Volunteer Spotlight: Ivania Montero

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I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother to 3 children. As a Birth Doula, I offer birth and postpartum support to many families. I was invited to PSVA’s Maternal Mental Health Coalition and began attending their monthly meetings. I was then approached to see if I was interested in starting and co-hosting a Spanish Postpartum Support Group for PSVA. I immediately said “YES!”. I know first-hand how difficult it is for those in the Spanish community to seek help and ask for additional support after having a baby. This was a perfect way to support my Spanish community and it has truly been an honor.

What I love about being a Spanish Support Volunteer is when I hear the relief they get when they have the opportunity to speak with someone who speaks their language, or is from the same country as them. Mostly, I love being on a group call where I have the opportunity to share some of our Indigenous postpartum practices that were offered and practiced by our ancestors. These are practices that have been forgotten by recent generations. These are the moments when we all realize how vital this type of support is, not only for the person who birthed the baby, but also for their families. They see how helpful something so simple can be. Volunteering with PSVA is a wonderful way to help support those in our community and to share our knowledge and experiences. The PSVA team is absolutely magnificent and are always there to support the volunteers no matter the trouble. Our community needs us.

The best advice I can give to perinatal families is hang in there and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people who are passionate about helping your specific need.

My favorite form of self-care is \going for a walk while listening to feel good music or a podcast, making myself a really yummy green smoothie, or dancing it out with my kids. I home school my 2 youngest children and I have so much fun learning along side them. We try to spend a lot of time outside going to parks and hiking.

If I could have lunch with anyone, living or deceased, I would love to have lunch with my Abuelita (Grandmother). She is a legend and was an incredible woman who naturally birthed 18 children in Nicaragua. She lived to be 100 years old. Because I am one of the youngest grandchildren, I didn’t get a lot of time with her. Now that I am older, I would love to ask her about her relationship with my grandfather, the birth of all her children, and what postpartum practices did she enjoy the most. I’d bring her all the mangoes she wanted for dessert, they were her favorite.

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