What’s this all about?
Rosewood is a full spectrum reproductive counseling service by trained doula, Em Flynn.
Our in-and-out, impersonal health care system leaves many folks wishing they had a point person who could be there for them to discuss the full range of options and resources that exist for their general and reproductive well-being. These one-on-one sessions cover things like nutrition; birth control options; choosing a Midwife, OBGYN, or Naturopath; emotional support around triggering situations in care; options for routine tests and exams; where to find complementary alternative medicine providers like acupuncture and herbal care, and more.
Traditionally, Midwives and their trained support persons helped usher folks through the broad spectrum of care around the changes and cycles of our bodies. Western care now tends to be rushed and compartmentalized and the individuality and support is often lacking, leaving many confused, scared, and sometimes traumatized by their care. As the saying goes, “If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.”
Not just for expectant parents, a doula’s approach to informative and non-judgemental health support can be beneficial for anyone curious about their options in maintaining a healthy connection to their gynecological care and overall wellbeing.
A different approach
It's been a long and winding path to get to where I am as a doula, student midwife, birth advocate, and future doula mentor.
This path has included time as an infant care specialist on top of a mountain, doing legal research next to some midwives in Holland, launching a Meet the Doula and Midwives Night in a small town in Colorado, helping to start volunteer programs in Washington State, writing for Elephant Circle, and being puked on in hospitals right here in Berkeley. This work is never boring and there's never a time where I couldn't be learning more.
Besides a background in early childhood education, I am a toLabor trained birth doula; have attended multiple trainings and workshops on breastfeeding, newborn digestive issues, sleep training, and infant massage; have attended Elizabeth Davis’ Heart and Hands Midwifery Intensives; studied midwifery abroad in Bali; attended Birthing From Within Mentor Workshops; attended Spinning Babies workshops; and recently finished several midwifery sciences and nutrition courses for full spectrum support throughout the childbearing year.
Over the past decade of working as a birth and postpartum doula, I have served over 200 families, many on a volunteer and sliding-scale basis, attending births at over 15 hospitals and at home.
In this time, I've seen a huge gap in education, resources, and evidence-based care amongst my clients and my peers. I'm often the one my friends call when they're trying to decide what sort of care they need for various reproductive health issues, to the point of sometimes being on the phone doula-ing friends of friends through rupturing ovarian cysts, miscarriages, and IUD placements. I've become increasingly frustrated with the treatment of obstetrical and gynecological concerns amongst all sorts of folks due to rushed care, fear-based tactics, snake oil "wellness" marketing, and limited insurance coverage. I see my role as a doula being able to help address these issues and bridge this gap for anyone with concerns around their reproductive and overall well being.
Being active in this community is important to me. I am a part of the SF Doula Group, Bay Area Doula Network, East Bay Postpartum Doula Group, and regularly attend, peer reviews, help set up Meet the Doula Night events, and more. I also take on about 20% of my clients on a sliding scale each year.
Helping to build the next generation of doulas is my current passion. In this vein, I have been helping to build an in-house doula training program through the Homeless Prenatal Program and starting a series of contract writing workshops for doulas with Community Well in San Francisco and BirthWays in Berkeley throughout the year. I also offer private consultations for doulas hoping to strengthen their contracts, business presence, and/or starting collectives and agencies. If you're a newer doula, or a doula at any stage of their career and want to be building better business skills and self care methods, I hope you will join me.