On Mondays we highlight our members so you can get to know the Island Birth Association community a little better! This Monday we meet Abigail, who is a founding board member for IBA and owns Coral & Mint Doula Services.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I’m Abigail Gross, I am Charlie’s mom, a veteran (go STGs), a military spouse and let’s just say an instigator. I am a certified birth and postpartum doula, babywearing educator, and I do a lot of postpartum support activities. I own Coral and Mint Doula services; it was established in 2015 although I have been doing a bit of postpartum support/events before then. Postpartum work is literally my jam, I like to host events/activities that will get moms to mingle, because let’s face it, being in a military community, everything seems to be so transient, then add motherhood to the equation, where things are more transient, it’s a recipe for isolation and nobody really wants that.
What attracted you to birth work?
My horrible experience with being pregnant while active duty kindled my attraction to birth work. My pregnancy was treated like a contagious malady, I informed my chain of command my intention of getting pregnant and even timed the pregnancy before my partner and I hit shore duty but that didn’t excuse me from being discriminated by my peers.
While waiting to be separated from military, I began exploring options and talking with people who were pregnant in the military, it led me to various organization to talk and train with. Maybe I was just unfortunate to have the colleagues that I had, but after leading an unofficial “support groups” for the with the topic, it dawned on me that pregnant women in the military are just not respected, whether it is a planned or unplanned pregnancy, whether they are EP sailor or officer, being pregnant made them feel devalued by their chain of command and peers.
That’s the spark that started things for me.
How does your service help women and families?
My doula work funds the activities/events that I do. When someone hires me to be their doula, not only are they hiring a highly skilled and well trained doula but also helps out other women in the area indirectly.
What's one thing you'd like us to know about you?
When people think that I am making a lot of ruckus, it might be because the ones I am trying to reach are the ones who are in their darkest moment and needs a bit more than a tug, they need a pull. I’ve been there and I know for a fact that if someone didn’t try to reach their hand out to me multiple times, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Thanks, Abigail! We're so lucky to have you on the board of Island Birth Association and as a member of our Whidbey Island birth community! You can find more information about Abigail on our Doulas page in our Member Directory.