We had the good fortune of connecting with CJ Thorp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CJ, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve been almost obsessed with all things midwifery and childbirth since I was 14 and am familiar with the emotional and spiritual sides of childbirth that can often be neglected by hospitals. I wanted to take care of women during this important time in their life, so I became a doula. Doulas entirely focus on the woman’s emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. People often say “healthy mom, healthy baby” is all that matters. But a woman’s experience during birth can greatly impact her self-esteem and ideas about parenthood.
I have a particular place in my heart for younger mothers and first-time mothers, since I’m 20 myself and know how talking to someone my own age can be such a great comfort. I have a discounted price for low-income parents and those 21 and younger, since hiring a doula can be a huge expense to some.
I’m starting midwifery school soon and look forward to using my education to better improve my clients’ experience with pregnancy and birth.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am still quite new to the birth world and know I have tons to learn. But nothing has stirred me like the births I’ve witnessed and the strength of the women I have seen give birth. All doulas prioritize the birthing person, of course, but younger mothers can find comfort and familiarity with me as someone that is their age.
I also take pride in helping low-income and single mothers utilize their community resources– which food banks are open when, how to get Wic and SNAP, how to find free and cheap baby stuff in Facebook groups and Craigslist. I’m a frugal girl at heart and know how to help women that can’t do the expensive pregnancy and infant supplies.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I definitely love the national and ethnic diversity Houston offers– I come from a rural, very homogenous town in Oregon, we certainly didn’t have halal grocery stores, Polish and Ukrainian churches, or Ethiopian and Laotian restaurants. I also love all of Houston’s parks (especially Hermann) and malls, like the Galleria and POST Houston.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely want to thank my mother and sisters for being so supportive of my interest in midwifery and sharing their experiences with pregnancy and birth. Also my partner Geison and his whole family for welcoming me and giving me a home and community in Houston.
I also want to thank Maternidad La Luz in El Paso for being thhe first place I witnessed a birth and gained excellent experience with prenatal and postpartum care. Finally, I want to shoutout the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program, my midwifery school!