Happy Fall Equinox Mamas, Parents, Friends and Students,

Please feel free to reply to this email, I love it when you do. It is so great to get to hear a short update or just a greeting. I'm sending you all a big hug in these challenging times.

It certainly has been a roller coaster lately with both good and bad news.

Good: Clover found a great apartment in Cole Valley (Yay). Leo headed back to Berklee in Boston so Joe and I became officially empty-nesters, again. So naturally, we bought an inflatable kayak...for two.

Bad: Our community was very sad to hear that we lost a Mama Tree alumni, a kind and loving woman and mama, Ellen Chung. Unfortunately her family died in a mysterious and tragic way a few weeks ago with the investigation is still ongoing.

And of course we are all still dealing with the effects of a deadly virus.
I hope you all are getting moments of respite with your family, in nature or maybe on your yoga mat.

I'm so grateful for yoga. Remember you don't have to roll out your yoga mat to benefit. Something as super simple as bringing your awareness to your breath can help.

. . .

Included in this Fall Newsletter : 
  • In this issue I spotlight the work of the incredible mother and daughter birth worker team at Cornerstone, and share their important and informative piece on common misconceptions around pregnancy and birth! 
  • I'm also excited to feature a piece in Medium written by Heidi Smith in our community entitled : "What I Learned After Two Births in American Hospitals" with 7 Tips for expecting folks. 
  • Hez Wollin, offers Self Care Tips for New Parents. Hez is a transgender/nonbinary clinical social worker and parent who supports parents in the LGBTQ+ community around fertility, conception, and postpartum mental health.
  • Crystal Marie Higgins (she is a marketer who supports me on all things business, as well as a teacher and an herbalist) just launched a lovely new Seasonal Herbal Box for late summer with handmade items like rose water spray (heavenly) for face and body, whole plant infused body oils (wonderful for your skin + stress especially as we move into the fall and fire season), healing salves for sore muscles, cuts, bruises and bites, as well as herbal teas, facial steams and more! I highly recommend it! 
+++ Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga Immersions + Training Return This Fall ! 

Registration is up for Level 1 + 2 immersions and trainings! I'm excited to announce that I'm offering a discount for those of you who take both my Mama Tree Level 1 and Level 2 this fall online! 

Once you register for Level 1 (October 6th - 10th) I'll give you a code to take $200 off Level 2 (November 3rd - 7th). And you'll also have access to all of the course materials, as well as replays and extra resources for three years after the trainings. I'm putting together my schedule right now and it is going to be an amazing roster of guest expert teachers (as well as myself). Let me know if you have any questions at all, and this year we've added payment plan options as well for the first time this year.

. . . 

p.s. Have you seen my posts on Instagram lately? I've been doing "LIVES" with amazing folks who I highly recommend on perinatal health. And I also recently shared a photo of me when I was preggo (pic above), and did a "rant" on pelvic exams late in pregnancy, and how your cervix (even though it is AMAZING!) is not a crystal ball to determine labor. Follow me for more rants, as well as a new interview series with the amazing guest teachers for my trainings coming soon!

Jane Recommends -
Mama Resources
Pregnancy Myths & Misconceptions
by Nickie & Juli Tilsner 
of Cornerstone 

In our 22 years experience as Birthworkers, we have long seen the effects that fear-based information has on pregnant people and birth outcomes; how fear takes away choice, affects hormonal flow, and often the position of the baby in utero.  As a commitment to Cornerstone's dedication to normalizing all aspects of the reproductive lifespan, Juli and Nickie created this document which addresses some of the most common statements pregnant folks may come across.

We give thanks to Jane Austin for featuring our document Common Pregnancy Myths & Misconceptions, and in turn creating more access to this important information. Download and view the article here.

About the Authors : Cornerstone Doula Trainings was founded in 2006 by Bay Area Mother/ Daughter, Midwife/RN team Nickie & Juil Tilsner. Together, we were submerged in the work -- attending births together as a mother/daughter Doula team, undergoing midwifery apprenticeships in tandem and working as support staff at an out of hospital birth center, and teaching childbirth education courses to expecting parents. During this time, we identified huge gaps in available doula training programs, including the training that we received, which weren't touching the subjects that we feel are absolutely necessary for birth workers to understand from the beginning: Birth justice, birth activism, advocacy, antiracism, birth psychology, physiologic birth, sustainability, and the midwifery model of care. When you know something is needed, and it isn't available - you create it! 

