Birth Networks

It has been a while since my last post. A 2-week road trip in early August ended with me coming back to piles–literally!–of work.  That’s what happens when someone who is primarily self-employed takes a holiday…  On the bright side, however, all this time away has given me lots of opportunities to think about things to explore here.  Today’s post is relatively short because I’m still swamped with taking care of the backlog, but there will be more coming shortly!  In the meantime, a short musing on sharing, collaboration, and building a collective.

I’ve been thinking this week about birth networks, and in particular, about working with other people to start a local network here in the Cowichan Valley.  (Although the link is to the Lamaze site, the network I have in mind would be independent of any philosophy, open to as much diversity as possible.) I’ve been working this summer on spreading the word about my Fit 4 Two classes, and trying to build relationships with birth and postpartum professionals already working in the area.  And this process has made me dream of helping to form a collaborative group that would enable all the awesome childbirth educators, health care providers, pre and postnatal yoga and fitness instructors, and others who care for women during and after pregnancy to pool and share our collective wisdom–not only with each other, but with the community at large.  I can see the group providing mutual support, particularly for the smaller-scale businesses such as individual doulas and educators, but also organizing events that would be open to the community (hopefully free!) and informative.  I would love to do some free seminars on health and fitness, for instance.  I would love to work with other providers to demonstrate to people how all of these services complement one another, and hopefully offer opportunities for people who can’t afford to take private classes or hire private professionals to engage with us in another environment, and find alternative ways to access the resources we can provide.

Of course, organizing a network and events takes time and effort, and the trick will be to get enough folks on board that the burden is not too onerous for any one individual.  I have already had fantastic discussions with a couple of people, and hope to have more.  This is slightly uncharted territory for me, but I’m optimistic.  I think there are others out there who share my commitment to collaboration and collective engagement, and I think strength in numbers could go a long way in terms of building a stronger base for birth professionals in my area.  We’ll see what happens next…

Do you have experience with starting a network like this, either to do with birth or another topic? If so, please share your experience!

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