Asheville Doula: Sugar Detox

I love sugar. Cakes, brownies, chocolate, pie, ice cream... But sometimes I go overboard and before I know it I've had days of too much sugar. A pastry for breakfast, chocolate after dinner, and the cycle goes on. 

Unlike most in the natural health world, I do not believe that "sugar is the devil"-- I think it's disordered thinking to apply evil or malice to a food. I believe moderation is key, and life's short so have some pie ;)

Every now and then though, it's highly beneficial to detox. Evidence-based research suggests that regular detoxes can help clean the body of toxins and reset your health. So this month I'm on a cleanse. 

If you've been experiencing poor sleep, bloating, skin rashes, irritability, constipation, or tiredness, your body could very well be telling you that you need a sugar cleanse too. 

Of course, consult with your healthcare professional before beginning any detox. I'll share a little of what my own personal health cleanse looks like. 

  • No processed sugar. This means all of my favorite foods. Just kidding. But quitting chocolate is hard for me. After a long road of deciphering my specific health needs, I've found that boosting my blood sugar WITH sugar after a meal actually regulates my adrenals. So actually, something sweet is necessary for my body. So right now instead of reaching for dark chocolate, I'll have a bite of banana or melon. 

These for me are on top of my Gluten Light diet. I went gluten free a year or so ago and have been slowly incorporating a little gluten back into my life, because, BREAD. For me, this means corn tortillas not flour, gluten-free pizza crust, gluten-free baked goods etc. I also have never been huge into dairy. We drink coconut milk and almond milk.

Something different about my cleanse too-- I don't limit fruit. Some health gurus will recommend no fruit and suggest that fruit is sugar. While fruit does have sugar, scientifically, fruit sugar is processed by the body differently than processed sugar. Not all sugar is bad! So for me, honey is fine, dates are fine, coconut, berries, smoothies, all of it. 

Oh, I also still drink coffee. 

I'll be honest, I'm struggling today. I feel almost like I have a cold. Which is my body detoxing from sugar, and that tells me that this cleanse is SUPER needed for me right now. But doing regular cleanses are good not just physically but spiritually too. I want to be more aware and alert and treat my body kindly. 

So doing this, on top of once-a-week visits to the chiropractor, bi-weekly acupuncture and moxa, getting my blood pumping on our elliptical, and the liposomal herbal mixture formulated for my specific needs from Silver Leaf Natural Medicine, help keep my healthy and reaching my wellness goals. 

Tonight I'll take a hot epsom salt bath to finish drawing out toxins and replace magnesium, along with a tablespoon of coconut oil in the bath too, for its antibacterial propertires. 

I mean, I still want cake, but I know those cravings will soon subside. Happy Spring and may it bring you health and happiness! 


Asheville Doula: Acupuncture

Did you know that discounted acupuncture by one of Asheville's top-rated acupuncturists is included when you book me as your doula?

Acupuncture in pregnancy can be a godsend! It can help everything from nausea, headaches, aching backs, and is even recommended by many doctors to help naturally induce labor. 

Just another doula perk from Maranda Bussanich- Doula Services!



Asheville Doula: Asking For Help

Does something ever happen to you, and you react in a certain way, and then you sit back in a moment of candid realization that, "Whoa, if this *whatever* had happened a year ago... I would have reacted SO differently..." And then you are sort of hit with your growth? That's been happening to me a lot lately. I can confidently and clearly point to so many points of growth and change in me this past year and its sort of amazing. 

I'm certainly haven't *arrived* and I still have a lot to learn- but i've at least come a long way. This last week I got a sinus infection from hell. I had an intense migraine, blurry vision, near constant headache and overall achiness. And you know, as a mom, there's really no such thing as sick days. Lunches still need packed, kids still need to be dressed and sent to school, picked up from school, dinner made, baths, and cleaning, and laundry... 


I trudged through and until finally, wait for it, oh my gosh... I asked for help.

CRAZY concept right? Maybe not for everyone, but for me, asking for help has been a lifelong battle. I got it. I can do it. I don't need help. I don't need anyone


But what I've learned is I can't be everything. I can't actually do everything. It's not humanly possible even. And when I hold myself to some invisible expectation completely fabricated by myself and my inner monologue... I actually cause more harm than good. I get too scheduled, too stressed out, too tired, too task focused. Gotta make an organic dinner, gotta bake for the bake sale, gotta gotta gotta. These are all self-imposed rules that mean nothing really. I mean, my kids would eat pancakes for dinner and be thrilled. So why do I put so much pressure on myself?

I think we all do as mothers. We are our harshest critic. We have an idea of motherhood and life and it's usually a mix of Instagram and Pinterest worthy outfits and meals and crafts and happiness. But dang... Life's not clean like that. Life is a kid with bad dreams at 1 a.m., and silly putty stuck to the couch, and 4-year-olds picking out skirts and shirts that don't match and going out for pizza because you're all too tired to cook.

