Testimonials

Our decision to have Maasa participate in our son’s birth was likely the best, and easiest, choice we made amidst the overwhelming amount of decisions required in this great event.

As a father-to-be, working full time and admittedly ignorant of what my partner was facing, the idea that we could retain someone with the training to help us navigate these unknown waters seemed appealing. It turned out to be tremendous.

From the first meeting with Maasa it was evident that she was giving us a considerable amount of her energy and time; she made us a priority. She had notes and questions for us often considering things that had never entered my mind. It became clear to me very quickly that we had hired a dedicated, conscientious professional.

The scope and thoughtfulness of Maasa’s questions and comments reflected a degree of training and intelligence that, in my experience at least, are typical of a person with a genuine interest and passion for what they do. It gave me the confidence that I could rely on her, and that she was going to care for my wife, me, and our soon-to-be son.

Knowing what to do and how to do it are important in the intense environment of a birth. But beyond leading us through breathing, stretching, massage, or keeping hot compresses available, advocating for us with the hospital staff- all of which were crucial- the intangible quality that Maasa brought was her positivity. Simply put, she has a strong, confident character which leant me the confidence to participate in my son’s birth more deeply. I’ll admit it; I was in over my head. Having Maasa there was like being on a team. She had the advice and the poise to let me be a better help to my wife.

Out of the many scenes I remember from Jacob’s birth one moment stood out. As Maasa was leaving the hospital to drive to our house (picking up some item we neglected to bring with us), the nurse in our room made the unsolicited remark: “everybody should have a Maasa.”

Would we retain Maasa again? Without a second thought.

-Chris Smith

As a first time mother I was unsure of how I would be affected in the postpartum period, but with a familial history of depression I wanted to take every precaution to ensure that I avoided postpartum depression.

I was so lucky to have had Maasa encapsulate my placenta, as no one else in the Kootenays was offering this service.  It was brought to her immediately after I gave birth and she had the pills to me the next day.   I began taking full doses (three pills two times a day) one day after delivery and noticed a significant mood shift after my first dose.  During the first few weeks postpartum if I forgot to take a dose I would notice an increase in anxiety and mood swings that would be remedied shortly after taking the capsules.  At 4.5 months postpartum I noticed a decrease in my milk supply and began to take the pills again. The next day I noticed that my production had increased. I feel so fortunate to have found this amazing natural remedy that I created in my own body.  I will be encapsulating my placenta again if I have another child and I would recommend it to any pregnant woman.

-Sydney Galbraith

Sydney and Tucker

This was my second birth in 4 years, so I knew what to expect. I had heard that your second is always quicker and easier but I didn’t want to take my chances. My first birth was only 4 hours top to bottom, it was quick and horrible and i did not enjoy any min of it. This time was different, i was so thankful for Maasa. I didn’t think I wanted a doula, because i don’t really like people talking to me or touching me, let a lone telling me to do things during labor. But, i was so happy she was there moving me around, and helping to release the pain.

She kept me hydrated and kept me focused. It was the best experience ever; her calm, nurturing vibe is so lovely and warming. I would highly recommend her to anyone, whether it is your first, second, or third birth.

-Jessica Westerlund

My husband and I decided to have a doula attend the birth of our second baby, we felt so blessed to have Maasa, and we both felt

Brooke and Stevie

she was everything we expected of our doula and more…
Maasa has amazing energy and very a positive attitude!
She was so prepared with the perfect props and positions at just the right times throughout my labour, as well as ” labour aid” to keep me hydrated. Maasa also took care to make sure i was well equipped to keep going through my labour with a great mindspace and physical strength.
With Maasa’s presence my labour and birth was a positive experience.
Maasa knows what the labouring mama needs, and is skilled and knowledgeable of every stage of the labour and birth process. I highly recommend Maasa to everyone i know who is expecting!!

