Episode 46 Afra, Mom blogger turned Doula shares the importance of supporting women through birth and postpartum.

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Afra is a Blogger, a Birth Postpartum Doula and soon to be Breastfeeding Educator. She has 3 children 5 and under and is based in California. She loves everything birth, breastfeeding and baby wearing and is a huge advocate for supporting women (especially mothers) and making sure they are supported through their journeys. Whether it’s advice on preparation for baby during pregnancy, to postpartum issues, or just general mental health advice, Afra loves to be there. She is soon launching her Virtual Doula Services and Educational Workshops so do look out for that.

 

Afra talks to us about how Doulas can support women through birth stages and why she became a Doula. She touches on important things needed for consideration during birth stages and gives very helpful tips for women who want to become a Doula and also start blogging.

 

In this episode

 

●      How Afra got in to blogging

●      How and why Afra’s blog helps and inspires he followers

●      Afra’s tips for those wanting to start a blogging

●      How and why Afra became a Doula and Birth Coach - her interesting story

●      What is a Doula and how Doula supports women during birth stages.

●      Postpartum depression and support by a Doula

●      Being a Doula has helped Afra with her own traumatic postpartum experience.

●      Afra’s tips for women wanting to become a Doula or new Mom

●      Need of support system, planning and scheduling   

●      Finding friends and people going through the same issues is a big support

●      Preparing yourself for labor will help you be ready for birth

●      Women's right to ask and demand for things during labor

●      Afra and social media

●      Joining brand ambassador groups

 

You Should Connect with Afra here

Instagram @throughmamaseyesblog and her

website is www.throughmamaseyes.com

Full Episode Transcription

FOUSIA: On today's episode is Afra who I've gotten to know on social media. And recently we met in person for the first time which is something that I cannot say for everyone that's been on the show. There's very few people that I've met in person and Afro is one of them. She is a blogger. You guys might know her as Through mamas eyes Blog on Instagram as well as her blog and she is birth and postpartum Doula. She's going to be a breastfeeding educator. She has three children five and under and is based in California. She loves everything birth breastfeeding and baby wearing. She's a huge advocate for supporting women especially mothers and making sure they are supported throughout their journeys whether it's advice on preparation for the baby during pregnancy to postpartum issues or just general mental health advice. Afra loves to be there. She's soon launching her virtual doula the services and educational workshops so keep an eye out for that. Like I said she can be found on Instagram at Through mamas eyes blog and her Website. www.throughmamaseyes.com let's get right to today's episode you guys.


FOUSIA: Hey guys. Asalaamu Alaykum. Welcome to another episode of The Naptime  Is Sacred Podcast today I have with me the lovely lovely lovely Afra. Welcome to the show.


Afra: I am so honored to be here today thank you for having me.


FOUSIA: I'm so glad to have you. So we've been connected through social media and Instagram Facebook I think as well. But for those of our listeners who don't know you tell us a little bit about yourself.


Afra: Ok. So I am. You know my name Afra. I am a mom of three. I'm based in California. And I am also a mom blogger and recently became a birth and postpartum Doula and I am soon also going to be a breastfeeding educator. So there's a couple of things I do along with being a mom. And yeah I just kind of you know juggling on that right now.


FOUSIA: You have got a lot going on. So tell us a little bit about how you got into blogging. You've been doing this for a little while now.


Afra: Yes. Just over two years. So prior to being a blogger I was you could say I ran several different projects more entrepreneurial kind of projects a little side businesses with my husband. And then one of them I kind of in 2016 it was around the summertime I kind of let go of that because it was just affecting just our routine and family was just taking up too much of me. And then I took a couple of months off and then I realized that I wanted to do more and at that time I was doing a lot of reviews on mom products. And then it kind of got me thinking you know like my sister is a blogger and I decided OK you know what maybe I should try it out. You know maybe I can do something I kind of wanted to just contribute because I would get a lot of questions from friends you know on different topics like pregnancy preparing for a baby and what products should I buy. Because by then I had already had two kids by then and my youngest was just around one no one and a half. So I decided OK let me just start a mom blog and that was when I started it was late 2016 and then I got pregnant shortly after so I had to take a long break and then continued again. Got back into it after my son was born late 2017.


FOUSIA: Tell us a little bit about how blogging empowered you as... as a mom you sharing a lot of things tell us how it empowered you.


