Wild Spirit Spotlight : Arianna Taboada

Today I'm excited to introduce you to another wild spirit, Arianna Taboada! 

Arianna works with new mothers who are struggling to address the physical and emotional challenges of the postpartum period. Prior to owning her own business, Arianna worked on maternal health issues for over a decade as a health educator, a social worker in a mental health clinic, a reproductive health researcher, and a yoga therapist. She draws on this extensive experience to provide highly personalized postpartum services that are evidence-informed and based on best practices in maternal health care. 

1. Hi Arianna, it’s so great to have you on the blog today! Can you start by telling us a little bit about your business and how it came about?

Thanks for having me! I’m so glad to share a little bit about what I do: I work with new mothers who are struggling to address the physical + emotional challenges of the postpartum period. Most are women who have careers caring for others, and they know that in order to provide the best care for their little one and not burn out, they need a strong support system and an advocate by their side. My work usually begins at the point where formal health services end. Together, we create a highly personalized postpartum self-care routine that will serve them along their journey of motherhood.

I started my work in this field as a public health professional working with new mothers in some of the most vulnerable situations women can find themselves in: living in poverty, escaping intimate partner violence, and not knowing how to speak the language of the country and navigate resources they lived in. I’ve worked on maternal health issues as a health educator, a social worker in a mental health clinic, a reproductive health researcher, and as a yoga therapist. As you might guess, I learned a few things along the way! My business was born from learning about the limitations of each field, and then envisioning what is possible when you combine these different approaches. What I ended up with is an integrative model of postpartum care that I wake up excited about every day!

2. Why do you do what you do?

All new mothers need support and personalized attention at one point or another along their journey, and health systems don’t do a great job at that. There is a definite gap in care, and my life’s work if to help fill that gap. For me this means addressing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of health in a manner that is evidence-informed and based on best practices in maternal health care, but also tailored to the mother’s unique experience.

3. I’m a big advocate for finding your own brand of freedom - what does freedom mean to you?

Aww shoot. I answered all the other questions first, because this one was a head knocker, but now it’s the only one left to answer!

Hmmm...freedom means deciding that I can take a random Wednesday off to go paddleboarding and not worrying about “making up the hours.” It means having a full hour-long lunch with my hubby every day and not feeling guilty. It also mean some late nights and Saturdays at my laptop, but actually being motivated to be there!

I love giving myself permission to back off when I need to, and keep on pushing because I want to. My biz isn’t at the point where I could take a 6 week vacation while leaving the operations in someone else’s hands, but so far, freedom feels good!

4. What gets you out of bed on a morning?

Literally? My dog. He nudges me awake long before my alarm has gone off to let me know he is really to go outside!

Ok - here’s my non-sarcastic answer: It might sound cliché, but my morning practice is really what makes the start to my day something to look forward to!

I’ve had a consistent daily practice for 2 years and it’s been quite the journey. Sometimes my practice is my greatest joy and other times my greatest struggle.

5. How do you keep sane? I know you’re passionate about self-care, do you have any self-care practices you do regularly?

In case you didn’t catch my drift in my answer above, I’m all about the morning rituals!

Mine includes several Ayurvedic practices, known as dinacharya, in addition to my dedicated hour of practice.

My dinacharya goes a little something like this:

About 30 minutes of asana, 10 minutes of pranayama, and 15-20 minutes of meditation.

Then oil pulling, abhyanga in my morning shower (it’s super hot where I live in the Caribbean so this is usually the first of 2-3 daily showers!), and apples cooked with homemade ghee with cardamom seeds and a cinnamon stick.

You might read what I just describes and think “that sounds so time intensive!” but over the years I have discovered that my morning practices are what make the rest of my work day productive and smooth (for the most part). When I skimp on my practice time, or decide to skip abhyanga one morning, I can feel the difference! And it’s usually not a great feeling, so I figure I should definitely invest the time and energy into keeping myself healthy and grounded.

During the work day, I take 5 minute therapeutic stretch breaks every 30 minutes, and after a 2 hour block of work time, I take a nice long 30 minute break. I need to MOVE after sitting still! These are some of my favorite self-care practices to sneak into the work-day.

6. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Compassionate, nerdy, and results-oriented.

7. If you could offer one piece of advice to women looking to create their ideal life, what would it be?

Find someone (a friend, a colleague, a professional) who can serve as a sounding board as you talk through your ideas. When I was first starting out, I spent a lot of time “in my head” and what was most helpful was setting up regular dates with other people so that I could get my thoughts out of my head and into the world. It was a great lesson in trying to clearly communicate what it is that I do!

If you are a multi-passionate person, as I am, then I suggest asking yourself some specific questions to see what the thread is that weaves all your gifts and talents together:

  1. What are the cross-cutting themes that my different paths have in common? For me this was “mental health” and led me to develop services that addressed the mental/emotional in addition to the physical aspects of motherhood

  2. What do my most compelling cases/projects have in common with each other? Once I started examining what type of clients I did my best work with, settling in on my niche was a no brainer!
Thank you so much for sharing Arianna! 

Connect with Arianna here: 

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