and by our team, that can really make for an awesome birth experience.

I had a healthy pregnancy and hospital birth with my son Lochlan four years ago so felt confident that I wanted, and would ultimately have, a home birth with my daughter. I picked amazing midwives and was preparing both mentally and physically to have her in the comfort of my bedroom by buying all the necessary items and reading everything I could about unmedicated births.

At 34 weeks, my daughter had other plans. I got out of bed on a Sunday morning and felt like I had wet myself but I knew that’s not what it was. I tried to take the day in stride. I wasn’t prepared to have her yet; there were so many loose ends I had to tie up and things I had to do to ensure her arrival was everything I had dreamed of. But after hanging out around our house, confirming with a simple test that I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, and consulting with our midwives, my husband and I headed to the hospital that evening to have our daughter.

It was such a surreal experience to be back at the hospital where my son was born. It was a familiar place and somewhere I felt comfortable as I had volunteered for over a year in their postpartum and newborn care floor. But I had no experience in their NICU - a place where my daughter was sure to go once she was born. As I told a dear friend, being a parent of a premie in intensive care is a club you know exists but one you never imagine belonging to.

The staff were amazing and took good care of me. Knowing I was a doula who had planned on a home birth, they were respectful and thoughtful with the decisions I was making and left me and my husband to labor on our own (as much as a hospital can allow). While we waited for things to pick up, we watched movies, held hands, and with dry and sometimes tearful eyes talked through what life would be like once she arrived. Later the following afternoon, I had an acupuncturist come to my room to help alleviate stress, anxiety, and to hopefully kick start the labor process. My midwife became my doula and arrived that evening, about 24 hours after I was admitted.

The birthing process was somewhat of an outer body experience. I had been to 30 births and knew what labor looked like including the flood of people that emerged when a baby is about to be born and the sweet embrace that happens when mom and baby first meet earthside. My beautiful girl came fast, so when I was on the bed, I was simultaneously pushing but also taking inventory of the room to make sure all the necessary people were there. My husband and midwife were right next to me to keep me grounded, as it’s hard to be the mama and a doula all at the same time.

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Of course I was so excited to meet my sweet girl but felt almost selfish about these feelings because I thought she wasn’t ready. And I was terrified that she wasn’t going to be ok when she was born, so when the sweet moment arrived I couldn’t bring myself to look down for fear that I couldn’t handle my sweet baby as she was. Aila was born and after I heard her first cry, I knew that she would be alright. For a brief few moments she was in my arms and my husband was allowed to cut the cord. The NICU staff were on hand and did what they needed to do and gave me a few more precious moments before she was taken upstairs to be hooked up to oxygen and a feeding tube.

As a birth worker, I have told countless parents that they need to take it easy and hunker down at home for at least the first few weeks to rest, recuperate, and bond with their baby. As a parent of a NICU baby, that just isn’t reality. Within hours after her birth, I was pumping around the clock to ensure she would have my colostrum and to increase my milk supply. It was eerily quiet in my hospital room without the sweet cries of my daughter. I would make the long trek to intensive care to see her all hours of the day and night to share just a few precious moments with her and by her second day of life I was finally able to hold her in my arms. I was discharged from the hospital after three days and came home to an empty bassinet and with a heavy heart. Every moment I wasn’t up there, I felt guilty and like a big piece of me was missing.  

I am indebted to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin and the selfless donor mamas. My sweet daughter was the beneficiary of their generosity when I wasn’t able to supply her with enough milk within those first few days of her life. Providing breast milk to my daughter was important to me but was even more so as a tiny NICU baby. It’s something I will never forget and I hope to pay it forward in the near future.

My daughter spent 10 days in intensive care and is now home and in our safe, loving arms. Our family feels complete and my heart is full. Her birth was the exact opposite of everything I had planned for both mentally and physically and I am still coming to terms with it. I’ll never know why my water broke early and I continue to struggle with feelings of guilt that somehow my body failed her. I wept tears of joy the moment I found out I was having a girl and I’d like to think that she decided to come early because she was just as eager to meet me.

