This is a guest blog post from Ashley Ingram. Ashley is a supervisor with NurturePA and has been volunteering with us for almost three years. She is a mom to two fantastic girls, wife to a math-loving husband, loves to read (she jokes that she could probably get an hour more of sleep every night if she didn’t read so much in bed), and loves to run and hike. One of her proudest achievements is that her oldest daughter wanted to go to the library on her first day of summer vacation one year.
Picture it. Sicily. 1931. A young girl…
Wait, that’s Sophia from The Golden Girls. Trying again.
Picture it. Anywhere in the world. Anytime but now. A woman has a baby. She stays in the hospital. She is supported by nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, a partner, family members, social workers, etc. The list goes on and on. Then she goes home after the hospital. While at home, she has family, neighbors, and friends to bring her food, clean her house, hold her baby so she can sleep, talk with her, hug her, sit next to her, hear her concerns, wipe away her tears, assist with breastfeeding, give the baby a bottle, play with older children, and just BE there.
To listen to her.
Now let’s think of another scenario:
Picture it. Anywhere in the world. Now. The time of COVID-19. The time of social distancing. The time of masks. A woman has a baby. She stays in the hospital for as short a time as possible. She briefly sees a nurse, doctor, lactation consultant. And then is discharged to go home. While at home, she has no extra support person to come over to hold the baby and to keep the mom company. There’s no extra support person to make her food, to play with her older children, to show her breastfeeding tricks, to show her how to hold the baby while giving a bottle, to burp the baby. There’s no one there to sit next to her while she laughs, cries, and talks. She feels isolated and might be struggling.
We can’t come over to help. But you know what we can do? We can reach out. We can call. We can do a video chat. We can text (NurturePA!). We can still be there. We can have food delivered. We can go grocery shopping and leave it on her front porch (including a short-supply, much-needed box of tissues!). We can still be there.
To listen to her.
So to all the mamas out there who have recently had babies, we’re here. We’re listening. We’re thinking about you. Just hang in there. You got this.
Are you a new mom or expecting a new mom? We’ll bring the village to you through our free, confidential text-message based mentoring program for new moms. Request a mentor here.