Going away to college for the first time is an exciting venture which, for many, marks the beginning of a new chapter of their lives. While thrilling, it can also be a bit overwhelming to ‘move away’ and truly be on your own for what may be the first time.
If you are or have ever been a Birthright client or volunteer, you are likely familiar with the term “layette”, a mid-nineteenth century word commonly used in the United States to refer to a collection of clothing and accessories for a newborn child.
For a Birthright client, a layette (also referred to by us as a “baby care package” or “baby shower in a bag”) is a show of encouragement on behalf of the Birthright team to offer affirmation and support as she nears the end of her pregnancy.
The first week in August marks World Breastfeeding Week, hailed by thousands who use this specially designated time to promote and celebrate the wonder that is a woman’s ability to provide nurture and nutrients to her child straight from her own body.
To be able to breastfeed our children is a remarkable gift that is unique to us as women and certainly worthy of honoring and having a dialogue about on an international scale.
In light of this, though, we recognize that there are some who may feel put off or isolated by this, such as mothers who wished and planned to breastfeed but had those plans derailed by factors outside of their control or women who, for whatever reason, decided not to breastfeed at all.
I believe there is a place for all of these stories and viewpoints at the collective table of motherhood. As a mother who chose both, I wanted to share my story.
So, you think you might be pregnant, but you’re not entirely sure. Whether you’re just feeling “off” or you have already missed an expected period, there are both physical and emotional signs that can indicate pregnancy early on. The most common indicators of pregnancy as listed by the American Pregnancy Association (APA) include:
Life is full of changes. From the very moment we come into existence, we are thrown into a forward motion of continual development and change. While some people seek change and are riveted by it, others find that dealing with transition can induce great amounts of stress.
A few months ago I found myself sitting in the movie theater wowed by the flash of color and fantastical musical numbers dancing across the screen before my eyes as I watched 2017’s The Greatest Showman for the first time. It wasn’t until my second (and third and fourth) viewings of the film, though, that I was struck by the tremendous lessons its plotline could lend to all of us, regardless of where we are at in our lives or what we are facing.
So, Grammy-worthy soundtrack aside, here are 5 lessons we can learn from The Greatest Showman:
At Birthright of St. Charles, we support our clients in a number of ways from providing free, medically approved pregnancy testing to assisting with the many practical needs that come along with pregnancy. One such service which we are blessed to offer is a form of home-based support, also known as Field Service.
Field Service provides our clients with the unique opportunity to experience ongoing support within the comfort of their own homes or a public location convenient to them.
At Birthright of St. Charles, one of our top priorities in the care that we provide is ensuring the confidentiality of our clients. One common definition of confidential is “having another’s trust”.
To the staff and volunteer staff of Birthright, nothing could be more important than providing our clients with care that makes them feel validated, comfortable, and trusting of our ability and willingness to help and care for them while keeping their confidence and privacy safe.
Content contribution from Terry Blanton, LCSW
A Personal Journey
I’ll never forget the day I took my first newborn son home from the hospital. There was a flurry of fear mixed in with joy as I changed him into his ‘going home’ outfit and strapped him safely into his pumpkin seat, all while my discharge nurse echoed off directives for our first night away from the care of the hospital. I felt a strange pit form in my stomach as she left me with the final statement “Now, you’ll be emotional. You’ll probably shed some tears- but if you find yourself not wanting to get out of bed, that’s when you know something is wrong.”
There are often several factors that come into play when deciding how to gift one’s time through volunteer work. For many, it’s sharing a passion for the mission of a particular organization or finding that perfect opportunity to utilize a specific skill set. Whatever the reason for volunteering, there is no doubt that doing so can have a significantly positive impact both for the organization being served and the individual serving.