A season of thankfulness and giving.

Dear friends,

On this coming Tuesday (12/1) The Motherhood Collective will be taking part in the global#GivingTuesday initiative. We will have three amazing opportunities for you to give back to the organization and support our work in maternal health. We are excited to use this global day of giving to not only raise critical financial support, but to increase awareness surrounding three common issues we address. Be on the lookout for an upcoming email with additional details and social media notifications. :-)

During this Thanksgiving holiday, we would be remiss if we did not express our gratitude for a few of the many things we are thankful for in 2015.

1. Our volunteers. Our work simply could not be done without the commitment of our volunteer staff.

2. Our Board of Directors. Their insight guides the organization with with wisdom and heart.

3. Our program hosts. Mosaic and Wyndhurst Counseling Center have welcomed us and given us a home.

4. Our community cheerleaders. They sponsor our programs, reefer women in need, and champion for our cause.

5. The women we serve. Without your bravery and honesty we would never be where we are today.

Thank you to all.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends and supporters. Wherever this season finds you, you are not alone.

With love and THANKFULNESS,

Same mission | New site

Isn't she beautiful? She's simple, easy to use, and, we hope, clear to understand.

Through the years as our organization has grown we have expanded our programming and narrowed our audience. We have grown our connections and simplified our words. 

Our first site was (and will always be) so incredibly special to me. It was designed by a dear friend, and founding member, Liz Cook. She poured so many hours of love into the original design, nothing will ever replace it in my heart. Without individuals like Liz this organization wouldn't have become what it is today. We will be forever thankful.

This leads me to our new site. Also a labor of love and also a gift so extraordinary. You may remember our hints on Instagram about two months ago. (If you don't follow us on IG, you probably should, some pretty amazing content is shared there!)

Ben Manley, Creative Director of Knapsack Creative Co., believes in his community. He and his team have worked tirelessly to build a business that delivers quality product to each client. On top of this they have committed themselves to giving back to local nonprofit organizations in need of design work. 

As technology and media have advanced, our old site struggled to keep up, and it was time for a new look to convey the heart we have for the women we serve. Learning of Knapsack's desire to serve, we boldly submitted a request for help redesigning and relaunching our site.

We were accepted! Not a week later we were seated in their Daypack office! In one "day" we were able to completely rethink, refine, and redo our site. It was incredible.

We were so impressed by Knapsack's customer service from start to finish. They have a well oiled system for gathering information and treating clients with respect and dedication. Their team of four functions seamlessly. Joy treated us like royalty, Jael refined and culled our content with a keen and observant eye, Jeremy fueled us with never ending coffee, and Ben brought our renewed vision to life.

We highly recommend their work for any creative project you have on the horizon. We can vouch for the passion and joy with which they approach their work.

From L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Lead Developer; Jael Sette, Content Specialist; Benjamin Manley, Creative Director; Lauren Barnes Exec. Dir. TMC; Maria Hayden, Managing Dir. TMC; Janine Coleman, Graphic Designer TMC; Joy Guelzo, Client Relations.

From L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Lead Developer; Jael Sette, Content Specialist; Benjamin Manley, Creative Director; Lauren Barnes Exec. Dir. TMC; Maria Hayden, Managing Dir. TMC; Janine Coleman, Graphic Designer TMC; Joy Guelzo, Client Relations.

Knapsack Creative Co. Team from L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Jael Sette, Benjamin Manley and Joy Guelzo.

Knapsack Creative Co. Team from L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Jael Sette, Benjamin Manley and Joy Guelzo.

We'd love to know your thoughts on the new site! We can't wait to see how it better enables us to serve women and change lives. Thank you, Knapsack. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Together, we are "nurturing the mother to grow the child."


