the weekly newsletter Sign Up → Bite Sized personal reflections to your inbox

Amy Goodwin on Turning Rocky Roads Into Advocacy for Mothers

As a coach for moms, postpartum doula and public speaker, Amy Goodwin shares her personal transformation, providing validation for any woman navigating the winding road of motherhood. Amy’s path to motherhood has provided her with the internal rally she needed to turn her concern for mother care into a passion-filled career. As part of the Our Seva Motherhood Circle community, Amy whole heartedly believes that we are best guided by our inner wisdom, that it is important to have the support of our communities, and that it’s ok to step off the beaten path and forge your own journey outside of the “norm”. I hope you find Amy’s story revealing and equally inspiring <3


Where are you on the path of motherhood – preconception, pregnancy, postpartum (less than 1 year) or forever postpartum (1+ year)? Forever Postpartum


How did your transformative path into motherhood start?

Oh, I love the term, “transformative path to motherhood”!
I was one thing and then I was completely something else, mind, body and soul. 

Our journey started over 11 years ago. We got pregnant quickly with our first child and I enjoyed the experience of pregnancy, although a lonely one. We were in Virginia for a year (with my husband’s job)  and I didn’t know anyone in the beautiful rolling hills of Blacksburg. Being alone during pregnancy was eye-opening; it helped me focus on my pregnancy and the world around me. I have good memories of being very present during this time.  I delivered via c-section due to my son’s size, 9lbs 10 oz.  I knew in my heart that a c-section was how this delivery would happen, so I was not surprised or upset. In Virginia they have a beautiful process for c-section delivery.

I am the oldest of four and the oldest cousin of many, so I was used to babies and babysitting. I loved being a new mom.  I did not, however, like the constant scary thoughts that surfaced of protecting my baby from unknown foes. I felt very alone with my thoughts and wasn’t sure if it was normal, so it felt very isolating. I had a hard time with recovery physically, emotionally and mentally.  I also struggled with breastfeeding.

I refused to ask for help with breastfeeding. Years before we even got married, I was present when a friend was receiving “help” from a lactation consultant at a local hospital and she was handled very roughly, it terrified me to the point of swearing off all lactation consultants. So, I struggled alone through improperly nursing my giant baby who liked to eat often.  

I also did not understand what was happening to my body and the depth of recovery necessary with a c-section.

With both my husband and mom in the medical field and being my caretakers during this time, it felt more like the “walk it off, you will be fine” approach. This was mentally, physically and emotionally limiting and took awhile for me to see how this sacred window should and could have been handled.

Fast forward to baby 2 & 3, both easy pregnancies and both scheduled c-sections. I eased my ban on lactation consultants and found a wonderful woman, who carefully eased me through the process. I was overjoyed with the success of nursing and enjoyed this season immensely. I also found a new relationship with God and this helped to ease my constant anxiety about protecting my babies from… everything.

During my journey as a mom of toddlers, I struggled with unknown postpartum depression and felt very discombobulated with who I was as a mom, wife, woman, friend and person. I felt very alone in these thoughts and feelings. I completed the day-to-day operations, but the mental and emotional struggle was real! I did not know where to seek help or what kind of help I needed.  I also still heard the “walk it off, you are fine” path whispering to me, which brought on a level of guilt that was very unsettling.


So much of motherhood is lived within the “unspoken spaces” – Can you bring us behind the veil of a moment that felt disregarded and how that made an impact?

After several years of illness including a spontaneous spinal fluid leak and being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, we found ourselves pregnant again. This was scary to think about as we had been out of diapers for 5 years and I was “advanced” in age plus had new medical conditions to consider.  During this round we went to doctor appointments like normal, but I felt apprehensive.  At 6 weeks, we lost the baby.  This experience was tragic, heartbreaking and isolating to say the very least.

What is an appropriate amount of time to outwardly grieve this kind of loss? I cried for most of the day while the kids were at school and when they got off the bus I made dinner for my family with red rimmed eyes and moved on with life as “normal” the next day (get up, make breakfast, kids to school, etc.).  Our other kids were 6, 8, 10 and we did not feel the news of this loss would serve them at this time. I also did not know how to grieve in this situation and maybe I was continuing to “walk it off” because that is what I knew.