-Demian & Brooke Whitley

Let me start by saying this was the most beautiful experience of my life! Aliyah Mae is our second little girl and we decided to have her naturally at a birthing center when I was 4 months pregnant. There were 2 factors in making this decision to have her naturally. One was the fact we had our first little girl Grace at the hospital and even though it wasn’t a horrible experience it wasn’t great. After being at the hospital for 12 hours I was only 4 centimeters dilated so I gave into the nurses, had an epidural and then pitocin as a result of my labor slowing down even further because of the epidural. Finally, I had Grace 17 hours after we checked in, was hooked up to ridiculous monitors and basically couldn’t move. That was the first factor, the second was that Maasa who is like a sister to me since we have known each other since we were 12 was now a doula and trained in hypnobirthing. After talking with Maasa there was no question what we wanted to do. My husband and I decided to take the classes with her and have our second child come into this world in a peaceful, beautiful way instead of a medically induced state.

The classes and Maasa’s beautiful guidance throughout our pregnancy was the reason our birth was such an amazing experience. I started my first stages of labor on Sunday Oct.28th at about 11am when I lost my membranes. We started tracking my surges around 2pm because I started to really see a pattern but nothing huge was going on. They were about 14 minutes a part and pretty mild. So we spent the day at home, going for walks, being in the garden and just spending a beautiful day with our other daughter Grace. By 6pm the surges were 6 to 8 minutes apart and getting stronger but still not enough to call the midwife so we continued making dinner and relaxing at home. During the day I continually focused on my calm breathing and my surge breathing to get through the surges. By 830pm my surges were 3 to 5 minutes apart and coming much stronger, so we called our midwife and headed to the birthing center. The birthing center is 30 minutes away and by the time we got there at 915pm I was having a surge every minute. Vicky our midwife checked me and I was 9cm dilated. It was not long after we got there that I started feeling the pressure to start breathing my daughter down. I got on all 4 fours on the bed and rested on the yoga ball and that’s when everything happened so fast! It was a couple breaths later that my water broke and 15 minutes later our amazing daughter arrived into this world! It took me only 3 birthing breaths to breath her down. My incredible husband was my coach and continued to remind me to breath her down and stay calm. Aliyah Mae was born at 10:19pm and was of course perfect!! I had no tearing and virtually no “road rash” as Vicky called it. She said it was one of the calmest most relaxed births she has ever been a part of. 

We are forever grateful to Maasa for helping us bring our baby girl into this world the way God intended. 

-Christa, Russell, Grace and Aliyah Mae

I began attending Maasa’s Prenatal Yoga classes towards the end of my pregnancy, prior to her classes i was attending non-prenatal re balancing yoga, which was great too but it was sure nice to be in an environment with other pregnant women and in a class with an instructor that focused on my changing pregnant body and my baby inside. Maasa’s brought some great techniques to class that I continued to use outside of class through my pregnancy and into birth (positive affirmation work, breath work and conscious relaxation). Maasa was very attentive to our aches and pains and addressed specific areas of our bodies at each class that needed the extra work. I believe that yoga is incredibly important for the pregnant woman not only in terms of staying healthy and comfortable during one’s pregnancy but also in preparation for birth. Maasa’s classes helped me further connect with my body and my baby and I believe that connection was key in me having a wonderful birth experience. Thanks again Maasa!

-Alex Markowsky

Words really cannot describe the gratitude we have for all of your hard work, support and love you provided us during our time of need, which will be remembered as the most important period of our lives. Your tireless work effort and your lovely caring persona was instrumental into bringing our little peanut “Sawyer” into our lives. Thank you, I don’t think we could’ve done it without you.

-Andrew, Chantelle, & Sawyer

Maasa Craig provided me with the best birthing present a new mom could hope for; she encapsulated my placenta. She picked it up

Zara’s maker!

the day my daughter was born, and brought me the capsules the following day. Zara was born at home, but she was not breathing normally, and we had to take her to the hospital. The next three days spent there were emotionally draining, and of course I was physically exhausted from the birth. I feel that having the placenta pills to take really helped me.

