We are each responsible for the maternal health of our community.
In February, we had the honor of hosting our first Labor Comfort Measures Workshop in partnership with Centra Health. It was a most momentous evening.
As a culture, we tend to isolate and delegate the health and well-being of women and infants. We tend to make them "someone else's problem" instead of taking joint responsibility as individuals and as a community.
This workshop sought to do with away with our society's preconceived notions and rewrite the standards of comfort.
It's tempting to say, "what's the problem?" We DO offer "comfort" to women in labor - in the form of an epidural! I would not disagree; what a fabulous anesthetic we have access to in this country! But is that all? Does it really stop there?
Do we as friends, sisters, mothers, nurses, doulas, midwives, and more consider the comfort of the mother's environment, her quality of her story, her specific and unique desires? Do we consider her emotional, physical, and mental well-being during the labor process?
Let's take it a step further. If we fail to consider these things during her labor process, what does this say about us as her community for the rest of the child's life?
In February, 75 outstanding individuals took responsibility for the maternal health of their communities. OB residents, educators, doulas-in-training, partners, husbands, mothers, midwives, nursing students, and nurses with decades of experience sat humbly before Certified Nurse-Midwife, Katie Page, Certified Doula, Debbie Perdew, and our incredible Guest Instructor, Bec Conant, Founder and Director of Om Births, E-RYT 500, CD(DONA), HBCE, CCCE.
The atmosphere was electrifying as we all set aside our opinions of comfort and sought to learn how to truly support each individual woman through some of the most challenging experiences of her life.
The Takeaway? That societal shift in maternal health that we constantly reference as an organization. That shift away from cookie-cutter solutions and towards honoring women for the role they play in our country has begun!
If what we witnessed is any indicator of the hearts of those involved in perinatal practice, pediatric practice, and mental health practice, then, friends, I am bursting with excitement for what is to come!
Together, we are "nurturing the mother to grow the child!" Together, we are serving women and changing lives! Together, we are declaring that #MaternalHealthMatters.