3 Reasons Community is important during and after pregancy withLauren Pokhrel of Matrescense!
I met Lauren a few months after my son was born when she planned a "Write your birth story" workshop, for free, at the library. And then nobody showed up. I couldn't believe it! But, it was kind of ok because we talked the whole time about our birth experiences and struggles in postpartum. When I found out that she was doing a Childbirth Education certification and doula training I was not surprised at all! I also know I needed to have her featured in this series!
Me: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you're doing?
Lauren: My name is Lauren Hatch Pokhrel. I have an M.A. in English, am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, teach writing, and am a mother of two. I am a Peer Mentor and a Local Resources Coordinator with Postpartum Support International and have recently started Matrescence Support and Services where I hope to provide birth and postpartum support for pregnant people and families. Me: What brought you to this work?
My own experience of becoming a mother for the first time led me to my interest in birth and postpartum. I had two empowering (albeit very different) births but struggled with the physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes to motherhood. I volunteer with Postpartum Support International because I felt so lonely in my early postpartum experience and recognize the significant lack of resources and support many parents have regarding mental health and community. Additionally, I enrolled in a Childbirth Educator and Doula training, because I believe birth is a holistic (body, mind, and heart) experience, a rite of passage, that initiates us into parenthood. Because of that, I want to provide support that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth and postpartum. Me: What does working with you look like? Or what are you hoping it looks like? Lauren: Anyone can check out the many resources Postpartum Support International provides! If you’re interested in peer support, you will be matched with someone who has had a similar experience to you. If you’re local to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you can connect with me as a Coordinator to find perinatal mental health and social resources for you. Additionally, I currently provide virtual birth and postpartum workshops and offer individual mentorship to support you in your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Me: What is your favorite thing about what you do? Lauren: I love building connections with others in their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences. I think meaningful social support is so crucial for new parents but significantly lacking in our culture, so I want to provide some informed resources, a listening ear, or heart-felt conversation to others during this life-changing season. Me: If you could change one thing about maternal standard of care what would it be? All pregnant people would be honored, empowered, and respected; all parents would have the emotional, social, and financial support they need. Me: What’s one thing you want every woman to know? Lauren: PSI’s slogan: “You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.”
Me: If you were stranded on a deserted island what 5 things would you HAVE to have? Lauren: Coffee, sleep mask, a good book, pen, and paper Me: Is there anything else you want to add? Lauren: I’d love to connect with you wherever you are in your birth and postpartum journey (or even if you’re local and just want to make a new friend!). Me: How can people connect with you?
Lauren: You can email me at Matrescenceservices@gmail.com or find me on IG @matrescence_services, @zestandjuice_
Thank you so much, Lauren, for taking the time to answer these questions for my blog! I can't wait to see how many families you help doing this work!
"the moment a child is born, a mother is born also."