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The Teacher Retires

by Julie Keon on June 15th, 2015

I have some news and decided that this was the best place to share it. This blog has also been neglected and by writing here, I hope to be inspired to write more in the weeks and months to come.
In Chapter 22 of my new book, “What I Would Tell You,” I wrote about letting go and new beginnings:

You may need to let go of things in your life, things that you desperately want to hang on to, things that feel part of your identity. Often, familiarity and security keep us where we are and prevent us from growing an evolving………..Be willing to let go of certain things to make room for the opportunities that are waiting in the sidelines. Grief is a part of letting go, even if it is for the best and you are unsure whether letting go will lead to new beginnings. Yet every ending does lead to new beginnings even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. There will be a new beginning. There always is.”

For the last few months it has become clear that it is time to let go of my beloved prenatal education classes. This fall will mark my 10th year teaching a class that I developed and shared with expectant parents that I know made a difference in their birth and parenting experiences. With the launch of my book and my desire to focus more on my celebrancy work as well as other paths I am pursuing, I decided that I would retire from teaching. Although I had intended on teaching until December, I have made the difficult decision to retire much earlier than planned due to unforeseeable circumstances. I will teach my last class in August 2015. THE GREAT NEWS is that Mother Nurture Childbirth classes will continue under the very capable hands of doula extraordinaire, Shannon Bedore , who will be teaching this class in Pembroke (location to be determined) on a monthly basis. Contact me at for more information.


Prenatal Class 2006

It has been a struggle as I know how beneficial these classes have been and frankly, I love teaching especially couples who are embarking on this great adventure of parenting. But my heart isn’t in it as it used to be and that is because I am feeling called to use my skills and knowledge in other capacities namely offering more workshops for women who have experienced difficult/ traumatic births or unexpected outcomes as well as developing workshops for those who care for couples in labour/ birth and who have experienced vicarious trauma as a result like doulas, nurses, etc. Although I have been offering this workshop for 7 years now, I know that there is much more demand and I want to make the space in my life to put my energy into helping women who find themselves living with the aftermath of a difficult/ negative birth. There is much healing work to do in this area and the time is right for it.

I also love my celebrancy work. Creating meaningful, custom ceremonies for families, couples and individuals whether it be in the capacity of new baby welcoming ceremonies, marriages, ceremonies of transition like coming-of-age or croning ceremonies, healing ceremonies, ceremonies for the dying and finally celebrating lives well lived through memorials and end-of life celebrations, has been remarkably fulfilling for me. I am especially drawn to end-of-life ceremonies and hope to offer more of these in the months/ years to come.


Celebration of Life Ceremony altar

I am grateful to the 1000+ individuals who entrusted me with their childbirth education and who taught me so much in the process. It has been an honour and a privilege for me to be a part of such an extraordinary experience in your lives and I have never taken that for granted. I always felt an enormous responsibility as a prenatal teacher and I developed my classes with care and practicality knowing that no amount of education can really prepare someone for their birth experience. My goal always was to help people to have a positive birth experience however they defined that and I know in many cases I met that goal.

And so, thank you to all of the parents who allowed me the time to walk alongside you if only briefly as you moved into your roles as parents and to the professionals who referred their clients/ patients to me. I am grateful as well as a little sad and I will miss you all.

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  1. Joan permalink

    Beautifully expressed, Julie. You have taken another fork in your life-journey road.

  2. Becky W permalink

    Julie, my husband and I were incredibly privileged to have you as our prenatal educator six years ago, and you were the absolute best. I went from being really scared and unsure about my ability to give birth to feeling confident and capable. All three of our children were born at home, and I love to tell them their unique birth stories. I also kept all the handouts you gave us, and I would re-read them in the weeks leading up to the births of babies #2 and #3, as well as lending them to close friends who were expecting. Thank you so much for keeping it real and empowering this mama, as well as many others! All the best as you move forward to encourage and empower people in new ways.

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