Like all major life events, birth has a profound impact on us as persons and our core being. Aila’s birth has been one of life’s biggest teaching moments and I’ll carry it with me forever. Surrendering to what has happened and those things I cannot change has been the hardest but most poignant lessons of all. My husband and midwife were a rock star team and I could not have done it without their support. This experience has further solidified my commitment to my work and I am eager to get back to my sisters at AustinBorn. I am so grateful that I’m in this field - a place where I can continue to grow, process my story, and share all the newfound wisdom I have gained.

 

Ask The Doula: Jami

Austin Born

Hey there, from the team at AustinBorn! Well, we jumped right in to 2018 and are so excited about all the good things happening around here. By now, you know the details about our doula support, our comprehensive classes, and our gatherings for expecting and new parents. (The Nest has been a huge hit!)

We recently realized that we've shared a good deal about what we do, but not about WHO we are at AustinBorn. So we'd like to give you a glimpse into the lives of the ladies who make up our sweet little AB team. Each week one of our staff members will be answering 10 fun questions about herself and her work. 

Let's dive in!

AustinBorn Doula

First up is Jami Yaeger, owner of AustinBorn. She's responsible for all things happening behind the scenes and is also on the birth and postpartum doula teams. When not with her team and clients, you can find Jami at home with her boys, finally reading books again, enjoying long baths (Please Do Not Disturb Mama Self-Care Time, Thanks.), and geeking out on AustinBorn's Instagram page

She's originally a Mountain Mama from WV, has lived on both coasts and in between, has a squishy nose (cool + weird), and loves a good charcuterie and cheese board.

 

What color represents you best?

Variations of purple. This became my color during pregnancy and definitely in labor, and I've been deeply connection to it ever since.

What do you do in your free time?

Oy, 2017 was the year of minimal free time. It's a big goal of mine in 2018 to prioritize self-care and be present with my husband and son. We're homebodies who also love to travel, so we're trying to find that balance this year. In between work and adventures, I'll be hanging on Lake Travis, reading more books (I just finished #2 and it's only January. Who am I?), monthly hangs with the badass women in my life, and exploring more local spots in TX. (Leave your recommendations in the comments!)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Liberated. It's challenging, especially as a woman, to live a truly authentic life. Unrealistic expectations set by social constructs, social media, and our own damn minds, have most of us living so far from our true reality (the one we're afraid to embrace). My 30s have brought a great deal of clarity about who I am, and am not, and I hope to continue the work to walk toward my True North.

Tell us about your last job. How has it influenced your work as a doula?

I'm a theatre grad and had a voiceover business before giving birth to my son and becoming a doula/CLEC. One beneficial skill from my previous work is the ability to navigate different roles and effectively communicate. It's been vital in helping me create solid working relationships with clients, with care providers, wth my team at AustinBorn, and with other birth professionals in my community.

What's one thing people may not know about a doula?

We don't catch babies. We will if we have to in an emergency, but that's way outside of our scope. (Our tagline is "We do everything but catch the baby" and that holds true to this day.)

If you had 5 minutes to teach a new skill to a birth client what would it be? 

We would chat about releasing the fear of childbirth and trusting themselves. This massive fear of labor and birth is too prevalent in our culture and it's deeply influencing the way parents in our country birth and raise their babies.

The door to the room you're in right now opens. Who do you want to walk through it? 

My husband. We're about to celebrate 12 years of marriage (and many more prior to getting married) and that feels like one hell of an accomplishment. When I look back on all we've done together (deployments, 9 moves, becoming parents, buying a business after just moving to a new city), I'm proud that we're still doing the work to evolve. We can do just about anything together (Except yoga. He won't do yoga.) and that feels pretty damn good. 

What do you think about on your way to a birth? 

