CASC Lumen Magazine_Winter 2021

Common Good Profile

Thibault, “not only through the challenges of raising a baby and the expected sleep deprivation …but they oftentimes also experience a lot of tension and conflict between who they always thought they were and who they are trying to become.” Her job is to be there for them as they navigate this identity change. She equips women with the tools to be the best mothers they can be and reassures them that “God did intend for this baby to exist, and he intended you to be the mother.” Thibault’s own battles with mental health have uniquely prepared her for this role. Over the years she has dealt with chronic illness, dietary restrictions, anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Now, she treasures the fact that she can relate to newmoms struggling with their mental health: “I found it consoling to realize that many of my struggles, while they are not the same as what a postpartummom goes through, have really built a great foundation for becoming ... the kind of doula God wants me to be.” In her role as a doula, Thibault supports the dignity of both women and children. “Understanding the dignity of human life and the dignity of motherhood … is intrinsically entwined with the vocation of a postpartum doula,” she says. She notes that there is an “attack on motherhood” in our culture. Moms are shamed for staying at home and for having careers; Thibault celebrates each mother’s unique gifts and calling. As she continues to gain clients, Thibault hopes to work specifically with mothers whose children have

children with Down syndrome, Thibault knows firsthand the joy that they bring to families. She hopes to walk with mothers through the challenging emotions associated with the diagnosis, validating their disappointment and fear while rejoicing with them over the gift of their child. Thibault considers postpartum doulas to be “one of the missing links in the pro-life movement” – a movement that is often accused of being merely “pro-birth.” Postpartum doulas are a concrete reality that pro-lifers can point to when they are accused of abandoning the mother and child after birth has taken place. Thibault is out to prove that the Catholic Church does indeed care for life beyond the womb. Moms are shamed for staying at home and for having careers; Thibault celebrates each mother’s unique gifts and calling.

Lizzy Thibault ‘19

support in the three months after the baby is born. Thibault’s work includes everything from offering lactation support, to cleaning the new mother’s house, to offering a few hours of child care so that the mother can shower and rest. Thibault notes that many new mothers feel profoundly out of their depths when it comes to caring for the new life that has been entrusted to them. They often experience a surreal feeling when returning from the hospital with their infant as the reality of their new roles sinks in. “A lot of moms feel blindsided when they enter into motherhood,” says

Lizzy Thibault is a certified postpartum doula and founder of Ascend Doula Care, LLC.

Freedom and self-compassion “I always knew that I wanted to serve people. I knew that I wanted to make some meaningful difference in people’s lives,” says Jake Voelker , a marriage and family therapist who graduated from Saint John Vianney College Seminary in 2008 with joint degrees in philosophy and Catholic studies. After discerning

received a diagnosis of Down syndrome. As a sister to three

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