When we think of Mother's Day now, what comes to mind is more than our own mothers or ourselves, but the community of support around motherhood that seems to get stronger (thank goodness) and more integral to our lives every year. We think of women like Anjelica Malone, a birth and postpartum doula, certified Lactation Education Counselor (CLEC), and all-around fount of mama wisdom and wellness who never fails to encourage and inspire. (Her book on breastfeeding, Milk Boss 101, is a must-read.) Anjelica and her husband—who's active-duty in the Coast Guard—recently moved to Seattle from Guam with their two young daughters, and she's quickly established a devoted following of new moms and moms-to-be drawn to her warmth, honesty, and unfailing support. (Not to mention her adorable sense of humor.) In celebration of all mothers, we asked Anjelica to share some of her pearls of wisdom.
BEFORE YOU BECAME A PERINATAL EDUCATOR AND DOULA, YOU WERE IN THE COAST GUARD. HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR PATH?
I always wanted to work in the medical field, I just didn't know in what capacity. I joined the Coast Guard, and it was probably the best decision I made. I was a corpsman, so I worked on a ship. I’d be out for 3 months at a time, caring for about 160 crew members. What I realized was that I really enjoyed working with all the people I got to see, but women were special. They really wanted to form a bond and a relationship with the person providing care for them. Then we moved to Puerto Rico, and during that time my life was changed. Mothers [there] were mothering in a way that seemed like an extension of who they were...their children were a part of the world they had already created. I became a lactation educator and began providing home visits. I did the same thing on Guam, and realized that was what I wanted to do. Now we’re in Seattle and I’m preparing to become a midwife.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Something that’s always near me in bed is a good book, absolutely. Or a journal, because I'm always writing notes, whether it’s to clear my mind, or think of a new idea, or something I want to start. I’ve recently really loved essential oil diffusers. That’s really simple to bring in, you can stick it in a corner if there's no room on your nightstand. It really makes the room feel more spa-like.