5 Insights for Maternal Health Awareness Day

Today, as we unite to observe Maternal Health Awareness Day, we embark on a journey of nurturing, empowerment, and prioritizing the well-being of the extraordinary moms within our community. Whether you find yourself navigating the uncharted waters of early motherhood or standing as a seasoned pro in a bustling family, this is more than just a day–it's an opportunity to delve into the heart of maternal health and equip ourselves with the knowledge and support needed to thrive.

In a world where the journey of motherhood is as unique as each individual, Maternal Health Awareness Day serves as a poignant reminder that our health and well-being are non-negotiable. FIT4MOM stands at the forefront of this celebration, advocating for every mom's physical, mental, and emotional health in our community.

Join us as we delve into five indispensable insights designed to empower you, champion your maternal health, and foster a community where every mom feels seen, supported, and celebrated. In this discussion, we are joined by Rachel Brown, B.S. and LaTasha (Tasha) Reece, M.S., PMH-C, CPD, the co-founders of Postpartum Peace of Mind - a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that centers the experiences, health, education, and safety of postpartum Black, Brown and Indigenous women.

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“One of the biggest issues we see is a lack of understanding of what to expect during the postpartum experience. Social media, family members, and intergenerational messages say that mamas must be everything to everybody. And if you don't, that's a sign of weakness or judgment that you are doing something wrong. These messages are a big barrier to moms getting the help they need because the reality is, in postpartum, you need help, ” Tasha shares in our Mama Masterclass, Postpartum Peace of Mind.

Whether you're embarking on the adventure of a first-time mom or embracing the ever-evolving dynamics of a seasoned family leader, these essential principles will guide you on the path to maternal wellness. Let's embark on this journey together, embracing the strength, resilience, and unity to find Strength in Motherhood.

1. You're Not Alone – Seek Support

Moms, we want you to know you're not alone in this journey. Motherhood is a shared experience, and reaching out for support is a strength, not a weakness. Whether leaning on friends, family, or joining a supportive community, surround yourself with those who understand and uplift you.

Seeking support is a strength, not a weakness. It takes courage to express vulnerability and acknowledge that you may need assistance. Opening up about your experiences allows you to connect with others who may have faced similar situations, fostering empathy and understanding.

Please review our additional resources here for more information about getting additional Maternal Mental Health support.

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2. Self-Care is Non-Negotiable

Amidst the chaos of motherhood, don't forget to prioritize self-care. It's not selfish; it's a necessity. Take moments for yourself, whether it's a short walk or resting. Remember, a well-nurtured mom is better equipped to nurture her family. Here at FIT4MOM, we believe self-care is not selfish, it’s essential.

“One of the biggest hurdles we've heard from postpartum moms is accessibility to personal hygiene after labor. Our Peace Packs deliver needed items immediately after birth and in quantities that make sense. We include mesh underwear, witch hazel wipes, prenatal vitamins, aloe vera, a peri bottle, sanitary napkins, and an ice pack.

Hygiene is super important, and it's also a human right. We want to make sure that women have easy access to these things. Not only is hygiene vital, but it prevents infection. Making sure that critical areas are clean and disinfected while caring for yourself can prevent avoidable complications,” shares Rachel in our Mama Masterclass: Postpartum Peace of Mind.

3. Educate Yourself – Knowledge is Empowerment

Knowledge is a powerful tool on your motherhood journey. Educate yourself about the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and postpartum. Understanding motherhood's physical and emotional aspects empowers you to make informed decisions.

Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) refers to a range of severe health issues that can arise during the maternal period. These complications can affect various organ systems and may require intensive medical intervention. Some examples of conditions classified under severe maternal morbidity include:

  • Hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding during pregnancy, childbirth, or the postpartum period can lead to severe maternal morbidity.
  • Hypertensive disorders: Conditions such as preeclampsia and eclampsia, characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy, can pose significant risks to maternal health.
  • Severe infection: Infections that become severe and require extensive medical intervention can contribute to SMM.
  • Cardiomyopathy: A condition where the heart becomes weakened, impacting its ability to pump blood effectively, can occur during or after pregnancy.
  • Amniotic fluid embolism: A rare but severe condition where amniotic fluid or other debris enters the maternal bloodstream, leading to serious complications.
  • Organ failure: Severe complications that result in the failure of one or more organ systems, such as liver, kidney, or respiratory failure.

Monitoring and addressing severe maternal morbidity are crucial aspects of maternal healthcare - especially for Black and Brown women. Tasha shared with us, “Research is showing that Black and Brown women are dying of perinatal complications at a higher rate versus their counterparts. Women need to know what hypertensive disorders and perinatal complications look like postpartum.”

4. Advocate for Yourself – You Deserve the Best Care

Advocating for yourself in matters of maternal health is a powerful and essential aspect of navigating the journey of motherhood. Don't hesitate to voice your concerns, ask questions, and seek the care you deserve. Maternal health is a priority, and you deserve the best care possible.

Your concerns, whether they pertain to physical symptoms, emotional well-being, or any uncertainties you may have, are valid and deserve attention. Open communication with your healthcare providers ensures that potential issues are addressed promptly.

“Moms should receive personalized care. Every birthing experience is different, even for the same mom. So, if you've had one, two, or three babies or more, your birthing experience may differ each time,” shares Rachel.


5. Connect with Your Tribe – Build Community

Reach out to fellow moms for support. Share experiences, joys, and challenges. Building a supportive network can be a game-changer in navigating the rollercoaster of motherhood. We have the village for you! We are a community of moms who support every age and stage of motherhood. From pregnancy through postpartum and beyond, our villages and fitness and wellness programs help make moms strong in body, mind, and spirit.

If you need additional ideas to help combat the loneliness that occurs throughout motherhood, please check out our 7 Mental Health Exercises to Reduce Anxiety and Depression.

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