Jill Stewardson and The Queers for Queer Care Award!


Maternal Support Practitioner Scholarship by Jill Stewardson

Queers for Queer Care Scholarship Bebo Mia

Hello, I am Jill Stewardson.

I have a rad spouse and two beautiful children, 3.5 years and 1.5 years. My little family lives in upstate NY and love it here!

I have been working as a sign language interpreter for over 10 years in various areas. I felt that I needed a change in my career. After soul searching and speaking to friends (one who happens to be a doula), I realized becoming a doula is the right path for me. So currently I have started working as a full spectrum doula. The doula community in my area is amazing. I have been graciously accepted and I’m so grateful for them!

I wanted this scholarship because I felt that I wanted a different training than I received the first time I did doula training. I felt that the training I took lacked information and I had to do a lot of my own research just to feel completed in training. Also, the company I first trained with didn’t align with my values as a person. At this time I was not able to afford another training. We are working on our family’s debt free journey, as well as going through IVF. All of that means that I would need help financially, as money is very tight right now.

This scholarship will allow me to grow as a doula and hopefully help my family financially as well.

I wanted to train with Bebo Mia because I love their values that they stand for and feel their training is robust. I really enjoyed the childbirth education training I did before. I felt that it was a wealth of knowledge and the values taught aligned with mine. Bebo Mia holds the values of being inclusive, especially of the LGBTQIA+ community, which I am a part of. They work to provide information that allows a doula to feel well rounded and be able to work with anyone with grace and knowledge. This means a lot to me and I feel that by doing their MSP (doula) training, I will become a better doula and can help my community in a deeper and special way.

I want to be a birthworker because I know how much the support a birthworker can give is helpful.

I had a doula for my first birth and didn’t for my second. The difference in how my birth felt was totally different. I realized after my second birth that I didn’t want people to go without. When I had a doula, I was able to lean on them to get through a long, induced, non-medicated birth. I needed someone to help me through the mental hoops that are involved in birth. They provided me a safe space and let myself and my spouse make decisions that we were happy with and not feel pressured. I thought that I could get out and help people in my community to work towards the birth they want with confidence. Helping people is a passion of mine!

After this program I hope to expand my business. I want to make birthwork my full-time career. My future plans are to work in childbirth education and specialize in fertility doula work. I would love to help specifically LGBTQIA+ people going through infertility (IUI, IVF, etc). I want to provide a safe space for them and help support them through the process that can be intimidating. I would do this by tailoring a childbirth education class specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community. Eventually I would like to set up a non-profit. This would be for the LGBTQIA+ community as well as for the Deaf/HOH community. I have been involved in the Deaf/HOH community as an interpreter for many years and personally with family being Deaf themselves. It is rare to find doulas that can use sign language fluently. I want the Deaf/HOH community to be able to access this care no matter their situation.

I think everyone should have access to doula care no matter who they are!

Lear more about Giving Back with bebo mia here.




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