maternal health

Why The Motherhood Collective Promotes World Breastfeeding Month

Why The Motherhood Collective Promotes World Breastfeeding Month

How you feed your infant is your choice. The Motherhood Collective supports your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It is of utmost importance to us. In a world full of mixed messages, you need to be assured that you are the best mother for your child. You are innately able to care for your baby. You are strong. You are powerful. 

Letters from Lauren: Responsibility

Letters from Lauren: Responsibility

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. 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? 

Meet the Experts: An Interview with Candy Beers-Kim

Meet the Experts: An Interview with Candy Beers-Kim

This is part of our series, "Meet the Experts". In this series of posts, we interview a wide variety of men and women involved in every aspect of the field of maternal health. Today, we welcome Candy Beers-Kim, a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.

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,

Bravery.

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Last weekend our volunteer staff had the opportunity to spend an entire day together. We ate, played, and spent time digging into our own stories - in order that we might be able to better walk alongside you. There was a resounding theme that echoed through the day. We, as a culture, must seek to rid ourselves of assumptions. We must validate the unique stories of the women in our lives. We can walk alongside each other in pain and in joy.

Through education and support we strongly feel there is hope for a societal shift in maternal health.

We acknowledge that we all must become better listeners. In humility and vulnerability, we must also share our stories. For often, healing begins with one person's simple bravery.

Will you join us in changing the culture? Will you join us as we seek to better the health of women from pre-conception through preschool? Change begins with individuals. Change begins with us.

All my love,

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Local Hospital Earns BABY-FRIENDLY DESIGNATION!

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A very special day has come! You might remember my post back on March 2nd about our local hospital's push to become Baby-Friendly (read here.) Well, friends, advocates, mothers-to-be, mothers, grandmothers, and all of Lynchburg, VA. THEY DID IT! The call came in yesterday that Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital is now a Baby-Friendly Hospital. The Administration, Nursing Staff, Lactation Staff, and Care Providers have all worked tirelessly to put bring about a positive change in maternal and infant health. We could not be more proud. Please know that this was not an easy undertaking. There has been much education, many policy changes, some protocol changes, and so much more. All for YOU.

As a reminder, Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the following 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.

Join us in congratulating the hardworking team at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital!

A short piece by the local news can be found here.

We need relationships.

Photo by Liz Cook of Sincerely, Liz, Inc.

Sending you warm and loving thoughts as we near Valentine's Day. Motherhood can be such a lonely and isolating job. I don't desire that for any of you. We need relationships. We need them on the sunshine and rainbows days and on the dark and stormy days. Sometimes, though, it takes a first step. It takes being uncomfortable. It takes effort. It takes reaching out.

Will you challenge yourself? Will you push your fears aside as we near the holiday that celebrates relationships? Text a friend. Go on a walk with a neighbor. Join us at playgroup. Practice self care and attend a support group.

I loved seeing all the new and familiar faces at the Café yesterday morning! I applaud each of you for putting in the work to make it there. I hope the laughter was refreshing and the panel educational. If there is ever any way in which we could be serving you better, would you email me at: lbarnes@themotherhoodcollective.org?

We are here for you. We long to see a societal change in maternal health. Will that change start with you?

Most sincerely,

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