Hey there folks, introducing an entrepreneurial spirit, a wife, mother to three children under the age of 6, a postpartum doula, personal trainer and an advocate for pelvic floor health, Erika Matkovich. This day, I sit here writing this article, I am grateful. Full of gratitude for my family, friends, and for what I have done with my doula business, The Maternal Sidekick.
The Maternal Sidekick is a service-based business focusing on the postpartum family, offering in-home care and personal training services with a focus on pelvic floor health education and awareness. This area of postpartum wellness is a crucial aspect of recovery after childbirth, with significant impact on a birthing person’s quality of life, which is often not given adequate attention during the postpartum period. My goal with every client is that the family is provided with a more positive postpartum experience as well as realistic expectations of their evolving realities. Increasing the quality of a new family’s life in this way is an essential part of facilitating their wellbeing and will also serve to enhance the knowledge and awareness of their peers surrounding the value of postpartum support!
When we finish high school we are funneled into some sort of post-secondary program and with a hope and a prayer from those paying for our education, that program pays off. Not me, I did the college route, and then spent years jumping job to job never feeling satisfied or fulfilled. It was starting to wear on me, a late 20-something year old with no true aspiration and about to start a family. Was a stay at home mother my true calling? Don’t get me wrong, I love my little nuggets but still had that career passion void.
2013, the birth of my first daughter, no complications, and pretty uneventful keeping this little bean alive. As the months dragged on I sunk into a funk that felt like I was losing pieces of my old self and had an identity crisis 6 months postpartum. I didn’t have a large support system and was the first of my friends to have a baby so I felt isolated. I didn’t have the information that I was experiencing postpartum depression, and I was too afraid to ask for help, because I didn’t want others to think I wasn’t a good mother for feeling this way. Google became my friend trying to find something to heal this crisis I was in.
I joined a local fitness club specializing in postnatal exercise. Over the next four years, I witnessed the real struggles, lack of postnatal knowledge, and lack of support faced by new moms outside of this group. In 2016, I pursued a fitness instructor certification and starting teaching postnatal classes and fell head over heels in love. My newfound awareness and passion for women’s postnatal health and wellness and my own struggles birthed the idea of The Maternal Sidekick.
In early 2017, I decided that I would pursue postpartum doula training as it fit so nicely with my family life and complemented postnatal fitness. Doula Canada had been on my radar for awhile, I just hadn’t jumped in with two feet because I was nursing my then 7 month old and how could I handle baby and studies?. If it wasn’t for Doula Canada saying I could bring my little one with me to the training, I would have put off my doula training until the “right time” popped up.
It turns out, the stars were aligning in business and life once I signed up for the March 2017 training. I am grateful to have met April Magone who in turn helped our family with making a life altering financial connection, and Alex James who has been a delight to grow professionally with. Although it wouldn’t come to light until a few months later, Sondra had also said something profound at the training that would change the course of my career and life and make me a better person because of those words (she is such an amazing asset to Doula Canada).
Two mentors that I have to thank as well, Melanie Farrell from Built to Birth has been instrumental in my growth as a Doula and I am thankful for her friendship and professional mentorship on a daily basis. Also Alyssa Green for pushing past my comfort zone and digging deeper inwards and also in my business. Much love!
It was a slow build at the beginning, trying to figure out my branding, website, and how to make my mark in this line of work. I got my first client from a fellow doula I had met at a networking event, I WAS ECSTATIC!!!! I thought this was the start of a gravy train of new clients coming in. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. You still have to put in the work to have clients come to you. Through networking and working more on the business side of The Maternal Sidekick, I have made connections and deepened my business knowledge where I am now just seeing a steady inflow of clients and it feels AMAZING that hard work is paying off….literally 😉
My clients are top notch and continue to fill my love bucket. Each visit is a new learning opportunity and watching the little ones grow with the love and attention from their parent(s) is nothing short of spectacular.
Building a doula business as allowed our family to live comfortably while working around everyone’s schedule without feeling like I HAVE to work. Currently, I am a gestational surrogate for a couple and I do not feel guilty when I go to appointments because I am my own boss and take time off when needed! It is truly a gift to be in a place in our lives where I can live this incredible entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Working on this business baby has filled my cup and at 31, I can finally say that I have found my passion and am so very thankful for life leading me to waking up every day feeling like a successful #momboss.
Erika is a Postpartum Doula and Personal Trainer who owns The Maternal Sidekick in Hamilton Ontario (Canada). A mother of three kids under the age of 6, she understands the beauty and the chaos of adjusting to life after bringing home baby. Her mission is to help families transition in a way that leaves them feeling ready to take on the day with confidence for whatever life flings at them.
“Helping new families is my jam and fitness focusing on pelvic floor recovery is my peanut butter” – Erika Matkovich