Int'l Doula Month - Giveaway #10

Michelle is an awesome knitter, breastfeeding advocate, etsy store owner, and so much more!!! She owns the etsy store, Doula Boobies, and has donated a pair of knitted breasts! This prize would be great for a doula who works a lot with postpartum, breastfeeding, or doubles her career as a childbirth educator.

She will custom knit the winner's choice of either wheat/berry, cream/variegated or brown/brown breasts.

I loved reading Michelle's answers to my interview questions and was amazed at what a multitasking, multi-talented mama she is!
My name is Michelle Nordblom Hottya, and I am a woman, a wife, mother, writer, editor, crafter, doula, childbirth educator, lactation educator and breastfeeding advocate. I've been involved in the world of natural childbirth and breastfeeding since my oldest child entered this world ten years ago. I give my brother credit for opening my eyes to the so-called "alternative" lifestyle of treating your family and our planet with gentleness and respect. My journey has taken me through three unmedicated childbirths -- two in the hospital and one at home -- as well as Bradley classes, numerous trainings to support birth and breastfeeding, quite a few lovely births and volunteering on the board of the Arizona Birth Network, for which I serve as Treasurer and sometime leader of Birth Circle meetings in our community. As a little side business, I crochet breast models and baby hats for my Etsy store.

The path that brought me here has not been straight, but it has been a sure path with still a long distance to cover. After birthing my oldest, I heard of the "doula" and the idea intrigued me -- I felt so empowered by my experience that I wanted to help other women have it too. It wasn't until after the birth of my second child that I was able to start taking trainings and enter the certification process. When we moved to Arizona, I was able to quit working full-time and started attending births as a doula. Each person I meet enriches my experience and broadens my perspective, so I am always learning by living this vocation.

When my clients realize the potential of their own abilities, whether it is in the moment of choosing a homebirth, or looking upon the face of their new baby for the first time, or the day when breastfeeding just falls into place, I feel so rich with joy and value in my work that it makes all the other challenges just melt away into irrelevance. I celebrate with them and I feel their success too!

My new BooBee baby hats that are debuting in my store are so fun and controversial. I was inspired by Heather Cushman-Dowdee and her comic strip, Mama-Is-Crafty... some friends asked me to come up with a pattern, and now I can't keep up with the demand! I would love to see a BooBee hat on every nursing baby's head!
When you think of a doula, what do you think:
A woman who is a friend, a sister, a guide, a patient and gentle soul, someone who believes with all their being that mamas and babies are meant to be loved, supported and empowered to have a healthy childbirth, by whatever means is best for them.
Consequentially, what do you think of birth practices in the U.S. right now:
I am so motivated to work to improve maternity care in the U.S. that it's almost overwhelming to think of the obstacles that face us birth activists. We are up against public opinion ("You don't have to be a hero, why wouldn't you want an epidural"), general ignorance of the birth process ("You could never have given birth to this baby vaginally"), an insurance industry that has de-personalized every bit of the medical business, and careproviders that at best are too busy to offer the scope of services they want to, and at worst are convinced that there is nothing wrong with the system and that women's bodies are broken or incapable of natural birth. I want to be part of a thriving, growing, healthy community of people who trust birth, love birth, trust women, love women, trust babies and love babies. I think we can get there, but to change the culture around birth practices in the healthcare industry is going to take a lot of energy, voices, letters, phone calls, votes and motivation to keep trying to fix it even when we are defeated in a battle for birth choices (like NYC right now).
Anything Else that you would like us to know about you:
I look for joy and hope in the largest schemes and the smallest circles. Even if you don't know what to say, be an example. Walk the walk, and people will watch, learn and respect you. Be strong, because some force will always try to knock you down. It's all worth the effort in the end, when you hold a precious newborn and whisper in his ear, "Welcome. You are loved."
Thank you, Michelle, for your wonderful knitted breasts, and for your contribution to the world of breastfeeding, birthing, and parenting!


Remember, EACH OF THESE count as one entry. You have to complete the first entry to be able to be able to have the other entries counted. To have them counted as one entry each, they must each be fulfilled with their own, separate, comment. Be sure that your comment contains your email either in the body of the message, or through your profile.
  • For your initial entry, you must let me know (by way of comment) how you (the doula) or how your doula (as someone entering for their doula) would be able to use these breasts. It can be a serious use, a comical or humorous use, or a creative use.
  • For an additional entry, post a link to this giveaway on your FB OR create your own blog post regarding this giveaway, with a link to this post, then comment with a link back to your blog post/FB post.
  • For an additional entry, visit her business website, then give her some feedback on her website, what you like about it, what you think of her offerings, etc... in a comment here on my blog.
  • If you took advantage of the Early Bird Entries, you can add any/all of your Early Bird entries to this giveaway by commenting with the words "EB Entry".
Entries will be closed on May 29th, at midnight, and the drawing will occur on May 31st, at noon.

Happy entering!!!


Mandee said...

I would really love to have these to use while teaching breastfeeding classes. It would be a great tool to demonstrate latch!

tara said...

I love, love, love this. How creative. I am still in close contact with my doula (Sarah McKay of Nine Months and Beyond, LLC) and though I am a novice knitter she and I have discussed my trying to knit her a pair of boobs.

At the informational parties they have, her husband once made boobie cupcakes. How creative and fun.

I would love to see the BooBee Hat. It wasn't showing up on Etsy for me. I would even wear one myself just to get a reaction.

Kim said...

EB entry :)

Kim said...

One of the doulas I know is also a childbirth educator AND a La Leche League leader, so these could come in really handy! We're hoping, in Jan 2011, to begin LLL meetings for expecting parents - these would be perfect!!

Kim said...

And here's my blog post: http://kblog.theschellingerhoudts.com/2010/05/17/giveaway-3/


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