As I looked around the room, the Garden Hall, at Maymont on that afternoon of October 18, I saw a piece of what I had hoped to see in those early days of envisioning the work of Richmond’s Maternity Resource Center. Back in late 2011 when a few of us met at Lamplighter Coffee, with our lattes and our hopes for a more mother and baby friendly
city, we envisioned an organization that would not only work with mothers and families to find their way down the sometimes winding path to becoming a parent, but also with the professionals that care for those same families. What I saw before me that Friday indicated that we are on our way.
As a social worker and a mother who found my way to maternal and child health work through both professional and personal avenues, I have come to believe in the power of the collective to create change. And by the collective, I mean everyone, from the families struggling to make ends meet financially, to the most influential obstetric practices. It is the desire of these and all those in between to want “their families” to be healthy and well.
So to have together in one room, obstetricians and midwives, nurses and doulas, social workers and counselors, nonprofit leaders and bereaved parents, discussing an issue that was an identified need in our community (perinatal loss support), felt like the collective vision of Nurture was coming to fruition. We learned about attachment and loss, spoke about what to say when you don’t know what to say, and were moved by powerful stories of love and grief. In that room, it didn’t matter what hat we wore – we were humans who care for our community enough to spend a day exploring this difficult issue together. And in that, I like to believe, we are helping our community to change for the better.
Please consider continuing to support Nurture in our vision to help Richmond to move, learn, connect, and inspire around issues that affect our childbearing families. Like and share our Facebook page, e-mail and tell your friends about our work and the work we plan to do, come to an event, and/or donate to our 100 X 100 campaign.
We can’t do it without you.
Tracey Spahr Wingold, LCSW, is chair of Nurture’s Program Committee. Her career focus has been maternal and child health and mental health, having worked with Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care, home visiting programs, and as a pregnancy and postpartum therapist. She has a passion for working with issues of women’s mental health during their childbearing years.