My births made me the doula I am today. Both my birth experiences gave me insight on how mothers are treated without proper education and support from her care providers. I experienced how a woman may feel lost in a hospital with all the procedures imposed on her.
I now know that a simple word of encouragement and act of assistance can make a difference on how a mother sees her birth/s in the end. It may not always be the birth that a mother pictures, but if options were given and considered, it can make a world of a difference in the end.
Cheryl breastfeeding her firstborn, Colin.
My passion for mothers runs deep, especially in breastfeeding. I am a relentless breastfeeding advocate and breastfeeding peer counselor in the Philippines. Through my encounters with mothers, I’ve seen how a majority of breastfeeding problems arise with mothers who either had issues on conception, pregnancy and/or birth.
I believe that being a doula will allow me to educate these mothers early in the pregnancy, ahead of their breastfeeding journey. Talking to mothers on their breastfeeding issues allowed me to improve my interpersonal skills and confidence to seek the best solutions.
Also, my mentor, Velvet Escario-Roxas, CD(DONA), taught me that to better help with the breastfeeding, a counselor should always try to ask the mother about her pregnancy and birth. Understanding what happened will be important on how a counselor helps the mother. Before, I didn’t realize that it is also how you make sure that the breastfeeding will thrive and succeed. I continue this by being a doula.
Cheryl attending “Breastfeeding Sick Babies” Conference in Thailand
Because gentle birth matters, and I want to make a difference. With the growing emergence of gentle birth in the Philippines, mothers are changing the way they take charge of their births. I hope to be an instrument to promote respectful births. With the help of our Collective, I am able to be part of the gentle birth movement.
Now, as a birth doula, I am inspired and empowered each way. I am blessed with the motherhood I am going through, with the womanhood of the birthing mothers, and the sisterhood of doulas I am fortunate to be part of. I hope that all the work I am doing now, will be a positive one for the future community.
Cheryl with Penny Simkin at Bastyr University