Interview with Sarah Longacre about the challenges of being human and being a parent and how Blooma provides support for all.
Sarah Longacre, owner of Blooma prenatal & postnatal yoga and wellness studio, is a birth doula and yoga teacher who has nurtured, comforted, inspired and educated thousands of women on their pregnancy and mothering journeys.
Sarah has always been fascinated by the beautiful, round bellies of expectant mothers and finds joy in empowering them through this transformative time. For 23 years, Sarah has worked with pregnant women at yoga studios, hospitals, and in their homes. There is no greater joy to Sarah than helping women find the goddess within, to help couples connect more deeply on their birthing and parenting journeys, and to welcome babies into this world.
It was this passion for yoga and birth that inspired her to open Blooma— a studio that offers both yoga classes and education for mothers, fathers, and the babies and children in their lives. Striving to offer a complete wellness environment, Blooma also offers prenatal and postnatal massage, shiatsu, acupuncture, chiropractic care, naturopathic consultations, and more.
Thousands of mothers have passed through Blooma’s doors since it opened in 2007. Sarah and the Blooma team offer a haven of support emotionally, physically, and spiritually to women and their families. Now with three locations, Sarah is proud that Blooma is home to the best prenatal support in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. She looks forward to opening more Blooma studios around the country and inspiring mamas everywhere!
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Cynthia: Hello and welcome to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. It’s your host, Cynthia Shockley. And today I am sitting with Sarah Long Acre owner of Blooma Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and Wellness Studio in the Twin Cities. And we, I already can tell this is gonna be an amazing conversation Oh, so happy to have
Sarah: you here, Sarah.
Oh, what an honor. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I wish we had whole day together. ? . Yes. We could go deep. Oh,
Cynthia: wonderful. Yes. We were getting to just talk a little bit about, the things that. [00:01:00] Make us also just human, right? Because Sarah works with women in the prenatal, postnatal space, but also she was talking about her podcast belly up, being able to just have conversations with people.
Imagining you’re sitting at the bar, having a drink, getting to know someone. But also
Sarah: the bottom line is like, what did Oprah say? Like we all have a story, right? And our stories need to be shared and. I don’t know. I hope your listeners know about where you met your husband, because that’s a great story.
I’ll have to have you on my podcast to talk about that .
Cynthia: Yes. We’ll have to do that
Sarah: because I wanna also make sure
Cynthia: we talk about your work. And I’m curious for you, because you do have your story, what brought you into this space of yoga and then pre and postnatal.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s a great question. So I always love this question cuz it totally dates me to all of the people that are currently expecting, or in those early stages of fertility or motherhood.
[00:02:00] I went through doula training. In 2000, so 23 years ago, in 2000, I went through doula training in Portland, Oregon. I truly, this sounds so corny, and whenever I read it in my bio, I roll my eyes, but Cynthia, no joke. When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with pregnancy. I would go into my room and I’d put a pillow underneath my pajamas and I’d walk around like I was pregnant when I was in high school.
There was a junior high school. There was a, this teenage pregnancy movie with Patricia Arquette so long, like it was an afterschool special. Okay. And I had the V C R tape. Some people don’t even know what those are, but they have VCR tape that went. And it was sy it. It was it. Honestly, Cynthia, I watched it over and over again.
I was like obsessed with pregnancy and I always just had this. I couldn’t wait to be pregnant and I grew up in a home, which I, we can get into later because it’s, I believe that your relationship to pregnancy, your relationship to motherhood and really to birth [00:03:00] is the blueprint happened when we were little people.
and the stories we were told about what birth was it safe and whatnot. So my mother was very open with her birth, very open with her pregnancies. She talked all the time about how much she loved giving birth, and we had pictures of my little brother being born and they were like out on the table and everybody that came into the long Acre house and knew that they’d see Cheryl’s vagina with a head coming out of it.
So it was just like, I didn’t know any different. When about life graduated I went to Minneapolis Public schools, went to college in Arizona went to work at Nike in Portland, Oregon in 99. And somebody was talking about this word doula, and I literally like, And just that’s what I am.
