I have been an Ex Pat for almost 20 Years .First living in America and now Germany. Each move was in pursuit of my husbands career. Therefore I never cease to be impressed when I meet women in a similar situation to me, who have had to discover a new career path when moving countries.


These blogs spotlight the women that have turned their talents to creating opportunities for both themselves and the communities they serve. This blog series will help educate, inform and inspire but above all, it will help celebrate the strengths of women who can (and do!).


SPOTLIGHT ONE

Amanda Isaac- Post Baby Restore Program Amanda, what brought you to Munich, Germany? I moved to Munich over five years ago with my Italian husband. Our first baby was just five weeks old at the time. Initially the move was temporary but plans changed and when I realised I would never return to my 10 year long nursing career in Quebec, I was determined to find a way to reimagine my skills. So, you are a qualified nurse? Yes! I am a nursing graduate from University of Ottawa. My first two years were spent on a post-partum ward helping new mothers. I then spent many years in clinical work with community health and maternal childcare in remote northern communities of the James Bay, Quebec. I am very passionate about my work, so it was very hard to accept that I would have to leave that behind. How have you built on those skills since? My principle interest has always been supporting the health and wellness of women. Pregnancy and motherhood pushes women through massive changes to their body. It changes your posture, weakens joints, stresses the pelvic floor, interrupts diaphragmatic breathing and damages and weakens core muscles. From my personal experience as a nurse and as a sportswoman, I saw there was a way I could forge a new career to help new mothers regain their core strength post-delivery and make them feel better in their post baby body. Having always been an athlete growing up and wanting to be able to help people, it felt like the right fit. Initially I took an intense personal training certificate program with the American College of Sports Medicine. I am about to complete my studies with recognised international physical therapist Dr Sarah Duvall as a Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Specialist. This training and my own success in correcting the physical problems faced in the postnatal period has been the bedrock of my new career. Tell me more about how you can help mothers regain their optimal health and wellbeing? I created the Post-Baby Core Restore programme. It’s a series of app-based workouts designed to correct issues such as recti diastasis or the separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, to resolve pelvic floor dysfunction and fix those embarrassing leaks, restore good posture and deep diaphragmatic breathing and regain core strength. It’s a six-week programme. None of the 24 workouts need any special equipment and can be worked into any schedule. I resolved my own postpartum issues with this programme and I am so proud to have helped so many women regain their confidence and health. Amanda’s Post-Baby Core Restore programme can be purchased at www.amandaisaaccoaching.com and is currently available for the special price of 49Euros (instead of 89Euros). Once purchased the programme is available for 12 weeks. For any questions please contact Amanda on info@amandaisaaccoaching.com


Home birth is defined as giving birth to a baby in your place of residence. Most home births are attended by a Hebamme/midwife, though they can be attended by a doctor; and in an unplanned home birth this may be attended by emergency technicians, or in a very quick birth it may be a family member in attendance. In most countries it is not legal to have a planned home birth without medical personal in attendance In a low risk pregnancy there is evidence to suggest that a home birth can be as safe as a hospital birth; especially when it is not the mother’s first pregnancy. A home birth is associated with reduced intervention, and an increased normal delivery rate. Overall the literature shows that a woman experiences less pain when in her own environment, has more autonomy over her birth and increased satisfaction. Another advantage of a home birth is the continuity of care that a woman and her partner receive. They are cared for in a small team of midwives which means that for the most part they will have already met the midwife who is with them at their baby’s birth. The percentage of home deliveries has only decreased over the years with numbers in the UK and Germany being around 1% per of all births. Most women in Munich choose to deliver in a hospital or birth house (Geburtshaus) but for those who wish a home birth there are Hebammes in Munich who offer this service. As a student midwife I had the privilege to attend a few home births and in my early days as a midwife I worked in a team of midwives where home birth was offered. It has been many a year since I have been present at a home birth, but at a recent "fortbildung" class in Munich I met Julia, a Hebamme who specialises in home births here in Munich I spoke with Hebamme Julia about her Praxis here in Munich.


Let’s pitch straight in…why did you choose to become a midwife?

My Godmother told me when I was young that I have ‘midwifes hands’ but as a career the idea grew on me quite slowly. I became interested in feminist politics, women’s rights and women’s health when I was still in school and so when I was looking for a career I realised that it would be incredibly powerful to support women through what is always a special time in their lives. It would be a way to assist women as they develop their family and help them as they bring new life into the world.