Eighteen months later we were pregnant again, this time I was hyper-vigilant, because the doctors were not.  We went through the same experience, with the same outcome. Two miscarriages in a row was devastating, enduring the miscarriage process for over one month (waiting for the doctor to approve the loss and then waiting for a D&C) was even more devastating and the way the medical team handled the news of loss was a layer of heartbreak I wasn’t expecting.

Since then I have felt these losses rear up twice every year when my body remembers, even though my mind tries to push it away.  Random things will trigger a sadness that I was not initially prepared for. Recently, I decided to take action and started sharing my story. I spoke to the medical office and they said they would start making necessary changes in terms of how they respond, inform, treat, and care for women who are have experienced loss. I did not want this same experience (that I had twice) to happen to another mom. We are still working toward a solution.



As you know, caregiving takes on many forms – Could you tell us about a time when caregiving looked a little different for you and your family?

Six months after our second miscarriage we were approved to host an orphan from Africa for the summer. This particular experience of motherhood has been an absolute joy. To hold an orphaned, 8 year old child in my arms and know she was always meant to be there was the most amazing and enlightening feeling. To watch my husband and our other children love and accept this beautiful child was so tender and gratifying. I could go on and on about this experience. I will also say that it helped me heal from some of the past trauma and not feel the losses so keenly.

My path to motherhood has been long, joyful, eye-opening, heartbreaking and lovely.  The passage of becoming a mom to 3 children (with us), one in Africa (she comes back every summer and we care for her needs while she is there) and two babies in Heaven has been the forecast to becoming a life coach for moms, a postpartum doula and a public speaker. 

Now, I help women define and create who they are and who they want to be during their motherhood journey.  All of these roles are my anthem to moms, telling them they are not alone.

Someone has been there and felt that and someone cares about their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.



As a woman/mothers, what unspoken spaces do you think deserve more attention? How can we transform the cultural narrative to better validate and honor our journeys?

Personally, I feel so much pain in these unspoken spaces. My heart breaks thinking about what is not being said. I struggled with breastfeeding, but I feel this area has been vastly improved since my experience. I struggled with loss, which I feel is slowly, painstakingly being ignored and addressed. One step forward, two steps back. I feel the sacred window/postpartum space is being largely ignored, cutting women off from bonding with their newborn and creating lasting depression on the motherhood spectrum.  I feel being a mom to preteens is a very scary unspoken space especially since this is not the world in which we were raised.

We had personally decided to make choices based on what is best for our family and not falling in line with the norm (no phones till high school, how our kids are interacting with friends, etc.) none of it lines up with how others are parenting, so it is very isolating for us as parents and for our kids.



Building community is so important – What does community look like for you?

I regularly meet with other postpartum advocates in the community to see where we can make change and create community. I have created a private facebook group for moms to be raw and honest about what is happening with their families and themselves. I want to hold space for moms to let them know they are not alone, because they need and deserve a safe space.  I also speak at local mom groups and host small group programs for moms. It will never be enough, but I have chosen to be available and intentional for the moms in this community.



What safe words of wisdom would you impart on a soon-to-be mama or someone of their fertility journey?

You are not alone. Find a mama that you trust and ask her to be your mentor (or find more than one).

Define your values and beliefs, which may change over time, but having this framework will create boundaries and give direction on your journey. 

Your village and mentor may change and that is OK. Be prepared to go with the flow, but constantly come back to your own values and beliefs.



Any go-to resources you’d like to share to inspire continued transformation?

You are the best advocate/resource/champion for you and your child. If you feel your mother’s intuition stepping in, do not be afraid to listen and act as needed.


Join Our Seva Motherhood Circle

In the Our Seva Motherhood Circle private Facebook group, we rally behind one another as we navigate to that which calls our hearts. As a community of women, we are on a mission to help shift the cultural narrative around the unspoken spaces of motherhood…no matter what stage you find yourself in. We show up to share from a place of vulnerability, know that our stories give one another the language needed to really stir things up. We focus our efforts with weekly themed discussions around shifting identity, maternal mental health, cultural expectations and our sacred service to motherhood. I’d love it if you join us!

Join the Private Facebook Group →


Want to contribute your story?

Email with “member story” in the subject line and tell us a little bit about how you’d like to share! The question we ask all guests is “What UNSPOKEN SPACES of womanhood/motherhood do you think deserve more attention?”

Leave a Comment