Afra: I feel like just being able to share with moms and being able to give information and inspire and help and support moms who follow me or moms who I'm connected to. It's very empowering because I know being a mom myself how important it is to be able to relate to someone else and know that what you're going through is not.. you know you're not the only one going through that. You know there's all the other moms going through that. And sometimes you don't know that until you actually connect with someone or speak to them about it or anything so it just feels so good to get messages from moms to hear like your blog post helped me so much or that post that you helped me so much or what you shared just lifted made my day and made it so much easier. And it's just so good to know that you know I'm not the only one going through this. And it just feels amazing like it just feels like I'm giving back and it feels like I'm doing what I would have wanted to be given when I started out on my journey. Being a mom.


FOUSIA: I feel like a lot of people like our age and who have kids like this is something when we first started having kids is now that there so many things available so many programs whether it's mom groups or blogs podcasts the business is run by young moms that we didn't have back then. But I'm so glad a alhamdulillah. So this is something that you able to do and you know kind of give back in your own way. Tell us a little bit about your background did you have a writing background or was there a learning curve to blogging for you.


Afra: I am more have more of a technical background. English was my worst subject at school but writing in general when I'm writing something that is important to me or something that's coming from my heart that comes easy writing in that way. It's very easy. So in that sense you know starting a blog wasn't that hard. I'd love the technical aspect. You know just setting up a website and a logo and everything and there there's always so much background work to blogging as well other than just a website writing there's you know social media again which is one of the things I'm so passionate about know because I did this marketing certification as well. So you know a lot of the things that elements of blogging just brought in a lot of things that I'm passionate about you know supporting moms being technical social media marketing my own business. So yeah that you know it was just all one big circle that I was able to contribute to you know build myself. Yeah.


FOUSIA: So what tip do you have because I know blogging has been around for a while and there's some moms who've been doing it before you. And there's moms who want to start now. 2019 They feel like blogging is something that they want to do. What tips do you have that you think might be helpful to them to get started.


Afra: I think finding a niche like talking about what you are thinking about what you can contribute. So what are you going to be able to give to you know.. to a mom that she isn't already getting and it doesn't mean that you have to be unique in your own way and create something totally new that isn't existing out there. But there has to be something about you that is unique to yourself you know and then other than just the general creating a Website and blogging because there are bloggers to blog on Instagram and there are bloggers who also write. So there is you know different aspects of blogging but depending on whatever you want to do just making sure you have content available at all times because I feel like without content it's very hard to be successful because then you're always kind of flustered and then you feel kind of like you know super behind.


FOUSIA: And you've got to like you feel like you have all this pressure because everyone online is producing producing producing producing creating creating creating. Yeah the consistency which is something that those people who've been listening to the podcast for awhile. I always tell them all the time consistency is like my Achilles heel. But we're working through that in 2019 so inshaAllah. Tell us a little bit about becoming Doula and a birth coach and just how did that idea come up. Was it something that you know that you felt was blocking in the community. But tell us a little bit about that. OK.


Afra: So it's just so interesting how it happened to me. So. So prior to starting my program last year I was just... I think through my birth experiences because I had a C-section with my first completely unexpected. And also I feel unnecessary to stay then trying so hard and to do get feedbacks for both my other kids because I have three and it just the experience with all of those with all the kids and you know over the five years in the research and everything that I put into like you know learning about you know how I can have the birth that I want and having an empowering birth. It just made me so passionate about birth in general and just being able to empower women in general so like just even if a friend would text me and be like you know you should do this you should do this you should not agree to this or you even just prepping for a baby you know just general prep for baby because I feel like people just go all out and prep with the wrong like unnecessary items. So I would be like the person my friends would come to like what should I buy what should I buy this should I not get it. And then also postpartum I would get so many questions from friends you know like what do I do right now. Why do I feel like this. What should I buy. You know like especially if they had a C-section like you know why is the pain so bad or how do I manage this. So and I just you know I felt drawn to helping women and that's where it like where the element of my blood came I was able to put all of that into my blog and try to help women that way. And I think I wish I could remember the date but I went to see a friend was pregnant and we went for dinner and once to her place and again we got into the whole topic of like kids and preparing for birth and all that stuff and she's like You know what. Why into a Doula. I'm like you know me a Doula? No that's just... where am I going to even have the time. I have a newborn right now two kids two toddlers there's no way that I can do that. And then I was on the birth out podcast I did an interview and talking about my birth stories and then through that I learned about a organization that was running a Doula program called a certified maternal practitioner program and they're Canadian based and they had a scholarship to apply for the program because that program that they were doing is essentially a way for people to become either a fertility birth Doula or postpartum Doula that or they could cover all they covered the whole spectrum of you know supporting women and I applied for the scholarship just as you know many to see you know like what happens. And I did not expect it like I was like There's no way this is going to happen. It's not meant for me right now. I have three kids. There's no way this is going to work. You know and then I hear my name being called when they're announcing the winners. I was one of the last. They had five winners. They picked two extra winners I was one of the extra two. And I was like You know I call my husband. I was shaking. I was like Oh my God this is meant for me. I finally support women I have something like you know that I can say I'm certified to be able to although you could have you know supported women either way. But I had a way to make a path to take.  Yeah. So I did the program just exactly a year ago I started last March. I finished last summer. I'm still going through the certification process right now but I'm able to to take on clients and I already have started taking on clients and I'm working with a local Doula agency as well. So it's a work in progress. That's how it happened to me..


