Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Curvy Bella of The Day - Anna Holder

The Curvealicious Chronicles had the opportunity to sit down with the stunning Anna Holder. One of the first things I noticed about Anna was...her hair...she has stunning curls which suit her incredibly vibrant personality perfectly! She has found her passion, is a wealth of information and remains curvetastic while doing 'it all'.


Tell us about your work and about Centered Birth?
I founded Centered Birth Shortly after the birth of my daughter. It amazed and saddened me how many new and veteran moms alike were dissatisfied with their prenatal care and birth experiences. I found there was a lack of education and support for women and their families during this time in their life. I wanted to create a space where families could receive professional support and education from pre-conception through parenting in addition to support from other families on the same journey.

What led to your decision to become a Certified Lactation Counselor and Certified Childbirth Educator? What can you tell other curvy bella’s hoping to pursue a career in that field?
Knowing the struggles I faced throughout my pregnancy and breastfeeding experience I was so glad for great books and resources, but found there were not many qualified people I could talk to. Everyone has advice for soon to be and new mothers, but not everyone is qualified to give it. I knew the best way to educated and support moms was to become Certified in these fields. I am currently a BirthWorks Certified Childbirth Educator CCE(BWI) as well as their ambassador for the Tri-State area. In addition, I am a certified lactation counsler(CLC) in the process of becoming internationally board certified as well as a natural family planning counselor(CNFPC). My advice to other bellas who are interested in pursuing one or all of these fields is to explore their options, their are many respected and accredited programs in the country as well as many non-accredited. Find a path that is closest to your ideals and passions and go for it. it is a big commitment( most Childbirth education programs are a two year process) but so worth it.

What are three solid pieces of advice you wish someone had shared with you before you gave birth?
1) it is YOUR BODY ,YOUR BABY ,YOUR BIRTH. know what you want and what you don't want and why. Many moms don't realize that they are in the drivers seat and have not only the ability but the legally protected right to have truly informed consent and truly informed refusal.
2)you can handle anything a minute at a time!
3) birth can be the most empowering experience in your life!

What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your work?
I love the pictures of all the new babies! More than that I love having moms share their birth stories with me. it is amazing to be part of such an intimate journey with a family and so rewarding when they have satisfying birth experiences.

What advice would you give new moms for getting their 'sexy' back after giving birth?
BREASTFEED! BREASTFEED! BREASTFEED! Producing breast milk burns anywhere from 500-900 calories a day. when you add a good sensible diet of nutrient rich food( and a few treats of course) as well as talking walks with your new one the weight comes off much faster. it is important that moms realize it took 10 months to put on so be kind to yourself and take 10 months to take it back off.You will lose the weight but your hips will never be the same( this is a good thing) my post baby body is 20 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant and I have more curves!!!

What are the essentials that breastfeeding moms need in their baby bags?
Water for mom, you will be thirsty! A great natural nipple cream I love Earth Mama Angel Baby(many babes can be allergic to lanolin and it forms a barrier that needs to be wiped off prior to nursing rather than soothing and protecting). a good book, this is one of the few times you will have 20 minutes to sit quietly and relax, so take advantage!

What are some suggestions you have for breast feeding moms as they prepare to return to work?
Prepare in advance. sadly maternity leave isn't as long as it should be, but I see many moms who wait until the week before they plan on returning to start pumping and preparing and then encounter problems. it is always wise to start pumping and storing milk early on so you have a supply for returning to work, going out of town, illness etc. Newly passed Laws will now require health insurance plans to cover breastfeeding support so EVERY mom should find a qualified lactation professional to help them with creating a plan that works for their family and schedule.

Tell us how you balance being a mom with running your business?
The upside of running your own business is that you can bring your baby to work with you. I make it a point to turn work off when I am home. Because I do get moms calling me in early labor and late at night with breastfeeding issues, it can be difficult at times( summer is always busy) thankfully my daughter loves babies and because I deal with moms and families they understand the need for balance.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I hope that more families realize they can have an enjoyable birth experience and realize there are many options. I want to offer culturally relevant education and support to as many families as possible.

What else would you like to tell us?

It is not uncommon for me to barter for classes or Lactation Support. I don't believe cost should be prohibited and as such I am having my apt cleaned, as well as, gourmet meals made for me. there are some truly talented mamas in the area. for those of you in the new York City area on Labor day, I will be performing in the 5th anniversary of Birth: a play (boldaction.org) by Karen Brody. this play is a great look into birth in this country from planned and scheduled c-sections to home births and Vbacs! Many prominent figures in the birth and maternal health community will be there. it will also be web cast for free for those unable to attend.

What is your contact info for people interested in booking an appointment with you?
I give everyone a free consultation. In-home classes and Lactation appointments are available as early as next day. I also do in-home appointments in Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster counties.

Centered Birth


  1. Oh I remember those days. My youngest is 10 but I will never forget the breastfeeding days. It was a very intimate time.


  2. @Michelle: I thought it was great info to share and Anna is a fab curly curvy! Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to meeting you on FNO!

  3. My youngest is 6 and I breastfed her but not my oldest. I so regret not doing it the first time around.
    @Michelle you are so right about it being very intimate. There is such a connection there that seems to last a long time.


  4. :-) Etoile Looking forward to meeting you too. It's supposed to rain on Saturday :-( I hope it doesn't in DC. That's the NY forecast but you never know. If we can feel earthquake tremors from there, rain is a cinch LOL

    @Miche'al that connection lasts all the way til they turn teenagers LOL! Then they act the fool