Like I, I wanna support women in birth. I didn’t even know what had a name because I’m not a, I’m not someone who wa ever wanted to be in the medical field, but I wanted to be in the supportive field. So it’s not as if I wanted to be a nurse or a midwife like that didn’t appeal to me. But there is this emotional [00:04:00] side of nurturing and caretaking.
So I went and I went and did training in Portland, Oregon and about. Year two, after I was given the title at Nike, the Blue Me doula, or I’m sorry, the doula, the Nike doula. So I literally went around to people at, because you have to imagine this is 2000. Nike was just at the cream of the crop. I worked for.com, so this is right when.com was booming and everybody in my department was between the ages of 25.
And 40. And they were all young and they were married and recently married and they were all getting pregnant. So I would just walk around and be like, hi, what’s your guest date? Where are you birthing? And I ended up taking on so many people at Nike that. It blew my mind that they let me do this. And my manager, my own manager hired me.
My boss hired me to be her doula. And I think that’s like the utmost compliment, right? This is a woman I report to on a daily basis. [00:05:00] And I was 27, I was like hungover every other day, like trying to get by, and dating everybody I could get my hands on. And here she is yeah, come rub my back in birth.
And it was amazing. Long story short, I decided to pursue this and I just knew that this was where I was supposed to be. So I came back to Minneapolis because I knew that if I was gonna start my own business and be a doula full-time, I really needed my family and I needed the support. My mother is absolutely my number one cheerleader.
She’s my number one marketing. My mother who’s actually currently dying of Alzheimer’s, is still, she will never, ever forget that anyone that’s pregnant she usually probably shouldn’t say it to many people, but she comes up and she’s oh, have you heard of Bluma? Do you know? Do you have a doula?
So I came back to Minneapolis and the Hennepin County Medical Center had an amazing program. it’s come and gone since, since then, but it’s back, I believe now. Where they have doulas on site. So I was able to go be a doula at the county hospital at an hourly rate, and I had a schedule and I [00:06:00] was able to support families where most of them were English as a second language, if that.
And we started moving and grooving and being in labor together. And what I realized, Cynthia, is that we were doing yoga. We were finding this ease and this effort. We were. On all fours and I would, again, not speaking English, not I don’t speak Spanish, we were just going back and forth and being like, let’s try this and open your mouth and make sure you’re eating and drinking.
And so many of these amazing birthers. Had never taken a birth class. Many of them literally just arrived from their country of origin. I’ll never forget, one 17 year old said she had, told me in broken English, she had been in the car for the past four days with two men that she didn’t even know.
And here she was giving birth and I don’t know where I’m gonna She was like, what is this? Some people asked I remember this really young girl. She’s like, where does the baby come out of? It was phenomenal because, I was a doula for white privileged, educated people in Portland, and [00:07:00] I actually got to see like this other side that was so life-changing, right?
It was just these. Vulnerable women who had never ever met me and they were crying in my arms and we were laughing and we birthed their babies together and I had about 200 births my first year of being a doula. That’s a lot of births. Wow. Yeah. Now I’m at, in my own private practice, I’m about 650, so much of that is, is because I, they let me learn from them.
I don’t know. I can’t imagine some like random. Woman walking in my room and being like, I’m gonna help you. And they just, they surrendered into my arms and it was oh, I could just cry thinking about it. It was such a crazy honor. . It was such an honor. And then from there, I’d really realized that Minneapolis was desperate for prenatal yoga.
I had only lived here six months. Went back out west to California, got trained at an amazing method of prenatal yoga, and started teaching all over the Twin [00:08:00] Cities. There was like . Literally there was a week where I taught in two churches. Two hospitals, three yoga studios, a cafeteria at school. Everywhere.
A clinic, they a lot of the OB clinics wanted me to come and just teach in their lobby. And I was like, okay, this is amazing. I’m schlepping around the IKEA lights, the IKEA bag, all the blocks, all the things, you hustled back then it, you, I did my grid, I did it. And I went from each place meeting these people.
