Meet Ozge Stephens & the Nesting Doula Collective
Community Care & Mutual Aid
Miiko Skin Co believes in community care as an extension of self-care. If our community is well, then we can collectively start to heal and be well too.
Recently we have begun talking more about pregnancy, postpartum, & parenthood, and how it relates to skin health and self-care (did you hear? Kimiko is pregnant!). In this journey to educate & further our own knowledge of caregiving and parenthood, we connected with Ozge Stephens from the Nesting Doula Collective – a Doula collective providing care and support to Black, Indigenous, and communities of colour at all stages of their reproductive journey, from conception to postpartum.
Ozge shared her personal story and experiences as a doula with Nesting Doula Collective, and will be joining our founder, Kimiko, for an open conversation on all things pregnancy, social justice, and skincare on August 10th at 5:30PM PST–save the date and make sure to follow us on Instagram! 20% of ALL SALES will go toward the Nesting Doula Collective between August 10 & 11, 2021.
Below are excerpts from Ozge Stephens at Nesting Doula Collective.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am Ozge and I use she/her pronouns. I am an immigrant settler from Turkey, living on the unceded and traditional territories of the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation. I am a registered acupuncturist, full-spectrum doula, and the mother of two earthlings.
My family migrated here when I was 18 to give us “a better life”. In order to make sense of my experiences, I studied Sociology and Gender Studies. I didn’t really know what was next, but then I was introduced to Chinese Medicine as I was dealing with some health struggles. Acupuncture changed my life. So, I jumped in and enrolled in the program at PRC. I was pregnant with our first babe in my last year of school, and he was born two months before I graduated. I currently have my acupuncture practice at Island Optimal Health+Performance in Nanaimo.
I think I never understood the racism inherent in this healthcare system, until I was in a pregnant body with a Muslim last name and an accent navigating the healthcare system. Oh the microaggressions! That was the experience that drew me into birthwork. I have been doing birthwork, facilitations, and community support with the Nesting Doula Collective for three years now.
Birth work is where everything comes together for me ~ my experiences as an immigrant, a woman, a doula, a racialized person, a Muslim, an acupuncturist, a mother, a feminist. Birthwork, I truly believe, is where the revolution is at.
Currently, I am at a growing phase in life. Growing my babies, growing my birth + acupuncture practice, growing a garden, growing as a person, growing through love, pain and struggles of the human experience. I am grateful for this life.
What is the Nesting Doula Collective?
Nesting Doula Collective provides care and support for Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color - including immigrants and refugees, at all stages of their reproductive journey from conception to postpartum.
We are a growing collective of Black, Indigenous, and racialized doulas, who uphold values of informed consent, culturally appropriate care, and trauma informed practice. We are a grass-roots, mutual-aid initiative with an anti-oppressive lens. Our offerings include birth, postpartum, miscarriage and abortion support, and are all FREE. We currently have Doulas across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
We also offer birth+postpartum doula training to BIPOC folks, on a sliding scale basis. We soon will be offering Childbirth Education classes, and have many big dreams and projects on the horizon to bring birth back home to our communities.
How can people donate to Nesting Doula Collective?
Here’s a link to donate to our work.
Doulas are not covered by our healthcare system. We believe money should not be an additional barrier for racialized people to access the pregnancy + birth support they need, so we provide services at no-cost.
As a mutual-aid initiative, our work is upheld by our community members who believe in the importance of birth justice. It truly takes a village, and we are grateful for the support we continue to receive to do this important work.
Between August 10 and 11, Miiko Skin Co will be donating 20% of ALL SALES to the nesting Doula Collective! We offer many products safe for all stages of pregnancy.
To learn more about Nesting Doula Collective, visit their website linked above and don’t forget to follow & join us on August 10th at 5:30PM PST on IGTV Live!