Maternal Support: Workshops to promote maternal well-being |08 October 2021
In the following interview with Celia Ponzo, we learn about the upcoming maternal well-being workshops that she will be facilitating and conducting, to create a space where people can talk, heal and seek prenatal as well as postnatal support.
Ms Ponzo is a trained Maternal Support Practitioner, also known as a Doula, and the founder of Birth & Beyond – a maternal support practice based in Seychelles.
She also holds a Bsc in Medical Anthropology and a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Seychelles NATION: What inspired you to start offering free maternal well-being workshops?
Celia Ponzo: These workshops are a joint venture between myself, Celia, and another fellow mother friend, Clare Godson. Clare reached out to me to share her story after losing a baby here in Seychelles in 2018. She shared with me her experience in recovering from that birth and the intense grief that followed.
“I wanted to make a difference to other women's lives after losing a baby here. When I had my son at the start of 2020, I started to build something positive from my experience and began with a small baby group. As I opened up about my own birth trauma, it was obvious that other women had not only suffered all kinds of birth related trauma, but also did not receive any kind of support and this was even more evident when I met Celia.” – Clare Godson
Along with Clare and my experiences with clients, 10 months after having started my business here in Seychelles, I have been able to analyse the market in Seychelles regarding pregnancy, birth and what happens to new parents after birth.
I find myself being flooded with requests for emotional support during pregnancy and after the baby has arrived, and the common themes are around feelings of isolation, loss of identity, lack of support after a miscarriage, and just simply lack of community in difficult moments of parenting.
Yes people are surrounded by family and friends, but sometimes that is not enough and new parents need to connect with other parents who are going through the same feelings, in order to feel some sense of community and also feel that they are not alone in this.
I am hoping that with these workshops we are able to offer people a chance to talk, heal and seek support from others who have also experienced the same.
We have decided to run these workshops for free as we want to cater for people across the community. Not everyone can afford my postpartum services and I am not able to turn down a mother or pregnant women in need; hence with Clare, we will be there for those who need support through these workshops.
Seychelles NATION: What topics can the participants of your workshops expect to learn about and who will be delivering these workshops?
Celia Ponzo: There will be various topics during the workshops, both prenatal and postnatal. These topics include breastfeeding, prenatal and postnatal anxiety, baby and new parents sleep issues, birth trauma, miscarriage and still birth, as well as baby wearing and massage.
We will have expert guest speakers including myself and other health professionals on the specific topics, in order to diversify the subjects and expertise.
We already have a group of guest speakers in mind but we call for anyone in the field to contact us should they wish to cover a topic on maternal well-being.
Seychelles NATION: Where and when will the workshops be held? How can people express their interest to attend?
Celia Ponzo: We are aiming to hold the workshops monthly to start with, depending on requests.
The workshops will be held as a form of pop venue across the island, in order to accommodate for different people living in different areas. We are working towards a central venue and hoping to have our first workshop in Roche Caiman stadium.
People that want to attend can join the support group on Facebook or they can also send me an email.
For more information:
- Visit: www.birthnbeyond.net
- Follow: birth_beyond_ on Instagram
- Join: Birth & Beyond Support Group on Facebook
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone/WhatsApp: 2 780 232