How to Help Pregnant People Affected by the Invasion of Ukraine

by Elizabeth Kirts, MPH, ICCE, IBCLC, RLC on behalf of the entire Board of Directors for ICEA

Over the last several weeks, all of us on the Board of Directors for ICEA have been impacted by the news coming from the Ukraine. We feel sad, helpless, mortified, and uncertain how to help. The mere thought of pregnant and postpartum women fleeing and being separated from family and support systems is incompressible. The pictures of destruction from the hospital in Mariupol only evoke more of the same. So many of us want to help and feel helpless. Thank you to Debra Pascali-Bonaro for sending along the following information with a list of birth groups and ways to donate.

It’s hard to imagine how our world has fallen so far from the love and care we are each born with. The birth community around the world shares a dedication and passion for safe, respectful, loving, equitable care for all. I hear the words of Jeannine Parvati “Peace on Earth Begins with Birth” and take our role as birthkeepers to heart as we each work to ensure every new life is welcomed into the world with safety, love, and peace as the way to create a more loving peaceful world. Even before they are ready our birth community responds and offers their care, often without resources and supplies as we know the difference our heart and skilled hands make in bringing peace and safety, especially to those leaving their home and fleeing for safety with their children The doulas, midwives, physicians, nurses and other birth keepers in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania and more, came together quickly and are working hard to provide the needed care to the many Ukrainian MotherBaby-Families who are giving birth, postpartum and parenting in the midst of this tragic war and crisis. Together with the help of many birth keepers, we’ve compiled a list of the birth groups and ways you can donate, send supplies and hold both the MotherBaby-Families and those providing care in your heart and prayers for safety, strength, and with love. We will continue to surround them with love and support in these challenging times. Please let me know if you have additional resources. Our document is a living doc, and we will update as more information comes in. Thank you to Margo Sikora Borecka (Gosia Borecka), Réka Dézsi, Svetlana Demyanova-Ponomarenko, Monika Stueller, Maria Šnajder, Monika Janu and Monika Jarzewicz for all the care you are providing and for your helping to gather the resources and ways we can support you and all those providing needed care. We are holding all Mother-babies, Families and birthing people facing challenges and feeling unsafe in our hearts. We are blessed to be a part of a global birth community of care. This time is calling us all to come together to heal intergenerational trauma. To speak up as we each make a difference and stand together as birth-keepers/providers to ensure safe, respectful, compassionate care for all. Sending you love, Debra

Please keep these mothers, babies, families; humans in your heart and prayers (if you are a prayerful person). Let us all hope for quick and peaceful resolution along with the resources to rebuild.

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