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Learn About Nurturely’s Programs: Tiny Human Survival Training

Join the upcoming cohort of our Tiny Human Survival Training program!

The partner parenting cohort, Tiny Human Survival Training’s goal is to fill the gap and address the needs of the non-birthing partner who often, rightfully don’t receive the attention of the birthing person, said group leader, Kyndl Woodlee, a counseling psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Oregon. Woodlee, a new dad himself, stresses the importance of community to partners who often do not have the space to talk about the challenges of new parenthood. Over the last three years, Woodlee has worked as a therapist in a variety of settings with particular interest in working within groups. His research has focused on intimate partner violence and masculinity.

The four-week virtual cohort features two hours per week of learning sessions on topics related to wellness and postpartum preparation from a partner’s perspective, learning resources, customized support with postpartum planning, and hands-on skills practice in diapering, carrying and soothing. The second cohort of the program, which begins May 3rd, will feature expert guest speakers including Dr. Jon Davies of the McKenzie River Men’s Center who will discuss mental health, Starlita Kilpatrick from the Mama Connect who will teach participants about the benefits of babywearing as well as how to do it safely and effectively and a representative from West Coast Diapers who will lead a session on diapering. Not only will participants gain tangible skills and important knowledge but also build that all important community through a social hour and ongoing connection through an online application even after the program ends.

The first cohort of the program which ended recently had participants from not only the greater Eugene area but also from California. Most of the participants heard about the program through word-of-mouth, according to Woodlee, though he would like to expand the reach of the program geographically as well as to those of all gender identities and expressions. 

For more information about the program, including how to join the second cohort which starts with a social hour on May 3rd, visit https://nurturely.org/survivaltraining.

Pelvic Wellness with Dr. Eileen Johnson

Learn About Positively Pregnancy and Speaker Dr. Eileen Johnson

Learn more about Nurturely’s Positively Pregnancy group including how to join.

Nurturely’s Postively Pregnancy group allows members to connect with other pregnant parents and gain tools to prevent postpartum challenges. The four-week virtual class led by Nurturely team members Sonya and Roshny includes two hours per week of interactive learning sessions on topics related to perinatal wellness and postpartum preparation. In addition to the virtual sessions, parents receive supplementary learning resources including articles and worksheets, just-for-fun virtual meetups with other expectant parents, customized support with postpartum planning, and six months of access to a private community where your cohort can continue to engage with and support one another through birth and postpartum.

One of the virtual sessions includes a lecture by pelvic floor physical therapist, Dr. Eileen Johnson of University of Southern California and the Perinatal Research Group. While a relatively new specialty of physical therapy, pelvic floor therapy can be beneficial to all birthing people both before birth and postpartum. “It is not just kegels!” Dr. Johnson said. Johnson works with birthing people to gain confidence in social settings including in sexual function and incontinence. She not only treats birthing people but also people suffering from constipation and other gastroenterological conditions as well as endometriosis. Pelvic floor physical therapy is not well known amongst the general public and often shrouded in stigma but yet can treat a myriad of conditions.

Johnson, a mom herself, is passionate about raising awareness about the benefits pelvic floor physical therapy. She hopes more people will seek it out and more physical therapists will enter and advance the field. She also hopes that the healthcare system will promote the use of these services. Regardless of her work on the macro level, on the individual level she stresses the importance of advocating of yourself as well as listening to your body and sharing your stories to eliminates stigma associated with pelvic floor health.

Find a physical therapist specializing in pelvic health near you here.

The Black Doula

Meet Nurturely: Sabia

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. Next up: Sabia!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work. What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I am a revolutionary doula and CEO of For the Village and Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings. We partnered to create the MilkMagic lactation program, it’s an educational program.

What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

Reproductive justice disparities and lactation which is connected to reproductive justice as a whole. I’ve been working with them since 2018.

What is your role within Nurturely? 

Near and dear of my heart now that I’m President of the board. It’s kind of like a facilitator role, my job as the president one make sure that we are meeting our goals but also making sure that everyone is still connected to what we are doing. It’s like being the doula of the group. 

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

The obvious goal to be a group that is effective in closing disparities, removing barriers and providing resources for those barriers. Long-term I want to have a permanent partnership with For the Village and Nurturely. 

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

I am writing my first book and currently recording a podcast called The Black Doula Podcast. The first season is all about The Body. I have a dog named Cairo and live in Georgia.

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Meet Nurturely: Marissa

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. Next up: Marissa!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work. What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Milwaukee, WI when I was a teenager. I did my undergraduate degree in social welfare and Spanish with minors in psychology and health studies at Marquette University. As a student and youth mentor, I witnessed the impact of structural and institutional racism and oppression on the communities I lived and worked in. After graduating, I was employed as a social work case manager in community violence prevention and child welfare in Milwaukee. 

