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  • Writer's pictureREI

Flourishing in the Midst of a Lockdown

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Karen has a profound impact on women from the first stages

of their pregnancy to the birth of their child.

2020 brought unique challenges, but amazing growth! COVID-19, with its lockdowns and new hospital regulations, made for some interesting experiences. Restrictions made it impractical for in-person group parent classes, but private parent classes continued, because – let’s face it – babies have no respect for lockdowns. Thankfully, REI’s staff member, Karen*, developed a great working relationship with a couple hospitals, and despite the restrictions, the hospitals are continuing to allow her to attend to her clients during their labor and birth.

She is currently taking registrations for the next Birth Guardian Doula Course, but still has to explain exactly what a doula is to many people in Egypt. The Greek word “doula” literally means ‘a woman who serves’. It is an accurate description of what a doula does; she assists a woman mentally, emotionally and physically through the process of labor and birth. The most common reaction Karen hears is “Wow, I wish I had known you when I was pregnant!”

Taking steps to correct this view, Karen hired a local college student to create a positive social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. At 22 years old she has a sense of how to engage with the community and get results.

Follow the Instagram page: @uniquelyyourbirth

Because of this, the Birth Guardians Academy, the Sanctuary Garden, and the addition of the Creative Arts Connection has created an online buzz that completely bypassed the pandemic. By giving space for women to find their inner creativity, we are seeing healing from past traumas and a new found sense of peace.

This new garden space opened in 2020.

The Academy now includes an office where local home-based birth professionals can meet with their clients for consultations, and it is developing amazing resources for all women’s needs. This includes breastfeeding groups, transformational meditation classes, pregnancy yoga, and workshops for several forms of creative arts.

Karen (left) training local women to become doulas

The lockdown also allowed Karen an abundance of time to accomplish tasks that have been on her to-do list for years. She wrote and published, in workbook form, much-needed books for her parent classes. Additionally, the Birth Guardian Doula Manual is published and ready for classes! The manual is available in print for her in-house classes and in e-book form for her online classes. As a bonus, one of her clients helped create a promotional booklet, in English and Arabic, to leave in local clinics and hospitals for prospective clients.

These are two of the books Karen wrote and published for parents in 2020.

2020 was a year of unique challenges, but through those challenges we experienced amazing growth. Karen looks forward to the opportunities 2021 will bring to help build people to build nations.

*Karen was previously known as Lydia in Egypt.

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