Jalyn Spencer-Harris: 3-season scarf wearing, warm beverage drinking mom of 2
2001: Pregnant with my first child in Baltimore, surrounded by a network of supportive and caring mamas. We gave support, helpful tips on natural family care, and lent a listening ear without judgement. Good stuff!
2013: I was pregnant with my second child, feeling alone and isolated. You feel me? I looked for prenatal yoga classes and other ways to connect with other pregnant women, but found nothing in the city (Detroit). Most of the resources for pregnant and new moms were in the suburbs, which meant traffic, time, and a disconnect from the community I was living and loving in.
So, what do you do when you can't find what you need? You make it yourself (right, mamas?!). I asked myself how could I recreate the network I'd experience in Baltimore so that other mothers could feel empowered and supported like I did back then, and one morning I woke up with a vision of a sun-drenched studio with beautiful hardwood floors and my spirit was lifted. I knew instantly it was a sanctuary mamas could bring their children to or come solo, just to be around other mamas. They were hanging out, letting the kids play, and even breastfeeding freely without outside eyes judging them. Imagine that?!?
It was a place where pregnant and new mamas could connect, learn, heal, and grow. It was the start to Detroit Mama Hub.
Alex Fluegel: writer, mama yogi, Detroit transplant
My story starts in 2012 in Grand Rapids, MI - conservative mecca, family-friendly place! -- I’d recently finished school over there, was starting my career and... I got pregnant. Now, for others this might’ve been the perfect time to start a family, but in my case, I didn't love where I was living, didn't love who I was with, and was absolutely, 1,000-percent terrified.
So I did what any pregnant millennial would do -- I Googled stuff, and luckily, I found stuff. From *free* prenatal classes to the in-home consultants at WIC and one breastfeeding support group that helped me figure out which nipple cream to buy, they all made a world of difference during what was a really challenging and scary time for me. I do realize THIS IS NOT THE NORM. For so many women options are limited, resources are scarce, and shit. is. hard. But what I discovered was when you find other women, other moms, it gets easier.
In 2016, I moved me and my two-year-old daughter gently east to Detroit and found myself, yup you guessed it, alone again! As a full-time working mom, I struggled finding friends, childcare, and time for myself, and was like ok something's gotta give. So, I left my *stressful* job and took a business planning class where I met Jalyn (and her daughter Violet), and began my journey as part of Detroit Mama Hub.
More about Jalyn!
Jalyn is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and postpartum doula with over 14 years of personal and professional experience in wellness. In addition, she has bachelor's degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Spelman College and Georgia Tech, respectively. Having a long-held interest in natural health, Jalyn also received a Master's degree in acupuncture from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2009. As the mother of a teenager and preschooler, her passion is for supporting and empowering women as they transition into motherhood. She enjoys working with families of all colors, shapes, sizes, and orientations.
Alex specializes in working with moms to develop their own path. Whether that's heading back to the office or setting up shop in their living rooms, she helps moms chart their course and execute the hell out of it. In her previous life, she worked to connect brands to audiences and individuals with one another, and her passion ignites when people come together. She graduated with a Creative Writing degree from Grand Valley State University and currently resides in Detroit with her spirited daughter, Sadie, and her partner.