I felt completely helpless to change the conditions faced by my clients, so I wanted to shift my career trajectory and work more on the prevention side of health and human services. I decided to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree so that I could help develop sustainable, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive solutions to dismantle systems harming children and families. My internship search at the start of my second year in my MPH program led me to Nurturely in December 2020, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue working with the team this winter and spring. 

What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I was looking for an internship experience with an organization that addresses the social determinants of health and works to reduce preventable health disparities. I also wanted to be able to work in a community-driven setting directly with families, as that is one of the components of my previous jobs in social work that I loved. I was especially drawn to Nurturely’s focus on racial equity within perinatal health, as well as its commitment to antiracist practices internally with its team and externally in the community. I also really appreciate Nurturely’s emphasis on understanding and valuing lived experience and traditional practices that support health, which are often neglected by public health agencies and research. Another aspect of Nurturely that I love is the wide range of expertise and perspectives that the team offers!

What is your role within Nurturely? 

I am Nurturely’s MPH intern, and I am involved in program planning and evaluation! My main projects focus on designing evaluations for Nurturely’s programs to demonstrate their benefits and impact. Over the past month and a half, I have created surveys to evaluate Nurturely’s Racism in Perinatal and Pediatric Health workshop series for Oregon-based healthcare professionals. Over the next few months, I will be doing similar work for the Positively Pregnancy cohorts. I have also spent time designing visually appealing, simple-to-understand resource guides for a variety of health equity topics to share with Nurturely’s partners and program participants. 

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

At Nurturely, I hope to gain more experience in designing and evaluating programs focused on health equity. I am also excited to learn from the amazing people who are involved in Nurturely’s efforts. I am new to Oregon, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals across a variety of sectors working to address perinatal disparities. I have really enjoyed working on the Racism in Perinatal and Pediatric Health series so far, and I can’t wait to become more involved in Nurturely’s other program offerings. I hope to be able to provide strong data from the program evaluations to highlight how important and impactful Nurturely’s work is so that the organization can continue to grow and reach more people!

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

Outside of Nurturely, I am a full-time graduate student in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University focusing on Health Promotion and Health Behavior. At OSU, I also work as a research assistant on a project aimed at increasing access to HIV self-testing for LGBTQIA communities in Portland.

As a sexual assault and domestic violence survivor, I am passionate about advocating for survivors and preventing violence in all of its forms. I have also remained close with former coworkers and community members in Milwaukee, so I am currently involved in writing program evaluations for a youth suicide prevention program and a trauma prevention coalition there. 

When I’m not in class or working, I love to be active and spend time outdoors. Running, cycling, swimming, and hiking are some of my favorite activities! I also am a dog mama to a 4-year-old rescue dog named Peanut (who thinks he is a lap dog even though he is 60 pounds).

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Meet Nurturely: Jasmine

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. Next up: Jasmine!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work. What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I am a mother to two, surrogate, prenatal yoga teacher, doula and doula educator. I honestly never wanted children until I had my own! My first daughter changed me in every way and I continued to grow into a better person as I stepped into the role of Mom. I suffered with postpartum depression and psychosis in that first year after giving birth, which led to massive shedding and growth. After I consciously conceived my second daughter, I began to see the impact that our community, preparation, rest, connection and support all have on our ability to parent and take care of ourselves and our families. It was baffling to me that I was so unsupported and unprepared as a young mom and it set me on my journey to where I am today. When I began to connect to my new community after moving to Eugene from California, I met with Emily and quickly realized how aligned I am to Nurturely’s mission and wanted to be a part of it. 

What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

Many things! Most profoundly, I could see that the nature of Nurturley was going to make a real positive impact on the culture of perinatal health and address the issues that we face today in a way that is approachable and impactful. I was also excited to hear about all of the research and resources around postpartum health, babywearing and other things that positively impacted my own parenting. These are things I’ve long been excited about. It can feel like these rites of passage and instinctual ways of parenting are radical and require a certain amount of privilege, and I am hopeful that there could be a time when it is available to everyone thanks to work being done like what Nurturely is doing. 

What is your role within Nurturely? 

 I am the Board Secretary.

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

I really hope to amplify and support the work that is being done and lend my voice and experience as the organization continues to grow. My goals in getting into birthwork from the beginning have always stemmed from a deep feeling of wanting to support and connect to birthing people. While I personally can hold space for individuals on a small scale in my community, working with Nurturely means I can contribute to having a larger impact on the structure and systems currently in place so that each individual’s experience of birth, postpartum and parenting can be the joyful experience it’s meant to be and not something that anyone has to fight for. 

