The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on pregnant women and mothers was exacerbated in our rural area as childbirth education classes, community support groups, and classes at the Well were placed on hold, canceled, or shifted to a virtual space. New mothers were faced with difficult decisions regarding their birth experience due to covid policies and procedures. Many new mothers were left isolated in pregnancy and early postpartum due to quarantine efforts.
New Ulm moms, and especially the Well, was so lucky to have a unique partnership this summer with the OTD program of University of Mary, ND. Our Doctoral Occupational Therapy student, Jessica Carvatt, conducted her Capstone project with Healing Routines LLC under mentorship of Kinzie Eckstein, OTR/L. She created a Life Skills & Wellness Program for pregnant women and mothers. The program was wildly successful, offered free of charge, and included topics like: Prioritizing Selfcare, Aligning Daily Tasks with Values, Pelvic Floor Health, Supporting the Body (ergonomics for motherhood), Home Management, and Stress Management Techniques.
Throughout this program we collaborated and gained feedback and support from area OBs, nurses, OTs/PTs, and Brown County Public Health nurses. We plan to collaborate more with local resources to gain referrals to the program, invite guest speakers, and offer the program for free to eliminate any financial barriers to participation for all pregnant women and mothers in the area.
Here are some testimonials from the program:
“I am grateful for the Mindful Mamas group that was started at the Well! This group fills a void in our community where mamas can gather, learn, and share. The topics discussed were important and on the forefront of most mamas’ minds! There were tips/take home pointers that have positively impacted my routine and outlook! Mom-ing is tough and it is awesome to be surround by other moms and know you’re not alone! Come for the topics, stay for the community!”
-Leah Fischer of Sleepy Eye
“Having a baby in the winter during Covid was so isolating. Mindful Mamas has been amazing to help me get out, learn something new, celebrate the highs, and work through the lows with other moms. This group of women, at all different places in their motherhood journey, has been so inspiring and helpful as I work towards raising a tiny human and caring for myself in the process.”
-Jenna Schauer of New Ulm.