Doula Resources

In doing research on how to help expecting mothers have a more pleasant birthing experience, I found a ton of information on Doulas…thank me later!

 

Details on the differences between a Doula and a Midwife:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/doula-vs-midwife

https://www.thebump.com/a/difference-between-midwife-and-doula

https://www.popsugar.com/family/What-Difference-Between-Midwife-Doula-45654985

 

Learn more about Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

https://www.hrsa.gov/maternal-mortality/index.html

 

Vertical Birth

http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Pregnancy-Birth/vertical-birth.html

 

A need to know about Doulas

The following site was my favorite…You get the A-Z on the benefits of having a Doula, how to find one, how to become a Doula…and resources for those of you who are Doulas. https://www.dona.org

Doula: Sierra Shuler

Sierra Shuler 

20190306_130659

Birth/Postpartum/Bereavement/loss Doula

980-349-6359

A New Yorker and South Carolinian, Sierra Shuler has the feistiness of a New Yorker paired with southern hospitality. Her upbringing offered her the best of both worlds being born and raised in NY and later moving to South Carolina as a child.

Sierra returned to NY at age 20 where she had her first child and worked as an Executive Assistant for 10 years at one of the world’s major banks.

Sierra suffered many losses but after the loss of her mom in 2015, life took on a whole new meaning. So in 2017 she transferred her job and she and
her son moved to Charlotte, NC where she found her calling as a doula.

A doula is what she had been for those in her life, but a doula was also what she needed during the critical times in her own life. It was in those times that God developed her need for someone to hold space for her; to fuel her passion to hold space for others.

In early 2019, Sierra left her job to pursue being a doula full-time.

Sierra is a birth, postpartum, and bereavement doula in Charlotte offering personalized doula support.  Her mission is to provide individuals and families with the highest level of support, attentiveness, and prayer-centered care. She naturally finds fulfillment in supporting others as it makes her soul happy.

Sierra enjoys spending time with her son, family, traveling, and serving on various ministries at her church.

 

 

5 Reasons you should have a Doula

Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 4.54.12 PM

So, what is a Doula? A non-medical companion who supports a birthing mother by providing continuous care before, during, and/or after childbirth in the form of information, physical support, and emotional support. They also may provide support to the partner and family.

This topic was important for me to cover for a number of reasons. First, like many other mothers that I’ve spoken to, my pregnancy, labor, delivery experience was very unpleasant.  If there is a chance that any mother can receive this information and have a better experience than I did, then mission accomplished.  Second, according to According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, the maternal mortality and morbidity rate is increasing.  Searching for ways to ease the anxiety, concerns, and risks mothers have regarding labor and giving birth, it seems that providing information on Doulas would be a great start.

On the show 5 REASONS TO HAVE A DOULA we heard from Sierra Shuler, a practicing Doula in Charlotte, NC who gave great information on the benefits of having a Doula.  If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, here are the top 5 reasons to have a Doula.

  1. Doula’s provide SUPPORT to the mother, spouse, and family.
  2. A Doula is an ADVOCATE for the mother.
  3. Doula’s EDUCATE the mother on what is happening to her body, how to respond and what to expect.
  4. Doula’s provide COMFORT to the mother (in the form of emotional support)
  5. A Doula’s presence has been found to REDUCE requests for pain medication, the use of forceps, and the number of cesarean births…among many other benefits.

While there are many great physical and emotional benefits to having a Doula this information would be one-sided if I didn’t give you some scenarios in which having a Doula may not be the best option.

  1. If you’re having a planned cesarean, a Labor and Birth Doula is not necessary; however, a Postpartum Doula may be right up your alley to assist with infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
  2. If you don’t know what you’re signing up for.  Sure, having a Doula sounds great but ask questions.  What are your needs and how can a Doula be helpful to your situation.  Remember the U in Doula is all about YOU!
  3. If your team is not in agreement. Always consult with your birthing team…your doctor(s) or Mid-wife.  All members of your team MUST be able to communicate and come into agreement with your choices and what is best for you and baby. This is a team effort towards a happy and healthy mother and baby.

