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Exploring Life & Business with Mary Skinner of Lotus Doula Tribe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Skinner.

Mary Skinner

Hi Mary, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Well, my story started back in 1859 with my great-great Aunt Hilda, she immigrated here from Sweden and was a midwife for the Paiute Indian Tribe. Helping mamas have babies is literally in my blood. It continued through my mom, she had all five of her babies at home. So growing up, I developed this love of birth. I had an amazing first birth, so much so that I had a friend that asked me to be at her birth. She offered to pay for me to get trained as a doula if I would be hers. The rest is history; I fell in love with it, more and more friends asked me to be their doula. Around that same time, I got trained to be a yoga instructor. The two of those combined was so perfect, utilizing the meditation and breathing from Yoga, and the poses and bodywork flowed so nicely with labor and birth. You could say I was called to this career. I love helping these new moms find hope and peace in their births, changing the narrative that birth doesn’t have to be scary or hard or lonely. It can be beautiful that these new moms can find strength and release the inner Goddess inside of them.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Is there such a thing as a smooth road? Haha. I got trained to be a doula ten years ago, just for my friend. I was not thinking of doing it as a career at all. I had another business at the time that sucked the life out of me. I was a young mom with little kids and was working 60-70 hour weeks running my own business, and it was making me crazy. I did not like the mother I was becoming, I was stressed all the time, I was a workaholic. When I was with my kids, all I could think about was my business and when I was working, all I could think about was how I am missing out on so much of their lives, So Much Guilt!! Ahhh it was awful. Yes, I was making great money but to me, it honestly was not worth it. I ended up dissolving the business and dedicating all my time to my kids. I was truthfully scared to start a business or work again. I did not like the person I was. I did not know how to find that balance. So I avoided work for about six years. I did continue to teach yoga and fitness classes about 7-8 times a week, but that was a fun, relaxing job. I got paid to work out very, very part-time. So about a year ago, I kept having friends ask me to be their doula, so I decided that I should really do this as a business but do it differently this time. Schedule myself with boundaries, and always checking in and make sure I feel balanced, health-wise, mentally, self-care, and my family. I want everyone on the same page so that it can be successful this time around.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Lotus Doula Tribe?
I started this business out of a need. Mothers are struggling. The postpartum depression rates are at an all-time high. The Pregnancy anxiety levels are crazy. With so much information and advice out there, it’s almost too much for these new first-time moms. I don’t blame them for being stressed out and scared about their births. I would be too! I wanted to create a service for them that would educate them, empower them, and give them a sense of peace when it comes to birth. We meet several times before the birth to help plan out and visualize exactly how they want their labor and deliveries to go. I give them personalized Yoga and helpful labor poses and breathing techniques. I give them a relaxing sound bath and foot massage. I think of all the things I would have loved before, during, and after my birth. During the birth, I am their advocate to help them keep with their birth plan and protect them and their baby. I work with my partner to help Mama labor comfortably and peacefully. After birth, I come to visit them with home-cooked meals, healing tea, and healthy treats to help sustain them for the intense postpartum process. I give them warm oil massages, I help bind their bellies, tidy up the house, herbal baths, and check in on mom mentally and physically. I come once a week in those first 40 days, which is vital. If you think about it, they don’t go see their provider until a six-week check-up; that is frightening! So much can happen in those 1st six weeks.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I love working with anyone in the birth sphere! You can check out my website or follow on IG @lotusdoulatribe. What if your not pregnant but you still want to try my candlelight Yoga, Chakra Clearings, and Sound healing baths, follow @bamboofitnessandyoga

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