I’ve been thinking about something a lot lately that I’d like to share.
As most of you will know, I am currently deep into a 2-year masters-level program through Justisse College and Healthworks for Women. I am training to be an HRHP –– an Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner.
This program requires many things of me. I give nearly all of my days to studying the social, religious, cultural, historical, and scientific views on women’s bodies and women’s reproductive and sexual health.
My training requires me to read countless books, textbooks, articles, and studies all surrounding this realm of information.
Besides that, I also read and educate myself beyond the requirements of my program, so that I can be a resource as well for issues such as sexual health, nutrition, pregnancy, and postpartum. In other words, all of the vast experiences that women go through in the course of their lives, from birth to menopause to death.
This stack of books beside me isn’t only for the photo — I’ve actually read most of these, and many more that are on my shelves behind me.
You’ll notice this stack ranges from pregnancy, doula care, hypnobirthing, menstrual cycles, Fertility Awareness, motherhood, history of hormonal birth control, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for perimenopause and menopause, reproductive endocrinology, botanical medicine for women’s health, nutrition, menstrual suppression, postpartum care, and on and on.
This vast wealth of knowledge is what I have dedicated myself to learning and being able to provide for women and girls.
This is honestly no small task! As an HRHP, and even now as a trainee, I have so much valuable knowledge which grows every day. This knowledge allows me to speak with individual women about their unique bodies and unique situations.
This skill is so important. Women need the opportunity to get this information from trained educators, from the gatekeepers of this knowledge.
Why is this so important? Because I am training to know about ALL the issues and situations that women experience, I can speak to not from the limitations of personal opinion but with sound medical knowledge. When you turn to the internet or Facebook groups for information, many times you will receive every possible conflicting answer. Well-meaning people will emphatically give you advice which is based only upon their personal experience, or the one or two books they read.
While shared and collective knowledge of this sort does have its worth, it is not the information upon which you should be basing your health choices.
This is where an Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner or Fertility Awareness Educator comes in. We are extensively trained to understand what a healthy menstrual cycle and a healthy woman look like. We are trained to know when something might be going wrong. We know when and where to refer you for extra support when you need it. We have read and continue to read the decades of research and literature backing up the methods we teach you for natural birth control and ease of conception. We know the plain old data, but we share it with compassion and patience and creativity.
We not only empower you by teaching you how to observe and chart your fertility signs to effectively achieve your reproductive goals, we also become your safe space where you can ask the questions about sexual and reproductive health that you’ve needed to know but have never felt comfortable asking in your gynecologists office.
We give you hope that you can heal your hormonal imbalances and nutritional depletions that have caused you pain and worry, even if you have been told that your only hope is to take CEDs or contraceptive endocrine disrupters (hormonal birth control) for the rest of your reproductive years.
We aren’t just superficially trained to pass out information. This is a calling and a deeply held passion for serving women in their uniqueness and empowering them to take their health into their own hands. With all of the misinformation in the media and in conventional medicine about women’s cycles, this work is often an uphill battle –– but we continue on with energy because it’s what we love, and we love the women we help.
As Meghan McNamara of FAMtastic Fertility said recently in a conversation, we move past all of that misinformation and just stand ready to provide for and support those women who have open minds and hearts who are seeking this information.
We are here for women. We are here for girls. We are here for men as well, because they also benefit from Fertility Awareness. We are here for the next generation, so that they don’t grow up with the same ignorance and lack of true information about the fifth vital sign of health — the fertility cycle.
I hope that you understand the dedication and time investment it requires to learn and teach and share this information. I hope that you value this work enough so that you will understand that asking medical advice or charting instruction through emails or Instagram DMs is actually asking for services for free! Before I ever share a sentence of information, I make sure I have the evidence or resource to back it up. Before meeting with anyone to consult with them about their cycle and health concerns, I spend hours reading through materials and marking pages and taking notes to ensure that I show up informed and articulate.
I love this work. This is why I and so many others have chosen to make it our vocation and our career, and to pour ourselves into Fertility Awareness education.
While I am not formally taking on clients as a HRHP yet, I do still consult with women and disclose my limitations (if any). I have not charged fees for this thus far, because I wanted to wait until I felt that my knowledge was worth the payment of others.
This is why I would like to share today that I will be beginning to transition gently to setting some boundaries with what I will give away of my self and my training for free. If you would like to meet with me in person or via video chat, I will be setting up a 30-minutes conversation/consult purchase page on my website. This way I can continue to meet with you and also not expend my resources and financial investment in my training unwisely.
If someone values my work and knowledge, and would like to benefit from my training, they will have the opportunity to reserve a time to speak with me. If a minimal monetary payment is out of the ability of someone who needs help, I am happy to discuss other types of exchange or bartering. Perhaps you have a skill that you can trade for my time. If this is the case for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me to see if we can work something out. Because I believe every women deserves access to information from a trained practitioner about her body, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances — we can always work something out if you are willing and compelled to learn.
What types of things can we talk about in a 30-minute consult/conversation?
- What Fertility Awareness is
- Why and how Fertility Awareness may or may not be the best option for you
- Where to start if you want to learn Fertility Awareness
- Discussion about your history of menstruation, as this conversation often brings a lot of clarity to women about how different issues they experience are often interconnected
- Menstrual cup advice! How to choose one and how to insert and remove and clean it
- Advice on sustainable menstrual product options
- Basic information about planning for pregnancy
- I can discuss the benefits of natural birth with you, and point you in the direction of resources, books, and podcasts to learn more about your desired birth choice
- We can discuss your plan for teaching your children about cycles in an empowering and positive way from an early age
- And more!
And in the next few months, I will of course officially open my practice as an Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner, and will be taking on clients. I will work with these clients over a time span of multiple cycles, so that by the end they will feel confident in their ability to prevent or achieve pregnancy using the Justisse Method of Fertility Awareness. I honestly cannot wait for this stage, and to delve deeply into the care of so many women.
In the meantime, if you want to receive person discussion and information from me, I hope you will value my time and investment and be willing to pay a small fee for my services.
Thank you for joining me on this journey!