Whether this is your 1st pregnancy or your 5th pregnancy there is always an opportunity to learn and make better decisions for your life.  I encourage you to do some research so that you can make a more informed decision.  To get you started, click on the Resources Tab for Doulas to get more information on organizations that provide resources on how to find a Doula, what questions to ask and even how to become a Doula.  To learn about our featured Doula, Sierra Shuler, click on the Guests Tab for Sierra to read her bio.

Please check out the show 5 REASONS TO HAVE A DOULA SUBCRIBE so you won’t miss out, COMMENT because we care about what you think, LIKE if this was insightful, and please share with someone that could use this information.

The opinions expressed on this site and on ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?’ are published for educational and informational purposes only, and are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a local physician or other health care professional for your specific health care and/or medical needs or concerns.

This site does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, medical treatments, pharmaceuticals, brand names, processes, or services; the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and education of the viewing public, and the mention of any of the above on this site or the show does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Saran Almond and/or NARASARAN Media.

 

 

 

Mommy Dearest

They say age ain’t nothing but a number but it is much more than that.  Age is an indicator of life experiences…triumphs, failures, overwhelming joys and life altering losses, all of which you’ve survived.  I am a firm believer that every lesson doesn’t have to be learned as a result of personal experience.  You can learn from the experiences of family members, friends, co-workers, and stories that you’ve read/or heard about.  Every loss or failure doesn’t have to be your own in order to apply that lesson to your life.  So where do you go when you need guidance, encouragement, or wisdom from someone who has been through some of it all?  That’s right!  Our elders.  For me, the wisest and closet person to me is my mother.  I think we all, at some point have reflected on what our mothers and mother figures have told us and thought ‘I should’ve listened’ or ‘she was right.’ I know I have.  For some of us those thoughts may be different due to not having a mother/mother figure.  Maybe your mother didn’t have the experience at that time to offer advice to help you on your life journey or maybe she was ill-advised.  So, instead of giving you one Mommy, I gave you three.

YT Mommy Dearest

It’s one conversation, three Mommies, and a variety of topics, hosted by Saran Almond.  Meet Lady Di, Granny, and Ramona Big Eagle.  These ladies offer advice that you can apply to your life right now.  Their chemistry, personalities, and responses will make you think, laugh, and wonder ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?’  Remember to be proud of the years you’ve acquired and celebrate each day of your life by living on purpose.

Mommy Dearest,

Thank you for being the ultimate example of strength, love, and beauty…and for showing me what it looks like and what it means to be a woman and a lady.

To all of my Mommies, thank you so much for the joy and insight that you bought to the show.

You are appreciated!

Sincerely,

Saran

 

WATCH the show here!!! MOMMY Dearest!

Remembering Our Veterans

remember.connectSo, I had an idea to do a show about Veterans Day. The goal for ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?’ is always to provide information and resources while encouraging, uplifting and inspiring our viewers.  As the idea evolved I wanted the show to be less about the “day” and more about the people the day honors…Veterans.  With camera in tow, I headed to the Veterans Day Parade.  It was a bright sunny Saturday morning and the chill in the breeze reminded us all that winter is near.  Onlookers like myself stood along the sidewalks of blocked off streets in Uptown Charlotte, NC.  We were there to support and honor our veterans, encourage members of the local high schools’ JROTC and ROTC marching in the parade as well as a host of other participants.  The smell of street food, the sounds of car horns, motorcycle engines and drums and trumpets from the various school marching bands filled the air as we cheered and waved.  The children were happy, parents were proud, and veterans looked on in remembrance.  The energy was tremendous…it was positive, it was happy, and it felt good.  That good feeling ended abruptly.  As the parade ended, I was approached by a young man asking for spare change to buy food.  He shared that he was homeless and a military veteran.  I told him I don’t carry cash, he said he understood then we walked our separate ways.  There was something in me that would not let that conversation be the end.  I wanted to help, even though I didn’t have change.  My curiosity needed to know how this happened.  I stopped the young man (who I’ll call RG to protect his privacy) who looked sad and tired and was wearing only a t-shirt in the windy cold.  He was very soft spoken and passionate about the loss of his parents, being thrown out of his home by the mother of his children, being separated from his children, and being disappointed by family and friends.  He was alone and in need of help.  I knew that I could make phone calls to get him information but, in that moment, I could offer nothing more than kind words as comfort.  I doubt that I was helpful and that saddens me.  We remember those in service, our fallen soldiers, and on Veterans Day we have parades in honor of all who served…as we should.  But, what happens when they come home?  What can we do to help them return to a life of normalcy, a life of happiness and one in which they can thrive.  During my conversation with RG he said something that really stood out for me.  He said, “It was quick and easy for us to enlist but trying to get the benefits that I earned is long and hard.”  What can WE do to help our veterans?

