Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Deanna Alves is a Postpartum Doula who provides families with care that emphasizes time for rest and rejuvenation.
She offers food delivery services, serving food that is nourishing, delicious and easy to digest. Deanna believes that in our modern day society we are used to moving fast. It not only shows up in the postpartum window, but also at work and school. Her belief is when we take moments to slow down we are more prepared to show up for ourselves and for each other. She is currently serving clients in Toronto, Canada.
“By mothering the mothering, we allow for birthers to heal so they are able to support their babies, partners, families and communities. The mother is the root, by nourishing them through healing foods, drinks, applications to the body and proper environment they will thrive and blossom.” – Deanna
CSWS: What keeps you going in this work?
DA: What keeps me going is know that the birther is at the centre of it all.
By mothering the mothering, we allow for birthers to heal so they are able to support their babies, partners, families and this then ripples out into the community. The birther is the root of it all, by nourishing them through healing foods, drinks, applications to the body and proper environment they can thrive and blossom.
CSWS: Which Mother Principle(s) do you connect with most and why? What does that look like in your work? The Universal Mother Principles are simplicity, flexibility, intuition, compassion, non-judgment, listening, grounding, & regeneration.
DA: I feel deeply connected to all of the Mothers Principles but at the moment I resonate most with flexibility.
Whenever I step into a families home I try to keep myself open and receptive of their needs and tailor my services that day to support whatever is showing up for them at the time, whether it is bodywork or allowing them to rest for a few hours, I allow the client to lead.
CSWS: What’s your favorite resource to share with postpartum families?
DA: The First 40 Days
by Heng Ou and The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson are both fantastic resources I reference often in my work.
CSWS: What’s your favorite postpartum recipe?
DA: My go-to recipe is spiced rice pudding
which I love to make in the first few days postpartum. I also love to make dahls with lots of root vegetables like sweet potato.
CSWS: Describe an inspiring caregiving moment.
DA: An inspiring moment was with one of my first postpartum clients.
She had just come home with baby after a hard few days at the hospital. One of the first things I did was make her a pot of the spiced rice pudding. As hospitals are quite cold I knew I wanted to warm her up so I incorporated a lot of warming spices such as ginger and cinnamon. After serving her, she let me know that the food made her feel incredibly grounded and she felt more like herself then she had in the last week! It is always so incredible to witness the transformational quality nourishing food made with loving intention can have.
CSWS: What do you see as the greatest need in the sacred window?
DA: Rest! I think it is the most important thing a birthing person can do after birthing a baby.
There are physical, emotional and spiritual shifts that come from birthing a new life. Taking the time to rest, heal and integrate the birthing experience can allow the birthing person to slowly come back to themselves and bond with their baby. Unfortunately, in North America I see that it is not really a practice that is as encouraged and normalized as it is in other parts of the world. There is definitely a pressure to bounce back and return to “normal” life. I like to encourage my clients to slow down and spend as much time resting in these first few weeks/months.
CSWS: What’s your vision for the future?
DA: My vision for the future is to have rest be normalized.
Even outside of just the postpartum period I think we can all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all and I would love to see rest be more encouraged, whether it is in the workplace, or schools. When we take time to come back to ourselves we can show up better for each other.