First, I run through my checklist to make sure that all of my systems are in place at AustinBorn while I'm away. #bossladythings Then I either sit quietly and clear my mind or I'll put on some music and zone out -- anything to let go of my own stuff before walking into the birth room.

What's one of your favorite tips to give to postpartum parents? 

Please trust your instincts and follow your intuition. Your family, friends, and Google are great, but look inward first before asking anyone else. You probably already know the answer.

You're favorite song comes on right now. What is it?

Anything by Florence + The Machine. 

We Made It

Austin Born

It's 2018. We made it! 

Just like so many of you, we are reflecting on what we did in 2017 and we are prepping for the big things to come in the new year. We're also proud to say there is a lot we do that doesn't need to be changed, which feels amazing as we step into the next phases of AustinBorn. 

So what happened in 2017? 

  • Our Instagram account blew up in a really important way. We've made it part of our mission to share images and videos that represent the realities of labor, birth, infant feeding, and parenting. There is a movement to normalize all of those beautiful journeys and we're committed to being a part it. Head over to our account @weareaustinborn to see what's happening! 
  • With the addition of two new birth doulas, Jacqueline and Scout, our team was exponentially elevated. They are the embodiment of the AustinBorn doula: they hold high standards of professionalism, they provide superior client care, they value collaboration (with their peers and with their greater community), and they're super fun women to be around. (Stay tuned for another birth team announcement later this month!)
  • Our group facilitators -- Yazmin, Juanita, and Kristen -- exceeded expectations in supporting and leading our meet-ups for parents and babies. We talk a lot about holding space in this work and these ladies have proven time and time again that they get it. They confidently navigate the balance of guiding parents, while also allowing them the space to find their footing. Come see for yourself if you haven't joined us yet! The Circle: For Mothers, a gathering for mothers and babies of all ages, meets every Wednesday and Friday from 10a-12p. The Nest: For Families, a gathering for parents and babies of all ages, meets the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10a-12p. 
  • We welcomed Amy Tucker, Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBi), to our team. What a phenomenal addition she has been! Amy represents the gold standard of placenta services. She offers top-notch communication with our clients, provides thorough information on placenta encapsulation, guides clients in navigating the placenta process at their place of birth, and a conducts a safe and seamless process from start to finish. (Oh, and she gives THE BEST hugs.) We're offering $50 off Placenta Encapsulation through the month of January. Use code PLACENTA50 during registration

 

And what are we planning for 2018?

  • We just launched our new Childbirth Education class and it's kind of a big deal. Something we've noticed about education for expectant parents is that most classes are so time-consuming. Growing a baby is exhausting; learning the whats and hows of becoming a parent shouldn't be. That's why we're offering a one-day comprehensive Childbirth Education workshop. You'll leave feeling confident about: the physiological process of labor and birth, what tools you can use to increase comfort and manage pain, what interventions can pop up and how best to navigate them, how to handle a change in plans, and what to expect postpartum. We're currently offering a discount on this class for the new year! Use code HOLIDAY20 to save $20 on your registration. (Offer ends 1/3/2017.)
  • We're also introducing Easing Your Birthing Time, a new workshop to provide expectant parents the tools to help create a harmonious birth experience. This 2-hour workshop will cover coping techniques in labor, how partners can play a beneficial role in providing comfort, and effective communication techniques for couples during labor. We have 2 spots left in our upcoming class Saturday, January 6th. REGISTER HERE
  • Be on the look-out for more community events at AustinBorn (Hello, collaborations!), as well as casual hangs for our growing group of parents. (Family dinners, self-care gatherings, mama movies, and more!)

Thank you to all who are a part of AustinBorn. We are honored to be welcomed into your families and support you on your journeys. 

 For those we haven't met yet, please reach out to meet us! Check out our Calendar for upcoming events, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

My Bold Birth....?

