October's Woman of the Month - Veronica Ambrose
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month; I cannot think of a better time than now to introduce Veronica Ambrose (a doula trainee and birth worker) to discuss her work's importance.
What is her work exactly? Veronica is a doula trainee, currently working towards becoming "official tissue,"; a journey she has been on for quite a few years now. But first, let's back it up a bit and explain how she got here in the first place.
Veronica was a Women's Studies major during her undergrad, where she was first introduced to midwifery. Veronica met and was encouraged by women who strongly believed in midwifery's importance and advised her on her path. Well, on her way to completion and looking to complete her education through mentorship and hands-on experience, finding available mentor programs was difficult in NYC. Like many of us, Veronica's initial knowledge of birthing was centered around hospitals and OB-GYNs. When she finally found a program, mentorship was closed for the year, a dream deferred.
Fast forward to recent history, working in her current position, having to do info sessions for incoming midwifery students sparked something in Veronica that inspired her to return to her dream of becoming a doula. What is for you will never pass you, right? Right! It was the combination of her daily work and having family on the verge of giving birth and being a part of the experience that helped her make the final decision. She went on to complete coursework at Mama Glow, and yet again, she hit a roadblock. COVID-19! What do you do in that situation? You shift, like many of us had to. While "it doesn't stop the classes, it just looks different." The facts are people will continue to make and have babies. However, current events restrict how many people, including family and or doulas, can be present to support mothers during childbirth. "Birth leaders in the NY/NJ area advocated for that change, but for the most part, many doulas have supported virtually," outside of the actual birth experience, of course. Safety is foremost in the process, as it should!
I could ramble on and on about how we should all be like Veronica,
but her story is a Segway to how her knowledge of birth-working can lead to preventing the loss of pregnancies and infants and having an overall better experience. I won't give you the math, but black women and women of color a disproportionately affected by hospital politics, but I'll save that for a podcast or another blog. The real question is, what can a doula do for you?
- Be an advocate for you and your partner through your whole pregnancy and birthing experience
- Help get your body ready, breathing and relaxation techniques, labor, breastfeeding, etc.
- Help you understand labor and delivery procedures and possible complications
- Adequate nutrition and fluids
- And many other things.
"People don't even know what kind of birthing experience they're allowed to have in the hospital" a doula can ensure that you're asking the right questions before, during, and after your experience, in addition to researching to decide what doctor would be your best fit. How many of us do that?
For more information, please contact Veronica @vevabirthworks on Instagram. The wealth of knowledge she provides is waaay too much to post here but is well worth it.