I understand you studied midwifery in the UK not in Germany, why was that?

Right from the start I knew that I wanted to be a community-based midwife. At the time you couldn’t do a degree in Germany but in the UK I was able to study at Plymouth University and do my community based training in Devon and Cornwall. As a rural area Devon and Cornwall had a home birth rate that was slightly above the national average. I was so fortunate to secure a community post with a group of very experienced midwives. I also valued the complex ways in which UK midwives are taught to assess medical evidence, the training is rigorous and there is greater autonomy as a practitioner. I was there for three years and I loved it.

Congratulations on starting your new practice in Munich. Tell me more about it.

Thank you. I launched in April 2020 which was a crazy time to start but actually, it’s worked so well. I offer one-to-one care for pregnant women that are looking for home birth support. It’s a very bespoke approach and I am with my client through the whole pregnancy and beyond through to the newborn’s early months. Pregnancy and birth is a truly natural unfolding of a beautiful experience in a woman’s life. I walk that path with my clients. Planning a home birth is so empowering. It means that the pregnant person and family around them can take full responsibility for their care and birth experience.

What are the key benefits of a home birth?

A woman has total control over an environment that she is already comfortable in. Her birth partner or partners can be with her continuously from the first contraction to the birth and beyond. There is a sense of ‘doing something’ when you go into hospital or ‘having something done’...at home that doesn’t happen, it’s just an organic process. During home birth the rate of unnecessary intervention is lower than in a hospital setting while mother and baby are just as safe. In Germany numbers on safety of out-of-hospital-births have been collected since 1999 and can be accessed via this link.. One-on-one care is a real benefit to the birth process too.

How do you tackle any clinical concerns during pregnancy or labour?

The client and I are well prepared. Any clinical concerns are factored into the situation ahead of time and discussed with everybody involved, including a discussion on whether home birth is the right choice if there are any clinical concerns. If a situation develops beyond the range of normal physiology in pregnancy, I refer to the gynaecologist or hospital as appropriate. I am of course trained to deal with any arising emergency situations.”

To find out more about how Julia can support you through a home birth go to www.julia-preu.net or email julia.preu @ riseup.net


A recent study showed almost 9 in 10 (87%) parents were more anxious as a result of COVID-19 with parental loneliness rising from 38% to 63% as an increasing number of mums face their first year in lockdown.

It is no surprise that anxiety, overwhelm and parental burnout are on the increase. Being a new mum pre-pandemic was already a life changing moment and for any expat Mama’s out there, there was the added burden of missing loved ones and grappling with the local lingo on three hours sleep. That blurry first year, of mixed emotions; from joy, laughter and gratitude for this beautiful little human, through to exhaustive tears, frustration and anxiety was always tough but then the pandemic hit. Parenting in a pandemic, was not something anyone could have prepared for.


Mothers are not supposed to raise their babies in isolation and without a loving helpful tribe by their side. These are difficult times and it is normal to have difficult emotions. What can you do when your anxiety reaches a point where it is taking over, or you feel like something is really ‘off’? The answer is...reach

out...remotely of course...for now.


Life Coach, Jo Fiddy says “The pandemic has been raging for almost a year, there is a lot of stress and anxiety pulsing through our bodies. We are practically bathing in cortisol and this is on top of the inadequate sleep and support, that comes with being a new expat mum without a tribe. Our amygdala, that is the fight, flight and freeze response in the brain, is firing off like a car alarm and impacts our entire body and mind. You might feel tension in your body such as tight shoulders or back or perhaps you are experiencing constant anxious thoughts and heart palpitations.”


One powerful technique that Jo has had huge success with is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). “EFT is one of my favourite techniques that I use with clients and is so successful with anxiety. You literally tap on the meridian points in the body and express how you feel. Say it, feel it, let it go.


Numerous studies have shown that this can help dial down the distress of the amygdala and restore calm,” says Jo. Jo is originally from the UK and is a qualified and experienced EFT and NLP Practitioner and Strategic Intervention Coach. As someone who overcame burnout and 10 years of anxiety, she knows what she’s talking about and has created an incredible collection of digital self-help tools that are completely free. This nourishing library also includes relaxing techniques, such as EFT audio meditations for Life with a Young Child, Missing Family and Friends and Anxiety in the Body.


To access Jo’s free meditations and tools just go to: www.jofiddy.com.





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WELCOME TO THE PIPPAGINA BLOG

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Lynn Darbyshire 

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