FOUSIA: It's just like honestly I can see you as a Doula just from like your blog post and your Instagram like... I feel like if I was going to get one it would be someone like Afra because you work really hard mashallah you have little kids but you're also like.. everyone who reads your work or who follows you on social media... I feel like we get that vibe from you that you care about other moms and that everything that mashallah that you're doing is to help another mom to uplift another mom. So I'm so glad that I'm told that you were able to do that and get certified and take clients now and like even like my shell I like a lot of people will do it but then they don't take those steps like OK I'm going to start taking clients when I join a Doula group like mashallah I'm really glad that it's all worked out for you. I know there's a lot of people listening right now who are not even really familiar with what a Doula does. So if you could tell us a little bit about the type of support that you give Mom you know at birth postpartum and I'm sure even before when you're trying to get to know her and her needs and her wishes. So inshallah tell us a little bit about that.


Afra: Sure. So a Doula is essentially a coach so we help you through your pregnancy. So obviously we would meet you in pregnancy a pregnant woman would essentially meet several Doulas or people who they want to be in the room with them during birth and labor and birth. I'm sorry. And you know help them through that process. So we would help you through pregnancy. So any questions we would be on call to help you with any questions that you had even go to the hospital with you to visit your... if you had a midwife or in will be to meet with them provide resources for you. Like if you have questions of what exercises I can do how I can help the baby help you have the baby's position then you know we wouldn't really be involved in a medical aspect but more and the support aspect in giving you all the support that you need leading up to preparing for birth and then during labor and birth again we wouldn't be.. we wouldn't have any medical... There's no medical intervention or any medical advice that we can give but we would basically be in your support. So you're going through pain through labor we would try to give you you know as many comfort measures as possible and help you through that process through each contraction. Some Doulas maybe might just be that there to kind of help the husband or the partner give support to their their wife in labor and then be there to just kind of advocate for you and help you make decisions that you want to make if things change during the process of labor and birth and then postpartum as well. Again like you know you can hire a postpartum doula. But even just with your birth Doula you know she comes and visits you postpartum check in on you check how breastfeeding is going check how you're feeling mentally see how everything is going because there's a lot that happens postpartum and postpartum depression postpartum blues postpartum anxiety stress all of that is real. And you know that I feel it is like my biggest passion right now. I love birth too but I feel like after becoming a mom postpartum is just you know I'm so passionate about it because I feel like it's so important to focus on that because there's so much focus on pregnancy and you know all the excitement about like how to you're going through pregnancy preparing for the baby. There's no like the glamour of it all. Yeah and like baby showers and all that and the mom is forgotten in the process. Yes there's you know a baby shower and lots of pictures and you look so cute. And you know it's going to be so exciting you're going to have a baby but nobody really prepares you for what's going to happen after. And you know and then supports you through that process. Yes. Then it's like oh we have postpartum depression or who am I feeling like we like. Yeah yeah yeah. Why am I... Because I remember having my first I remember a friend asking me Are you sure you don't have postpartum depression? And at that time like you know I felt great like she was in the room. My friends came to visit my mom was there was like No what was postpartum depression. I'm fine. Yeah but really I had like you know a few symptoms like I was super stressed and baby was colicky. And you know I would cry a lot and stuff. So I wasn't you know severely depressed or anything but there were some aspects of it. And you know I did need to talk to someone about it in that sense. But yeah I feel like women need that.