This week I asked for help. I specifically told my partner what I needed and when and why. And guess what? He 100% showed up. 

I texted my mom for help. And guess what? She totally took a huge stress off my plate.

Baby steps. Life doesn't have to be all about being superwoman and soldering on. And that's kind of what my job as a doula is about right? CAN you do it by yourself? Yep, probably. Should you? Probably not. 

There's a lot of people willing to help, and no one sees you as weak for asking. Tend to your sanity. Hire a doula. Buy a few hours of postpartum support or overnight support. Ask a sitter to stay with the kids and go out. Ask your mom to come help around the house. Hire a housekeeper. Get your groceries delivered. Tell your husband exactly what you need, "I need a date night" "I need a foot rub" and watch him show up. 

Ask for help. No one needs to do this all alone. 


Asheville Doula Training: How To Become A Doula

Want to work with me and learn my tricks? Happy to now be offering one-on-one doula consults and sisterships! let’s work together and build your doula practice. Please click here to learn more!

Prior to being a full-time birth professional, I worked in corporate leadership, marketing, and social media. These skills have served me well in building my own thriving doula practice and assisting my husband in his clinic here in Asheville. With my combined skills we can make a plan to take your doula practice to the next level. .

This two-hour-consult is efficient and to-the-point. I’ll take inventory of your unique skills and strengths and assess areas of growth. Together we will map out your personal business goals, go over the fundamentals of social media, website design, SEO, and marketing. We’ll also pinpoint your perfect client and how to attract them!

This consult is done over coffee and I’ll let you know what materials and information you need to bring along. This can also be done virtually over FaceTime or Skype. Leaving this consultation you will have a clear picture of where your practice is heading, your ideal client, attainable goals, actionable steps, general view of your own social media and website presence and how that can be improved upon. If you found me online, through one of the many classes I teach, or through a friend, and you admire my unique flare for my work- If you’re ready to jump in and make birth work your career— this consult is for you! The cost for this service is $150.

Where to start

It seems like I get a few inquiries a week about how to become a doula. I'm happy to answer that in depth here. I love sharing what I've learned and I hope in turn that my experience can help inspire, help, and encourage another doula on their journey. 

So you feel a calling to support birthing women... Where do you start? That's a great question with many different answers. There's no one required certification for doulas. Many of us decide to certify and then, some doulas never certify. I personally believe that certification raises the level of professionalism in doula work so I highly recommend doing so. However, certifying may not be the right fit for everyone. That being said, there are several different avenues to do so and all with different requirements.


Possibly the most well known doula organization is DONA International. Along those lines, the next would likely be ProDoula. There's also BEST, Birth Arts International, The Matrona, Madriella, and others. I encourage you to visit each website, reach out to the admins, read everything very carefully and choose a certifier that is in line with your own personal values. Each program emphasizes something different, and their trainings and requirements will all be different too. Personally, I've trained with DONA International and am cross-certifying (certifying through multiple agencies) for more education and diversity in my certifications. 

Your certifying organization of choice will cover a lot of your bases for you. They'll go over your role as a doula, standards of care, scope of practice, pain management techniques, how to support the partner, reading lists, different birth types, how to market yourself, how to get clients, and basic postpartum and newborn care/lactation support. Most of these workshops are 2-3 days long.

So honestly, research, research, research, and see what group and certification is right for YOU. 

The education stuff in a nutshell? Find a certifying agency that resonates with you and attend their hands-on workshop and trainings. Trainings, I feel, are VITAL, whether you want to certify or not. Go learn ALL the things. Labor positions, codes of care, labor massage, pain management techniques, first latch and breastfeeding guidance, all of it is so important and helpful. You wouldn't believe some of the COMPLICATED (and awesome!) questions that my clients will text me. Knowing as much about birth and the role of a doula is essential. 

That leads to the next important step... 


Seriously. Read everything birth. Every article you find, every post in the pregnancy groups, all the latest research, every book from your certifiers reading list, READ ALL THE BIRTH THINGS. Oh, AND the breastfeeding and newborn things! You need to be a walking encyclopedia of birth knowledge. Again, you won't believe the difficult texts, questions, etc that you'll come across. Being a doula means being an expert on pregnancy and birth. Though our job is not as technical as an Obstetrician, I believe it's paramount to know basically everything an OB would know. Why? Because how can you fully support a birthing mother if you have no idea what's going on? how can you explain placenta previa or an anterior baby in non-medical speak to a nervous father in a delivery room if you've never heard of it? Knowlege an education is a huge part of doula work. Evidence Based Birth .com is a great place to start. So yeah, go read until you're dreaming of water births. 

Plug into your community of birth workers.

Girl, doulas support the heck out of each other. Friending doulas will help you go far. Network together, discuss birth and find your backup doula. A backup doula, if you choose to have one, which I believe is very wise, attends your client's birth if you cannot. 