Currently Cornerstone course offerings are: Labor and Birth Doula Training, Postpartum Doula Training, Advanced Full Spectrum Doula Training, Childbirth Education Facilitator Training, and an array of continuing education courses geared toward birthworkers, reproductive rights advocates, childbirth educators and pregnant people.

For more information about Cornerstone Doula Trainings, our community and collaborators, and to find a Cornerstone birthworker, please visit our website at cornerstonedoulatrainings.com.
What I learned after two births in American hospitals, plus 9 tips!
by Holly Asundi

In the birth world, I feel there's a big divide between two sides: all technology/medicine/science, and what's seen as natural / unmedicated / intuitive. It's easy if you can put yourself into only one camp, and either have a home birth or just go to the hospital and do everything they say. But, like most binaries, a lot of people actually fall somewhere in between.

What I learned after two births in American hospitals: In any of your choices, you need to prepare for how to best help yourself. Sounds simple, right? Here are some tips:

1. EXPECTATIONS: I entered the hospital for my first birth fully trusting in the healthcare system to do everything to help me. This is an over-reliance on the system. The U.S. healthcare system is in place to provide physical medical assistance. They did do everything to help me - everything they could, which is to say, everything in their medical arsenal. Some of you may already know this (I didn't, and I feel a lot of women especially don't know this), but the medical assistance provided to you can vary a lot depending on the knowledge and preparation you bring in. Especially for something like birth, where you can, to some extent, prepare for the upcoming event.

2. PREPARATIONS: I had not known I needed to prepare my body, my spirit, and my mind for the birth. And arm myself with the right kind of knowledge - not only medical information about everything that can possibly go wrong with pregnancy and births. I was stocked with one kind of information, but I still did not have the right preparation to meet the experience fully. I was aware of some medical issues that could come up during the pushing stage (I knew what meconium was), which did help me feel more calm when they did arise. But I didn't know the body mechanics of pushing. (Which sounds kind of basic, doesn't it?)

Continue reading this article on Medium.

Self Care Tips for New Parents
by Hez Wollin, LCSW

Being a new parent is one of the most transformative experiences that a person can have. How can there not be deep and profound feelings about it? Here are some things that can help with emotions that arise. 
  • Make space for your feelings. You may be swimming in a soup of emotions and thoughts that are difficult to make sense of. That's OK. It's important to give yourself lots of compassion and care, almost as though you were reparenting yourself. You just went through something huge. 
  • Reach out for support sooner rather than later. Feelings like ambivalence, resentment, or even grief can be common as a new parent. They can also bring up guilt and shame. Asking for support from people in your community or from a professional can be vital to your healing, and can help you track what is happening with your mental health over time. 
  • For LGBTQ+ parents, understand that you may experience shifts in your identity. On top of the shift in becoming a parent, you have to negotiate a world that often invisiblizes you. Connecting to other queer families and building community can be helpful. 

Hez (they/them/their) is a transgender/nonbinary clinical social worker (LCSW #70723) and parent. Hez supports parents in the LGBTQ+ community around fertility, conception, and postpartum mental health. Family building is often a very gendered experience and it can bring up feelings of anxiety, dysphoria, and sadness. Hez works with queer and trans families in all parts of the perinatal process to create meaning and joy in their journeys outside of a heteronormative, cisgender framework. Hez often uses somatic modalities to help new parents process barriers to embodiment because of trauma. You can learn more at hezwellness.com.
Self Care with Herbal Remedies
by Crystal Marie Higgins

These days I find the little rituals we do for ourselves make the biggest impact. Especially when time is short. Simple acts like taking one minute to connect with your breath and rub an oil or a salve on your shoulders, at your temples or breathing in the scent from an herbal cup of tea that's just for you. 

Many of us in our modern lives have lost most of the herbal wisdom and self care remedies for illness and general support of our grandmothers or great grandmothers. Perhaps a recipe or two (like my great aunt's homemade chicken noodle soup) has been passed down and stood the test of time, which is wonderful and truly a treasure. But so much of the knowledge that made it possible for our ancestors to survive before modern medicine has been dormant for too long. This is where herbal remedies and allies come in - the plants often found in the sidewalks, along the roadways and in your backyard or community garden are filled with all kinds of amazing power to support us. It's such a loving reminder that we are not alone. And herbal allies are needed in our times now more than ever with the increase of wildfire smoke, pollutants and of course to help support our immune systems during these changing times.