FOUSIA: Yeah especially in this society. I was talking to another earlier who does a mom's group in her city. We were talking about how like there isn't that village mentality here. So much anymore. And like you know when our moms had kids it wasn't just like okay Mom Dad Here take the kid you go home like you know. But there was like there were people at home ready to help you. There was grandmothers and aunts and uncles and it was a full house. Even if you didn't have any close family near you there was still like your neighbors and everybody. And I think a lot of the cultural kind of things that we do postpartum kind of helped. I'm thinking of making sure the mom is eating the right foods and doing all that kind of stuff. So how does being a dual kind of incorporate those. I don't want to say eastern kind of cultural things but like the things that we would be used to from us like you know Africa or yes you know Asian countries or things like that. So how does Doula kind of incorporate those kind of things.


Afra: You'd need to hire obviously a postpartum Doula. But yes I mean there's even a course I don't know if you've heard of Layla. She has a traditional postpartum Doula she basically incorporates all the Moroccan which is basically Muslim traditions that you just mentioned like you know cultural the 40 day period that a woman has to take to rest and rejuvenate and recover from birth. So I mean that's where a postpartum Doula that would come into and help with them you know with recovery with helping her getting enough rest at night helping her eat the right foods advising her like you know what to eat or helping her prepare if you're a daytime Doula and you're there during meal time and then also helping with transitioning over if she already has a child transitioning over into having two kids and that adjustment period and also like helping with sibling you know like having the sibling adjust to the new baby. Yeah just all sorts of things like that. There are some moms who will do it like postpartum Doula for four weeks at least. Like you know you can pick a daytime doula or a nighttime doula. And yet so they can support. It really depends on your relationship with the client and how much what they want to incorporate into you know their recovery process and what they would.. you know how much they want to do because you know obviously if I have a Muslim client then they would probably want to incorporate a lot of the cultural if they can make if they want to but if it's not a Muslim client then it might be different. But it is becoming really popular and it is becoming known about like you know there's even a book about the 40 days and yes. So I think that if you don't have that support of postpartum delays you know really a great idea.


FOUSIA: It's really an amazing thing to be able to do for people. And earlier you had mentioned that you had your own traumatic experience during you know having a baby in labor and not going the way that you expected. How has learning about what a Doula does and actually now experiencing being a Doula how has that changed what you think about pregnancy and postpartum and has that helped you be able to deal with what you went through a little bit.


Afra: It has a little bit but I feel like I still have a lot of birth trauma that I need to address and talk about and deal with. And I feel like through time I will address it. But it has shaped how I see what. Like you know the needs of a mom is and like you know this is where my passion has... and this is where I've found what I want to do because I've realized through my experiences and through seeing my friends as well. What is missing and what is needed for moms postpartum and also during birth. Because I feel like if you don't have an empowering and the right birth experience even if it goes sideways like the way you didn't expect it to go as long as you have processed it well and you have key issues from that experience and you're you're good with it basically you will be able to handle postpartum a lot better. But if you have a traumatic experience and then you go into postpartum with a baby and then you're adjusting to this whole new world of giving and giving and giving and then you're like Wait there's so much going on that you kind of put that to the side but then that's when it kind of starts creeping up where like it might trigger you later on too like you know with things like postpartum insanity or postpartum stress or even postpartum rage you know later on. So it's really important to have that support in the beginning and be able to talk about it just even being able to talk about it sometimes can really help. So I mean yes. And seeing that that's how my experiences have shaped you know what I want to do today you know..


Mashallah you just started recently what tips and advice do you have for other women who are considering a becoming a Doula and b young moms because you've got three kids under five. Right. So you know like how was that transition for you. Because I know this means that sometimes you're gonna get called in the middle of the night or early in the morning and you've got your whole family routine that you normally have to do. How are you managing that and what tips and advice do you have for moms?


Afra: So firstly if you do want to become a dealer you have to have a support system so I can't say I have this support system that I really want right now I'm kind of just winging it with my husband's support and then I recently found a baby sitter that I can hire if I need to. So it's just about having the support that you need so that when you do need to do if you are called out you are able to have that support that you you know is someone to watch the kids. If you need to and that's another reason why I am also now focusing more on postpartum clients and taking more postpartum shifts. If you want to put it that way because those are more things I can control as I can plan ahead and say OK or one Monday I need to be out from that time to this time. OK someone's at school and I'm also doing work overnight shifts for example because I know overnight everyone's sleeping my husband's home so it's OK you know. So it's just really about planning what would work for you and having that support system in place. But I believe like you know if if you really want to do it don't like let it deter you so much that you're like OK I can't do this if you're really passionate about it and you want to do it and you know find a place to do your qualification and you do it because there's loads of places you can do it. You can do it online in person over a weekend or a couple of weekends. And yeah you just basically... I think it's all about planning and just you know scheduling it the right way and making it happen because if you really want to do it then yes can.