Baby-Friendly USA - Standing behind our local hospital


One of the things we most desire as an organization is to advocate for a positive change in maternal health on a community level. It is for that reason that we are proud to stand behind our local hospital (Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital) in their effort to obtain the coveted, Baby-Friendly USA designation. The staff and administration have worked relentlessly to integrate the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding best practices. Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the Ten Steps to receive, and retain, a Baby-Friendly designation. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital will have their site visit for accreditation by Baby-Friendly USA on March 10 and 11, 2015. They have a request for you, the mothers of our local community. The goal of the 2 site assessors will be to see moms here in the hospital, but they may need to call moms on the phone to ask about their stay. If you were a patient in the last 6 weeks you have the potential to hear from a Baby-Friendly assessor. Questions could include: Was your baby offered a pacifier? How long did you do skin to skin? Was your baby taken from your room? Would you be willing to take the time to speak honestly and truthfully with the assessors? Would you be willing to think about your answers to these questions in preparation? We know your time is limited and precious, and we thank you in advance for considering your response. Together we will support this momentum for a positive change in maternal health in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns, Jackie Weaver (Unit Manager, Mother Baby) would love to hear from you, her office number is 200-4630!


For more details about the practices put into place and the road to Baby-Friendly, read on:

The journey to this site visit is what led our hospital to add many of the wonderful processes you may have experienced recently. Skin to skin is now possible for 100% of our vaginal deliveries as long as everyone is stable. We offer skin to skin for our C-section patients as well as long as mom and baby are stable. Even if skin to skin is not possible after your C-section, we have an increased focus on non-separation of mom from her baby. This can include a care partner holding the baby close by in the operating room or mom meeting her baby in recovery. Skin to skin should last as long as mom wants and at least through the first feeding. This process has been very rewarding for our staff as we watch babies transition significantly better on mom’s chest.

Other practices influenced by our journey include rooming in and lactation education for all our staff members. Rooming in helps mom and babies learn to be a team by matching sleep cycles and becoming familiar with babies unique cues. All staff members received lactation education and training. We now have a team of lactation consultants who see moms (formula and breast milk) in the hospital as well as outpatient at our Baby Café.

We are so thankful to groups such as yours for your support and collaboration. Through your discussions, patient experience stories, and questions we have been able to influence the population health of our community. With the support of the wonderful moms in our area, we now have a breastfeeding rate of 90%.

Jackie Weaver | Unit Manager, Mother Baby

Volunteers Needed for "Breastfeeding Welcome Here" Sticker Campaign

We need YOU! The Virginia Department of Health’s Central Virginia Health District and  Live Healthy Lynchburg are showing their love for moms with the launch of their Breastfeeding Welcome campaign! From February 14 through Mother’s Day, CVHD, LHL, and community partners (YOU!) will be visiting Lynchburg-area businesses to encourage them to become breastfeeding friendly!

The campaign will utilize volunteers to spread the benefits of breastfeeding to local organizations. Those wishing to become a “Breastfeeding Friendly Organization” will post the campaign’s “Breastfeeding Welcome” sticker in their windows, a signal to the 90% of moms that leave Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital breastfeeding that they are welcome to do so inside.

Would you and a group of friends be willing to cover an area of our community? We are encouraging our volunteers to visit businesses that they currently frequent, using phrases like, “I’d love to post a sticker in your window to let other breastfeeding mothers know that you welcome them, just as you’ve welcomed me!”

To acquire a stack of stickers and letters today, email: lbarnes@themotherhoodcollective.org!IMG_7124

More information below:

 By becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Organization, area locations will enjoy several benefits, including free advertising from Live Healthy Lynchburg and area media. Families searching for breastfeeding-friendly venues will also be directed to these establishments. By allowing women to breastfeed on premise, organizations will also be in compliance with state legislation. Virginia statute § 18.2-387 on indecent exposure states that, "No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present."

Becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Organization has great benefits for the community as well, as breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of both babies and mothers. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of later childhood obesity, and evidence has shown that obese children are more likely to become obese adults. It also protects the infant against short- and long-term illnesses, lowers the risk of postneonatal mortality (infant death), and is protective against SIDS. Breastfeeding is great for mothers, too, by helping shed baby weight, providing bonding time, and decreasing mom’s risk of certain cancers.