Until finally I had one of my students from my yoga studio give birth, and we met afterwards for coffee. And it was a life-changing moment. She looked at me so deeply in the eyes and she said, Sarah Longaker, what the f are you doing? And I was like what are you talking about? And she said, you have a following.
She’s oh, okay, great. Thank you. And she’s no, open your own place [00:09:00] you. Deserve this. These families deserve it. Open one place for everybody to come and step on their mat and get educated. Now, what she didn’t know at this point was that I’d always have this dream of opening some type of center.
I didn’t know what it was gonna be, but I had these visions of, I wanted like a library and this coziness, and I wanted people to come and learn and be empowered. And so Bluma was born. So that was, I moved to, I moved back to Minneapolis in 2004. So I worked for Nike for only five years. I left a really great 401k.
I left amazing health insurance in Portland, Oregon. In near health insurance, you get acupuncture and massage. Whoa, I did not know that. . Yeah. I really missed that piece. Let me tell you. And you I missed a actual paycheck and all of the things, but I sacrificed that because I listened to my heart and that’s.
One of the hardest things that I think people can do and that I wanna teach so [00:10:00] many is listening to your heart, but also knowing like you just can’t show up. It just doesn’t fall on your plate. Like we have to put in the work. And I think that’s definitely something different that I see in this generation is a lot of people think it’ll just happen.
And I’m like, No, I’m pretty sure you gotta bring the shovel with, like you gotta do the hard work. And I did it and it was those, some of the best years of my life, I didn’t sleep a lot. It was crazy stressful because when I decided to open up Bluma, taking out a loan at oh seven, and literally doing a build out of a building, making a schedule.
Cynthia, I had no clue what I was doing. , I still make it up along the way, but I was really making it up then. and my dream was to have this little tiny space. I was like, oh, we’re gonna have a little prenatal yoga. I’m all gonna have some baby classes. And oh, okay, let’s have some childbirth education.
And next thing I know, we have hypnobirthing and acupuncture. We had childcare on site because I saw all of these pregnant. Friends of mine and [00:11:00] people that I was a doula for, and they were pregnant again, and they’re like, oh, I’d love to come, but I have, my two year old, I’m like, oh, let’s just put childcare.
So my mom actually was in charge of the childcare for years. So yeah, 2007 and here we are in 2023 . Wow. 15 and a half years is my teenager. And we, at one point we had three locations here in the Twin City, St. Paul. Minneapolis is, which is our, still our hub, what we call it, our mothership.
We were out west in Plymouth and then we had one location in Nashville, Tennessee, and one location in Mexico City, Mexico. And obviously Covid has changed all of that, but we still have our huge location here, which is is amazing. And I’m beyond honored. I’m super humble and I also am really blessed because in September of 2020 I sold a very large portion of my business to my partner Katie.
Katie and her husband Kyle now own majority of Luma. And so now I get to keep working there and loving everybody up and sharing all of that we have to [00:12:00] provide. But I actually have two people who actually know how to run a business as opposed to me. Yeah, that’s a very big story to say.
I believe that Bluma is one of the best things that’s happened to the Twin Cities for families. And I used to not be able to say that, but I feel really proud at 47 years old. I can stand in my own shoes and say I, I did work hard and I believe that it’s made a difference. And I know it cuz I hear about it and I see it.
Cynthia: I feel like Bluma is on the tips of many tongues here in the Twin Cities. Anytime I mention what I do for work, they’re like heavy checked out. Bluma. Have you gone to Bluma? And I, I don’t know why I haven’t yet. But you .
Sarah: Yeah. Always have something to look forward to. You can’t.
Yes. Yeah. And I think too, one of the biggest I’m a myth or people don’t realize that bluma is, we you don’t have to be pregnant, you don’t have to be expecting. We have so many flow classes, so many at bar classes. A ton of wellness for anyone. Not only is a place for expecting families, for yoga and for childbirth education, but the amazing baby classes, toddler classes, kids classes that we have, [00:15:00] the offerings that we have for whole entire families.
We have several times a week where there is a kids’ class in one room and then a regular flow class in the other room, so that we really make it that we want our children to see us taking care of ourselves and stepping on our mat. And we also want our children to know that yoga doesn’t have to be some serious thing.
