Meet The Owner of Bean Family Wellness
Ilissa Mistry, B.H.Ecol. (FSS)
Hello. My name is Ilissa and I am the owner of Bean Family Wellness! For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period! As a young child, I dreamed of one day becoming a mother and experiencing the joys that the journey of parenthood offers. In University, I decided to focus my passion and learn how to assist families as they transition through the various stages of life. While pregnant with my first daughter, I became even more passionate about helping other families through this very special time in their lives. After the birth of my daughter, I knew that every family deserves the experience of a beautiful pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.
Beliefs about Pregnancy, Birth, & Beyond
I believe that the human body is amazing and that it is made to create life and give birth (a process that leaves me in awe)! I believe that during this time, it is so important for families to have good support and education. During pregnancy, it is important to become more informed on the issues that are important to us, allowing us to make informed decisions. I hope that by having me join you on this journey, that you will feel empowered to make the choices that are right for you and your family to create your own unique experience!
I am a full spectrum birth doula and support all families regardless of their choices and preferences, or circumstances, for their pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences. I have worked with low risk families, high risk families, families who choose to have low intervention or high intervention births, and families who have chosen a variety of care providers or places of birth.
University & Continuing Education Coursework
After taking two years of university courses in nursing, I decided to transfer my knowledge into a faculty that would fulfill my dream of working one-on-one with families in a socio-emotional supportive capactity. In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Human Ecology in Family Social Sciences from the University of Manitoba.
Once graduating, I decided to further my perinatal knowledge and completed my CAPPA (Childbirth & Postpartum Professional Association) labour doula training in 2012, then additional birth doula training through the Manitoba Association of Childbirth and Family Education in 2013. I took LGBTQ Positive Childbirth Educator Training (2016) through the Queer Birthproject, and and the Spinning Babies Training in 2017. In 2016, I had a chance to attend the Birth and Beyond Conference in London, Ontario where I had a chance to learn from ionic leaders in the birth community, including Ina May Gaskin.
In Spring 2018, I earned my Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider CPR Instructor Certification with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada and began offering BLS Provider CPR & AED Classes to local Parents and Professionals.
In 2019, I took specialized training in Family Mediation skills through Facilitated Solutions to improve my skills and help families work through conflict, transition, and life changes. Parenting is a lifestyle change that many couples are not fully prepared for and my hope is that this education will help improve communication between parents as they prepare to welcome a baby and parent both young and older children. I am currently a member of Family Mediation Manitoba and I am currently working towards my Qualified Mediator Designation through ADRIM.
In addition, I am in the midst of completing StillBirthday (SBD) Doula Training, and plan to complete the Adoption Doula Training curriculm by the end of 2019.
Specialized Knowledge / Experience
LGBTQ*, Premature Birth / Preemies, NICU, Loss, High Risk Birth, Home Birth, Water Birth, Breastfeeding after breast surgery (reduction) (BFAR), low milk supply, and exclusive pumping.
I have had the chance to be a guest speaker on CJOB and CTV Morning Live, talking about my work as a doula, childbirth educator, and premature babies (and resources available). In addition, I have written articles for Midwifery Today, Holistic Parenting Magazine and Natural Pregnancy Magazine, and have had my maternity, birth, baby, and family photography featured in the following magazines: Pathways to Family Wellness, Midwifery Today, Holistic Parenting Magazine, Natural Pregnancy Magazine, in the Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper, and in the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital Research Foundation’s Annual General Report.
My Birth Photography work was included in the first of it's kind Gallery Exhibit called BORN along-side seven other talented Birth Photographers. This gallery exhibit was hosted at the Pembina Hills Arts Council in Morden Manitoba from February 20 - March 31, 2018.
Related Volunteer Experience
In the past, I have volunteered as a social media administrator for The Birthing Site, as well as acted as a MACFE board member and volunteered as their social media administrator. I am currently a Tiny Footprints Project volunteer. This program matches professional photographers with parents who have had a premature baby who is currently living in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These sessions are complimentary. To request a session, please contact the Tiny Footprints Project directly. In my spare time, I also work on a personal project that is near and dear to my heart called The Art of Breastmilk Project. This is a photographic and storytelling journey of parents feeding their babies breastmilk.