Erica Chidi, the co-founder of LOOM and a first-generation Nigerian-American, learned how to wrap the language of self-care around her body from an early age. She spent the early part of her life in South Africa, then the epicenter of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, watching her father work as an endocrinologist and infectious disease specialist. That exposure was supplemented by Chidi’s mother, a registered nurse, who made “talking about the body something that was pretty commonplace in our house.” Her childhood seeded an understanding of the women’s body, a conversation that can be stigmatized in many immigrant households.

Eventually, Chidi became a Doula, a trained person who guides mothers through the process toward motherhood.

“As a doula, I really focused on individual care and

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