I’ll keep you posted on RG. In the meantime, lets us always remember those who sacrificed so much for the freedom and safety of us all.  THANK YOU for your service, your commitment, your courage, and your sacrifice!

Please click the link below to check out the latest show from ‘WHAT WOULD she DO?’

Remembering Our Veterans and Connecting them to Resources

ENJOY!!!

Please visit the “Contact Us” page to ask questions.

Resources for Veterans and their Families

Mecklenburg County Veterans Services

The Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Veterans Services Division is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide service to clients on a walk-in basis. ​Our main office is located on the 2nd floor of the Hal Marshall County Services Center at 700 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte. We invite you​ to come into the office and speak with one of our certified veterans services officers.

(704) 336-2102

Mecklenburg County Veterans Services

 

Veterans Bridge Home

VBH works with Veterans and their families to identify and prioritize their goals, then educates them on the resources available to reach those goals before finally connecting them to community resources, as well as other Veterans, to create a holistic network of support.

(704) 332-8802

Veterans Bridge Home

 

The Salvation Army

Shelter Care for Homeless Veterans: Providing resources for veterans and families

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has selected The Salvation Army as a contractor to provide temporary residential housing and supportive services to homeless veterans and their families. A special wing of the Center of Hope shelter has been reserved for this unique program, and partners such as Charlotte Bridge Home are helping us to provide veterans the resources and support they deserve to live independently and fully.

The Salvation Army Center of Hope

 

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Mission: The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) will end homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and building the capacity of service providers.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
1730 M Street NW
Suite 705
Washington, DC 20036

info@nchv.org

Phone: 202-546-1969
Toll-free phone: 800-VET-HELP

Veteran in crisis? Dial 877-424-3838 for 24/7 assistance.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

 

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

DMVA has a devoted team of professionals committed to ensuring that all those who served –and their loved ones –are made aware of and maximize all the benefits and resources available.  DMVA has qualified benefits specialists in 12 offices throughout the state, an established relationship with County Veterans Officers which are in most counties in the state, and an established relationship with the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.  We work to ensure that veterans are appropriately served.

Charlotte VSC
(704) 563-2037
5500 Executive Center Drive, Suite 132
Charlotte, NC 28212

Please visit website for other office locations.

DMVA: Benefits and Claims

 

Remembering our Veterans: Jacqueline Tyes

Jacci

Jacqueline Tyes, Past Commander

First Female Commander of NC State & Mecklenburg County

Jacqueline Nicole Tyes is the daughter of Edwin and Marion Tyes. She is a native of Buffalo, New York, but currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jacqueline comes from a strong military family. Her father served in the United States Army. She and her three sisters also served in the military, her youngest sister is still serving in the United States Army. Upon graduating from Leonardo Da Vinci High School at the age 17, Jacqueline joined the United States Navy. She honorably served in the Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate for a Diving and Salvage Unit for three years before being injured and medically discharged. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Education both from D’Youville College. Jacqueline then went on to serve as an Educator for 17 years until she retired in 2015. Over her 17 year career as an educator, she taught Pre-K through eighth grade. She taught all subject areas including Spanish. She also taught four classes as an Adjunct Professor at Buffalo State College early on in her career. Ms. Tyes acquired credentials to teach in New York State, Florida as well as North Carolina. Upon retirement, Jacqueline began writing professionally. She started a blog in February of 2018 theENCOURAGErcom.wordpress.com , coauthored a book with other female veterans that released spring of 2018 (Behind The Ranks, Vol II), and will be releasing her first Children’s Book in November 2018 (The Beauty of Black A-Z).

