COS is an integrative health cooperative born from the meeting of professionals from different disciplines: psychology, traditional medicine, homeopathy, physiotherapy or dietetics and nutrition, among many others. In 2018, her Pell amb pell project was one of the beneficiaries of the general subsidy call corresponding to the care economy line. It is an open and free meeting space aimed at mothers with creatures where they can share doubts, experiences and knowledge always with the accompaniment of a professional team. In short, a space to share, express and give each other mutual support.
María Ortiz is the coordinator of the area of gestation and upbringing of COS and we talked with her about the evolution of the project.
– What is the added value that you consider that a project such as Pell amb pell brought?
What it does is cover a social vacuum, both in the neighborhood and in the city or beyond because people come from Mataró, Sant Cugat or Cardedeu. There are few spaces that exist with this look of gratuity, sharing, open line to their demands and make a tribe. It is important for this social vacuum that fills because there is not much supply.
Very little time is spent thinking about post-partum. The women worry a lot about where they will give birth or how the delivery should be but then when they have the child and they are at home alone, because their partner goes back to work, they experience a very big change of life, emotional level and social expectation level . There are no networks or referents about postpartum and it is a very little time of life that is paid little attention. At home, if you do not know if what is happening to you is normal or happens to someone else, women have become a ball. When you have a space to share, everything is normalized because, if not, the upbringing is very lonely and without referents. We must create tribe.
– Why do you think there are few resources, information and support at such an important time for women?
This morning one of the mothers of the group told me “not even my friends had told me that she would find me in the postpartum”. Women are required to be strong and tough and we are not allowed to talk about difficulties. As you have a baby that is beautiful it seems that you can not complain. It is a very pattern of women.
It also happens that women today are very active, with a complete work and social life. Once back there is reduced to zero for 24 hour contact with a baby. The mentally landed is a precipice and is what women suffer most at the beginning. That is not talked about either because it is not what is expected of us. In this sense, we have to change this model of women.
– What role did the parents like to the project and what was the real one?
Some parents come when they have paternity leave but it is a social reality that four weeks later they go back to work. It is determined not because they do not want but because they can not.
In fact, it seems to me very well that we are discussing the expansion of parental leave but, as a critic of the system, how many years have we not talked about maternity leave? It is ridiculous to have 16 weeks for a woman who wants to breastfeed when the World Health Organization recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. There are policies that think a lot about men and women but still there is no policy that thinks about the creature, it is not prioritized.
– Have we too individualized our role as fathers and mothers?
Absolutely. Loneliness is a reality. We have made a pact of support, help and create joint project but outside of here there is a gap. That women find themselves with this loneliness shows that there is a lack of support.
Before there was more network, the neighbors went out to the street and the exchange was more natural. Now we have encapsulated it inside the house and many women come to the group with feelings of anguish. They are breaking with the perfection that demands the woman and the space has ended up serving also to reflect on these questions.