Welcoming The Doula Community House!

Today the The Doula Community House happily leaps into being to

“Doula the Doulas!”

Doulas provide tireless service to their clients, passionate about birth and doing all they can to support families in the birthing journeys for healthy, safe and satisfying outcomes.   Often their long hours are unscheduled and filled with far more time commitment than is recognized by their clients (but always by their families! :) ),  in addition to the planned prenatal visit(s) & birth itself, they are often answering questions in early pregnancy, making phone calls of encouragement in late pregnancy, researching personalized solutions for their clients all the time, making extra visits to help with breastfeeding issues postpartum, and strategizing referrals and community connections weeks or even months later.  Where do they go for renewal, for mentorship, or with questions once they’ve ‘become a doula?’

Welcome to the warm, understanding and supportive arms of The Doula Community House!

Hosted by Indigo Forest, The Doula House is committed to nurturing doulas by creating a community hub (both locally and across the web) that provides warm support, practical information, friendly networking and continuing education.  It’s The Place to go when you need a hug after a tough birth,  some perspective on a challenging situation/client, a ‘birth fix,’ or to get recharged with an inspiring class.

Doulas Circle (the verb), is our free support group for the women who support women in birth, meeting monthly on the second Saturday of the month at 10 am; if this is your passion, you are invited to our first gathering on October 13th, 2012.   Led by Beth Barbeau, Tradition Midwife and Master Educator with 30 years experience in the birth community, this groups is the safe place to let down your hair and enjoy the community of women who understand your life, loves and challenges!  Cozy tea & honey provided.

Generally concluding at 11:30, October 13th we’ll be ending a bit early because Indigo Forest’s “Parent-Doula Meet & Greet” is happening from 11:00-12:30 this day.   This will be a great chance to meet and mingle with potential clients who are coming to have the opportunity to meet a variety of doulas at one time.   Please preregister with Indigo Forest (734.994.8010) if you plan on participating.

Come ‘friend’ us on Facebook for on-going updates and birth information, as well as announcements of pending classes for especially for doulas.

Red Tent Temple

A monthly sanctuary created by women for women

Inside the Red Tent Temple….you will find a space to heal and be heard – a place to stop and relax, enjoy potluck offerings and herbal tea, journal, sing, laugh, be silent, cry, create, and reconnect with what ties us all together:  being woman.  Women from all stages of life are welcome.

Held on Sunday nearest the New Moon from 12noon – 4 pm.

Fall 2012 dates are as follows:

August 19  *  September 16  *  October 14  *  November 11  *  December 16

Why a Red Tent Temple?   Why not a place where women can come together?  Where they stop and rest?  A place where we can celebrate our strength, a safe place where we can express our immense fragility, a place to find answers and offer support, a place to build the community of women?

What is a Red Tent Temple?  It is a place and space that is co-created once a month in towns and citites across the country around the new moon.  Our tent is held on the Sunday closest to the New Moon from 12 Noon until 4 pm.

Who comes to the temple?  Women from all stages of life are welcome.  Women who no longer have their wombs or who are in menopause are needed to make our circle whole.  Young girls are welcome to attend if they have begun menses, but since adult discussions will occur in the temple, girls under the age of 16 must be accompanied an adult.  Babies are welcome if they are ‘in arms’ – not yet crawling or walking.

What happens during the Red Tent Temple?  Much of the time is unstructured to allow for a wonderful fluid and organic time in, where the empty space supports the unexpected and unplanned.

At some point during the time of the temple, we will have a chance to gather in a circle.  This is a time for the women sitting in circle to ‘check in.’  It is a time for each woman to have a short time to speak without being given advice, to truly be heard, to cry, to laugh,  and for a few moments to have it ‘all about her.’  After circle, there will be some unstructured time where women can offer further support ot another, find some quiet reflective time or join another group doing a variety of things.

The Story Chair is a chair where a woman sits to share her story of her ‘womanhood journey.’  THe stories may come in the forms of narrative, songs and poems.  They may make you laugh or cry or you may have an ‘Aha moment.’

What items are brought to the temple?

Sharing:  Every Red Tent Temple is an opportunity to bring something to share.  That can be drums, books, healing work, potluck items or teas.

Donating:  The Ann Arbor Temple is just in it’s inception and is being created by everyday women just like you.  We need donations of lovely red items.  We have some red cloth but need more. Pillows, throws, rugs would all be lovely.  If you wish to donate money, it will be used to beautify the space, provide amenities, or to pay building and /or advertising costs.

