preparing for birth with jen from seasons of mama.
Meet Jen. A mother, midwife, birth educator and creator of Seasons of Mama. After her own experience of birthing, Jen found her purpose becoming a childbirth educator to support women through positive birthing and in all seasons of motherhood from pregnancy through to postpartum.
Seasons of Mama was founded in 2019 and has since evolved into a beautiful studio in Milton on the South Coast, offering parents-to-be Conscious Birth Workshops - evidence based birth education grounded in her experience as a midwife and her soul-led teaching. In these classes, Jen equips parents with the knowledge and tools needed to journey through matrescence, postpartum and parenthood feeling holistically supported in mind, body and soul. In addition, Seasons of Mama offers a beautifully curated online store with mindset and birthing tools to create affirming rituals in preparation for birth and beyond.
Jen is on a mission to educate women on the power of calm birthing and how to harness their innate feminine power in becoming a mother. Birth is a sacred rite of passage, and she wants all mamas to be empowered at the centre of their birthing experience with mindful presence. She also believes that when a baby is born, so is the mother – a transformative journey known as matrescence that Jen delves into further in her work as an educator.
Let’s begin our conversation with the lovely and inspiring Jen…
Tell us a little about you and who is in your beautiful family?
Oh hey! My name is Jenna or Jen, and I am mama to two little love bugs Ivy and Aiden, who are seven and five (sounds so weird saying that - where does time go?!). My husband and I moved our family to the stunning South Coast a year ago – we are living our dream on an acre of land with our sweet fam, two cheeky pups and some chickens. My Seasons of Mama studio is just a couple of kilometres down the road in a white weatherboard cottage.
“I am still pinching myself that we are here
& this is what my life looks like now.”
Can you share your journey of why you started Seasons of Mama?
What’s that saying…I didn’t choose it, it chose me. I have always followed the little universal nudges which really came after I saw this amazing psychic (who I had seen once or twice before) when I was pregnant with my son. He told me that once I had our second baby I would go on to study something and that would lead me down a career path of using my voice, of wearing a teacher cap. He was spot on. Already a midwife, I wanted to empower couples with quality birth education. When our littles were two and four, I completed my Calmbirth Educator training in 2019. I also had this idea of creating beautiful but meaningful affirmation cards as a tool for labour and birth preparation (something that I couldn’t find anywhere around this time). I remember almost whispering this idea to my husband and sister, worrying they would laugh at me for thinking I could create a product – something I had zero idea or experience in. Thankfully they showed me the same beautiful support they always did, so I started teaching couples and simultaneously went down the path of R&D. That’s how my first product was born! To begin with, I was just selling them to clients but when they started asking me for other things or asking if I could curate a gift bundle for them for someone else, it pushed me into inspired action. Next came essential oil blends, followed closely by bath salts and it continued to expand from there.
During Covid I really felt this spiritual awakening and wanted to branch out to offer not only more products but services too in the hopes of nurturing as many mamas and families as I possibly could. I felt I had outgrown the franchise and wanted to go my own way (typical Manifestor for anyone who understands Human Design). In 2020, I registered my new business name, Seasons of Mama and it has been such an incredible journey ever since.
We have loved watching Seasons of Mama continue to evolve and grow with the opening of your gorgeous studio in Milton. Can you tell us what led you to create your own birth education offering and what your vision is for this space?
Thank you! It has been really special to share this evolution and to see it witnessed through the eyes of others because sometimes we forget to take stock, pause and reflect on how far we have come.
The decision to create my own birth education offering was easy. I really feel it is part of my purpose to nurture and nourish mamas (and their families); mind, body, soul. I wanted a boutique offering that afforded me freedom and space to express myself. One that allowed me to align and collaborate with other heart-centred businesses of my choosing. Something that reflected me and who I am - a (squishy marshmallow of a) human who cares deeply about the experiences of others, especially in the world of birth. I want to leave people feeling better than when I found them or they found themselves.
My studio is really special to me. It is something I have daydreamed about for the last two or three years. It is a cosy space that feels like a warm hug as you enter. I want everyone who I welcome through my doors to feel safe, held and also luxuriate in it - a place where they can let go of their worries for a while. I envision more empowered education workshops, women’s circles and acuneedling (acupuncture by a midwife) sessions there. I honestly can't wait.
Can you explain your approach to birth education? In particular, calm birthing and how this can positively impact the birthing experience?
I call my workshops Conscious Birth Classes because my intention is for couples, mamas and birthing partners to have a conscious birth experience where they feel fully present, aware and in their power. Where they feel truly seen and supported during the birth they wish to have or the birth they need to have (on a soul level). I want them to know what their options are, how to navigate a broken maternity system and to choose aligned caregivers. My approach is to help them to tap back into their inner knowing, the ancient birthing wisdom that runs in all of our veins and to be a connected team when they welcome their babes earth-side (whether partnered or supported).
“At the end of the day, mamas need to feel both physically safe and emotionally well during this sacred rite of passage.”
