Pregnancy can be a precious time, but it often brings stress with it. Physical issues, financial concerns and emotional worries can make it difficult to focus on self-care.
Fortunately, Catholic Social Services’ Gianna Centre is available to provide information, support and advocacy for vulnerable pregnant women. It helps women find housing options and income support, and offers resources such as parenting classes, maternity clothes and baby items.
Maureane Dupuis has volunteered as a doula and massage therapist with Gianna Centre for more than two years, and says she’s worked with about 50 women in that time.
“I enjoy helping women and their families,” she says. “I have experienced the beauty of faith and I love to live it and share it whenever possible.”
Gianna Centre’s clients can request her services, which often go far beyond the physical.
Many of these expectant mothers don’t have partners and often have families in different countries. It can be difficult to labour and deliver without those important women in the room, especially coming from a culture in which delivery is a personal, family experience.
“I help them cultivate their dignity and potential through faith, hope and love,” she says, and points to a recent client she helped. “Like many of the mothers at Gianna Centre, she lacked maternal support. My doula services helped to fill that space for her.”
Maureane is happy to provide her services, and says she is inspired by “Eudaimonia,” a Greek philosophy that guides people to the actions that will result in their well-being.
She believes volunteering helps her to cultivate happiness, and encourages everyone to find a way to give back.
“Do what you love to do and be where you love to be. It will bring great joy to your heart and soul,” she says. “It is a great joy to give back. It gives me life being such an intimate part of people’s lives.”
If you are a professional with skills to share, call Volunteer Services at 780.432.1137 or visit cssalberta.ca/volunteer.