Lara Stewart-Panko

A Different Postpartum

Nov 18 2020

My first official postpartum period occurred in 2002 following the birth of my son, Sameio. It wasn’t an easy go. I began what became an arduous labour around 5pm, working with it as best as I could for 24 hours at home, then transferring to the hospital for another 14 hours before Sam was birthed. […]

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Daddy Educere

Oct 27 2020

It’s long been a desire of mine to create and facilitate a group for fathers*, in part because they’re woefully undersupported in our community, plus I enjoy spending time with menfolk. I’ve held back because I’m not a father, so who am I to fill such a role? Well, I’m a seasoned parent and educator […]

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Woman Down! 5 Ways to Fill Your Cup While Actively Parenting

Apr 25 2020

Putting our kids first is what we do the vast majority of the time…and some of us do so to the point of unhealthy imbalance. There are certainly worse mistakes to make as parents, AND it’s still important to recognize if things are out of whack. In addition to communicating directly and enforcing boundaries well: […]

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Birthing During a Pandemic

Apr 11 2020

I had a chat with a virtual doula client yesterday who is expecting her first baby’s arrival very soon. Understandably, she’s processing extra fears given Covid-19 and all its implications for social distancing and what it can mean to be in a hospital. Surprisingly, it came out that she thought she was unique in “freaking […]

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Sweet, Sacred Teamwork

Mar 21 2020

As concerns about Covid-19 became murmurs in Canada, I was one of those who at first was skeptical, thinking it was less serious than the flu. Within days I realized how wrong I had been. Here is my family’s story: My husband left to tour the US & Canada (he’s in the music industry) a […]

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I Just Wanna Say

Dec 27 2019

Now, or at any point in time, I would hope that my kid would feel/think/know/say that he was loved, that his mom was a kickass human who did well (though not perfectly) by him, that he has plenty of good memories and he’s learned from the woman he knows as Mom, whether he learned lessons […]

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Mother of the World

Sep 15 2019

This Sunday morning in September I rode my bike — hair and teeth bearing the signs of sleep — to a neighbourhood park to enjoy communing with Nature. I took a paved path in, coasted past the children’s playground and tennis courts to begin the long route that circled the naturalized storm pond. Wildflowers and […]

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My 10-Day Silent Retreat – Part 2

Aug 16 2019

I had wanted to attend a silent retreat for several years, but the one in Portugal I’d had my eye on never lined up in my schedule. It was a wonderful surprise when the Mexico retreat came across my radar as it worked in every which way, including being the particular spiritual tradition I wanted: […]

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My 10-Day Silent Retreat – Part 1

Aug 16 2019

In late April of 2019 I embarked on a 10-day silent mediation retreat in a remote coastal town in Mexico. I went alone (though I lied to my mother and told her I was going with a friend to save her a bunch of worry). Prior to the retreat I had meditated with some regularity […]

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Motherhood, My Self-Compromise & Moving Back to Integrity

Apr 19 2019

In my childbirth ed classes I often tell expectant parents: “Parenthood is the best self-development program in existence, if you make use of it to that end.” While I wish I could’ve known much of what I’ve learned from parenting without having to be a parent, my reality is that I simply wouldn’t have gotten […]

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