Items for your personal use: Seating is not provided.  You are encouraged to bring a camp chair if you need to be up off the ground.  You are encouraged to bring knitting, journals, drawing supplies…anything which will help you to enjoy this space.

Why wear red?  Wearing red is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the red tent experience but probably only half of the women will be wearing red.  Please feel free to come as you are or to wear something that makes you feel whole.

Hosted by Indigo Forest, at 4121 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor, MI  48103   Directions on this site under ‘Visit us.’
Questions?  Please contact Heather Doveheart, heather.doveheart@yahoo.com, (517) 917-3435.


Spring Clean with Detox Baths!

Super Oxy Bath

A Unique Bath Additive Designed to Support Numerous Functions:

  • Introduces additional oxygen into the bathwater
  • Induces relaxation and restful sleep
  • Changes the pH of bathwater from acidic to slightly alkaline
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Breaks down herbicides and pesticides found in water
  • Helps neutralize the chlorine and new form of fluoride (fluorosilysic acid) found in in city water
  • Draws poisons from the body through skin and neutralizes toxins
  • Saturates blood with oxygen by way of osmosis
  • Compatible with aromatic oils &  hydrogen peroxide
  • Leaves skin soft and clean
  • Relieves aches and pains

We’ve carried these baths since our opening (5 years ago this month!),  and have ALWAYS been pleased with the quality and results.   Many families come back to get them again and again, finding their natural health support to be simple, effective and affordable.

2# – Regularly $14.99.   

Spring Sale through Saturday, March 30th, 2012 –

20% off -   $11.98, and a free quartz crystal!

Welcome Keleigh Lee, IBCLC!!

Indigo Forest is proud to announce a new collaboration with experienced lactation specialist, Keleigh Lee, IBCLC!

See Keleigh’s new breastfeeding classes offered in March & April!

Keleigh Lee, IBCLC, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant trained to support mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. The IBCLC credential is the most advanced lactation certification available and ensures a level of expertise mothers need and deserve (www.iblce.org). Much misinformation exists and can have major negative impacts on breastfeeding success. Keleigh is a mother of four children who have all breastfed and knows how vulnerable and fragile the newborn stage can be.

My goal in providing breastfeeding guidance is to empower families to solve their breastfeeding challenges and get back on track. By inviting me into your life you share a trust with me and I will do all in my ability to hear your story with respect and caring as I help to work through your problems.”

Keleigh is also an accredited La Leche League Leader (www.lllaa.org) and a volunteer Lactation Consultant for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program where she has helped hundreds of mother-baby pairs over the years. Her professional background as a medical illustrator and extensive lactation science education give her a solid medical foundation for handling a wide range of breastfeeding issues. She is a self-described “lactation geek” and will happily treat you to lactation geekery details if asked!

Here’s to Our Mothers

Well, we all have one.  Sometimes more.  Our Mothers.  How are you doing with yours?  This is just a musing, unbidden.   A holiday musing of loss and understanding, completion and transformation.

On my mind these days, holidays and the Mothers.  As a midwife, there is a special moment in which mothers become… although that ‘moment’ is often days, weeks, months long, and for sure, it’s not often that exact moment that so many expect.  When do mothers ‘unbecome’ – do they ever?

My mother passed on this season two years ago.  And this season, a dear friend’s mom just did the same.  Memorial services 2 years apart, same day.  In both cases, these fine ladies were given home funerals by their daughters.  My sister & I for Sharon, our friend for her Mom, Nancy.  This ancient way of caring for our dead, of honoring our mothers, became true expressions of our loss and grief and honor and respect.   Many who attended these services shared how healing they were to their own losses;  the stories of unmet needs at the time of significant deaths came pouring out.   So much like birth, where whole authentic experiences bring growth and healing not only to those present, but to so many who touch in.  Like birth, so many stories of unmet needs pouring out.