It’s a time to be playful and silly and quiet and go within and be in community. And so I. I, I definitely think that Bluma has so much more than what people realize that you need for your whole system. As your children are growing and whatnot and we hope you really lean into that community.
Cynthia: And it’s so important to model that you do take care of yourselves, right? That your adults are also human, and that your adults need help too. And just humanizing the whole family process. I love it. Amen.
And the really the biggest thing that stands BMA out from other studios, and I practiced all over the Twin Cities and they, we have some [00:16:00] of the best teachers.
I practice all over the world and I love the teachers we have here, but we have a very different environment where we don’t have the mirrors. You don’t have to be in your perfect Lululemon outfit. And you don’t have to love yoga. I always like the, my, literally, I didn’t say this yet, but my biggest intention for Bluma was to have a safe space for anyone to come in and be like, hug.
I don’t like life today. I don’t actually like being a mom. I don’t even like my kids. I don’t wanna do this anymore. Because we have this hallmark life, I believe in America, that we have to be so happy that we’re a human and having a baby and that we’re, couldn’t be more blessed. Yeah, we are crazy blessed.
Holy kaly. Are we crazy blessed? Yes. and we are also allowed to feel sadness and loneliness and depression and pain and worry. Please, the anxiety is through the roof right now, for so many of us. And I wanted Bluman to be a place that you could walk in and just be like, okay, I just don’t, yeah, [00:17:00] I’m just going through my stuff today.
Just get me on my mat and that when you get on your mat, you have a chance home. To just say hello to your anxiety to say hello to your fear. I’m not a yoga teacher that says, Just like you left your shoes at the door, leave your worries at the door. I call BS on that. You can’t just drop your worries. That’s why most of us drink is to drop my worries.
But stepping on a yoga mat to me is truly an invitation to be able to say hello. To dark places on you that we try to shove away and they actually need to be held. If you are standing on your yoga mat in a prenatal class, And you’re thinking like, everybody’s so happy to be here and they all tried to get pregnant and they all wanna be here and no, that’s not the case.
You are in a yoga room with 20 people. Yeah, a lot of them are pretty excited to be there. Maybe they’ve been wanting [00:18:00] this, but others are scared to death. They don’t really know if they wanna be a parent. So there’s just a lot of myths out there that I’m trying to break with Bluma to say you don’t have to be anything other than what you’re feeling.
Cynthia: And what a gift that is, especially in that vulnerable and tender space of New Parenthood or re parenthood, getting back into it and to have that in community and know that there is a specific place where you can go. And I think too, there’s so much value, cuz you know, we were talking about, I do have a virtual practice, but there’s.
Magic with being in a specific location again and having these healing experiences, having that energy sharing breath and being able to, neurologically your brain like slips into a certain pattern cause it’s oh, I know this place and I know what. What I’m supposed to be doing. And so it just helps to alleviate some of the anxiety or fears that [00:19:00] happen outside of those walls.
Sarah: Absolutely. And it’s so interesting because I think we had such a test of that during Covid, right? Was so we took everything online for, I got, I can’t remember what, six months then we’ve stopped for a while and went in back in studio and back and forth, and now we’re hybrid, but so many people.
Had never been to Bluma, and they’re like, I cannot believe the community you’ve built. I can’t believe how great it is. I’m like, you’re on a screen. And then they come into BMA and they’re like, oh, you can smell it and touch it. So Bluma has this, we have a distinct smell. We have this diffuser that is made just for our.
Studio and then you can buy it and people are like, oh, it’s the blue misel. Oh, it’s that energy like, and basically what, I end every class or I try to end every class by seeing you are heard. You are seen, you are needed, and you are wanted here. Like really feeling that no matter what you want in your birth, no matter if you’re like, cuz a lot of people be like, oh no I don’t do yoga, I don’t need a doula cuz [00:20:00] I’m getting an epidural and duh.
