Today we’d like to introduce you to Hemrish Chirwa.
Hi Hemrish, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
At the age of 23, I felt very defeated from my maternal abilities. I was four years into my marriage and still had yet conceived. The weight of this challenge began to worry me. Was I infertile? Was there something wrong with me? Anxiety and lack of support then started to have an effect on my physical wellness. I was already in a regular routine with physical fitness and had completely changed my diet for over a year. What did I need to do to figure out what was going on with me on a holistic and physical level? I then tried to better understand how and what my body needs for wellness and ensuring I am holistically well. I would take books out from the library on maternal health, women’s fitness and holistic wellness to equip myself with knowledge. It really took me close to twelve months to pursue that journey into holistic wellness that supported my maternal health and eventually assisted me with pregnancy. After I gave birth to my firstborn with an emergency cesarean, I realized how vital and important support is for individuals going through their journey especially on their own. Going through my first full-term pregnancy without full support besides from my inner village and medical provider was mentally and emotionally taxing.
At the time, I was working as a nanny and early childcare assistant. That’s where I began, I believe. Caring for their precious children while making sure that when these women came home, they had one less thing to do after a long day at work. It was the most fulfilling experience I have had because their appreciation would be endless and heartfelt. Seeing them being able to relax and smile was my reward. Once I had my first child their appreciation and support overflowed, and I was immensely grateful. I remember wearing my son in a sling at one of my clients’ homes and saying to myself, this is me, this is what I do, and I love it but how do I make it become accessible to all and still be able to sustain in life financially. Where did I need to start? I felt in my element and connected to my purpose on a larger scale. My journey into motherhood and its unique challenges is how MamaNiyaa sparked a flame within me. The word niyaa or nia [pronounced knee-a] is Swahili for intentions. I know how vital it is to have resources that provide care and or services that women deserve to have while they flow through their maternal journey catered to their needs. And having a strong village to support that journey and nourish the family is an important element for women to have so they can heal physically, mentally and emotionally and grow as they nurture themselves for their baby and family.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s taken me some time to get into my element for many reasons but for certain one has been being financially capable. I wanted to have reputable education training and had been offered a scholarship at one earlier point but I still couldn’t afford the other half. Being a single mother of two young boys, it can get very overwhelming especially with living through this pandemic. There is no certainty anymore. Now having reliable income to run a business has been my hardest obstacle. I have to work twice as hard to make sure our essential needs are met and still be able to provide support and care to other women who need the same as I do. As much as I have applied for grants, it just has not reached the time for me to receive that blessing, but I am optimistic and motivated to keep moving. Besides the financial aspect of struggles, not having enough time because I have to work to provide for me and my children has been the other challenge. I have had clients needing me to assist them on days where I have to be at work, and it has made me feel so heart-struck for them. I am looking forward to growing my team so that MamaNiyaa can become equipped for these families so they can have the support they willingly deserve.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a holistic birth worker and doula in the DFW metroplex area. I provide support to women and their families during their fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I do not shy away from supporting others with their challenges and welcome women to reach out no matter where they are in their journey. I love enjoy showing my token of appreciation for my clients with a house plant for horticultural therapy purposes and this helps to ease their anxiety especially those who are trying to conceive. I also provide a journal so they can feel at peace writing their thoughts out. I want to make sure they feel ease and have an embracing experience. I believe from my very own experience and how equipped I am in home health care, my current certified training in maternal health, holistic wellness and my East African cultural practices on pregnancy and postpartum and just genuine support I love to give people, women do not feel intimidated to reach out to me and I feel honored to be welcomed into their space to inform them and support them on the decisions they chose to make. I don’t feel like social or economic disparities should be a reason why someone can’t get the support they need. I have women calling me at anytime just for reassurance in their journey and I appreciate holding that space for them. Having support shouldn’t be difficult or stressful.
MamaNiyaa provides educational empowerment and supportive care to families as they prepare for conception, the pregnancy phase and flow through the journey of postpartum into parenthood. Everyone’s journey is unique. We meet you where you are. It is my job to guide these women to build their village by providing resources and support to them ensuring that they are not just informed on what is out there for but reassured empowered to reclaim their maternal health.
In today’s world, having a solid and nurturing village to support you on your journey into not just motherhood but parenthood is a vital necessity. It is our vision to ensure a family has the needed resources to see their family thrive and grow with noble intentions. The SOKONI Shop & Simply Seconds is one of our initiatives to be able to provide and sustain our mission. We know how expensive care can be so we utilize our profit to supplement the cost to serve those who can’t afford such vital care. The last thing a family should worry about is how can I afford this? We work with you!
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
When I first started with the educational training of becoming a birth worker/doula, I wanted to feel guided and motivated in a way that life would not keep me from going after my purpose.
I am humbly grateful for finding Bebomia, their school and educational program has been such a huge game-changer for me and has really allowed me to process my own experience and put a plan in place for those going through their journeys. So informative, enlightening and motivating. Great instructors with a phenomenal diverse peer support group.
Fortunately, when I began my studies, I also began my business and was introduced to an amazing and phenomenal woman through a mentorship program Empowered with a Twist of Faith at my son’s school Vogel Alcove. Ebony Wingard has been such a great mentor, leader and motivator. She helped me draft up my business plans, register my DBA and supported my venture with equipping me with my marketing material and domain.
I am so grateful for Vogel Alcove and always providing parents with such useful resources especially during a pandemic, has been such a huge blessing. Building my business now has not come at a better time for me and my boys. The staff there are heroes and work with you to see you and your family rise and grow, they are the ones who blessed us with the opportunity on meeting Ebony Wingard. I have had businesses before but when you have a group supporting and guiding you so you can feel supported in your purpose, makes all the difference.
My babies, they are the reason MamaNiyaa is growing. My experience with their pregnancies and the challenges I had are the seeds to this garden.
I am extremely grateful for my sons, the light of the show, they are the reason MamaNiyaa is growing. My experience with their pregnancies and the challenges I had are the seeds to this garden that is being cultivated and blooming so beautifully
My close family and friends who have cheered and supported my efforts in various number of ways I would not be able to do on my own. I appreciate them all more than words can express. It really takes a village!
My own healing – being able to process things I have encountered and how to use those challenges and life lessons to support other women has been my stepping stone.
- Starts at $200 for pregnancy support with 24hrs of session time, payment plans available
- $25 for TENS Therapy
- Starts at $200 for postpartum support with 24hrs of session time, payment plans available
- Self Care Kits • starting at $35.00
- Products I’ve designed or handcrafted start at $5.00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.mamaniyaa.org
- Instagram: @mama.niyaa