Austin Born

By Juanita Sawyer

I wasn't the girl who grew up dreaming of an ornate wedding and tiny toes in satin cradles. I wasn't ever sure what I wanted in my adult life. It took many years lived as a pseudo adult, learning from mistakes and falling in to incredibly obvious traps before any sense of self or future came in to focus. I don't think my story is unique but it helps set the stage for my current life and this quickly evolving pregnancy of mine. I got here by feeling it out and making decisions based on gut checks informed by a life of very real experience. 

I came around to my role in the world as a doula through some very tough self exploration. I had waited so long for any sense of calling that I wasn't about to take this journey lightly. I realized that I'm capable of standing at the gates and crossroads in life with folks and offer some true connection in those times that can be a miasma of emotion. What a relief to know my purpose and have something to walk boldly forward in to.

When I met my current husband, while living in Eastern Asia and imagining a life of autonomy and travel, I wasn't even sure I wanted children. My ethic base and global consciousness was in over drive and I wasn't sure I deserved the luxury of having my own child. He was certain that we were to be together and make babies and I have to admit that there was something very sexy about his certitude. When he asked me to marry him, I promised to do my best and walked boldly forward.We returned to the states and started life here; he in nursing school and myself as a doula exploring birth work. We agreed that putting pressure on baby making wasn't going to offer either our marriage or our pursuit to be parents any help so we went forward in the spirit of 'not not trying' and trusted synchronicity and biology to do the rest. Starting a new life in a new inter-cultural marriage in a place completely new to both of us proved stressful enough. We finally found our way to my husbands graduation day and some traction in my work enough to move in to a home that provided a greater sense of stability and comfort. We were pregnant a month later. And so we walk boldly forward. 

You may have started wondering why I'm telling you all of this... By no means am I trying to paint the picture that big life decisions come easily for me or that 'walking boldly forward' is always been my go to in life. I'm also plagued with seemingly insurmountable fear when heading in to the unknown. Here's the thing though... this 'having a baby' business has, in many ways, thrown me for the biggest fucking loop of my life. It doesn't help that I'm a doula and can't unknow the things I've seen and learned. It also doesn't help that I'm not able to pursue a blissful, natural midwife guided home birth due to some health issues. So... here I am, walking into a medicalized birth having been trained in the natural model. And, ya know, that's all fine. I'm game to do whatever I have to do to bring a healthy baby in to this world. The problem is that I don't want this experience to be wrung of all of that beautiful, empowering juice that all momma's and babies deserve. So.. I'm on a mission. I'm gonna make this a beautiful birth. It may not be ecstatic or surrounded by candles and chanting while I moan my baby in to the world through water. There will be beeping machines and harsh lighting and perhaps scalpels and masks. There will be drugs and a hospital stay and rules. But there are things that I can do to advocate for that will draw me back in to the deep truths of the transformation that my baby and I are having together. And ya know... fuck some of the rules. Cause that's how I do.

I say all of this BUT you'll notice that I didn't invoke my catch phrase in the last paragraph. The truth is... I'm not feeling so bold yet. And I am hesitating in my steps forward. I'm on the hunt for the right OB and boy has that been an adventure so far (more on that later). In short, I've found that a practitioner that isn't the right fit can really throw a wrench in to any bold, birthing empowerment one tries to summon. Also, I'm looking for the right doula, although, that process hasn't started ardently yet. I need someone who can help me to completely honor my birth for everything that it is. So often, doulas come with a set of bias that our training can instill in us. And, though it's true that a natural birth is, as shown by a lot of evidence, the best for both mom and baby, what matters most is what remains in momma's memory and baby's bones. What was her work and how did her brave show up?   How did she invoke the deepest parts of herself to bring this life into our realm? What are her memories of those redefining moments? Was she treated like the warrior she brought? Was she given a warriors welcome? 

