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.
My Education & Experience
After taking two years of training in nursing, I decided to fulfill my dream of working one-on-one with families in a socio-emotional supportive vs. medical capacity. In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Human Ecology in Family Social Sciences from the University of Manitoba. I decided to further my perinatal knowledge and completed my CAPPA (Childbirth & Postpartum Professional Association) labour doula training in 2012 and additional birth doula training through the Manitoba Association of Childbirth and Family Education in 2013. I have taken Childbirth Educator Training (2014) through Birth Arts International, Herbalist Training (2014) through Heart of Herbs International, 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.
Ilissa is also a certified Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider CPR Instructor with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, offering BLS / HCP-C Certification and Renewals, and the Heartsaver CPR / AED Classes. Classes are available to individuals, larger community groups, health care professionals, students, daycares, and private businesses.
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.
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 photographer. 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 photography 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.
In addition to volunteering as a photographer, I having been work as a professional photographer in the Winnipeg area since 2013. I specialize in creating imagery of maternity, babies, children, and families and have been featured in the following internationally published magazines: Midwifery Today, Pathways to Family Wellness, Natural Parenting Magazine, and Holistic Parenting Magazine. Please visit my portfolio website, Imagery by Bean. My Birth Photography work has been included in the first of it's kind Birth Photography Exhibit called BORN; this gallery exhibit is being hosted at the Pembina Hills Arts Council from February 20 - March 31. For more information, visit the event page: https://www.beanfamilywellness.com/upcoming-events/2018/2/20/born-gallery-exhibit-professional-birth-photographers-of-manitoba
My beliefs about childbirth
I believe that the female 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.
Premature Birth / Preemies, NICU, Loss, High Risk Birth, Home Birth, Water Birth, Breastfeeding after breast surgery (reduction) (BFAR), low milk supply, and exclusive pumping.