So, I'm actually on the shy side. I'm a lot better than I used to be. Having to work a very corporate leadership job for a few years sort of sucked the shy right out of me, but not fully. I'm still quite nervous meeting new people. But dang, it's a must as a doula. See if your town has a doula association and get plugged in. Not just doulas, go meet Lactation Consultants, go tour the maternity ward of your local hospital, meet pediatricians. You'll be referring moms to these folks!

Know what you're getting into.


It's a fulfilling, magical, amazing career. But also, it's a lot of hard work. Can you handle staying awake and on your feet for 20 hours? 36 hours? If you have kids, Do you have childcare that can drop everything and cover that time frame? If you work, do you have an employer who's supportive of you calling out for a day, or two? 

Ready for 3 a.m. false labor alarms? Ready for postpartum blues and trips to deliver padsciles? Can you handle blood and a medical environment without being triggered? 

These are all valid things to consider. It seems like a lot, and it is, I won't lie. I've been in this birth worker world for years and years. If it's truly your passion, I know you can do it!


Have more questions? Need help deciding which direction to take? Are you already a doula and need help to decide your next step or refining your business? I'm available for Mentorship Consultations! If you're local to the Asheville area I'm happy to set up a consultation in my office over tea. If you're not local, let's facetime, skype, or email. I'm happy to answer any questions in detail, help you hone your skills, next steps, or give business guidance. 

Feel free to email me at and let's chat.


Childbirth education classes and updates

I hope you all had a happy valentines day! My partner and I worked with herbs, got burgers, and went to bed before 10. Which was honestly my idea because I was exhausted and had just come off a long birth, straight into running our business, and... Teaching! 

Whew! It's been busy for me the past few weeks. I've attended a beautiful birth, met with great teams of birth workers, and taught a childbirth education class! Speaking of teaching classes... It looks like I will be doing a lot more of those! I honestly had jitters beforehand, I had my outline memorized, I, of course, know what to do, but it's always scary when the couples start pouring in.

Plus, it was a 3-hour class! Can I talk for 3 hours!? Haha. But I did, I went OVER just barely, even. It was amazing, and it made me remember what a passion I have for teaching. I'll be teaching another class this Monday and then was asked back for more after that :) 

Be on the lookout for more childbirth ed classes from me in the coming weeks. 

I also have some more good news I can't wait to share... But you have to wait for that ;) 



Asheville Doula: FAQ

Does a doula replace the father or partner? I'm worried about them feeling left out. 

Absolutely not. A doula doesn't replace anyone. A doula’s presence helps fathers or partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, looking after them as well, because everyone needs a moment to breathe sometimes. As a doula I aim to promote bonding between partners during the pregnancy, labor, and birth process. Think of your birth as if you, your partner, and baby, are the stars of the show and I'm the stage support. I'm in the background, creating a comforting environment, soothing mama through labor waves, providing guidance and respite for the birth partner, and filling whatever need is needed. This is your birth and I'm the helpful shadow. 


Why are birth outcomes better with doulas at births?

Multiple randomized control studies have found that the presence of a trained doula benefits everyone. These studies have consistently shown that doula care is associated with shorter labors, less use of epidurals and other pain medications, lower episiotomy rates, and as much as a 50% reduction in the C-section rate. Research has also shown better clinical outcomes for both the mother and the baby (including fewer admissions to neonatal special care units, better breastfeeding rates, and better family bonding). A doula also provides care for the mother’s partner and other family members, assists busy hospital staff, saves money, and greatly increases a mother’s overall satisfaction with her birthing experience.


Are doulas for natural birth only? 

No way! I love a good epidural or cesarean birth and can attend any and all birth environments. As a doula I fully support your choices. I don't care if you want to birth in the woods next to a baby deer, or if you want to schedule a cesarean and skip labor altogether. All I care about it supporting you. 


Will you make decisions for me? 

Never. I will not speak to your health providers and make decisions on your behalf. INSTEAD, I will work to make sure you are informed, answer any questions you may have, and remind you that you are strong, capable, and empowered. 


If I'm a single mom, without a partner, would a doula be beneficial? 

I have a huge heart for single mothers in my doula practice because I believe so strongly that doulas can be such a huge support to solo-mothers. I want to start off single mom's motherhood journey with them recognizing what a warrior goddess they truly are. From providing resources, to on-call pregnancy support, having someone present at your birth, and someone to help with processing postpartum... A doula for a single mama can be a game changer. 


Do you support LGBQT families?

Absolutely. I have training in birth work for LGBQT families and have always been an ally to this vibrant community. 


What type of payments do you take?

I believe that any woman that wants a doula should have a doula. Period. And money should not be an obstacle to receiving doula support. That's why I'm very flexible with payments. I offer discounts year round to low income families, teen mothers, mothers placing their babies up for adoption, and single moms. I work with reduced rates, sliding scale, payment plans, and can help you recruit donations for doula services as a part of your baby shower and registry. There's so many options and I'm open to them all! My passion is supporting pregnant and laboring women and I'll do whatever I can to make that care a possibility for you. 


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