“She took great care in guiding me through my pregnancy and empowered me to be the mom I am today. She was my doula, my lactation counselor my friend and my support. She is beautiful and judgment-free. Sweet, friendly, girly, kind... everything I needed, when I needed it.”
- Christy Dawn
Story and Interview by Chasity Glass
Los Angeles–based doula and author of the book Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—and Trusting Yourself and Your Body, Erica Chidi Cohen is passionate, yet poised when it comes to navigating the modern maternity experience. Over the phone she is confident, strong and well-spoken; articulating her deep want to simply help women (and families) transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
How do you know Christy?
I met Christy when she was pregnant; I was her postpartum doula. I met her as a new mom, and from there learned about her and her beautiful dresses.
Tell me about your profession?
I’m a birth and postpartum doula, lactation educator and counselor.
And an author too?
Yes! An author. I released a book last October. It’s a modern guide to pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. I wanted to write a book that featured the full arc of pregnancy. My goal was to create a comprehensive and judgement-free pregnancy companion that covered everything from the beginning months of pregnancy to the baby's first weeks.
Tell us more about you, and what moved you into this field?
I became a doula when I lived in San Francisco. At the time I was interested in midwifery; I was studying nursing prerequisites, but then I learned about doulas. I was fascinated by the psycho/social fixture in birth and in the postpartum space. I though it might be a better mesh of my skill-sets in terms of being able to meet women where they were at in pregnancy and support them. I love the philosophy of supporting families through birth and postpartum. Though it makes sense, my parents are both clinicians, my dad is a doctor and my mom is a nurse. I grew up in that kind of family, that level of support.
Why would you recommend a doula during or after pregnancy?
Having the support of a doula is a great anxiety reducer, especially for first-time moms. When you are trying to navigate the experience there are so many unknowns. To have someone alongside for the journey who has been through the process before can help normalize and anchor a lot of the things around the experience that can feel triggering. A doula in the labor environment can feel comforting, as well as when moving through the pregnancy, to have someone to check in with and ask questions to can be extremely helpful and reassuring. In our modern society we have lost the community piece of childbirth and care; that is definitely what a doula can bring, is more community around pregnancy, getting resources, and postpartum. Years and years ago there were many hands helping to raise and support the child after birth. A doula can be that extra help, bringing community together, especially in urban areas, when you need it most.
This is challenging job, that is very female focused. What compels you do this?
I just really love women. And love moving people through difficult transitions, it’s something that has always come naturally to me. I find the more stressful a situation becomes the more calm I tend to be. I like to offer that resilience and support to women at a time when they are really needing to create that for themselves. Again, that community component has moved out of the birthing and parenting experience. That is one of the great things a doula can offer; to be honest and gentle, to help a woman feel empowered and supported when there are so many unknowns.
Tell me about LOOM?
We opened in October of last year, and have such an incredible team. We focus on providing education and community for reproductive empowerment, pregnancy and parenting.
In your practice do you have a speciality, specific for you?
Everyone has different skill-sets at LOOM, I embrace all options of birth. Medicated, non, vaginal or cesarean birth; I’m there for whatever that outcome becomes. I’m supportive of breast or bottle feeding. Ideally, I am there to preserve the mental health and the well-being of the mother. That is so primary as opposed to pushing an agenda, there’s no judgement or preconceived notions about how to go through the birthing process. I’m also their to give support thru miscarriage and loss. My primary focus is to be there, support and empower a women's entire reproductive experience.
Are you ready for motherhood?
Yes, and maybe that’s because I’ve been so close to the process for a long time. I will be thrilled when the time comes. But first, there’s a lot of work to be done for others.
Morning or night owl?
Both. I usually need about six hours of sleep to feel normal.
What do you do for your heart?
(Long pause, big breath.) I really try to slow down. Hanging out with my husband is always a reset, closely followed by the korean spa. I went to culinary school before college, and I love to cook for friends. Oh, and music. Just listening and singing to music, I consume a lot of it. It helps me move through big emotions. So my top four: Hangs with Jordy, music, food, and k-spa. (Collected laugh.)
What does your desk space look like?
Very minimal. I like a very de-cluttered desk. Though, my home is a hybrid of my husband and me.
Any secrets you can share about Christy?
Christy is incredibly fun, and doesn’t take things too seriously. But she also has a very strong spiritual practice. I think that combination of inner alignment, humor and creativity is what makes her such a great mom. It’s shows not only in her parenting, but in her business, and in her dresses.
Christy Dawn dress?
My favorites? My jumpsuit, stripe, linen jumpsuit. I love it! It’s cozy and is flattering. I love to wear Christy Dawn when I want an easy, femme vibe on the weekends or when I’m traveling to another city. It packs perfectly.