MAYA values underserved populations and works diligently to provide help and resources to everyone. Each resource available through MAYA is incredibly important to the health and knowledge of the community. MAYA provides an opportunity for me to reach many different people in the community to make a difference in their lives and overall wellness.
Jaime, what inspires you?
Helping people gain knowledge to feel confident in making good decisions… equipping people in vulnerable places with the information they need, so that they have greater courage to face challenges and more confidence in themselves.
Why birth work?
I was inspired by my own birth experiences and the people that supported me. The more I learn, the more I want to share. The people supporting me made my birth experience positive – what could have been a negative experience became positive because of their support. I hope I can do the same for other people.
What’s the last book you read?
Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. I highly recommend it to all birthworkers and anyone interested in social justice. It’s very thought-provoking and insightful. It centers on an African-American nurse and a negative outcome with a newborn baby, and understanding systematic racism from three different perspectives: a parent, a nurse, and a lawyer.
MAYA serves my own community, I get to interact with a wide variety of people, and I can meet people’s individual needs one-on-one, very personally.
Meet Jeaonna Hodges, one of our fabulous instructors here at MAYA! Jeaonna is a birth doula and can be found teaching MAYA classes wherever there is a need, including upcoming classes in Clairton, Wilkinsburg, and Penn Hills.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by those who rise above traumatic experiences.
Why birth work?
I came to birth work after a traumatic birth experience. After what I experienced I made it my mission to make sure it never happened to another woman.
What’s the last book you read?
I am currently reading The Rigveda.
I chose MAYA because I love the mission. I believe all women regardless of ability to pay should have access to prenatal education and counseling and MAYA provides that.
MAYA is the place to come for support and education throughout pregnancy and the entire year after birth. This is a place where parents can gather together or meet one-on-one with us to share experiences, ask questions, gather resources, and build community.
You can get ready for birth with our Lamaze Childbirth Preparation classes. Learn about the birth process, learn your options, and learn things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and cope with challenging moments. You can also take classes to learn about how to have a healthy pregnancy and take good care of your baby.
Pregnancy can be an emotional and stressful time, and MAYA has counseling services to help you through it.
Our instructors are also birth doulas. A doula is a person trained to provide guidance, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. In some circumstances, MAYA is able to provide labor support. Ask us how we can support you during labor.
Processing a difficult birth and dealing with postpartum emotions is another area that we can support you through with counseling and peer support groups.
Our instructors are experienced in providing breastfeeding support. Several of them are Certified Lactation Counselors. You can take classes on breastfeeding or schedule a one-on-one appointment if you need extra support.
Children don’t come with instruction manuals and parenting is a life-long learning experience. MAYA’s core classes can help you learn to soothe your baby’s crying, help her get to sleep, and gain confidence in basic baby care such as bathing, feeding, and swaddling. We also have classes on toddler behavior and safety, to help you navigate those challenging years.
MAYA is also a resource for baby clothing, diapers, furniture, toys and other items that you may need during pregnancy and the first year after birth. We have monthly MAYA Money Days, which are a good time to trade in your MAYA Money for those much-needed baby items. You are also welcome to stop by any day to use your MAYA Money. Diapers are free to any parents in Allegheny county, no points required (limit 50 diapers a month per parent.)
We can also help you get connected with other resources such as health insurance, WIC, SNAP, and other pregnancy, birth, and parenting resources in the community.
We know that becoming a parent is a very significant time in each person’s life. It is challenging, emotional, intense, and ever-changing. We believe that parents are stronger when we come together and raise each other up. We are not meant to do it all on our own. That’s why we are here with you every step of the way.