Behind the Rank

Jacqueline currently serves as an advocate for veterans with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), where she was unanimously elected to serve as the First Female Commander for the state of North Carolina in June of 2016. She speaks regularly at various institutions on Veterans’ issues such as Colleges, Legislative Forums, ROTC Ceremonies, and Veteran Symposiums just to name a few. Ms. Tyes also participates in Veterans Day Parades, Ceremonies honoring Veterans, Stand Downs, and DAV Conferences and Conventions both State and National. Jacqueline is also an active member of Alpha Omega Phi Military Sorority & Fraternity. She was one of ten veterans who received the National Victories For Veterans Award in June 2017. She is also a recipient of the Legacy Award for 2018. Ms. Tyes is committed to empowering military personnel, veterans, and their families to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. Jacqueline aspires to enlighten, encourage, and empower people of all ages through her speaking, teaching and writing in hopes to give them a lifelong love for reading, learning, and self-improvement.

 

Cooking Vegan with Saran Almond

Hello and welcome to Vegan Cooking with Saran!  As a fairly new vegan; since August 1, 2017, this has been a journey of self discovery, priorities, and discipline.  It’s amazing how pivotal of a role food plays in our lives, and I’m not even talking about health.  Socially, mentally, emotionally…what we put in our bodies affects our mood, productivity, social consciousness, and conversations.  I have been forced for my own well-being and for the sake of educating others to learn about nutrients, vitamin sources, picking fruits and veggies, and where to find the best bargains (Hint: Farmers Markets).  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked “So, you only eat salads?”  (Insert annoyed emoji) I must admit that I’ve had to get creative in the kitchen but I’ve enjoyed creating and recreating recipes.  You can see exactly how I made the dishes listed below by watching Cooking Vegan with Saran Almond I have listed the ingredients below; however, you must SEASON TO TASTE…then ENJOY! I’d love to see/hear about how your versions of these dishes came out…post with #veganSaran Please like, share, comment, and subscribe. To find farmers markets, local farms, farm stands, pick your own, and food co-ops near you visit www.localharvest.org

IMG_0812
Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower
  • Earthbalance Soy Free Vegan Butter
  • Silk Almond Milk
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Parsley Flakes

 

IMG_0811
Black Beans & Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of black beans
  • 1 can of petite tomatoes
  • 1 pack of McCormick Taco Seasoning
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Adobo

 

IMG_0810
Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Accent

 

IMG_0809
Avocado & Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper

 

IMG_0808
Sauteed Beets

Ingredients:

  • Beets
  • Earth Balance soy free vegan butter
  • Shallots
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper

 

IMG_0807
Basmati Rice

Ingredients:

  • Mahatma Basmati Rice
  • Himalayan Sea Salt

 

IMG_0806
Beet Greens & Collard Greens

Ingredients:

  • Beet Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Shallots
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 sliced garlic cloves
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes

 

IMG_0805
Squash, Zucchini & Rainbow Peppers

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Rainbow Peppers
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Rosemary Garlic Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Earth Balance soy free vegan butter

Enjoy!!!

How do you Volunteer?