I’m like, are you kidding? I. I love epidurals. Like they’re great, they’re here for a reason, right? Or yoga is not about, oh, you’re a yoga teacher, you must be a vegan, and you met me all day. I’m like, yeah, nope. Nope. I consume all the things and just, I’m a normal person. And so what I really love is that when you can come into Bluma, you can just be exactly who you are and be seen in that.
And there isn’t an expectation of what type of birth you’re gonna have. If you’re gonna chest feed or bottle feed or cloth diaper this or that. Those are all just decisions and stories. And so for some people, their choices for others, they’re not. A lot of people would love to have a certain type of birth, and so what we try to prepare you for is how do you surrender?
We have such expectations. It’s like what you said I’m gonna go to med school, I’m gonna do this. We all have these plans. If you would’ve said to the 17 year old Sarah Long Acre with on Dance Line, oh, you’re gonna be a doula one day and own a prenatal yoga, I’d be like, whatever.
No, I’m gonna work. I was gonna work in New York City [00:21:00] in marketing. I was. Be a marketing fashionista. Who knows what I was gonna do, but I was not gonna be cleaning yoga floors as a yoga studio
Sarah: But, it’s a we really wanna teach that. We can have expectations about what we want a family to look like. But the more that we find, and this is where it comes full circle to yoga, is that there’s an ease and an effort right in our lives, and there’s a place where we have to learn to surrender and let go.
And then there is a place where we have to bring our shovel and [00:23:00] dig deep. And so where do we find that and where do we choose to do it? And. I’ve learned it so clearly through my own children. I have a nine year old who couldn’t be more opposite than I am. She is a homebody, she is an introvert. She calls herself shy.
I don’t know that word always feels negative. But we’re just very different and that has really taught me gifts that I am so thankful for. I used to roll my eyes when people would say, your children, te are the real teachers. And then now I’m like, oh, they totally are.
I get it. I get it. And I really did. I rolled my eyes up forever. Whatever, my kid’s just gonna come home. I’m gonna give it some ice cream. Turn on the TV and call today. , that’s not at all how no, it’s been. And then my second daughter, I had a little girl named Sophia Love, and I lost her at 22 weeks in utero.
And she taught me the best gift in life, which was we have no control, right? And we have to completely surrender. And she taught me grief and she taught me [00:24:00] mourning, and she taught me. Truly how precious life is and that it’s unbelievable that these little humans that everything lines up and little cells come together and hearts get formed and livers get formed and eyeballs, and eyelashes and nail like what that’s all happening inside of this uterus.
And to have it come out safely and whole, it’s a miracle. It’s amazing. And so that just blew my mind and my heart open. She gave me a second chance of life is what she did.
Cynthia: And I feel like yoga can be such a wonderful. Tool for that level of processing, like you said, something you can bring to the mat.
Something that you can take the time to feel in your body, to feel in your heart, and to give space for that instead of shoving it away. I think a lot of people would be really tempted to do, to shut it down, like to not feel, and for yoga to have been there for you in these challenging chapters.
Sarah: it’s still, I literally, I’m not kidding at all. Two weeks ago. [00:25:00] I was at a yoga studio right down the street from my house that I loved to practice at, and I had this hit of Sophia and I realized something, I won’t get into the details, but I realized something and. I wept on that mat as if she had just died.
And I didn’t care. I’m like, I’m 47 years old, dude. I’m crying on my mat. Like I’m not gonna try to shove my tears away. And I just processed and we’re talking. She would’ve been seven. She’s going to be seven this June. And to think that I still have that safe place to be able to do that, I always, I was taught this in my yoga practice, gosh, back in 2000 and Portland.
Or a yoga teacher said, dis-ease, like the dis-ease that we have, the not at ease in our body. That really means disease. And so I wanna be as healthy as I can cuz I’m not healthy in many areas of my life, . But I wanna be as healthy as I can. when I’m not in ease, when I’m in Dise, that I nurture it and care for it and hold it and I don’t think that we realize how [00:26:00] deeply important that is, to not have to fix it and make it better when my daughter comes home and, is upset about something, instead of being like, okay, let’s try to fix it.