Sharing these thoughts with you is emboldening my outlook. Let's get this conversation started and keep it going! What do we need from our birth workers to make birth ours again even when they happen in an environment that can be alienating? How do we bridge the gap between the perceptions of a medicalized birth and a birth modeled after midwifery standards so that honor is showered upon every birth? When we give birth, we are approaching the very vale between life as we know it and the beyond. We are encountering the very essence of what makes us human and links us with the ancient and posterity. What do we need to avoid a complete irreverence of that? What tools do we need to walk blindly and boldly forward into the deep unknowing that makes life a miracle?

I know now, through experience, that life's big moves don't happen because I have calculated every thing perfectly. It happens because something larger than me moves me forward into some potential shit storms only for me to emerge a more complete version of myself. Never has that been truer than now as I bring this child into the world. And so, one bold step at a time, mommas. 

Juanita is a birth and postpartum doula, supporting families in Austin, TX. To read more of her work, visit her website Vine Doula Services.

Welcome to AustinBorn

Austin Born

We support YOU.

Yes, YOU. In all of your individual glory, we support you.

Since the beginning of AustinBorn, our message has reflected judgement-free support of your decisions. Our mission remains to uphold a safe and compassionate space where families can learn, belong, and thrive together. Our hope is that you’ve heard that message loud and clear. In case we missed a few folks:

We’re here to proudly state that we serve and support ALL FAMILIES.

Everyone is welcome to pass through our doors and receive the guidance and support they need and deserve. As new and expecting parents, you have one of the most important jobs on the face of this planet -- and we understand that process looks different for all families.  At AustinBorn we celebrate your diversity, we respect your decisions, and we vow to hold you up while you navigate the (sometimes rough) waters of parenthood.

We are honored to work with each and every one of you, to help ensure you thrive along your journey.

Welcome, Families...our door is open.

*We would love an opportunity to get to know you. Click here to schedule a meeting with our birth and postpartum doula team.

Meet Yaz!

Austin Born

Yaz arrived to doulahood by the way of (postnatal) Yoga and her Mexican lineage. As a yoga teacher trainee in the United States, she observed a class where a group of women in the trenches of brand new motherhood would hold each other with sweet solidarity and fierce kindness. In an instant, all the tales of women caring for each other and their babies told by her mother and grandmother back in Mexico were happening in front of her. Even in another country, in another language, it was still sisterhood in the rawest and most empowering form. She was hooked!

Yaz is a lifelong student of Yoga (with a passion for Ayurveda), a lifelong student of birth, of mamahood, of sister/brotherhood. She strives to offer what she honors the most: the space to feel heard, held, supported and loved.

Yaz has experience working alongside women of different cultural backgrounds. She’s doula’d (love this verb) in different settings for a wide diversity of women and families. She loves listening to people’s stories, using her rebozo, her oils for mean foot massages, and her newly acquired belly binding skills.

9 Things We Bet You Didn't Know About Yaz

  • Was born and raised in Mexico City

  • Is part Mexican, part Greek, part American (good food is in her genes, guys!)

  • Has been a vegetarian for 17 years, but secretly wishes she could eat gyros and tacos al pastor

  • Is hopelessly in love with the 90’s (where have all the grungers and Lilith Fairs gone? *sighs*

  • Wants to be a dancer, violinist, and spoken word artist when she grows up

  • Has loved owls and sloths WAY before the hipsters discovered their magic

  • Has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s in Education Development

  • Left the life she had built in Mexico, and moved to Austin to marry her best friend. #EpicWin

  • Hates routine but needs it

  • Loves coffee. Coffee doesn’t love her back. True story.

  • Learned to ride a bike in her 30’s (never too late to be humbled by gravity, right?)

  • Loves and fosters sisterly/brotherly bonds with people

  • Has a special interest in working alongside underserved populations

  • Worked with indigenous communities in both the North and South of Mexico, to design and build intercultural learning environments

  • Loves to binge on TED talks (nerd alert!)

  • Loves to photograph glimpses of beauty in unlikely places

  • Sings in the shower and on her way to births pretty much always

  • Loves to hug, but has total respect for non-huggers (however, if you are a hugger and see Yaz, make her day and hug away!)