I recently decided to touch base with the local birth and wellness center, and baby boutique near my home, and I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful owner, Rochelle. Her space is just gorgeous! You can just feel how much of her heart and soul that she has put into her business. You walk in, and you feel calm and at peace, and you can just feel the warmth and collective hugs that have taken place here. I was so impressed! The center is made up of three parts - the birth center, a retail store and a classroom where she invites other local childbirth and baby related businesses to teach and hold classes. What a great way to bring new and expecting parents together! I wanted to do a brief interview with Rochelle, so that she could share with you herself, about her business:
Please share with us, a little about your family. I married my husband (my childhood best friend) right out of college and followed him around the country as he served in the Marine Corps for 20 years. We have a 23 year old son and a 21 year old daughter. (Are they still considered my "kids?") Growing up with a parent who is frequently gone for long periods of time can be difficult, but it also brings the blessings of a close-knit family. We enjoy camping and time at the beach, and just being silly together. Motherhood has been my favorite job, by far.
Tell us your favorite thing about running a birth and wellness center. I get to be a part of the miracle of birth every day. From sharing the excitement of a new pregnancy to seeing the joy on a woman's face as she scoops her newborn up in her arms for the first time. It is magical. I also am grateful for the diverse group of professionals that I get to work with every day - midwives, doulas, educators, craniosacral therapists, naturopaths, marriage and family therapists, obstetricians and more. The collaborative care that a birth center provides is the foundation of a supportive community of families and care providers.
What is your favorite product in the boutique? Ummm...all of them? That is the beauty of owning your own store - you only choose the things you love! If I had to narrow it down, I would probably say baby carriers. We wore our kids in a ring sling before it was a common practice. There is just something about having a baby on your chest, your breaths rising and falling together, their sweet baby smells right under your nose. If you have another child, the ability to hold your new squish close, while keeping up with your toddler is priceless!
Tell us what inspired you to open the birth center part of your business. I have been a childbirth educator and doula for several years. I would always educate my clients on their birthplace options, but many were often disappointed to find that the nearest birth center was an hour away. One day I was lamenting my frustration about the lack of a local birth center to a midwife friend of mine. She said, "Why don't you open one?" I laughed, but continued to think about it throughout the day. When I approached my husband, I expected him to tell me I was crazy. Instead, he was on board. The rest, as they say, was history.
Tell us your favorite piece of advice to give to new parents. Whether I am teaching a newborn care class or helping a mom to breastfeed, I often remind them that they are wiser than they know. In this age of instant communication and limitless resources online, I find that parents often seek information from many sources, then become overwhelmed when making a decision about their birth or baby. One article says to do one thing, while another encourages the opposite. I remind parents that they know their baby better than anyone else. It is okay to take in the advice from family, friends and professionals, but in the end I wish them the self-confidence to listen to their own hearts and minds. They will then make the right choice for their family.