A Note From The President | Healing

May is a month when we honor some of the most amazing people, mothers, nurses, and teachers.  Some of us fit into all three groups.  While others of us fit into one or two.  Regardless, moms, nurses, teachers; the people who are some of the most caring and empathetic humans out there.

The first Sunday of May is International Bereaved Mother’s Day.  A lot of people have probably never heard of this event but it’s so important for those who have lost children whether through early miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other death.  Started in Australia by Carly Marie Dudley, this day has been embraced worldwide.  People often question if they should bring up loss for fear of bringing emotions to the surface, reminding a family of their loss.  But what needs to be recognized is that they haven’t forgotten; it’s with them all the time.  By bringing it up and asking about it you are showing empathy and compassion.  Take that moment of courage and ask someone about their loss- what was the name?  What were the hopes and dreams? How have they honored the loss?  Even when it’s hard to answer or hear, it’s important for healing.

Although a “Hallmark” Holiday, the second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.  The day to honor our mom for all she has done and given in that role.  This day can be hard on some and for that, it may need to be approached with caution in some situations but we also don’t want to take the day away from those who really enjoy it.  I personally go back and forth on it but ultimately, I like having a day when my sisters and I get together with my mom.  We will bring each other small gifts and have fun.  The last two years have been hard after losing my son at age 16.  But I remind myself to be grateful to the years I had him in my life and to remember that I am still a mom to my two adult children.  Like life in general, there are ups and downs to such celebrations.

Nurses!  What can I say about nurses?  They are wonderful human beings.  Day after day they treat people who may be at their worst with dignity and care.  People frequently say, “You work in maternity?!  That’s the best!  You get to see all the cute babies!”  Yes, this is all true but we all know that it’s not all glamour.  There are very difficult situations that we navigate and there is still tedium in the job.  That along with working holidays, long hours, and staffing shortages.  Although not an RN myself, I walk along beside the nurses in my hospital in my role as Lactation Manager.  I love the nurses I work with and thank all of you for your dedication and hard work.

I added teachers in here.  Technically the celebration is for traditional teachers but an educator is an educator.  Those of us who teach expecting and postpartum patients/clients whether in the role of a childbirth educator, doula, or lactation consultant are so important.  The more we educate and support families the better the more impact we have on healthcare and parenting.  The ripple effect is real and there will be long term results from the brief time you work with these families.

As always, I remind you that the Board of Directors at ICEA continues to work hard to provide you with the resources and skills to help you with your profession.  We are dedicated to our organization.

Elizabeth Kirts, MPH, ICCE, IBCLC, RLC     

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