Let’s go to Target and get you a toy. Or here’s some, bababababa to make it better. I. Yeah, tell me more. Tell me more about how uncomfortable that was. Tell me why it hurts. Let’s put a voice to this because it’s not easy being a human right? No matter where we are in this big world, but being a human is, is um, we’re kind of weird people, right?
And there’s a lot of layers and we add in so many other pieces to it. And I just think that we, for me, in this lifetime, I only have one time in this body, in this moment, and I wanna do the work. I’m ready to show up and think deep about what my job is here on this earth.
And I wanna help be that for my daughter and my partner, and my ex-husband and my two stepkids, and my mom. And, . Oh, all in my life.
Cynthia: Yes. And Sarah, it sounds like , you’ve lived it you’re teaching people in your classrooms. How do you bring [00:27:00] this energy and how does it feel like working with you?
It’s funny, I have a lot of different hats that I wear at Bluma. Throughout the 15 years it’s managing and hiring and doing that.
But luckily now I have a amazing, like the best manager ever, she’s one of my best friends. And I always say I can’t, I can barely look at her. Sometimes she makes me cry. I can’t believe she’s the reason Bloom is still open. But my operational director so she really takes on. It’s a huge work.
I have a studio director , who runs the studio day in and day out. I don’t know how I, someone actually said last night in class really, where would we be without Jess? I’m like we wouldn’t be here. She, we’re just, I have a team, the new owner, Katie, as I’d mentioned, our teachers. So I don’t have to do that heavy lifting per se.
I’m in some of the day-to-day things, but really my hats now are teaching the classes that is. I have these days where I’m like, I don’t know if I can teach today. I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know what I, if I don’t [00:28:00] know how to teach prenatal yoga like I am totally what is happening.
I can’t do it, and then I show up and it’s. Truly, Cynthia I, it’s not me. Somebody is working through me. I get on that mat and I just want to share empowerment and love and the deep work of being a human. And so much of it is not me. I try very hard to tap into, to my higher power. . And then in terms of the doula work yes, I’m absolutely the day there of the day of their birth and they call me when they’re in labor and I attend births at home and hospitals and birth centers.
And, I have for years, but I gotta say now my favorite part is meeting the couples and the clients prior to their birth and asking the hard questions. And the hard questions are not, Do you want the lights dimmed or bright? Do you want your back rubbed when you think about what you want to eat in labor Like?
No, we don’t have time for that. Like I know how to dim a light like I’m gonna do, I’m gonna do [00:29:00] why I’m so good at my job, but really what I wanna do is to get into their hearts and their souls. And I wanna say, what does this mean? You’re bringing human being onto this earth. And it’s, I’m gonna be there, support you the day of it.
Like how does that feel? What scares you? What excites you? What do you think that your partner’s really great at that they’re gonna bring? When you think about birth, what do you think of? What colors, what images come to your mind? Like that to me is. Is going a little bit deeper cuz I we go to our obs, we go to our midwifes to talk about other things and to make sure babes are doing well.
And I’m not the medical part and I don’t wanna be the medical part. I wanna be the emotional and the spiritual part because that person, you know, I’ll just mention one of my best friends um, her mother passed away when she was 10 weeks old. She was laying right next to her and.
When you are walking that path and you are gonna be a mother for the first time, you gotta be questioning like everything, you know, how do I know [00:30:00] how to do this? Will I know how to do this? Who am I? Who you know? And in birth, she cried and cried because she was so scared. She was abandoning her cats.
I’m like that’s because you felt, your mother left you and you’re scared you’re gonna lose your cat. You know, Like it all, it’s gonna come up in birth. I say lay flashes front of, in front of you in birth, and we gotta talk about those things prior. And it’s. There’s a couple different methods.
Birthing from within is one of my favorite methods and some other methods that we can unpack this stuff. That a lot of people just, were like, oh, great, you’re having a baby and it’s gonna be great. Let’s have a baby shower. And oh, all of a sudden you have to lay on a table and you’re pooping on the table and you’re being super vulnerable, and then you have to take this baby home and you have to love it.
It actually is not that simple, there’s so much more and there is the emotional component that all of a sudden you bring the your child home and then you’re like and I’m just supposed to recover from that birth. And I don’t mean recover physically cuz I think recovering physically is way easier than the emotional.
