As well as the excitement that comes with finding out you are expecting a baby, starting out on your journey through pregnancy, birth and motherhood can be daunting and scary, and you can feel unprepared for what is to come. Keturah Stoltenberg has made it her mission to provide support and guidance to women embarking on this special transformation. She works with you to create a healthy space that allows you to feel heard, held, understood and supported as a mother. As a Birth & Postpartum Doula, Remedial Massage Therapist, Baby Massage Teacher and mum of 2, she was drawn to this work out of a deep desire to make a difference in a woman’s experience before, during and after having a baby. Here, she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Motherhood with Keturah and her passion for women’s health and wellbeing.
The Passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Following the birth of my first son in the year 2000, and experiencing firsthand how unprepared one can be for such a profound journey to motherhood, I quickly realised that my calling was nurturing women in their transition to motherhood.
I started by completing a qualification in Remedial Massage, followed by post-graduate courses in the areas of Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal Massage, and have not never deviated from my passion in Pregnancy & Postnatal Massage, as well as general Women’s Health.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
In 2004, I began providing massage treatments to women in postnatal wards of leading Sydney Maternity Hospitals during the delicate first few days following the birth of their babies. I also saw women in their homes and in private practice.
Whilst it was wonderful to facilitate a woman’s wellbeing in pregnancy, often right up to the start of her labour and then immediately following her birth, I felt that I was limiting my skills and personal attributes and wanted to be able to provide a continuous presence, which included being present at the time of a woman’s birth.
The Innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you and your business?
After the birth of my second son in 2006, I began my studies with the Australian Doula College to explore all things birth, and have been a qualified Birth & Postpartum Doula since 2008.
I continue to educate myself through research, training, and studies, and of course, the best learning results from the interaction and experiences I share with the women I am privileged to spend time and work with.
Additionally, I became a Baby Massage Instructor and enjoy teaching this beautiful and valuable skill of nurturing touch to mothers as they become acquainted with and bond with their babies. Massaging our children is a lifelong skill that can keep us connected even through the challenging adolescent years.
This gave me the satisfaction that I could fully embrace the support, nurture and nourishment of women in their entire maternal experience – from Pregnancy to Birth to Postpartum and beyond.
In the last few years, my passion has been in understanding what happens to a woman as she experiences her own birth, her transition into becoming a mother, also known as Matrescence.
In my Baby Massage classes, Postpartum Doula support and conversations with women, my focus is primarily on the health and wellbeing of the mother.
It’s important for me to acknowledge that she too is experiencing many shifts and changes in so many ways, whether that be physically, emotionally, relationally, her identity, and so on…
I believe every woman is an individual and deserves a unique approach. My aim is to always practise in an authentic, caring, generous and empathetic manner.
In addition to this, my latest offering has been a specially curated Postpartum Food Delivery Service. This baby speaks from my heart and was born from a place of love and understanding of the importance of feeding newborn mothers with nourishing food that assists with their healing and recovery, promotes wellbeing and positive mood, and may boost milk supply as well.