5 Ways To Help Pregnant Moms And New Moms Right Now
What Can I Do To Help Pregnant Moms And New Moms Right Now?
It’s a great question and one that many of us are asking right now. You may think that there is not a lot you can do to help this community at the moment, but you’re wrong. There’s a lot you can do.
Before I get into how to help, I want to share with you that I was not pregnant and did not deliver a baby during a major global health crisis, but I did do all of that during my own major health crisis. I nearly lost my life on four different occasions while pregnant with my daughter. She was to be my fourth living baby as I had two miscarriages during my baby bearing days. I suffered four life-threatening hemorrhages during my final (and short) pregnancy and spent the better part of six weeks fighting for my life before my daughter was born at just 23 weeks gestation. Because my daughter’s placenta decided to attach smack dab on my scar tissue from my previous C-sections and DNCs, it grew through my placenta and attached itself to both my bowels and bladder. This was not only life-threatening to us both, but caused me to hemorrhage four times- each one requiring more blood transfusions than the last. My last hemorrhage that caused my daughter’s delivery required me to receive 30 bags of blood, a hysterectomy and the placenta to be surgically separated from both my bowels and bladder for me to survive. My sweet little one pound and four ounce daughter spent the following 121 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before coming home to her three big brothers.
We both survived a major health crisis and emotional #Trauma that lasted for years to come- so I understand what it’s like to be pregnant under such fear inducing circumstances and to deliver a baby under the same.
Every day there seems to be more articles and more information about how the #COVID19 crisis is affecting pregnancies and deliveries and how parents are being banned from deliveries and not allowed to visit their babies in the NICU. These are all #Trauma inducing circumstances and these families need our support and they will continue to need our support for months and years as they process what has happened to them.
How can you help this community of childbearing humans that you don’t even know?
We all feel that right now. We want to help, but how?
You can’t visit hospitals and volunteer to speak to these families? You can’t bake cookies and send them into the NICUs for parents to snack on. You can’t even send them money because you’re now unemployed thanks to the #COVID19.
So, what can you do?
I put together a basic list of what would really help a pregnant mother or parents to a new baby during this pandemic:
Start an online fundraiser or crowdfunding page to collect the little extra money that people do have so that you can purchase masks and gowns for nurses and family members so that they can be by their loved ones side during delivery or beside their baby in the NICU.
Start a prepackaged snack collection in the neighborhood and drop off a stockpile of snacks for the healthcare providers who are working around the clock and risking their own safety to help our pregnant moms and our babies in the NICU. I am picking up donations in my kid’s school parking lot on Sunday afternoon and all of the parents were psyched to participate. What household doesn’t have a few bags of chips, granola bars or individual cookie packs to spare?
Make cards for the parents who sit by their babies bedside in the NICU and the moms on bed rest in the hospital or the nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists who care for them day and night and drop them off at your local hospital.
Donate blood. Blood is needed more than ever now as many people are not leaving their homes to donate and many sick people need blood, including babies and moms after a life-threatening delivery like mine. I would not have survived without blood donors and my daughter would not have survived either. The blood donor sites are all open and they want you. They are taking extra precautions and separating people inside or only allowing one person in at a time. They are requiring all donors to wear masks while inside and all staff and those taking the blood are all wearing personal protective equipment. How do I know? I just made an appointment to donate blood on Wednesday of this week and I asked all of those questions. This is a perfect way to help our pregnant and new moms and save a life. You can get more information at www.redcrossblood.org or www.aabb.org
Stay home (unless you are dropping off PPEs, prepackaged food or leaving to donate blood). Period.
The feeling to help and to give back to a population in need is normal. In times like these we all show our compassionate side and let’s not let it go to waste.
Just pick one thing above and do it well or come up with your own way to help others. It feels good and it WILL help.
For more information on how Speaking for Moms and Babies advocates for the maternal and neonatal health community and how you can too, please visit www.speakingformomsandbabies.com or www.speakmb.com. You can follow Jennifer Degl on all social media sites: @JenniferDegl