How are you treated in that birth? [00:31:00] What did, how did that ob look at you? Did somebody make you do something you didn’t wanna do? Did you feel empowered? Did you feel in control? Did you feel heard and seen? And so that’s the stuff I really like to do is wear that role in my doula hat as opposed to um, you know, I’m, again, I’m 47.
I don’t love getting up at two in the morning. Kept going to a first, I’ll do it. I’m not nearly as great as I used to be at it, but I really love to go to their homes and I really like to talk with the clients one-on-one. Yeah, that’s, I think that’s actually where I do my best work.
Cynthia: Yeah. Gosh, it sounds like the way that you do it, cuz I’ve been able to speak to a few doulas and I love how you’re emphasizing the spiritual.
An emotional aspect of it. And yes, like the planning of the logistics is important and it helps make things run more smoothly, but it sounds like. Someone who might be seeking a doula or thinking about it they might come to you [00:32:00] if that sounds really appealing. That like deep spiritual aspect of what does this mean that I’m bringing life into this world, and what are some issues that I might come face to face with that I want to be able to address and approach this.
Knowing that it’s hard to be human, it’s hard to create humans. .
Sarah: Yeah. I don’t even think that you even have to know it when, if you were to work with me or any one of our doulas at Bluma. Cuz now we have a whole entire team. There’s, we have a whole entire team of seven of us that are at birth and almost, my gosh, seven or eight now that are postpartum.
I don’t even think that you have to actually know that you want that. I think everybody actually wants it, but they don’t, we don’t know it. But subconsciously, if you could have someone ask those questions, they’re hard. It’s why I deeply believe in therapy, because if you’re gonna go to therapy and pay money, like let’s, let’s actually do the work and, and.
Most doulas know how to squeeze hips. Most doulas know what you should be eating and drinking. I [00:33:00] think though that really looking at a client in the eye and really making sure that they feel seen is a whole other aspect that we can do so much better too. All over the country.
Cynthia: So you have seven. Birth doulas and then seven post.
Sarah: Yeah, and I’m, I’m probably off on those. I’m probably like eight and nine now. Cause , I’m kinda the mama doula to the birth doulas. We are constantly hiring, so if anyone’s listening to this we are constantly hiring. We can’t keep up with our demand.
We actually um, we’re, I just was looking at the calendar and this summer all the doulas are almost completely full. So I started, so I always ran Bluma and my Sarah, the doula business different. And then about six years ago, seven years ago, I decided that there could be a really amazing model where I actually partner with someone.
So you always get two doulas, and the reason that you get two doulas is because you wanna have the freshest doula there. You wanna have a doula that, that wasn’t just at a birth for two days because I used to take eight [00:34:00] clients a. And if I was at a really long birth, again, I was 29, 30, 32 years old, I could bounce to another birth pretty easily.
And then I realized wait a minute, I have a kid now. Like I wanna be able to have a backup doula. I wanna have two doulas. So we have this amazing team model and I’ve never seen anything like it where you always get two doulas and you meet them both. You connect with them both day that you’re hired, you get on a group text with you, your partner, and the two A doulas.
So it’s not you really. It’s like you get all this extra information. So for example, let’s say Cynthia, you and your partner, you’re expecting you would get me and let’s say my doula partner, Jess. And you would be like, Hey guys, I just got home from my appointment. The midwife brought up X, Y, and Z.
I’m gonna say, wow. Tell me how that feels to you. Tell me when she said those words. And then Jess will be like, Hey, here’s some ideas. And I’ll be like, yes, great ideas, Jess, and here’s some more. So you’re getting so much more support and then, You know that when you go into labor, the [00:35:00] perfect doula will show up for you.
This person is gonna be committed to being there. Um, They’re not having anyone else in labor. So it’s a beautiful model. And then, you know, we usually both attend your postpartums and you can be like, add two doulas. People are like, they don’t do it like that. It’s like, no, they really do it Bluma. . Um, So it’s a phenomenal model.