3 Tips to Support Yourself This Fall + Wildfire Season

1. Try herbal body oiling. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is so lovely to take a few minutes each day to rub an oil on your skin. This creates a barrier between you and world (which helps when extra pollutants are in the air), and it also is delightful. Start by taking one minute to rub your shoulders, the soles of your feet and your hands and then place oil anywhere you feel called to. I love doing this after a shower, or before bed. My general rule of thumb - if you can't put it in your mouth, then don't put it on your skin. Placing oil on your skin is also so soothing for the nervous system.

2. Drink an herbal tea to support your immunity. I love blending teas like chamomile and mint to bring in that fresh enlivened feeling of the mint with the calming of chamomile (plus mint is a great ally for the lungs during fire season). Or try something like lemon balm, or raspberry leaf (wonderful for pregnancy support, and to help with menstrual cycles).

3. Try facial steaming to clear sinuses, enliven and tone your skin and add moisture for your lungs. I've been obsessed with facial steaming lately because it is so pleasurable - even just a few minutes is nice, and it really does bring out a glow to the skin and helps add moisture to the lungs and breathing. Some great herbal allies for this include rose, calendula, yarrow, sage and mullein.

Learn more about herbal remedies and self care through Crystal's new project -The Seasonal Herbal Box (seasonalherbalbox.com). At checkout there are options to select a tea instead of a wellness tincture if you do not consume alcohol or you are pregnant.

About the Author : Crystal Marie Higgins' intention is to awaken our consciousness toward the radical practice of attuning your life and the flows of your creativity to the seasons of the year, the cycles of the moon and the wisdom found in the everyday. She is a lover of the plant realm, being outdoors and engaging in sacred rituals.
The Seasonal Herbal Box started off as an idea, and a project of love to share the healing power of connecting with the green realm with others. Every box is infused with sacred intention, and ritual suggestions to help you explore, have fun and feel supported. 

Classes, Events & Immersions w/Jane 
Prenatal Partners Workshop via LIVESTREAM
Saturdays : October 16th or November 6th!
from 2pm - 4pm PT
via Jane's ZOOM Channel

Cost : $75 per couple (Register here)
Yoga is an excellent way to prepare the mind, body and spirit for the many transitions of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. 

In this workshop, you will learn techniques for breath awareness, partner poses and massage, which can help strengthen and relax your body, and sooth your mind during the birth process.

Additionally, these approaches will give you the opportunity to connect more deeply to yourself, your partner and your baby. We will also explore visualization and relaxation techniques that can further assist you during childbirth.

Please eat a light meal one hour before class, and have a snack and water nearby in case it is needed. Sign up for this workshop here.

Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 + 2 (LIVE) 
My signature Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings offer a comprehensive study in the art and science of teaching yoga for mamas at all stages of pregnancy, birth and beyond. These LIVE online teacher training programs includes yoga practice, lecture, class observations, practice teaching, guest speakers, and independent study.

Mama Tree offers two 45-hour LIVE + VIRTUAL sessions --- now online and available to everyone! 

NOTE: Level 1 is a complete training in itself, and if you would like to continue your studies and deepen your skills Level 2 is for those looking to refine their voice, and gain the Prenatal Yoga Teacher designation with Yoga Alliance.

These trainings include : 
* The effects of pregnancy on the body
* The benefits of yoga in pregnancy and beyond
* Sequencing a prenatal + postpartum class (plus parent & baby yoga)
* Postures to aid common discomforts
* The effects of racism on infant mortality and the health of the childbearing parent
* Yoga for labor and the 4th trimester
* Understanding the role of a teacher, improving your skills and refining your voice
* How to make your classes welcoming for ALL pregnant folks

Mama Tree is a certified Yoga Alliance prenatal yoga school.
All participants will receive access to the virtual classroom for three years, as well as hours of recorded material from the training (in addition to the LIVE classroom sessions) and a digital training manual.

Scholarships Available : A few scholarships will be given to BIPOC students or those in need who are committed to providing prenatal yoga to underserved communities. 
Discount if you take both trainings! After you register for Mama Tree Level 1 you will receive a $200 discount to take Level 2 (just one month later!).