PHOENIX — The month of March is usually all hands on deck for the non-profit March of Dimes. The advocacy group this year was preparing for their 50th Anniversary March for Babies walk in downtown Phoenix.
With COVID 19, all of those efforts came to screeching halt, forcing the agency to refocus on helping pregnant moms prepare for a delivering during a pandemic.
“The cause is now more important than ever when we see moms and women who are going through the birth experience and how much support they need right now,“ said Breann Westmore, director of Women's Health for March of Dimes.
March of Dimes put together a "birthing plan worksheet" to help women prepare for the extraordinary situation they may find themselves in while in a hospital.
“Can I use virtual technology during my labor? Can I Skype or Zoom? Having those conversations because some hospitals don’t have that capacity,“ added Westmore.
One other point of pride for March of Dimes is their team approach with the University of Arizona's mobile health unit, which reaches rural Arizona’s pregnant women.
“We coordinated with our partner Bashas' to deliver over 200 boxes of diapers, wipes and breast-feeding materials. These are many of the items they may see completely wiped out if they are preparing for their delivery, and that can be stressful,“ Westmore said.
But probably most important is the psychological and mental health support that these soon-to-be moms are getting through nurses at hospitals, which is proving once again to be a true hero at this time of great need.
"Not only do they support them physically but the mental aspect of this mom is grieving a birth birth plan that she didn’t get," adds Westmore.
If you would like help or access resources, go to www.marchofdimes.org