Perhaps we may choose, in this candlelit time of winter solstice, of holiday reflections, of the blessings & trials of family times, to welcome in authentic moments of true expression.  Perhaps first we dare to invite these moments with the relatives with the bright eyes and genuine questions.  Later, perhaps we explore authentic connections with the more challenging people in our lives.  Perhaps consider how we are going to care for those we love when they pass.  How will YOU be cared for?  By whom?  Efficient strangers?  People who will weep as they wash your hands, blessing and thanking them?  Authentic moments are indeed strong ones – richer, deeper, perhaps intense too.   Aren’t these the moments that we remember when we pause in ceremonial times?  When we pause to breathe deeply in remembrance over the candles of our chosen holiday?   There is a magnet on my refrigerator, “We don’t remember days….we remember moments.”   What moment are you remembering now?  We have a choice about what moments we create this today, this week, this December.

Here’s to our Mothers. To our Moments.  No, I do not think they ever “unbecome,”  not in our lives nor in theirs.  I miss my Mother so terribly, as so many do, even as I cheer her release and transformation.   And even as I welcome space from the tough work of that relationship.  Let us all hug a mother in this candlelit season – and if you know mothers, most of them will hug you just for being someone else’s child!  As the brave heroine of movie, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” once said, “I’m glad to have known someone that it is so damn hard to say good-bye to.”


Elderberry Syrup Anyone?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little delicious magic potion in your cupboard when the sniffles sneak in?

Elderberry is your friend!   Look around your neighborhood, and you are likely to see these luscious dark berries hanging ripe and heavy, waiting for their chance to do their healing work.

Loaded with Vitamin C &  Vitamin E (great anti-oxidants), as well as Vitamin B, amino acids and so much more, Elderberry is a wonderful immune booster of the best kind.   Approved in Germany to medicinally combat colds and flues, it lowers LDL cholesterol, improves eyesight, and helps maintain good heart health.  However, elderberry’s primary value is its ability to combat bacterial and viral infections by providing aid to the immune system.  It secretes an enzyme that neutralizes a virus’s ability to corkscrew into your cells to insert it’s DNA strand!   Wow – nature’s anti-viral!   Do check out the greater details about elderberry through links such as the one above.  At Indigo Forest we have both dried organic berries that can be used to make your own syrup or added to tea, and also encapsulated blends for immune support by Nature’s Sunshine.

Or – if your neighbor has some fruity gifts, as mine did, it could be as easy as making a syrup:

Gently pick the fruit at the base of the stem where the big bunch comes together.  My kids and I laid them stem up on a plate until we were ready.  Gently hold them upside down and pull the berries off in clumps, avoiding stems as much as possible without getting too worried about it (bitter.)  Rinse if you really need to, hopefully not.  Put in non-reactive (and non-staining) pan like stainless, with a bit of water (more better than risking burning) and lid.  Low simmer while you are busy doing everything else in your life.   After they’re well cooked down (an hour?   I turned it off, went to bed, ignored it the next day, and continued the next morning!),  strain through your finest sieve.   While wearing your oldest clothes – this stuff STAINS, possible splatters.    Smoosh gently with a spoon until no more juicy drips release themselves.   Toss the mush with gratefulness into the compost or under a bush in your yard.  Pour still warm into a friendly jar, and then pour an equal amount of raw honey in as well.  It melts nicely without losing raw benefits as you stir it together.   Storing mine in fridge to avoid molds if we’re lucky enough to have it last through the winter.   It was well-received by the middle school testers last night, barely diluted in a tiny shot glass, with their probiotics and other lovely remedies in it’s friendly sweetness.   They woke without a sore throat complaint for the first time in a week.   Thank you elderberry!

Remember – THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE!  This is sharing an experience, please research in more detail for further medical qualities and full information.



Indigo’s New Health Club!

Join the Indigo Forest

Health Club!

Practical 1-hour *Saturday classes

*10:00-11:00 am: Class,

11:00-11:30 am: Q & A.

Wish you felt more confident using natural remedies?  Are you eager to try natural health solutions, but feel unsure about the next step?

We are offering a new series of classes to celebrate Indigo’s 4th year of empowering healthy families!  In a handy, information-packed hour, we’ll take your knowledge & confidence to the next level!

Beth & Juliana will help you build your naturopathic foundation,

suitable for beginners and intermediate level students alike.

If you’ve ever been that customer that always wanted to know more,

or wants to use the remedies you have with more assurance,

these mornings are for you!

