May 2014
An Enlightened Mama Update
Sundays:   May 4-25
       July  6-27
Tuesdays: May 6-27
       June 3-24
       July 1-22

Saturday: June 14
      July 12
Thursdays: July 3-10

Comfort Techniques Crash Course

Saturday:  June 7
       July 5
Monday:  June 9
      July 14


Thursday: July 17
Thursdays:  June 5-12


Sundays:  June 1-22

Sunday:    May 25
Saturday: June 14
July 12 
Saturday:  June 7
Monday:    July 7

Wednesday: May 28
Monday:      June 2
Saturday:    July 5
Saturday: June 21
July 19
Saturday:  May 24
               June 28
July 26


Newborn 101:
Sunday:  May 25 
     June 29
     July 27 

Thursdays:   May 22
June 26
July 24
Saturdays:    May 24
June 28
July 26

Midwifery: Who, What, Where, & Why
Thursday:    May 29

Monday:     June 2

Monday:     June 2

June 3-5
Dr. Mark Sloan Presentation
Wednesday:  June 4

All Mama
Monday  12:30-1:30
Saturday 12:30-1:30


New Mama
Wednesday 12:30-1:30

Toddler Mama/Mama Again
Thursday 10:00-11:00


Wednesday  7:00-9:00


Friday  5:00-7:00

Healthy, happy kids come from healthy, happy parents! Check out our wellness, available for women and men! We've got something for the whole family!
-Acupuncture (private & community sessions)
-Thai Massage
-Family Therapy & Career Counseling 
The Childbirth Collective is Here!
The Twin Cities premiere doula organization will now be holding its weekly Parent Topic Sessions at Enlightened Mama! Join us each Wednesday evening from 7:00-9:00 for free education on a wide variety of pregnancy, birth, and parenting topics!
Save the Date!!
It's going to be the Enlightened Mama Birthday/Enlightened Wellness Grand Opening/Fundraiser for MDF!

--Food Trucks
--Live music
--Fun for all! 

June 27th from
 Greetings from Enlightened Mama!

The Strength of a Woman
(All personal information & photos approved and requested to be shared, by family.)
Early Sunday morning I was awoken by one of my most favorite phone calls.  On the other end of the line, there was a quiet voice, partly because it was 6:30 A.M., because the person on the other line was a giant ball of emotions.  It was a mix of incredible excitement, a bit of relief, some uncertainty, and all because, "It's time."  A woman very special to said caller is working to birth her baby, and she's ready for the doula.  In this case, the mama is also very special to us, as it was our very own resident lawyer, seamstress, deliverer of homemade caramels, and Whole Family Parenting blogger, mama Nell. 

I arrived at the hospital to find a beautiful Nell, laboring in her own special way, just as all mamas do. After a few hours, a lot of laughs, incredible words of encouragement from a partner that seemed as though he may be qualified to teach my next doula training, some intense moments, and right before our eyes, baby Charlie was born.  While I find that all births are pretty amazing, this one was certainly memorable for me, but almost more for what happened after.  
As baby Charlie nursed like a pro, an OB/GYN surgeon joined the birth team to assist with a repair.  He was a graying, somewhat gruff man, matter-of-fact, but kind, who came in and got right to work. Now, those of you that know Nell, know that she's quite a conversationalist, so it was no surprise that she wasn't going to exclude this man. In a very short amount of time, she had engaged the good doctor in our chatting as well.  Our conversation was all over the place, involving birth, culture, hospitals, vaginas, and a host of other interesting topics.  

Then, unexpectedly, the doctor said, "You women are strong.  Seriously. That's why I went into this work." Heck yeah!  We liked this guy even more now, and pressed for more information about one of the nicest things I had ever heard come out of a provider's mouth. He went on to tell us that when he was in residency, one of the surgical rotations involved a patient base that was 2/3 women, 1/3 men.  At the end of every week, the residents nominated a patient as the "Wimp of the Week." (Stick with me, it gets better.)  After six weeks, he noticed a pattern that all the award-winners were men. He mentioned this to his attending physician, who informed him that his pattern was really a known truth in the medical world--women are strong.  He said, at that moment, his decision was made and he switched to obstetrics.  He wanted to work with patients who were strong.  Needless to say, us ladies in the room were pretty moved by his statement. 