I took them every day for the first few weeks postpartum, and could definitely feel the lift they gave me, both physically and emotionally. In the weeks that followed, I would take a pill or two any time that I felt extra tired or emotionally drained. I would highly recommend this service for any new mom. Maasa also provided us with a beautiful placenta print, which now hangs in Zara’s room.

-Marissa Main

I honestly don’t even know where to begin with trying to describe everything that Maasa did for me throughout the last phase of my pregnancy, birth and postpartum aftercare. I was immediately drawn to her warm and uplifting energy, I felt instantly comfortable with her and through the weeks that followed, as she gave me doula visits and hypnobirthing sessions, she revealed her outstanding talent, skill and dedication to working with women through this very special process.  She worked with me through my fears, was attentive, sensitive, encouraging, highly informative, incredibly organized, and truly empowered and supported me to feel that I could have the natural birth that I envisioned for myself but had not had the courage to carry out until after working with her. She always managed to make time for me and make me feel special, capable, and genuinely cared about.

We completed the 5-week hypnobirthing course, which equipped me with the confidence, inspiration, and relaxation skills to have a harmonious  and calm labour and also to deal with changing circumstances. After the birth, she gave me plenty of continued support. She made me yoni-healing sitz bath herbal remedies and teas to drink. She made a very refreshing, replenishing (and surprisingly super tasty!) placenta smoothly for me shortly after the birth and encapsulated the rest, which has helped me enormously to balance my post-partum hormones and keep me sane and happy, which has allowed me to be all the more present with my baby to enjoy this special bonding time together. She also provided plenty of useful breastfeeding tips and assistance, made me a beautiful print of my baby’s placenta, and dried the cord. Nothing was wasted from the placenta and it helped put me in touch with the importance and almost sacredness of this organ that sustained my baby through his time inside me and played such a crucial role as the hormonal and nutrient hub that could continue to boost and balance me and baby even after the birth.

Needless to say, Maasa opened my eyes to a lot of new and beautiful perspectives and practices and I came away from the experience totally satisfied with the birth that I had envisioned and then effectively manifested with her help. There were challenges and twists in the road and Maasa was there with me through them, giving me warm hugs and uplifting words. My husband was not able to be with me so I honestly don’t know if I could have had such a great experience without the extra support Maasa so lovingly and abundantly provided. Her services are dynamic, she goes above and beyond and definitely has a extraordinary gift with this work. I feel so lucky to have found her!

Pimenta

My husband, Dan and I are so grateful that Maasa was our doula at the birth of our daughter. When we found out that we were expecting we knew that we wanted to have a doula attend the birth and we knew that we wanted to have a natural birth, but we had no idea what that was going to look like or entail. We were still living in Ontario when we found womanlywisdom.ca and had our first email conversation with Maasa. She seemed like a very warm person and very easy to talk to, so we had a Skype conversation which was really good and confirmed in our minds that we wanted her to attend our birth. We were so pleased to meet Maasa for the first time when we got to Nelson. She had lots of resources to help us get settled in Nelson as expectant first time parents. Maasa recommended a few great doctors and we ended up finding one who we clicked with right away. I began taking a prenatal yoga class that she told me about and I loved it! Even just little things like good parks to walk with our dog and community events that we might like really helped us to feel grounded in our new home. Maasa also told us about HypnoBirthing which was something I had heard
about and I was interested to learn more. Dan and I decided to enroll in the HypnoBirthing class that Maasa taught and we really liked it. At the time I just really liked the atmosphere of the group, it was very warm and open and I found many of the discussions that we had very helpful and informative. Dan said that he liked the feeling that we were preparing more and more for the birth as the weeks went on. We both felt that meditation techniques that we learned in the class helped us to feel progressively more relaxed and confident about the upcoming birth. The afternoon that I felt the first surges, the first thought that came into my head was “Yes!”. By this point I was so excited and I felt so ready to bring our baby into the world. It took me a few hours to really believe that this could be it. It almost seemed too good to be true. By the time that I accepted that I was in fact in labour, and Maasa came over to be with us, it was almost time to go to the hospital. I remember feeling very safe and secure as she helped us make the decision to head up there. I was so grateful that she helped me to get comfortable in the car for the ride over there, and get comfortable once we arrived. I felt like I could just relax and do my thing with Dan because she had the situation under control and she
knew exactly what she was doing. I really didn’t feel like I had anything to worry about, and the rest of the labour passed by like a
dream. I realize now that I was in deep meditation. Maasa helped me to stay relaxed and focused on my breath, and almost before I knew it (it was actually about 2.5 hours later) I had my baby in my arms. It was truly a wonderful experience. Shortly after Maasa presented me with a placenta smoothie that filled me with strength. She also saw to the care of the rest of my placenta which she encapsulated and prepared into a tincture and salve. I have been taking the capsules for over 3 weeks now and so far my mood and
energy have been great. I have also been using the salve as a diaper cream on my baby and she has had no rashes. Needless to say our experience with Maasa has been great and we would recommend her services in an instant. It was so wonderful to have such
a strong, kind, and giving person with us at this most special time in all of our lives.

