Voices, Voices for Birth Justice, VBJ, Birthing Rights, Birth Justice, preterm birth, preemie, premature birth, Doula, breastfeeding, PTBi, Preterm Birth Initiative, Oakland, Bay Area, San Francisco, Fresno, Birthworkers, birth worker, advocate, parents, mothers,

CATHERINE PORCHIA

Mom, Doula and Postpartum Doula

 

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT POSTPARTUM DOULAS EXISTED UNTIL I WAS PREGNANT WITH MY THIRD.

– Catherine

 

WE DON’T TALK ABOUT POSTPARTUM
EXPERIENCES

Voices, Voices for Birth Justice, VBJ, Birthing Rights, Birth Justice, preterm birth, preemie, premature birth, Doula, breastfeeding, PTBi, Preterm Birth Initiative, Oakland, Bay Area, San Francisco, Fresno, Birthworkers, birth worker, advocate, parents, mothers,

I was about 22 when I had my second child and I didn’t feel like I had enough support from my provider. I didn’t even know that postpartum doulas existed until I was pregnant with my third. If I would have known about doulas my own postpartum experience may have gone differently.  I went to training to become a postpartum doula. I was like “I’m going to become a postpartum doula because I don’t feel like there’s anybody.”

If you’re not doing skin to skin, if you’re not being able to rest, if you’re in too much pain, if you’re under so much stress that you feel like you can’t get up and take a shower or cook dinner or make yourself a coffee it can build into this deep frustration that can have negative effects on your children. It’s the simple things. They become really important. When we don’t talk about these things, as far as postpartum, it becomes so taboo, like, “nobody has experienced this before, so it must be me. I must have been the one that failed.”

LEARN ABOUT
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

FINDING LOST JOY
FOR MOTHERHOOD

When I work with communities of color, they get put it into this category that marginalizes them. If I can give a little bit of my time to tell somebody my story, and to help them through it even if our backgrounds are different, even if our stories may not add up, just to be able to say, ‘You know what? That’s normal. I went through that and here’s what helped me. It might not help you. You might need something totally different.

To be in a preventative place, to share that with somebody and to walk alongside of them as they figure it out and then for them to find this joy that they lost – it is amazing. It even makes me emotional thinking about it. It also puts me back into a time where I lost my joy for being a mom. I was able to redefine that. I feel connected to it because I know what that’s like.

Catherine is a doula coordinator at San Francisco General Hospital. Learn more about the doulas at SFGH.

Learn more about:
Postpartum support
Free doula support

 

Voices, Voices for Birth Justice, VBJ, Birthing Rights, Birth Justice, preterm birth, preemie, premature birth, Doula, breastfeeding, PTBi, Preterm Birth Initiative, Oakland, Bay Area, San Francisco, Fresno, Birthworkers, birth worker, advocate, parents, mothers,