Building Community
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Building Community

At the beginning of 2023 I decided to leave my part-time job at a Rudolf Steiner School to make a leap into the unknown and launch fully into my Massage and Doula Business. I had been slowly building a clientele the last few years but with Covid lockdowns and moving to a new area it was slow going. Being a business that relies on pregnancy and birth, there is a season when people are drawn to my offerings, a unique space to be in when it comes to business.  I needed time to nurture and grow my dream and also to make it sustainable for me to make an income for my family. Now, I love massaging and caring for people but I have no mind for marketing and technology. I put this aside and tried to find ways to get my self “out there”. I posted on Facebook and later Instagram and even made myself a website. I was quite proud of being able to achieve all this without too much help. However, I still wasn’t getting many enquiries and there were days when I had no clients. 

One day I attended a small baby fair that offered services for pregnancy and postpartum. I chatted to a few professionals that were involved in Pregnancy care and gave a few cards out. Then things started to slowly blossom. A local chiropractor started referring her clients to me and I started reaching a wider audience. I realised that instead of trying to reach out to pregnant ladies which meant that I had to keep working on connecting with new people all the time, it was better to concentrate on connecting with other health professionals that worked in the niche of Pregnancy and Postpartum. We swapped cards, we swapped treatments and began supporting each other by acknowledging the value in offering women more layers of support throughout their pregnancy rather than seeing different practitioners that were not connected. There was a huge benefit to connecting like this not only for us as colleagues but for the women feeling that their physical, emotional and spiritual well being was being nurtured and cared for by a group of people surrounding them.

This idea resonated with me deeply and I met up with a Doula friend one day and we talked about combining our skill set so that we could support women more wholistically by offering shared packages. I had moved more into the Postpartum arena, and she had a great love for attending births, so our package included Prenatal Yoga, Birth Education, Birth Mapping and Labour/Birth Support from Sarah and Pregnancy Massage, Postpartum Care and Massage and Postpartum Yoga from myself. The women got to know both of us along their pregnancy journey and enjoyed the skills we each had, offering two layers of support, two different approaches and perspectives, strengths and knowledge. We chatted to each other about problems that came up for the women, how to best support them in labour, what they would most need in the Postpartum window and to debrief our sessions. I have found this collaboration so wonderful in many ways. The responsibility of walking alongside a woman on her pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey was now shared and honoured by both of us and felt more aligned with how we both wanted to work. There was continuity, there was more time for both of us to get to know the client and we could focus on the area we felt most passionate about instead of trying to offer the full spectrum. 

I still maintain an online presence and try and post updates and events through this medium, but I feel that being referred by others is the main way I attract clients. It is interesting as well as I find myself loving the work more with each family that I am with, that women seem to find there way to my offerings. By opening the time and space to be able to serve my community in this way, I feel that I have created a way to express myself at the soul level and that I am guided to connect with the right people at the right time. It has taken a lot of trust in the journey, support from my family and self- enquiry into my deepest desires. If I look back at my younger self, my passion has always been my spirituality and healing work and now I feel blessed to be able to bring this into the homes of new mothers.

Joanne Mackintosh

Learn more about Joanne:

Hi, my name is Joanne and I am a mum to two amazing humans, Amberlily 11yrs and Cian 9yrs and wife to my wonderful husband Bill. We live in Newcastle Australia, close to the ocean and nature which are my two favourite places to be! I am a Postpartum Doula and Massage Therapist and I love supporting women in their journey through the sacred window of postpartum. My passion in life is to “bring the sacred into the everyday” as I have always been interested in spirituality and mysticism. When I look back over my life 

journey I see the many threads that have led me here and understand now how they have woven together to create the tapestry of my work and life today. Spirituality, different cultures, healing, nature, animals and babies. My studies have been focused on Energetic Medicine, Anthroposophical Nursing and Education, Yoga, Reiki and Bach Flower essences and now Ayurveda is opening up new ways of thinking to add to my repertoire. I honour stillness and reverence, holding space for others, nurturing through food and touch, healing through bodywork, yoga and breathwork and guiding families to find their individual rhythm.

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Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Program

Inspired by Ayurvedic Principles