We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheryl Alonzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cheryl, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
That you can plan and plan and do all the research and take all the classes to be prepared for how you think something will go, and in the end, something will inevitably not go according to plan and you must be able to readjust and roll with it. With my birth clients I prepare them for their ideal birth experience, while very much letting them know, there are no promises in birth and that we will work through the unexpected together.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is about supporting families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I teach childbirth classes, as well as HypnoBirthing classes and then I am there for the labor and birth of their children and once more for the first months postpartum. I got to where I am today by the incredible people before me who have laid down the groundwork for the need for doulas in the hospitals, as well as during the start of parenthood. I am here because of the people who were convinced that birthing people should have a say in the birth experience. My biggest reason for becoming a doula was actually other doulas who inspired me with their passion. I wanted to be them. I couldn’t get enough information about the birth world and postpartum and still can’t. I believe I will forever be learning something new in this field and that’s what excites me the most. It was not easy, particularly thinking it was a good idea to start my business during 2020 when doulas were banned from most hospitals, unless there was no other support. I had many interviews that did not turn into future clients and it chipped away at my soul for quite a bit, if I am being honest. Part of me wanted to give up and felt very defeated, but the other part of me knew this is all I wanted to do and I’ve never been more on fire about anything in my life. I couldn’t just let it go. My mind and heart was too invested. Along the way, I have learned that I cannot assume. That I must at times shut my mouth and just observe and learn and to stay humble. I hope that I never get too confident in my abilities that I begin to miss something important, because I think I already know the answer. Right now, I still am aware there is loads more to learn and that my clients are often my best teachers. I want the world to know that they do not have to go through parenthood alone or feeling isolated or unsupported, that there is a huge network out there that is dedicated to giving real solutions and hands on support in making a more positive start for families and that’s what I aim to be apart of. I can’t promise that your birth will go exactly as you hoped for, but I can provide you with the tools and support to make informed and educated decisions that you feel are best for you–where your voice will be heard. Being a doula is not about pushing your ideas of what birth or motherhood should look like, it’s about supporting others in what they think is best for them personally and giving them the guidance to be confident in those decisions.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friend was visiting the area, going to the beach would be a given. Now-a-days, I’m usually at Zuma Beach. We would most likely also visit downtown Disney and eat/drink at one of the pubs there and go to the Anaheim Gardenwalk afterwards. I’m also am a big fan of going to the Long Beach aquarium and eating at any of the restaurants along the pier. When my husband and I first starting dating, we went out dancing often. So I would recommend going to Clifton’s in downtown for a unique experience or La Descarga.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The fabulous people at Bini Birth Center, particularly Ana Paula Markel, Kathrin Auger and Lindsey Rei for training me to be a birth and postpartum doula, as well as a childbirth educator, but also modeling for so many aspiring doulas what it looks like to be world changers. I also am incredibly blessed by the women at Birch Family Birth Services who continued to believe in me, when I wanted to give up and showed me how to get to where I want to be. As well as to Shanee Finley, who worked alongside me, on what will probably be the longest and most roller-coaster type of a birth I ever expect to be at. And to my wonderfully understanding and caring family, especially my husband who completely re-arranges his schedule so that I can go off to a birth in a moment’s notice.
Facebook: Mama Cher Doula Services