Hi, I'm Marijke, but you can call me Mary. :-)
I am a Belgian qualified midwife, registered at the ‘Ordine della Professione Ostetrica di Modena’ (the Organisation of midwives in Modena). I moved to Modena in February 2015, with my husband and two children.
So… I have been in your shoes: I arrived in a country where I had to start from scratch. It takes some courage to do so: learning a new language, getting to know new people, building up a new home… it hasn’t always been easy, certainly not in the beginning. But little by little, my efforts were starting to give results. I learned that Italian people appreciate it when you try to be part of their culture. They quickly become very warm and friendly. They take you under their wings and lead you to places you’d never have found as a foreigner on your own.
At the Policlinico in Modena I assisted a lot of couples during pregnancy, labour and birth. I also had the opportunity to accompany several foreign couples. My knowledge of both English and Italian was a big advantage to them. Being surrounded by Italian health professionals, they appreciated the fact that they could talk with someone in a language they understood. Because honestly, at that moment, when you are feeling so vulnerable, you just want to know every detail of what is happening.
Sometimes I, too, would have loved to have had someone close to show me the way when I just moved to Italy, even without being pregnant. So to the fact of being a foreigner, I added my experience as a midwife, and the idea started growing of becoming a “guide” for people who feel a bit lost in the Italian world of pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
And this is how Birth Companion in Modena was born :-)
Being able to bond so quickly, in such a short time, is what gives me energy. People allowing me being part of this special moment, is what makes me thankful.