Now, I have attended a lot of births, supported a lot of mamas throughout pregnancy, postpartum and with breastfeeding, and witnessed first-hand the amazing strength of women.  However, I have also found that there is a belief that the strongest woman is the one who births her baby without using medications or interventions, breastfeeds for at least a year, works to support her family, but also has the most well-behaved, intelligent, and gifted children.  Sure, those things are all great, but definitely not the marker of strength. 

It takes strength to surrender to the process of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, to realize that your ideal may not be your reality. It takes strength to make choices and endure outcomes that are not the cultural norm or meet the expectations  of others.  It takes strength to get an epidural and to have a cesarean birth.   It takes a strong woman to breastfeed, enduring social stigma, sore nipples, and pumping for hours each day.  It takes a strong woman to feed her baby formula, enduring a different social stigma and financial burden. It takes a strong woman to survive the loss of a child, a piece of herself gone.  It takes a strong woman to decide not to have children, in a world that expects every female to want to procreate.  It takes strength to try desperately to have a child, when Mother Nature seems to have other plans.  It takes strength to watch those around you become mothers, waiting patiently for the time to be right for it to be your turn. 

So pretty much any way you look at it, that doctor is right:  Women are strong.

                    In Gratitude, Liz Abbene
Welcome to the EM family, Charlie!! You've got a strong mama!

As women and mothers, we tend to give so much to others in our work, family, and social life that we forget about that one most important thing to devote time to: ourselves. MamaWell is our mamas groups meets a spa day, and is your 3-hour opportunity to FINALLY do something for yourself by finding balance, renewed energy, and relaxation in the comfort of your Enlightened Mama/Enlightened Wellness village. Each MamaWell session is an opportunity to ground yourself, preparing your body, mind, and soul for wellness.

 --Arrive to select your preferred 30-minute wellness session

--Opening circle with introductions and yoga/mediation circle

--Enjoy two 30-minute sessions from our wellness staff! 


--Between sessions, there will be light snacks and refreshments, and the camaraderie of the women of Enlightened Mama/Enlightened Wellness. During each MamaWell session you will also have the opportunity to create your own customized MamaWell mini spa treatment to take home with you!


Only $100 gets her MamaWell!!

*MamaWell is open to all women, all ages, pregnant, postpartum, mama or no mama!  MamaWell will be offered twice a month on the 4th Thursday and 4th Saturday, with different practitioners each session.*



Dr. Mark Sloan at Enlightened Mama!
Meet the Staff
Meet the new Office Manager, Jenni Moser!  

What are all the hats you wear, both at EM and outside of EM?
Office manager, birth doula, mama, wife, sister, and friend.

In your own words, what is the EM philosophy?
To encourage, educate, and support families in the journey through pregnancy and parenthood.

What brought you to EM?
I had attended Liz's New Mama Group prior to the EM space opening. I loved Liz's advice and encouragement, so I continued attending New Mama Group when EM opened. I've been hanging around ever since! I love the educated, nonjudgemental, straightforward advice and support provided by everyone here.

Why do you stay?
For the same reasons I came!

If you're feeling down, what is one food/beverage a fellow EM village lady could bring to you?
Wine. Lots of wine. ;)
Thank you for making Enlightened Mama a wonderful community of education and support! You ARE the reason that Enlightened Mama exists and we are honored to support you through your journey of parenthood. We hope to see you and your family very soon!

In love and gratitude, 
 The Entire Enlightened Mama Staff

970 Raymond Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
Find your new wellness practitioner at Enlightened Wellness!

Enter coupon code: WELL at checkout 
Offer Expires: 
June 30, 2014