Saturday May 14

Natural First Aid & Your Car Travel Kit: Everyday Basics (Emotional upsets, bumps & bruises, cuts, & punctures)

Saturday May 28

Natural First Aid & Your Car Travel Kit: Seasonal (Sunburn, bites, stings, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, food poisoning)

*Thursday June 2nd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Fevers in the Family: Prevention, Understanding & Management.  (Afternoon series is Young family oriented, bring your babies, your floor blankets and your sense of humor!)

Saturday June 11

Essential Oils – Top 10 oils, uses & applications

Saturday June 25

Cell Salts: A Part of Homeopathy Mineral combinations that are some of the most versatile in your medicine chest!

Saturday July 16

Healthy Homes – Lessening the toxic burden – startling information on indoor air quality, antibacterial soap, and mulitpurpose products (good for both home AND body!) 

$10 per person when preregistered prior to Friday 6 pm.

(734) 994.8010,

$15 drop-in’s welcome.

10% topic products same day for class students!

Traditional Food Ways for Families

Want to improve your family’s diet, but don’t know where to start?

Join our community of parents, children & friends as we support one another on a journey to eat whole, traditional food while honoring our bodies, animals, plants and minerals. This Weston Price-inspired class meets at Indigo Forest on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 – 10:15 am, followed by a discussion group 10:15 – 11:45 am. Taught by Kate VanHorn, mother, doula and student of nutrition and naturopathy and guest speakers, Traditional Food Ways for Families is a chance to discover how we are able to make space for Traditional Food Ways in our modern hectic lives.   In each weekly class, learn about a facet of traditional foods, together building a community of other families in pursuit of the same food goals.  While sharing our experience, kitchens and gardens, we aspire to eventually exchange batches of food while healing our bodies and our children!

During the transition, Traditional Food can be overwhelming.  Therefore, classes are taught in ‘nuggets’ of information so as to have plenty of time to assimilate and incorporate the new foods and rituals in to your home. Children are welcome & encouraged to attend with you as this is a community pursuit.

Traditional Food requires traditional community and traditional nourishment of the soul; together we build our future!

Future topics include:

Basics of Traditional Foods ~ Food, Rituals & Traditions ~ Traditional Fats & Oils ~ Seasonal Eating & Picky Kids ~ Full Moon Feast ~ Dairy for Kids ~ Supplements for the Traditional Diet ~ GAPS Diet for Kids ~ Sugar Crisis with Children ~ Best First Foods for Baby ~ Buddy-up & Food Buyer’s Clubs ~ and MORE!

Cost:   Class $5-10 sliding scale; Discussion group free.

Our Mama Circle

Feeling isolated?  Mothering is a complex, challenging, amazing journey….and one that we often travel alone, or alone with our parenting partners & mates.   Such a lonely journey does not serve our children, our selves or our community.  Come join Jahmanna Selassie,  doula, aspiring midwife, massage therapist, mother of 6, and a growing group of fast friends and mothers all.   This free group gathers at Indigo Forest on Thursdays at 9:30 for community & tea, topic presented at 10:00am,  discussion wraps up @ 11:00 am. Children are welcome as you attend & parent them. 

Events and Topics for Fall, 2011

Sept. 15 Managing Family Illness

Come learn and share tricks to maintain family health, home remedies, and fun ways to support little ones in healing- through tea parties in the bath tub and other tips to help the medicine go down!

Sept. 22 Education Pathways

One of the most important decisions that affects our children is their educational journey, be it public school, home school or other alternative educational options. We will discuss what is out there as far as choices and all the ups and downs of each path in a light hearted discussion.

Sept. 29 Open, Share, Review, Reflect

A relaxing opportunity to share thoughts, concerns & ideas relating to recent topics and our mothering journey in the safe space of the Mama Circle.

Oct. 6 Birth Talk: Mama to Mama-to-Be

In the past, women would have seen, heard or experienced birth a few times before they themselves prepare to make their own journey.  Join the circle of mamas and mamas-to-be to discuss and share our birth stories & postpartum insights.

Oct. 13 The Work of Mama Juggling

“Every mama is a working mama,” and the responsibility of balancing nurturing both your family and your self remains whether you are a mama who works inside and/or outside of the home. Come fill your cup with warm tea, and your spirit with warm thoughts of compassion and support.

Oct. 20 Baby’s First Food After Milk

Join our discussion on the new adventures of eating solid foods, to include homemade baby food recipes and ‘tricks of the trade’.

Oct. 27 Open, Share, Review, Reflect

A relaxing opportunity to share thoughts, concerns & ideas relating to recent topics and our mothering journey in the safe space of the Mama Circle.

