Starting today, new mothers with babies up to six months old have begun a new programme designed to offer them holistic support they may need as they adjust to parenthood. The six-week programme, Emerged, is the brainchild of Kristen Scott Ndiaye.
“When COVID-19 hit the island and the world, pregnant women were among the most vulnerable — there has been an incredible interest from women for both the education and the easy online format. As we go into a second wave, women are still dealing with the effects of stressful pregnancies, birth trauma, pre- and postpartum isolation from the first,” says Ms Scott Ndiaye. “Just like everything else, we have to adapt to be able to offer more and better support. This is not a group about depression, it is a platform for all new mothers to emerge confident in the new woman that was born with their child – pandemic or not.”
Six local practitioners have teamed up to offer Emerged which will run for six weeks.
The practitioners involved are:
Genee Lister, Registered Nurse Midwife and Doula
Michelle Monk, RPT and Pelvic Floor Specialist
Dorothy Bradshaw, MPH and Child and Infant Sleep Consultant
Tina Laws, Relationship Specialist
Angela Hovi, Postpartum Personal Trainer and Nutritionist
Calvina Simons, Newborn Care Specialist
Over the course, participants will access expert-led support circles. Emerged pairs traditional peer-to-peer and group talk therapy with access to practitioners who are vital to healing — a doula and registered nurse midwife, newborn care specialist, sleep consultant, physiotherapist, relationship specialist and postpartum nutritionist and personal trainer, all locally based, but historically difficult to access due to time, money, or psychological restraints.
The programme creates a safe space to discuss intimate topics such as mental health, family sleep, normal vaginal and pelvic floor states, sex, pain and relationships, body image, movement, and nutrition.
“My main reason for being involved is to spread the knowledge and education to women regarding their physical body and recovery postpartum,” said Michelle Monk, a registered physiotherapist leading the circle on sex, pain, and physical activity. “The pelvic floor, particularly, is an under talked about area and the more a woman knows about her body, the more she will understand what she is feeling and know when to reach out for support.”
“It is critical to early childhood development,” said sleep consultant Dorothy Bradshaw. “It impacts children on a physical, cognitive and mental level. A poor sleeping child can negatively impact parental well-being, bringing on anxiety and even postpartum depression. I want to change the misconception that sleep is something you have to give up when you become a parent.”
The investment is $300 and includes a journal, a postpartum breakfast from a local lactation bakery and an artisanal tea blend from Loquat Roots. Proceeds from each registration go toward a woman who is unable to otherwise afford this type of support.
For more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristen Scott Ndiaye is a social entrepreneur and alumnus of Ignite business accelerator (cohort 2).