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

I am a huge bookworm and I love to write. I am also a serial project starter – I have a closet full of unfinished knitting and needlework projects! I am also learning the ukulele and since moving to the PNW I’ve really enjoyed exploring hiking trails and the coast. 

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Meet Nurturely: Ayisha

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. Next up: Ayisha!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work. What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I’m a Diversity and Inclusion advisor, program facilitator, podcaster and writer. I was led to work with Nurturely by the Executive Director, Emily Little’s, initiative to learn and provide equitable and inclusive spaces for birthing families.

What is your role within Nurturely? 

I am Nurturely’s Equity Advisor. I also created and facilitate a program with Nurturely, called Nurturing B.L.A.C.K, a 4 week course dedicated to white families raising black and/or biracial black and white babies.

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

I hope to help cultivate and maintain a space where BIPOC feel supported and heard, and advocated for in this work, and in the world. Nurturely does great work, and I encourage that everyone within the work are empowering the journey from a de-centered and progressive perspective.

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

Outside of Nurturely, I am a mother of 2 grown children, 1 junior in HS, as well as a grandmother of 3 beautiful little boys, I am a dancer-West African-Guinean, and Cuban Salsa. I love to workout, study astrology, and self reflective work. 

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Meet Nurturely: Kyndl

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. Next up: Kyndl!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work.

I am a doctoral candidate in the University of Oregon’s Counseling Psychology PhD program entering my final year of school. From undergrad until now, I have focused a large portion of my research and advocacy on Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence prevention and supporting survivors through social justice activism and therapeutic practices. During graduate school I began to do more education and community interventions centered on Men and Masculinity as it pertains to IPV, and how men can lead healthier lives and better serve the community with the McKenzie River Men’s Center. Also during graduate school, my Wife and I welcomed our first child into the world and my work on masculinity shifted to address how men can be the Fathers that their partners and children need them to be. This work was embraced by Emily Little and she invited me to get involved in the work Nurturely is doing for parents!

What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

It was largely the birth of my daughter and how that has changed me and how I engage with the world and those around me. Having not really had access to many of the support groups, communities, and resources that Nurturely offers, I was moved by the opportunity to help put those support systems in place and give other parents access to communities and information that I would have loved to have.

What is your role within Nurturely? 

I serve on the Board of Directors and I have helped develop and will facilitate the Tiny Human Survival Training for Non-Birthing Parents coming up in March!

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

My hope with Nurturely is to do my part in establishing an organization that wholly addresses the barriers that people experience when on their perinatal journey. The work that is being done at Nurturely seeks to integrate the systemic issues at the core of perinatal wellness inequity in the supports that we offer, and I just hope to contribute to that mission. My goals with my specific work at Nurturely is to provide an educational resource to non-birthing parents, as well as a space for community and interpersonal support.

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

Outside Nurturely, I am a doctoral student, parent, and partner — all roles that I cherish and put a lot of time into. For fun, I am a big Marvel nerd, I love playing soccer when it isn’t the middle of a pandemic, and I am passionate about being/becoming a therapist!

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Meet Nurturely: Monique

As part of our relaunch we are highlighting our staff, volunteers and board members. First up: Monique!

Describe your background and what led you to Nurturely’s work.

I was a teen mother in 1998 here in Eugene, and had very minimal options for being able to stay in actual school and no support outside of my home. I am hoping through Nurturely that I can assist in creating resources for caregivers of all ages and backgrounds.

What motivated you to work with Nurturely?

I am a firm believer that everyone deserves the very best resources when it comes to being able to care for their infants and beyond. When Emily discussed me being part of Nurturely, I was intimidated, but change cannot happen without the members of Nurturely being there to be the voice of so many needing one until they find their own. 

What is your role within Nurturely? 

I am on the Board of Nurturely.

What do you hope to do with Nurturely? What are your goals in working with Nurturely?

I hope to create resources for young parents, especially for those who do not have the support that I thankfully had. These young parents are already facing a huge life change and it is imperative that we provide resources, education to those who might be assisting them (medical staff, case workers, other family, etc) , as well as building a support group for them.  We cannot just expect this population to be the best parents they can without the tools and the support they need. 

What do you do outside of Nurturely (hobbies, work, school, passions, etc.)?

Outside of Nurturely I love spending time with my husband and 3 amazing children. I am also on the board of another non-profit group, Junior League of Eugene, go to school full time to get my degrees in Criminal Justice and Human Services, and work at a lovely local hotel.