IMG_0602

At some point in our lives we all need a helping hand.  What better way to show gratitude than to help someone else.  Whether it’s time or money, every effort helps.  So often I hear people say they don’t have a talent or they don’t know what they want to do with the rest of their life.  As disheartening as this sounds, I believe an answer can be found through volunteering.  Volunteering provides opportunities for adventure, exploration, and discovery.  While applying skills you already have or developing new skills you can make a difference.  Here are a few reasons why everyone should volunteer according to Volunteer Match

  • Help others
  • Make a difference
  • Find purpose
  • Enjoy a meaningful conversation
  • Connect with your community
  • Feel involved
  • Contribute to a cause that you care about
  • Use your skills in a productive way
  • Develop new skills
  • Meet new people
  • Explore new areas of interest
  • Meet good people
  • Impress your mom
  • Impress yourself
  • Expand your horizons
  • Get out of the house
  • Make new friends
  • Strengthen your resume
  • Feel better about yourself

Some other reasons include: The more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. When you do good for others and the community it provides a sense of accomplishment. Volunteering can help shape character, fuel your passion, and create other opportunities.

If any of these reasons hit home for you, and you need help finding volunteer opportunities LOOK NO FURTHER.

My favorite volunteer resource is www.volunteermatch.org, and they’re national.

Other resources for volunteer opportunities are listed as follows:

  1. www.idealist.org
  2. www.dosomething.org
  3. www.volunteer.gov
  4. www.universalgiving.org
  5. www.createthegood.org

Tune in to the show How do you Volunteer? to hear what motivates others to volunteer.

What’s your best volunteer memory?  I’ll show you mine next week.

Please like/share/comment/SUBSCRIBE

 

 

What I Learned From The Black Business Expo

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.49.58 PM

When I found out about the 2018 Queen City Black Business Expo, I was very eager to get involved and share this experience you.  At first sight there were rows of tables adorned with marketing material, sample products, gifts, and candy…all surrounded by people who want to know about a particular service or product. The hum of conversations, questions, and transactions filled the air as black business owners proudly shared their labors of love.  This event was just as important for black consumers as it was for the business owners who find themselves missing options, brands, and products that are made for them.  Going in, the goal was to celebrate, promote, and support black entrepreneurship.  Coming out of this event, I left with some pointers that you may apply to your own business or aspirations of entrepreneurship.

The first questions I asked were: WHO ARE YOU? & WHAT DO YOU DO?

While the answers to these questions will always vary from business owner to business owner the way in which these questions are answered is the same.  Your response to this question should be:

  1. CLEAR
  2. CONCISE
  3. CONFIDENT

When it comes to entrepreneurship there are a lot of things we can do on our own; however, it is important to seek help when you need it.  There are tons of resources from the Small Business Association to  the Central Piedmont Community College Small Business Center here in Charlotte, NC to help you get started and keep you encouraged along your way to entrepreneurship.  Note: Many of these services are offered at no cost.

While life’s timing isn’t always perfect and priorities change, it’s important to stay focused on your goals.  I asked entrepreneurs to finish this phrase, IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW… Surprisingly to me, most of them responded that they would have started sooner.  I am a firm believer that no matter what road you travel in life, detoured or not you will inevitably reach your destiny.  So if your road leads you to entrepreneurship, why not start now?  Why wait?

I was most inspired by the child entrepreneurs who created Candles By Kids These children were an example of what our community needs…more black entrepreneurs.  Encouraged by their father, the Moody twins and Alyssa-Ann Warren have created a brand and a work ethic that will keep them on the road to success.  I’ve always felt that education begins at home.  What our school systems fail to teach should definitely be taught at home.  Specifically, entrepreneurship.  For a lot of our children entrepreneurship isn’t ever presented as a option.  We learn to get an education, and get a job.  There is nothing wrong with that thought; however, the key to financial freedom, and ownership of your time and money is ENTREPRENEURSHIP.  If you aren’t already, let’s trying teaching our children that.

On the road to business success we learn many things, and none rang truer to me than hearing an entrepreneur finish this phrase as follows: THE KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS IS…consistency.   The moral of the story is this…you can’t invest part-time effort and expect full-time results.  Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.  CONSISTENCY is key…and CUSTOMER SERVICE is a must.

Check out the show Celebrating Black Entrepreneurship on my YouTube Ch: WHATWOULDSHEDOtheshow

Please like/share/comment/SUBSCRIBE

Follow the show on IG/Twitter: @WWsD_theshow