I believe quality birth education based in both science and humanness is key to that.
What tools would you recommend pregnant mamas use to holistically prepare for birth?
I feel there are many (and your girl likes a chat!) but I’ll try to keep things as succinct as possible. If you wish to expand on these, I recommend you see me at my next workshop (hehe!).
1. Choose your caregiver wisely
You’re welcome to find out what your friends and family chose for their own births, whether it was private obstetric care, continuity care model with a known midwife, GP shared care, homebirth with a private midwife, the public system or hiring a doula. BUT do your own independent research and make a choice that reflects you and what you want for your birth.
2. Independent childbirth education
There are so many amazing programs and educators out there. I personally don’t think one is better than the other. Educators will have their own unique experience and expertise, which influences their program, so it really depends on who you feel that magnetic pull towards. My main suggestion is the education you seek should be independent of your chosen birth place to ensure information is unbiased. This also extends into reading and listening to an abundance of amazing resources out there (works by Ina May Gaskin, Rhea Dhempsey, Dr Sarah Buckley, Dr Rachael Reed – I could go on).
3. Do the inner work
I’d like to invite people to step into their authenticity, of who they came here to be. There are a lot of us walking around unhealed from unresolved trauma, relationship issues, childhood conditioning, subconscious beliefs that no longer serve us and nervous systems that are dysregulated (so much of this is not our fault). We sometimes carry things for longer than we should so I would love to encourage mamas, papas and birthing partners to do some gentle evaluating of the self with a trained professional in mind or bodywork. I often see parent/s come into conflict with their old identity as they start the process of shapeshifting into a new one. What we resist, persists so it’s a call to get uncomfortable with ourselves. This next chapter of our lives deserves our full attention as the most loving, whole version of ourselves. It starts today.
4. Your body + your baby
Learn to start taking better care of yourself, knowing that when you fill your own cup you nourish others with the overflow (a great practice to carry you through into mamahood). In the context of labour and birth prep, learn about optimal maternal and fetal positioning (OMP and OFP), take yoga/pilates classes to connect in with your body, see a women’s health physio in pregnancy (especially from 20 weeks) to learn about your pelvic floor health, nourish your body with wholesome foods/fluids, reduce toxins in your home (I love Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart), invite mindfulness practices into your day (possibly through mediation, breathwork, journalling), ground yourself in nature, practise the art of rest and receiving help and sing/talk/rub your bump to connect in. I could keep going but this may turn into a novel!
5. Plan for postpartum.
It’s so normal to become birth-focussed but I would love for every birthing couple/person to create a postpartum plan to help make the transition from maiden to mother and to a family unit as peaceful as possible. There are lots of wonderful books out there, mini courses or Instagram accounts you can follow to help you with this. Postpartum really is forever and you want to honour this sacred window of time, particularly when things are so fresh and you are learning about each other.
Can you outline the ways a birth partner can support the mama-to-be both prior and during birth?
I think the most supportive partner is a connected one, who also does their best to immerse themselves in the wild ride that is growing, birthing and raising a little human. This is through doing their own inner work (refer back to point 3 above), showing interest in attending an independent birth program (trust me, you will be stoked you came!), to be her advocate and practise space holding for her early on in pregnancy so she knows she can rely on you to hold her in the most challenging, vulnerable moments in labour/birth. Learning the tools and skills to help her move through her labour and birth as supported as possible (massage and breathing techniques for the win here!). And remember that your role in birth is to be as present as possible, to help guide her through but ultimately bear witness to one of the most sacred moments as she brings life into this world.
What is your top piece of advice you would give to an expecting mama?
“To enjoy the space between where you are
and where you are going mama.”
And do not underestimate the power of orgasms and self-pleasure as part of your birth prep become besties with oxytocin!*
*unless you have been told by your care provider to avoid orgasms - due to threatened preterm labour for example.
We love to hear how inspiring mums in business navigate life and work, whether it be striving for balance or focusing on an integration between the two. How do you find the juggle of running a thriving business alongside being a mum?
I am absolutely a work in progress when it comes to the mum-life, biz-life juggle. Some days I feel like I am killing it with school bags on one hand and an iced chai latte in the other – you know the days where life just feels peachy! They happen especially when I honour my life and work around the seasons of my cycle (something I am prioritising this year for the first time). Then other days I am dropping balls left, right and centre. What has really helped me over the years though is a beautiful quote by Nora Roberts who shares that “the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass.”
And lastly, a very important question, what are your top 3 favourite biglittlethings?
Oh gosh, it’s always changing as I just love everything.
But my three current faves include:
Bare Mum products – every single thing.
Village For Mama recipe cards – everyone should own these.
Snuggle Me feeding pillow – it’s the crescent moon shape for me!
You can follow Jen @seasons_of_mama or visit seasonsofmama.com.au for more information on Conscious Birth Classes.
Photography of Jen & her family by Katie at Soulful Stories Photo @_soulful_stories_photo
All other photos by Alicia Kapel for biglittlethings.store