December 2008. I just found out I was pregnant with our first child. It was a surprise. A beautiful surprise. My husband and I were both excited. But I felt also nervous at the same time. Will I be a good parent? Will I know how to best take care of my baby? So, I started to plan, reading books about birth and breastfeeding, buying baby clothing and baby gears and of course, taking a prenatal class with my husband. I did everything in my knowledge to get ready for the arrival of our son. But one thing I did not pay much attention to is educating myself about postpartum mental health. The prenatal workshop facilitator did cover the subject talking about baby blues and depression but there was not a lot of time spent on it. And I told myself that I would probably not be affected by a mental health issue in the postpartum period. Not me, with all the preparation I was doing. Was I wrong!
One month after the birth of our son, in October 2009, I was admitted to hospital experiencing a severe postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. I had no clue what was happening to me. I spent a week in the hospital and after the visit of a great psychiatrist, I received the diagnosis of bipolar disorder of postpartum onset with psychotic features. This was a totally unexpected diagnosis. I had no symptoms prior to birth and no history of mental illness in my family. What a shock! But with the help of my psychiatrist, my husband and close family, I was able to recover and feel like myself again.
I’ll never forget the days after I received my medication for the first time, when that little pill I was swallowing started to calm my ill brain: a passion was born in me. I then knew deep down in my heart, that one day I would use my hard experience to help other parents. I would tell my story, share the knowledge I would gain about postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and find a way to educate and support them if they would go through such a challenge.
I started a blog sharing my experience and information about postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. I also wrote a book about my postpartum story. But there was still a voice inside of me telling me I could do more for families in the postpartum period. Then I found out about what a postpartum doula is and the wonderful support I could offer to parents with a new baby, facilitating their transition into parenthood. So, I decided to enroll in the certification process to become a postpartum doula in 2016. Two years after, I left my career of almost 20 years in education to become a full-time postpartum doula.
Now, with what I learned through my own transition into motherhood combined with the knowledge and skills I gained so far as a postpartum doula and on the subject of perinatal mental health, my mission is to help parents living the best postpartum period possible. The transition into parenthood is challenging on many levels and parents need to be nurtured while going through this profound transformation. That is what I am here for, supporting them in taking care of their newborn while also empowering them to take good care of their mental health, sharing openly what I wish I knew as a first-time mom. Parents need a supporting village in this precious moment of their life and I believe I am a significant part of it.
A little bit more about myself:
I am a mother of two kids. I speak French and English fluently. I love reading, writing, camping, creating videos on my YouTube channel and taking pictures. I am also continuously educating myself about perinatal mental health in order to share my knowledge with my clients and other parents. I am appreciated for my kindness, compassion and caring listening skills.
Certifications and training
Doula Canada – Postpartum doula (2018)
Postpartum Support International
- PSI Perinatal Social Support Network Development Certificate (2015)
- Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care Certificate (2019)
Canadian Red Cross – Standard First Aid & CPR/AED Level C (2019)
Olivia Scobie – Perinatal & Postpartum Mood & Trauma Informed Care Workshop for Doulas (2019)