FOUSIA: You can always find a way Insha'Allah Alhamdullilah there's a lot of things that we can do like I always tell sisters like if you don't have enough time and you want like a new career opportunity or go back to school or a hobby that you're really passionate about is kind of find it in the budget to maybe be a. able to hire someone for a couple hours or b. like take some other load off of your shoulder whether it's house cleaning or food or things like that to just make it possible for you to be able to do it.


Afra: Yes. Yeah yeah for sure. You had another question.


FOUSIA: I was just like sharing tips and advice for anyone who like wants to like how do you adjust to that. Because it's I mean it's a big change especially with your kids and you're planning ahead like you said it's like one of the biggest the making sure I was always something that you can throw together for a meal. Yeah. Like instantcart those kind of things are really helpful I know. For me like insta cart has been a lifesaver. You can order everything by the time I get home from work. It's all there. The food is fresh. I can quickly whip up a meal. So that works really well. And then just like you know ask for help. I know you probably have this experience too sometimes you can call another mom and be like Hey can you grab the kids for me. You know if you're going to the store today can you grab that for me. I know there's especially growing up we had this kind of like well you got to do everything by yourself be a strong woman like you know in Somali we have like a saying that says like you know tie your waist which means like Make yourself strong and do everything. So how do you allow yourself to kind of break that that train of thought that you know you don't have to do everything and just try to work with what you can when you can.


FOUSIA: I think it took me a long time. I'll be honest with you I think it was only like when my third baby was born my mom came for three weeks and she helped me and that was... I mean having a third child and like my kid my eldest was three still he hadn't even turned four. And my youngest just turned two. So I really had my hands full I had a 3 and a 2 year old was almost 4 but they were really young and I was so overwhelmed. And you know I remember like my friend coming over knocking at the door and she was just coming to pick up something and she looked at me she's like Are you OK. You look really overwhelmed. I literally just started bawling. I was just crying you know and I've never like I don't think they've ever seen me that way or me crying and was like What is wrong like you know I'm like I just can't do this I don't know what to do. Like you know I can't control them.. that I'm my kids you know I was like I don't know how to handle this you know. And she's like What do you need. What do you need right now. So can you just point the elder to so I can just take a nap. I'm so tired. Yeah. And so you know I did that so things like that like you know..


FOUSIA: Allow yourself to be vulnerable.


Afra: Yeah.


Afra: Yes yes. And then also like when my mom left I made sure to ask you know I told my friends I don't think I can handle it. After my mom left what should I do like you know. And I think one of them organized a meal train for me for three weeks and that was so helpful like just to have food delivered every couple of days. And it really really helped. Like I didn't have to think about cooking you know. So that was super support. So super helpful. And then just really like not.. you don't be so you know you just gave birth you just you know if you have more than one child it is going to be really hard because you are adjusting not only to recovering from birth you are adjusting to having an additional child. You're trying to take care of a newborn you're sleep deprived.


FOUSIA: So yeah and they're all different. So what worked for you last time might not work for you now. So..


Afra: Yes. Yeah. Yes. So asking asking for help is really important. Or even just like things like getting someone to come and clean if you can afford that. Like just having someone clean once a week or once a month once every two weeks for example meal trains and then.


FOUSIA: Yeah. Come sit with the kids for a little bit and take a shower or like sit in the bathroom. Like you know on your phone for a few minutes while she watches the kids so you can decompress.


Afra: Yeah. It's really important. And you know over time now as I've developed more and more friendships I've realized that you know how important it is to have that like like right now I have friends why I say like hey I have this podcast or I have this you know live if I have to do an Instagram or you know I have to do this I can't manage the kids can I just bring them over you know and I get help that way. So. Or like if my friends at the store like you know do you need anything while I'm at the store and I do the same for them because I feel like it's just you know you you help each other you know. So finding that kind of tribe. And it's also you have to you know put yourself out there and don't expect that the friend is going to come to you. You have to try and find because I've had a lot of moms say you know but I don't have any friends and there's nobody here I know I can't make any friends who they have one kid and I have three kids. It's hard for us to be friends. I know there are moms out there you just have to find them. There's ways to find them groups to join there's Facebook groups there's just they're doing anywhere anybody that you can connect with other yams. Yeah I that's in general just connecting with a mom is like you already have you know such a huge thing in common.


