Is a model for Boob Fall/Winter 2018 and a public educator on topics such as pregnancy, childbirth and everything in between, on Instagram @asabea. Is a new mother to Lalo.
Tell us a bit about your journey and how you came to be the person you are today.
I am the youngest of five siblings in a family that is typically modern – a mix of children from different marriages, of different nationalities and with large gaps in age: my eldest brother is 25 years older than me. My family has had and continues to play a very big part in my life. When I was growing up we traveled a lot because of my parents’ jobs. I have lived in Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda, which is something that has come to define who I am and what I stand for.
My teenage years were a bit messy, as they often are, and I know now that there was a lot of concern about what would happen to me. It took some time for me to figure out what was important to me and what I wanted to do with my life. It was while working it healthcare that I felt for the first time that “this is something for me” and “I’m actually really good at this”. I started building up self-esteem that I previously lacked.
Asabea in our nursing bra and maternity trousers.
Who’s in your family?
My immediate family consists of my partner Amat and my son Lalo who, as I write this (late May 2018), is six days old.
What’s most on your mind lately?
My son and how happy I am because I have him.
Where are you most happy?
Anywhere, if I am surrounded by my family. My home is absolutely my favorite place.
What made you become a midwife?
I had long thought that pregnancy and childbirth were interesting and when I was in nursing school my summer job was as a nurse’s assistant in labor and delivery. That’s when I realized I wanted to do it for a living.
Asabea in knitted sweater for pregnancy and nursing.
With all the knowledge you have as a midwife, was there anything about your own pregnancy that surprised you?
Actually, no. I was prepared for almost anything, maybe precisely because I am well read on the subject. And I had an easy pregnancy. If it had been more difficult, then there surely would have been things that surprised me.
You have birthing, vaginal tearing and nursing schools as Instagram Stories. Why do you think this is needed and what reactions have you received?
It started when I did the vaginal tearing school after having rather sloppily posted some images that we use at work dipecting different tears. I got an incredible response; it was really obvious that a wide variety of people wanted to know more about this. I believe that information is power and I’m happy to help if I can to give people a little more power over their lives and bodies. The response has been fantastic; it’s so great that you can do something so small yet help people so much.
What myths about pregnancy and parenting would you like to dispel?
I would like us to stop comparing pregnancies. Just like a birth, every pregnancy is unique; everyone responds in different ways and experiences it differently, both physically and mentally. Let every woman’s pregnancy be her own. And stop commenting on pregnant bellies! You cannot see the sex, size of the child, how the baby is doing or anything else by looking at a stomach; it’s just annoying to be constantly assessed.
Name three things you did not want to be without when you were pregnant.
My pregnancy pillow, my maternity trousers and maternity leggings and my partner’s foot massages.
Asabea in knitted maternity dress.
What do you hope to pass on to your child?
I want him to be a nice person who thinks of other people and who is not selfish. I hope that, as a boy, he will not become part of the macho culture, and that he will respect women.
What do you want the world your child grows up in to look like?
A dream world would be one where we took the climate crisis seriously and could do something about it. A world not ruled by the patriarchy and where people would cherish one other.
What’s at the top of your wish list?
Maybe it’s a boring answer but right now I have everything I want.
Read our interviews with mothers we know and love!