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Mariya the Doula - Reclaiming the Story of Motherhood

Updated: Jun 10

Mariya Charlton is a mother of two, a doula, a birth educator, and a community builder. Mariya’s journey to become a doula began with her first labor experience; a traumatic and disempowering hospital birth. What should have been a beautiful experience turned into the exact opposite. She didn’t feel heard, seen, or respected by the staff that was supposed to support her throughout delivery. Wondering why it was so difficult, she took a deep dive into the pregnancy stories of others and learned that unfortunately, her story was not uncommon. “I talked to so many women who had the same experience, and decided that enough was enough.” This strengthened her desire to help women reclaim every aspect of the birthing journey by creating Mariya the Doula. Mothers deserve to know what's best for them and their babies. Confidence throughout the parenting journey is vital and is enhanced with doula birth support, motherhood coaching, and access to a community of mothers. Mariya the Doula is a powerful declaration that empowers women to rewrite and redeem their story of motherhood. 

Mariya, dressed in scrubs, hugging a patient and smiling for the camera. The patient is wearing a hospital gown and is getting ready for labor.

As the firstborn of five siblings and many cousins, Mariya had plenty of opportunities to help the matriarchs, in her family, care for younger children. “We were at someone’s house every weekend to celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings, and baby showers.” This connection to nurturing eventually led her into the preschool classroom as a Teacher’s Assistant and then ultimately Head of Curriculum. As much as she loved working with children, Mariya decided to leap into an entirely different career and began managing restaurants. This career change would influence her life in exceptional ways. During her 6 years in the food health space, not only did she grow professionally, she also met her husband, a chef. “I knew my whole life that I wanted not only to be a Mom, but also to be a matriarch who led my own family and held them close together.” After the birth of their first son, she decided to shift from food services and focus on elevating the sacred experience of birth and motherhood. 

A blend of determination and positivity has allowed Mariya to receive the training required, the supplies needed, and the platform to serve her community. This doesn’t mean that she is immune from struggles in business. Fundraising and budgeting, a crucial part of small businesses, have been the biggest obstacle she’s faced in owning a business. How in the face of difficulty does she remain motivated to help change pregnancy stories for women? Mariya says, “I just remind myself that my mission to support women as they enter this divine rite of passage is too important to let anything stop me. When you are in alignment and doing good for others, opportunities arrive at just the right time!” This profound viewpoint doesn’t allow difficulties to derail Mariya from the life-changing services that she provides.

Mariya and her husband sitting crisscross on a yoga mat while they hold up their baby boy for a photo.

In 2019, Mariya began working towards her certification with a 3-day DONA workshop. By 2020, she was teaching birthing classes and facilitating Motherhood Support Circles. Balancing and understanding the value of time is what she spoke about when asked about one of the most important things she has learned since the beginning of Mariya the Doula. “Being a business owner comes with working around the clock - to work that much I have to be aligned and in love with my practice and my clients.” In order to be her best self, she practices time blocking, a time-management technique where you block off sections of the day to focus on specific tasks, which allows her to also be present at home for her family and deliver a high level of commitment to her clients. “This work can't be done with a clock-in and clock-out mindset, it's a service that I put my whole heart into.” 

What’s on the horizon for Mariya the Doula? She aims to create a space and culture where women can come together, realign, and support each other. The quote by Audrey Hepburn, “as you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” is so important to Mariya’s life. Eventually, she and her husband intend to combine their experience in food health and motherhood coaching to open a cafe that caters to mothers and families maintaining healthy dietary needs through pregnancy and the integral postpartum window.

Interested in learning more or getting in touch with Mariya the Doula? Check out her website for additional information about her services and expertise!

Mariya and a few girls sitting next to each other, giggling. They are wearing neutral colors and a baby girl is sitting in their laps.


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