Genoa, Dan and Clara

Maasa’s hypnobirthing class was a wonderful learning experience.  Her class was interactive and fun.  She covered much more than we were expecting, from pregnancy, labour and birthing to breastfeeding.  The course gave us both the calm confidence we needed to walk into the labour process with no fear.  My labour was smooth and we stayed calm because of what we learned throughout the Hypnobirthing process.   Thank you Maasa and Hypnobirthing!

Love, Marie-Josee, Pat and Maxime

We first met Maasa when we took her Hyponobirthing class. Right away I was drawn to her warm nature and calm energy. The Hyponobirthing class was exactly what we were looking for. Learning how to connect with your breath and practising positive affirmations and meditation to prepare for how we wanted our baby’s birthing day to unfold. The Hyponobirthing mantra is similar to yoga and helped us prepare for what we hoped would be a natural birthing experience. We learned that birth doesn’t have to be scary and painful and that it’s all about your mental attitude and staying relaxed. Maasa provided us with many useful tools to help breathe through labour and lots of positive visualizations to help me stay focused on our baby’s birthing day. When we started this journey, I did not think we would include a doula in our birthing experience, but it soon became clear what value it would bring to all of us. Maasa was an easy choice. It was clear we shared the same views about what we wanted as far as natural child birth goes and she brought so many important things to our attention for consideration, to give our baby its best chance possible and to advocate for what we felt was important in regards to our birthing intentions. Maasa’s dedication and passion for natural childbirth, what babies really need, the study of midwifery, and many other alternative remedies used for both mother and baby during and after labour is truly incredible. She was such an important part of our birthing experience and my recovery afterwards. We had Maasa prepare the placenta smoothie, placenta encapsulation, salve and tincture, as well as the tree of life print. The placenta smoothie and pills were certainly a saving grace. I had a decent amount of energy in the days that followed quite a draining birth, both emotionally and physically and didn’t experience baby blues or post-partum depression. Although the tree of life print was something I wasn’t sure we needed or wanted, I’m so glad we have this to share with our son and also to remind me what an amazing organ we as women are able to grow inside us to sustain life. We will forever hold Massa close to the amazing experience we shared together and if we are lucky enough to have another child, we would have her with us again in a heartbeat.

-Carissa, Jonathan and baby Mason

Maasa, this thank you is long over due, but we were so grateful for your gentle and grounded presence on our journey to parenthood! You were so kind to us and went above and beyond what we had expected- the salve & tincture have been very useful and the placenta prints such a keepsake! Thank you for your strong spirit and abundance!

