1. Tell me about your family? How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
I’m a mom of two boys. Julian is 5 and Kaden is 3 my May 2020 pandemic babe.
2. Tell me a bit about your multiple businesses.
Oh boy! Where do I begin? My college education is in dance, therapeutic recreation, and American Sign Language. Those have always stayed with me. Since being a mom I’ve started my doula business. This includes childbirth education, birth and postpartum support, and lactation. Most recently, though, I’ve been doing Angel card readings and channeling spirit guides and archangels for people. It’s been extremely rewarding and really taken off these past months. You can always find me teaching music and movement 6 days a week at the nesting place!
3. What inspired you to become a doula, and how has your journey been so far?
When I had Julian in 2017 I was really blown away by the benefits of breastfeeding and how much I loved it. I feel very lucky to have nursed both boys for 3 years. I wanted to help moms on that journey as well. The timing wasn’t right and I just never pursued it. I was a member of the la Leche league in my area, which was amazing for me to attend and gain the confidence to breastfeed in public. Fast forward to 2020 sitting on the postpartum unit with Kaden 24 hours old. I said I am not going back to work at a nursing home it’s now or never. So I took time during my maternity leave to get certified as a doula. It was perfect because it was virtual since Covid was going on. I did wind up going back to the nursing home part-time because I adore therapeutic recreation and my co-workers but it was getting really hard juggling everything, so I left to be a doula full-time. My first client was in January 2021 and I was a full-time doula by June 2021 – my first year, I had 25 clients. The universe and my family truly had my back.
4. As a doula, what are some of the most common concerns that you have seen new moms struggle with?
Hmm, there are a few I think of. Having a provider who doesn’t follow mom’s lead, breastfeeding, I have to really stress prenatal lactation education. Everyone is always so worried about the birth, but breastfeeding is a whole other beast. Also, postpartum support. Our needs change as we go from a woman, wife, to mom… relationships with self, partner, and family change as well, and it could be weird navigating it all
5. How do you help them overcome these challenges?
Oh gosh, I wish I could do more honestly. I’m always one call or text away. I try to really be available for all my clients and do extra fear, tension, meditations, as well as helping them write and advocate for their birth plan and offer separate lactation courses
6. How do you incorporate music into your teachings as a recreational therapist? Have you noticed any benefits for children who learn through music?
Music is lifeeee. It is so good for the soul. When I worked in TR at the nursing home, we had non-verbal residents or ones with dementia not able to talk or recall memories but sing and even play an instrument. I believe music and movement is so energetically healing. It could be powerful lyrics or hertz frequencies that change and heal us on a cellular level. Music is beneficial for kids because it helps with language development, learning sounds, syllables, and rhythms, builds confidence, and helps to socialize. Music comes to me in dreams and as I’m channeling for someone. Usually, I’ll bring up a song or song lyric.
7. As an angel guide, what practices do you recommend for moms who want to incorporate spirituality into their daily routine?
We are all equal on a soul level, we all came from the same source and will return to the same source. That’s true for angels too. They want to connect with us. They may not be in
our 3D realm, but they are everywhere if we just learn to raise our vibration and listen for them. I would start with journaling after meditation or even automatic writing to see if anything comes to you. I love helping people begin their spiritual journey. It’s something we talk a lot about during a reading.
8. How do you balance your time between being a doula, recreational therapist, childbirth educator, and angel guide?
Joy. When you love what you do, it just flows; the universe has your back. I worked 8-4 5 days a week, came home to one kid, and cried because “I didn’t have time” What my soul was saying was that I wasn’t fulfilled. Because I do 100x more things but never feel like wow I have a lot on my plate. My weekends and after 5 pm are non negotiable family time. I make sure I get my own self-care through pure barre and dance classes and continue to work on boundaries and grounding. I’m just feeling very aligned with all the different hats I’m wearing right now.
9. What advice would you give to moms who want to pursue multiple passions or careers simultaneously?
If you have family, friends, or other birth professionals to support you, you can do it. Get creative! Don’t expect to do everything at once. Check out online options, certificates, and financial aid or scholarship programs. When there’s a will there’s a way, better yet when the universe has your back, and it’s meant to be it’ll work!
10. How do you balance your work and family life?
Making sure I make myself a priority too. Taking time out of the week to be alone helps me rejuvenate. Music helps too.
11. How do you teach your children about the importance of self-care, especially as a mom who is juggling multiple roles?
When I leave the house for a class for myself, I tell them. I’m upfront and honest. I say, just like you guys like to do gymnastics or go to running class and feel really good after, it’s mommy’s turn to now. As long as they have snacks and their favorite babysitter, they’re usually fine. But they are my priority; I’ve canceled work and self-care stuff if they have been sick or just because I miss them
12. Have you noticed any similarities between your roles as a doula, recreational therapist, and spiritual guide? If so, how have these similarities helped you in your work?
Omg yes! It’s all my dharma, the common thread or life purpose you can say, is to heal and protect others, hold sacred space, and use nonpharmaceutical interventions as coping skills, pain management, and through everyday life. It’s all so organic, too, these rules I play. Making sure people are being advocated for but empowering them to feel confident in their choices.
13. How do you think your experiences as a mom have influenced your work?
Patience, especially in my toddler music classes, their kids just have to let them be free and have fun (as long as everyone’s being safe)
14. What are some of the most rewarding moments you have experienced in your work as a doula, recreational therapist, and angel guide?
When people cry, Crying is a conduct it means things are flowing! Let it flow!!!! It means we’ve hit a point of transformation or spiritual awakening. Come on, don’t we all feel good after a good cry? Of course, my second most rewarding thing after a good cry is that moment when the client is like “Wow I did that.”
15. How do you approach the topic of birth with your children, and what advice would you give to parents who want to talk about it with their children?
Just honestly, my 5-year-old can tell you exactly how babies are made and the birth process. We call body parts and talk about anatomy just like he’d read in a textbook. When I get my period, Julian goes, “Oh man, no baby sister?”
16. What are some resources or tools that you would recommend for moms who are looking for support in their journey of motherhood?
Take classes, birth Ed, prenatal classes, all of them. Find a support team, OB/midwife, and holistic care providers like acupuncture, chiropractor, and massage therapists; I’m happy to help moms find podcasts, reading materials, and yoga classes. Prep for your birth day as you would for your wedding day
You can sign up to attend one of Avrey’s baby and toddler music classes at https://thenestingplaceli.com in their Merrick, Yaphank, and Farmingdale locations. You can also connect with Avrey over Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/wombearthandbeyond/ to speak to her about the other services she provides!