We’ve had zero complaints because people are like, oh, I’m paying one fee for both of you. So that works really well. And then the postpartum doulas that we have, they’re completely booked. So if you’re, if you just took a pregnancy test, reach out to us now , because it’s it’s a very high in demand. Um, Especially for the nights, those night doulas when you’re a first time family and maybe your partner’s gone back to work and you’ve got a three week old who’s coming into their own and you’re starting to hit a wall, you’re seeing some dark thoughts in the middle of the night postpartum.
Depression is sneaking in. The money that you will spend on a postpartum doula is you can’t replace. I don’t understand why people don’t do this more. So I did this for my birth and hopefully more and more people are doing it, but [00:36:00] baby showers um, How do I say this lovingly? Baby showers are really tough for me because it’s a lot of people that come together in a circle and they share really horrible birth stories and they’re, oh God, and my epidural didn’t work, and then this happened and the baby had to go the nicu, and you’re like, Hey, time out.
This is a celebration for this person. And then you’re also giving them just a ton of right? Just like we have this over consumption of plastic. Oh, your baby has to have this actually If you go back to my best friend Laura Engles Wilder, she didn’t have all that stuff.
She had her chest, she probably had a wet nurse. I mean she, you had the basics. And so I always say we really don’t need as much, but what you actually really need to ask for is financially support for your birth doula or your postpartum doula. So I had a home birth with my first, and I asked for financial support from my home birth midwife and my do.
And guess what? Everybody brought a cute little baby blanket in a onesie cuz they like to bring those. Anyway, . [00:37:00] And then I got financial support towards my doula and my postpartum, or my midwife. And it paid for the, almost the whole thing. And that made it that just, I’d think that people can open up their minds to think about different ways that they wanna put finances.
So a lot of people give gift cards to bluma to go towards a birth doula or postpartum doula.
Cynthia: Sarah, you’ve created such an amazing community and it sounds
Sarah: like, To see you come take a class from me. Oh my gosh, yes.
Cynthia: Yes. And uh, yes. Thank you. Yeah, and you, it sounds like you really have established this village of support.
You know, This is a theme that keeps coming up because this whole quarter we’ve been doing family care as what we’re talking about on this podcast, and I’m just grateful that it is the Bluma Village right here, right here in the Twin Cities. And thank you for your
Sarah: work. We all need. To learn more and to lean on each other more.
And we did, we used to live in communities. We used to live in villages and [00:38:00] it’s it’s pretty isolating when it’s two in the morning and you’re scrolling your phone thinking that everybody is sleeping and your baby’s crying and you’re not sure what to do. Yeah, come show up no matter how far you live.
We love what we say at Bluma. It’s really one of the first places that. Family will breastfeed in public feed, in public change a poopy diaper in public, A baby cries in public, the mom cries, the dad cries in public. It is a safe place where you can just show up and be you and there’s no expectations.
Cynthia: And if there was just one takeaway that listeners could leave this conversation with, what would you hope that would be?
Sarah: Just to maybe take a moment if you can, right now or sometime in your day, and just simply close your eyes, feel your feet on the floor. Take a really kind and loving deep breath.
And remember, you don’t have to Google everything. You have the [00:39:00] answers inside of yourself.
Cynthia: The Google within .
Sarah: Tell me, intuitive. Google, what do you want and what do you think? Yeah. No one else has the right answer for you. There’s no easy way to go about this and there’s no perfect way. So just find your breath and really make sure to say thank you to yourself.
because it’s, again it’s no joke being a human. We gotta be really kind and easy on ourselves. So thank you Cynthia, for having me. Yes. Thank you so much.
Cynthia: It was such a pleasure. And I am just blown away with what you’ve created and what you continue to do. I hope you just continue to shine
Sarah: and do this I only can shine because I have amazing team backing me.
So again, it takes the village. I couldn’t do it without the other women on my team and the women who have, have been with me for 15 years. And that woman who looked me in the eyes and said, open this some days I do curse her name. I’m like, why did I listen to her? But but I did it. I did it. I did it.
All right. Much love to everybody out [00:40:00] there. Thank you for listening.