-Kat, Jesse & Finely

 

On March 14 , 2013 at 11:30 pm we welcomed a sweet little boy into our hearts! Bryn Griffin Kneeland was born at home into a peaceful calm loving space filled with big hearts and curious spirits.
It was an evening that I had hoped was possible and am so proud that I was able to allow my mind to rest while my body performed the amazing powerful task of birthing another.
Awe cannot describe how i feel about birth right now. It was the kind of experience that makes me want to do it again! It made me fully concious of the mind body connection and the power that ever woman has held deeply inside waiting to be followed and explored.
In the previous months before the birth I had been listening to some hypnobirthing cds that i had received from my friend Maasa who is a hypnobirthing coach doula and admired friend. She had offered to share her knowledge of hypnobirthing with me during a time when i was feeling uncertain about the whole concept of the natural home birth. After having an induced highly intervented birth with Willa I needed to reprogram my thinking and re embrace my power as a woman fully capable of having a low key and natural birth. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it without some sort of drug epidural etc…
After listening to Maasas explanation of the breathing techniques and the logic behind it. It made sense and felt like something i would like to practice. Although i listened to the hypnobirthing cds a lot and used them as a relaxation focal point during the birth i felt like i grabbed from many different places  to help me focus visualize and stay as calm as possible.
At 12:30pm i was visiting with a friend of mine and began having braxton hicks which Had a Little bit of a cramping to them these went on for a few hours i wasnt sure if i was in labour for quite some time. When Kai came home around 5:30 things were a little bit more intense I had phoned Joanne at Plum midwives to tell her i thought i might be in early labour. She told me to take a bath to see if the contractions subsided. In the tub they intensified and felt like they were becoming more regular I was feeling a deep connection and focus beginning to develop within myself. I tapped out my cortices which is a technique i use a lot in my daily routine. Fiona my dear friend and bodytalk practitioner says its to balance out the left and right sides of the brain whenever i am feeling overwhelmed anxious i do this and become calm! After doing this i became sooo relaxed and began  preparing mentally and accepting that today was the day that the baby would come. I phoned Joanne and we agreed it was time to come see what was happening. I told Kai that labour was beginning and he began preparing our room for the birth. For a while I hung out supporting my upper body on the bed which felt really good i was timing the contractions and they were a minute each 3 minutes appart. Joanne arrived around 6:30 and we decided that it would be good to see how many centimeters dialated i was. I was induced for my first pregnancy so I always wondered if contractions would be less painful when they came on naturally. I would definitely say that being induced with oxytocin makes contractions a lot sharper much earlier on . Joanne checked me and I was around 4 centimeters dialated and approaching active labour she also said that the baby was nice and low which was the same as my first birth.  I was pleased to hear that i was progressing and that labour had begun.
My other support person Erika arrived a bit before Joanne she encouraged me to drink lots of labour tea and was calm and relaxed.
As labour progressed we listened to music i had to go within and visualize through contractions. One visualization that really worked i became aware of during my last craniosacral session. I pictured an emense expanding amount of space around the baby. For me it was a strange desert and babe was just lying in the middle. It helped me relax during intense contractions.
About 3 and a half hrs later i began feeling something way more powerful  happening. I felt that the baby had moved way down or that my body had pushed it lower.  I was excited and felt my body really taking over. The pain was intense but i let go into it and wasn’t affraid. I had to trust. Joanne told me things were going well and that the baby would come soon.  I wasnt quite sure what I was feeling Joanne had let me know I was in transition and my body was switching back and forth between intense contractions and then an involuntary pushing down sensation. My body was beginning to push the baby down. I cant say at this point that i was pushing at all. It was doing it all on its own. I didn’t get to feel transition during Willas birth so I was so curious about this part of the birth. Luckily it was a very short period of time and very smooth. I pushed slightly during the final few contractions and then there he was!!!
Words cant describe how i felt pulling that wet warm little baby up onto my belly! Such a rush and so incredible so special…

-Emily Dunsmore

 

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