Mums & Co: Member Profile
In my spare time, I volunteer as an ambassador for Mums & Co, arranging coffee meet ups for entrepreneurial women in business. These are run locally all around the country and are there to support other mums. We share details of our business, why we are in business, celebrate our wins and help each other work through issues we may be facing. We also form an extended network this way and it boosts our brand and personality awareness too - and potentially creates a new referrer or client. Bonus!
Recently, Mums & Co profiled me. You can read it here or check it out below.
Member Profile: Amanda Bernstein
Amanda Bernstein is a Birth and Postpartum Doula, supporting and empowering women and couples along their journey to meet their new baby. Amanda is also a Ka Huna Massage Therapist (an amazing Hawaiian style of massage that is deeply relaxing – physically, emotionally, spiritually) and a Pilates Instructor. And because she is not busy enough already Amanda is also a Mums & Co Volunteer Local Ambassador running Coffee Meet Ups in Bondi Junction.
What does your typical day look like?
No two days (or nights!) are the same with me! I could be giving an amazing Ka Huna massage, teaching a pregnancy Pilates class, doing a debrief with a birthing client or be at a birth! Every day includes checking emails and responding to messages, managing my socials, engaging with new client enquiries and networking with other local complimentary practitioners. I always try and find time for myself, whether it’s getting to a Pilates class for myself, walking up the street for a coffee, watching an episode of something on Netflix, having an Epsom salt bath or visiting a local acupuncturist (or even another Ka Huna bodyworker) to ensure I treat myself to a little luxury.
Tell us about your business in under 30 words?
As a Sydney Doula, I physically, emotionally and informatively support women/couples during their pregnancy, at their birth and postnatally. I’m also a Ka Huna massage therapist and Pilates instructor.
How do you maintain your motivation?
It’s actually really easy to stay motivated for me as a Doula. I love birth and it’s such an honour for new mothers to invite me to be a part of one of their most intimate moments in life. It’s still magic to me – one second the baby is inside your tummy and the next they are out. It blows my mind. I run on an adrenaline high at births (even if I’m there for 20 hours straight!) and it’s re-boosted when my clients feel the sheer euphoria and amazement at themselves that they birthed their baby.
What has been one of your best business calls/decisions to date?
Deciding to be a Doula (completely leaving the corporate world) – in addition to already being a Pilates instructor specialising in pregnancy and postnatal recovery, and a Ka Huna massage therapist.
I absolutely LOVE working in this space and I’m honouring myself by doing something that I love, rather than focusing on a job that just pays the bills. I truly believe in all the work I do and know it makes a BIG difference for my clients. I have total job satisfaction.
What is something about running your business that you wish you had been told sooner?
I’m a perfectionist and sometimes I have had to realise (or be told) that things don’t need to be perfect and they can be “good enough”. I struggle with this mentality but it can be a necessary thing when the type of work I do is so organic, everything is an evolution and I can for example update my website anytime. Doing my best with every client and being my true self is important to me, and the passion, warmth and energy that shines through as a Doula, Ka Huna bodyworker and Pilates instructor really does speak volumes.
What are your favourite business tools (and why?)
My favourite tool is actually giving Ka Huna and Lomi Lomi Heartworks massage. It might sound strange so I’ll explain. I didn’t get into this to become a massage therapist. Rather, the journey of becoming a Hawaiian bodyworker involves a lot of personal development. If I’ve had a bad day, or the kids have been up all night, there’s loads of laundry to do etc… then that’s the negative energy I’d take to my client on the table. However, being able to separate myself from that and give from my heart space, makes the experience really positive for me too. I treat every massage like a dance and a meditation in one – where I’m breathing in from my head to my heart, and transferring love out my arms, sending beautiful energy into my client on the table. I’m in the zone and focused, not thinking about what to cook for dinner, and I come out of every massage feeling completely re-energised myself. It’s an amazing experience.
What would you like to see more of when it comes to helping women in small businesses succeed?
More word of mouth referrals and putting ourselves out there to try a service we don’t know we necessarily need. It takes commitment to try something new – and you might surprise yourself! When was the last time you tried something new?
What is one facet of your field that you would like to see changed?
I wish Doulas were more readily accepted and appreciated in hospital births. I think our whole birth system needs to change – and change is coming. Just not fast enough. Yes there are times when modern medicine saves lives… Unfortunately, birth in Australia in general is a medicalised event, rather than a natural physiological process. We have lost faith in our body’s ability to birth our babies and it makes me sad as birth can be an amazing opportunity for women to feel empowered.
What’s your approach on ‘the juggle’?
As a Doula in Sydney, being on call for births means I need to have everything for my kids sorted – including cover for drop off and pick up at school. So we have help at home: a demi pair (DP), which is like a nanny/housekeeper who lives with us and helps swap up to 20 hours a week of help in exchange for full board. Our DP helps with making kids lunches, and schools are walking distance from our home. It means that when I’m home with the kids I’m actually spending quality time with them, rather than just being the chef, laundry maid, chauffer etc… My wonderful husband helps cover the nights and weekends and we hire a fortnightly cleaner too. It means there’s less for me to worry about at home and I have more time for my clients, my family and myself.
What is one of the most important piece of advice you would give to someone beginning their business? A couple of years into their business?
Make sure your business is something that you love and really care about, and then it won’t feel like a job (even if like me you work around the clock and your phone is never off!). Be true to yourself and work with clients that truly resonate with you – once you’ve been in business a while it’s much easier to say no to a potential client that just doesn’t feel right.
How would you describe your family life? AND How would we find you spending your weekends?
So I had to combine these two questions… In my immediate family I have an amazing husband and two gorgeous boys. We enjoy quality time together on weekends (after swimming and Jiu-Jitsu classes) and often do fun things like take the dog to the park, try new fancy cafes, get to an exhibition somewhere… Weekends are hectic and as we still have to base our days around a nap for my little one, I try to nap when he does (not sure if I’m looking forward to giving that up or not!). Every Friday night we have dinner with my extended family and my boys get to hang out with their cousins and sometimes have a sleepover. We usually visit my grandparents too who are 96 and 95 years old.
If we looked through your bookmarks what would we find?
Lots of videos of homebirths and links to evidence based articles around birthing statistics. I like to send these to my clients so that they can make fully informed decisions around their birthing choices (very often they aren’t given all the information from their care providers upfront). Consenting to the birth journey and being fully present can help to prevent trauma when birth happens to you.
What supportive networks are you a part of?
Mums & Co for one! Plus meeting regularly with other Doulas, and other entrepreneurial women. I’m a member of both the Doula Network Australia and the Australian Doula College. I often swap Ka Huna massages with other skilled practitioners. There are load of groups on Facebook too where I find support and give support too – I love these growing online communities and have often met new friends, colleagues and clients in person from these groups.
SYDNEY DOULA SERVICES | POSTNATAL DOULA | PREGNANCY MASSAGE | POSTNATAL PILATES
About Essential Me
Hi, I'm Amanda. I support women and couples during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey as a Doula, Ka Huna massage therapist and Pilates instructor. I'm Based in Sydney and would love to help you. Please check out my Top 10 Tips for the best possible birth experience here. I'd love to meet you for an obligation free interview to see if you feel we're the right fit. Contact me here. Thanks, Amanda x