Vanessa’s passion for birthwork through an intersectional lens began percolating after the profound connections she and her wife made with having doulas attend their births. How were they to navigate a colonized medical approach to birth? She hopes that her work as an Indigenous full-spectrum doula, lactation counselor and perinatal health educator has helped dismantle these systemic barriers. As the BirthKeeper program manager, she supports a team of incredible perinatal health professionals providing culturally relevant care.
How can a doula program navigate the complexity of balancing advocacy for families while working within oppressive systems? Vanessa aims to create a space of non-judgmental and unbiased information-sharing to foster joy and interconnectedness. She loves sharing stories. She takes her Auntie role very seriously! Vanessa also loves geeking out about quantitative and qualitative data, especially to show improved health outcomes in Indigenous communities to drive local/state policy change and to center the stories of Indigenous families.
She believes that healthy communities begin and end with how we care for birthing people, that honoring body sovereignty and our roots lead to improved health outcomes. Growing our babies, birthing our babies, nursing our babies and caring for our families in community is ceremony!