FOUSIA: You have been doing this for some time now and I know everything that's going on these days thanks to Twitter we're hearing a lot more about how the health care system is and the experiences of moms during labor and postpartum and not being taken so seriously or not having their wishes heard. What are some tips because there's there's some sisters out there who unfortunately are not able to take on someone like a Doula due to financial reasons and you know just maybe even where they live that's not something that's common. So what tips do you have for women now that you've gone through this. You're going through the certification and you're taking on clients what tips you have for women to kind of like take control of their health when it comes to doctor's appointments when they're in labor. I know everyone tells you I think you know make a birth plan do all that kind of stuff. Yeah but how do you get your voice heard. What do they need to think of start thinking about.


Afra: I think the best thing is to know your rights and to know what what you can advocate for. So like you know I mean advocating for yourself you have a right you know until like my third child I ever looked at it that way you know you're paying this medical provider to take care of you. Right. So you know they are not like they are in charge in that sense but they're not. You're paying them to take care of you. So you have every right to accept or refuse something that they suggest store force upon you because you are the client and then you are also the person giving birth. And you know you have a right to accept or refuse on this. Obviously there's a medical emergency you're at your health is at risk on a baby's health is at risk that's you know one other thing to consider. But do your research you know check you know what the guidelines are you know especially like if you're having a feedback or a natural birth. What the hospital policy is if the doctor do your research on the doctor a medical provider like you find a medical provider who has. Good experience with like natural birth. So the kind of birth that you want. So it's very important to do all of this research prior to like just you know just picking a doctor and just going with it because no not every doctor is going to be do whatever is in your best interests.


Afra: You know you have to know what's your best interest and then go with that. So research being watched there's so many resources online now videos and things that you can do to prepare yourself and know your rights and things like that. So there's a lot out there. There's like a website called evidence based birth as well it has a lot of research and things like if for example your doctor tells you you have to do this because this is what's going to happen and you don't feel comfortable with that then go back on research and then go back and say actually you know what. I'm not comfortable with this and this is why because this is according to a copy and guidelines you know this is you know so you have a right to do that you know like even cervical checks. Moms want to know that they just go ahead and have people check them every week. You know from thirty six weeks and they don't know that they have a right to refuse those. So yeah it just things like that. You know you just know your rights by researching and asking around and if you can't get a Doula then ask check out mom's pregnancy groups or Pregnancy blogs or you know..


FOUSIA: Like educate our spouses just like that. I think we're not in the times where husbands are like not allowed in the bathroom anymore. Yes. I mean like tell it like your spouse is your advocate if anything happens to you like you if you're unconscious or you're unable to do anything that's the person who's going to advocate for you. So even while you are able to speak and you're coherent they should still be able to advocate for you if your voice as the mom is not being heard. So utilize the resources that you have through. Like I said like websites and videos but also the people around you. So they know what you want and they know the rules. Even a lot of times the doctor isn't directly communicating with you. Sometimes you're communicating with you through nurses who spend most of the time with you and are coming in and out of your room. So I'm making sure that what you asked for is also going back being told to the doctor by the nurses I think will help and make a big difference.


Afra: Yes. And the other way to educate yourself I completely forgot to mention is obviously there are programs there's so many courses that you can do childbirth education courses you know like the Bradley Method and then other other courses where you can prepare yourself for labor. So there's a lot of courses that you can do prior to you know birth that again through pregnancy will help you. And are you with the knowledge that you need to you know be ready for birth.


FOUSIA: Yes for sure. So I hope everyone checks that out. Tell us some other things that you're working on I know that you said you're really into social media and marketing and doing all that kind of stuff. Tell us a little bit about your Instagram and how you've been able to grow it and what's been working for you. Because I know a lot of sisters are have mixed feelings about social media.


