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Conversations with May Engelstad

Today we’d like to introduce you to May Engelstad.

Hi May, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
After the birth of my son in 2017, I experienced an intense chapter of anxiety and depression. While there were many contributing factors, isolation was largely responsible for the pain I endured during the early days of motherhood. After about a year, I began therapy and started to explore modalities of healing which lead to my discovery of postpartum doula work. The alchemy of pain is often that beautiful transformations can occur as a result. For me, it was finding my soul’s true calling by realizing that this pain of isolation in early motherhood was far from my experience alone. I trained in 2018 and 2019 and launched my postpartum doula business Bloom in 2020. With the pandemic, so much had to evolve and pivot, but there were so many ways I realized I could still support. Through zoom, I was able to teach my New Parent classes that I refer to as my Root and Rise sessions. They serve to educate and reshape the expectations that new parents often have regarding things like infant sleep, breastfeeding and the 4th Trimester.

I was also able to provide a meal delivery service featuring my ayurvedic-inspired dishes. Being deeply nourished is so crucial during this time period and so it is a beautiful way to support new parents by providing nutrient-dense and delicious meals that are ready to eat and enjoy. Since last summer, I have been able to support families in a home which has been incredible. I also began supporting births as a birth doula last fall which has been so rewarding. To be a familiar face during labor as well as during those first initial weeks is something so deeply needed as social beings. What I love about this “world” that I work in is that there is always something new to learn or a new modality through which to support and serve. I hope to be a grey-haired old lady doing something in this realm… it just feels like it’s truly written on my heart.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all! Training/learning all while being a mother to a young child. Navigating this kind of work during a global pandemic. Website malfunctions, being a sole proprietor, wearing all of the “hats” … it’s not something that comes easily… and yet, it seems impossible to walk away from. Even on the hardest days, I know it’s where I am supposed to be.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a holistic birth and postpartum doula. I specialize in the education and emotional support of birthers and new parents. I think I am probably known for the deep relationships that I cultivate with my clients. I think trust is a huge part of the equation when it comes to feeling supported and how can you trust someone you don’t really know. I make an effort to really establish a relationship with those that I work with so that they can reap the benefits of the healing and supportive work that I do.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love all of the small businesses and entrepreneurs in our city. There are so many talented and creative people and it seems like our city loves to support them. I dislike how to spread out our communities are though… you can live in Denver for years and never see entire parts of the town or experience their own little sub-cultures. We get stuck in our little one x one square mile of life.

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Image Credits
Chelsey Pas With friends and lovers photography

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