Nov. 3 Cool & Easy Felt Toy Projects

Creativity is the one of the nutrients that feeds the bodies of our children. Come create with us a simple felt toy to spark the imagination of your child and feed your soul as well. Modest material fee required.

Nov. 10 Baby Yoga with Carrie Honroe

Come move, stretch & rejuvenate your body while nourishing your bond with your baby, this class was one of our most popular last year.  Lovingly taught by Carrie Honroe of Evolve Yoga Studio.

Nov. 17 Seasonal Traditions & Meditations

As world citizens we have so much to share about the cultural traditions that enrich our lives. Please share what makes things special for your family as the holiday season begins.

Dec. 1st Handmade Gift Idea

In preparation for the holiday season, come exchange ideas for making meaningful gifts for family and friends, because nothing is more precious than a gifts made and given by loving hands.

Dec. 8 The Give-Me’s: Navigating Holiday Desires with Our Children & Our Relatives

Come join us for a discussion on what makes this time of year special to you, and coping strategies when for those frustrating times when things go astray.

Dec. 15 Stress Relief: Staying Cool Through the Holidays

For many, the Holiday season is about giving, friendship and family, while simultaneously a speeding of time & even more demands for mamas.  Come tuck a new coping strategy in your pocket to more fully enjoy the holidays.

SATURDAY MAMA CIRCLE:  12: – 1:30 pm

Events and Topics for Fall, 2011

Sept. 17 Managing Family Illness

Come learn and share tricks to maintain family health, home remedies, and fun ways to support little ones in healing- through tea parties in the bath tub and other tips to help the medicine go down!

Oct. 12 The Work of Mama Juggling

“Every mama is a working mama,” and the responsibility of balancing nurturing both your family and your self remains whether you are a mama who works inside and/or outside of the home. Come fill your cup with warm tea, and your spirit with warm thoughts of compassion and support.

Nov. 19 Seasonal Traditions & Meditations

As world citizens we have so much to share about the cultural traditions that enrich our lives. Please share what makes things special for your family as the holiday season begins.

Dec. 17 Stress Relief: Staying Cool Through the Holidays

For many, the Holiday season is about giving, friendship and family, while simultaneously a speeding of time & even more demands for mamas.  Come tuck a new coping strategy in your pocket to more fully enjoy the holidays.

Healthy Living, and Healthy Dying….

A new topic to raise here publicly here at Indigo Forest…..In a business that so many think of as ‘that mommy-baby store,’ we actually view ourselves as a Life-Cycle Store, and are often quietly helping our customers not just when they welcome new family members, but also when their loved ones pass on as well.  Owner & midwife Beth Barbeau, along with her sister & doula, Laura Bailey, spent much of 2009 caring for their mother in their home with Hospice Care.  So much of what Indigo Forest is about paved the way for the family, from the Franchincense oils to soothe the spirit and ease labored breathing to the homeopathics that moderated the extreme ‘side effects’ of her illness, from the flower remedies that supported the sisters emotionally to the “Honeypot Beeswax Light” that glowed comfortingly through the entire journey.

When Grandma passed on Nov. 2nd, 2009, it seemed natural to continue to care for her at home.  That ‘Home Funeral’ turned out to be one of the most healing events of their lives, and many friends and strangers have come to share in it’s wonder & tenderness.    Unusual words to be used for death, truly.  Often, in the hubbub of caring for young children, the issue of loss is distant for many people.  Yet death is an event that bumps in to each of our lives eventually….. and Indigo Forest is there when it does.   We’ll be offering more commentary & information on this journey over time for those that are interested; we urge you to explore this topic as you are ready, for even a little information ahead of time can pave the way greatly.  And if this is too raw, or you are not ready for it, return to our home page and save this for another time.  We understand.

If you’d like to know more now, there is a unique workshop being held on Saturday, Nov. 20th from 1-5 pm.  Entitled, “Changing Visions of Death Care in our Culture“, it includes watching the movie Departures and talking about creating new traditions while reviving old traditions in death care.   Led by two special resources here in Ann Arbor, Merilynne Rush, Home Funeral Guide and Marnie Burkman, MD, ABIHM, this afternoon promises to be a sensitive and eye-opening experience.  For location and more details, go to http://www.afterdeathhomecare.com/.  Blessings.