Gone are the days where the hospital is the only place to give birth. Many are choosing to bring their bundles of joy into the world in the sanctity of their own homes, surrounded by their support network in an environment which they feel most comfortable. If you reside in Bermuda, certified doula Reva Minors of Loquat Roots can assist. The mother of two has been providing services on the island since 2017 from pregnancy to postpartum. Here are her answers as she participates in our 10 Questions With…series.
What kind of services do you offer?
I offer doula services, childbirth education, Access Bars healing, teas and accessories, and vaginal steaming.
How did you become interested in holistic health?
My interest in holistic health happened one skill and certification at a time. Along with being a full spectrum doula (dealing with all forms of pregnancy and birth, including miscarriage and abortion), I am a home birth facilitator, Access Bars Practitioner, vaginal steam facilitator, pregnancy and infant loss advocate, organic and herbal tea blender, and childbirth educator.
I was a birth and postpartum doula at first, after having an amazing experience birthing my son at home. I felt, and still feel, like all birthing people should be cared for this way, so I certified while caring for a newborn in 2017.
I became certified as a pregnancy and infant loss advocacy later in 2019. The teas started as something I was making for myself during pregnancy and postpartum. I had a friend who became pregnant and asked me about first trimester nausea, so I gave her some of the tea I had made for myself and slowly people started asking me for specific remedies. I was already learning about herbs at the time through my vaginal steaming course, which encouraged us to use natural, organic herbs around using ingredients we could also drink as tea. Part of the homework was to brew what we had gathered for steaming as a tea and note what we saw, tasted, smelled; it sparked something in me. I just wanted to embrace what was calling out to me and here I am.
Explain what is a doula? What is their purpose?
Doula literally means “woman who serves”. My purpose is to serve the birthing person and their support partner through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We don’t do anything medical (unless that doula is a certified medical professional as well).
Offering written resources for questions, recommending you to a specialist for ailments, helping you write down your birth preferences, being present with you during labour and birth to give you tools and comfort measures for a more satisfying birth experience, and assisting you with becoming a new parent, such as providing body feeding help or newborn care. These are just a few things a doula does. Doulas have your back, front and both sides to amplify your voice on what you want for yourself during this transformational period. So much focus is on the baby, doulas focus on the birthing parent.
Did you envision yourself working in this field?
If you would have told me this is what I would be doing I would not have believed you. I was also taught to be in a “stable” job, something that you go into, and you die there. No diss to anyone doing that, we need all sorts of people in all the places to make the world go around. It’s just not for me.
Why do you think more women are becoming more interested in home births?
The pandemic has been such an awakening for everyone globally and I think the fear and restrictions had so many people questioning, ‘What do I want?’
The families we’ve worked with want a home birth to avoid the hospital due to past trauma with previous births, to be surrounded by whomever they choose to be present, to feel safe, to exercise their right to birth where and how they want, to not be restricted. There are so many reasons. The interest has always been there, births have BEEN happening at home and this past year people have reconnected with their space and what it means to be still in that space during such a powerfully life altering moment.
I don’t know if that’s why, but I love to see the interest and confidence in doing what you want surrounding your pregnancy and birth regardless. I strongly believe in pregnant people having options and I feel home birth needs to be more affordable, covered by insurance and accessible to everyone, everywhere. Period.
Vaginal steaming…what are the benefits? Can women try this at home?
Vaginal steaming can assist with vaginal dryness, infertility, PCOS, yeast infection, irregular periods, long periods, short periods, cramping, bloating, cleansing, and on. You can definitely steam at home, I always encourage people to try and give them instructions. It’s not something I would advise to just go in blind and do yourself because you don’t know what you don’t know and I’m all about having all the information so you can be helpful and healthful to your body, not harmful. Contact a vaginal steaming professional first!
How does a family know if they need postpartum support?
Every family needs postpartum support. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or fifth child, giving birth is a major bodily transformation that requires rest, less stress and nourishment to recover from. No one should be doing this by themselves with minimal support.
Lack of sleep and time, a surge of hormones, not to mention the discomfort and sometimes pain that the body is feeling is not the time to be taking care of yourself PLUS a little one.
Having someone take care of your baby so you can nap, eat, shower is not something parents should be struggling with but it is the norm and it’s unfortunate. There are so many ways to receive postpartum support as well, this is something else a doula can help with.
Unfortunately, some families lose their babies as infants. How do you assist?
As a full spectrum doula and pregnancy and infant loss advocate, I am with families in the same ways as my other doula clients. I hold space for parents and normalise what they’re going through because as difficult as it is to talk about, loss happens more than people realise; one in three birthing people will experience a loss. In this capacity, I assist with navigating the loss, next steps, professional services, what to do with baby shower gifts or breastmilk that comes in.
I help move people through this space however they’re able, whatever that looks like for them. Family and friends always mean well but can be unintentionally cruel or distant. I provide mental and emotional support for as long as clients need.
What are Access Bars and how do they assist wellness?
Access Bars is an energy treatment. I’m oversimplifying here but basically everything in the universe is connected by energy, whatever you believe that energy to be. It could be Source, God, Universe, Law of Attraction, science, it doesn’t matter. We’re connected to everything, everything is connected to us and we consciously or subconsciously receive or block blessings.
Access Bars unlocks limiting beliefs and blocked connections that someone has created between themselves and this giving energy. It can help eliminate fears, spark healing, bring key people into your space or just give you general relaxation. If you believe none of this, then you will feel like you had a great massage or nap at the end of a session. By touching certain points on the head that correlate to different themes like money, aging, and love these blocks can be lifted.
For example, I gave a session to a lady who in her early 50s has never driven a day in her life. She told me she had a traumatic experience and never cared to learn. Two weeks after our session she had her license and had taken her mother for a drive to both ends of Bermuda.
She just felt the courage and need to remove this limiting belief from her life after the session. I certified through my midwife, who is also a practitioner. She gave me a session the week of my pregnancy due date and I was in active labour for four hours, had my first child 30 minutes after my water broke with minor discomfort and no fear. I was sold after that and certified the next time she was offering the class. What else is possible?
Do you believe holistic health has longevity or is it just a fad?
Holistic health will definitely be a fad for some, that’s just the way things go. Everything gets perverted and commercialised as it gains more interest, I just hope that people continue to do their research and shop local. That’s the best way to connect with someone that’s passionate and sincere in helping others.