Returning Home (Copyright ©2007)

Island Where, December 2007

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At this crucial time when the Caribbean as a whole is suffering from the perpetual brain-drain dilemma which evidently impinges on the social, political and economical development of the region, only a small number of young overseas graduates are convinced that moving back to the islands is in their best interest.

Notwithstanding this unfortunate fact, one woman has remained true to her Dominican roots by realising the importance of returning home after fulfilling her training in Healing Arts.

Dominica’s youngest healing artist, Sari Giraud-Sabetian is among the minority who has brought their skills and expertise back to the subcontinent, with the objective of sharing acquired knowledge with its people.

As a natural artist, Sari discovered very early on what her best tools were- her hands. She started her creative career as a ceramicist and designer, before progressing naturally towards the Healing Arts in which she embraces the beauty and practicalities of natural and holistic healing processes.

Her initial passion came in the form of Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Science in which she is fully qualified in blending essential oils and carrying out treatments through therapeutic massage. She uses this incredibly powerful, yet gentle therapy with a natural passion and much integrity.

With the use of organic essential oils and massage, Sari’s tailor-made treatments with custom-made blends promote health by boosting the body’s own processes, allowing each system to work more efficiently, to help the body help itself.

A devoted mother of two, Sari is a strong advocate for natural birthing and has since become a well-respected Doula, providing emotional and practical support to expecting mothers and their partners before, during and after childbirth.

Trained under the esteemed obstetrician and father of natural birthing, Dr Michel Odent, renowned for introducing the concept of birthing pools, Sari now provides a unique service as an Aroma therapist/Masseuse and Doula through her newly established business, ‘Nurture Naturally’.

With a busy lifestyle, work and family commitments, expecting mothers are very rarely able to fully embrace the changes that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and the arrival of a new baby. Sari explains the series of events which influenced her decision to become a Doula.

“I had a very complicated birthing experience for my first daughter, and was very much put off by all the medical intervention I was unprepared to deal with. As a result, after my daughter was born, I decided to learn more about becoming a Doula- the answer to a woman’s endless fears and discomfort when she is expecting a baby”.

Sari practiced as a Doula in London, and adapts her skills to suit her local clients, thereby welcoming the concept of ‘mothering the mother’. By providing the necessary care, support and guidance, Sari helps mothers to have the most satisfying and empowering time that they can during pregnancy, birth, and the early days as a new mum. This nurturing, continuous support and reassurance help the mother and her family to relax and enjoy the experience of having a new addition to the family.

In addition to providing physiological support and guidance, Sari sees her role as a confidant, as well as a bridge between medical staff and expecting parents, where she is able to communicate the medical terminology to her clients in a nurturing manner.

Pregnant women will find it reassuring to know, research shows that having a Doula present throughout pregnancy:

-Shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hours -Decreases the chance of a caesarean section by fifty per cent -Decreases the need for pain relief medication -Helps fathers participate with confidence -Increases success in breast-feeding

I asked Sari who would benefit the most from the services of a Doula.

“First-time parents find having a Doula to be very helpful, as they can relax knowing they have someone they can rely on to ask questions and get answers based on experience. Also, for those who never attended pre-natal classes, as well as single mothers”.

In Dominica, Sari works alongside a prenatal yoga instructor and facilitates yoga courses for expecting mothers and their partners. She has recently completed a foundation course in Energy Healing, which she hopes will further deepen and broaden her ability to heal. A natural process most needed and appreciated on this beautiful nature island.

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