Afra: I have a love hate relationship with them but I still go back to it every time I it. I can't live without it. But you know I feel like consistency is so important and I have not been consistent over the last two years even though I have grown. I think the consistency is so important and collaborations are so important finding people out there to collaborate with. So I've recently started doing like Instagram nights every Tuesday where we share and talk about things whether it's parenting motherhood related pregnancy postpartum anything that will support a mom and give her some not new knowledge that she needs in whatever part of her journey that she is in. And then I'm doing a Doula diaries with Asma who is a do that based in Canada she started at the first trimester and now we're already at the labor and birth part of the journey and we do lives every two weeks you know. So I feel like that is you know that's what I'm working on a side bring in that kind of content to moms on Instagram and then I was so blog on my website and so I have blog posts related to again all you know the whole spectrum of motherhood. But mostly also focusing on pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding and I am doing my breastfeeding educator program right now so Inshallah soon I want to also have that as one of my back. One of my skills although I do advise a lot on breastfeeding through my experiences and knowledge that I have and I wanted to have it you know certification backing on you know to say like you know I am I can be an educator and also run workshops and things like that. So that's something that I will be running and I do want to start running workshops for people on you know preparing for things for birth preparing for a baby, baby wearing C-section birth. One thing I would really love to do if anyone is having a C-section is a Doula although people would say Why would I need to do that. And I'm not like going through the whole labor thing. I feel like they really need support during that process. They always say if they don't have one person because you no... if you if it's your first C-section especially you just have no idea when you bring it to that with a C-section and with the recovery that is you know you are going to be dealing with.


FOUSIA: No one really talks about that right. No talks about traditional labor like you know what people would consider a traditional Labor but there's lots of different ways birth can go and Labor can go. I know you mentioned baby wearing I notice on your Instagram that you've become is brand ambassador the right word?


Afra: Yes.


FOUSIA: So so you have your brand ambassador for Argo?.  Tell us a little bit about that because there is moms out there who are working doing their blogs doing Instagram Facebook but are thinking OK next step this is what I want to do well it's a little bit about that process for you. I know it's been a long night but I think this is something people would enjoy.


Afra: So again that also happened through my birth hours so I was doing the after hour of the whole podcast recording. She asked me if I wanted to do a segment on Argo because you know I've been using Argo for so many years since I was like Yes of course I will do it. And through that I got introduced to the team at Argo and they asked me if I wanted to be brand ambassador. And you know and I joined the program. This was last year in March. It's just been about a year and basically what they do is they... we work for them at their events that they take part of. It's not their event specifically but it is trade show. So baby trade shows so all these baby shows that you hear about Argo takes part in them and we brand ambassadors go and represent them over there and help Fit Moms and dads and show them the products and demonstrate how it works and everything like that. So it is very tiring. I would say because it's you know like the last event that I had was last week and we were literally standing for seven or eight hours. We have set up to stand in the booth and close it down and everything. But I love being a part of the whole community that they have and all the women and moms. Most of them most of the people who are part of that the brand ambassador group our moms a lot of them actually and you know they are either bloggers or some of them are too low. Some of them are you know nurses there's so many different people they work full time jobs and you do this on the side because we just want to help. They have a passion for baby wearing. I don't know how often they take on new brand ambassadors. I think that they do it every year before February. So if it's something that a mom Walker wants to join then they should just approach them and try to look into it for next year or when they do their annual training which is February which I just went for and they kind of take people at that time. But it is a very exciting program to be a part of. There's a lot of benefits. I get to test out their products and try out with products.


FOUSIA: And their products are super cute. It's not like it used to be like 10 15 years ago when baby wearing first became a big hit.


Afra: Yeah yeah. So it is exciting I love doing that. And through that. Like I'm trying to help people who want to baby wear and or used about it or like like oh you know it just didn't work out for me. I'm not going to do I'm like No no no you have to try to get me to really help you.


FOUSIA: Yeah. And it's great to like it gives you two free hands to work with and the baby falls asleep when you're able to get things done. Which all goes back to everything that you write about as a mom blogger and a Doula. So I'm really glad that that's something that you're also doing. Tell people where they can find your work and where they can connect with you.


Afra: I'm on Facebook under Through mamas eyss but I'm mostly on Instagram or if you want to look at social media and my social media on Instagram. So my username on Instagram is Through Mamas Eyes. I blog. And if you want to check out my blog and soon to be I will be updating all my Doula packages on there. It is throughmamaseyes.com


FOUSIA: Afra thank you so much. I'm so glad that we were able to have you on the podcast and I hope everyone was able to benefit from all that amazing information that you shared.


Afra: So glad to be here. Thank you. We been trying to do this for like a long time. So so happy that we made this work so much for having me.