D.C. March for Moms Reflections with Board Member Alice Turner

Lamaze and MfM 2018.jpgThis past weekend was the second annual March for Moms event in Washington D.C. and in satellite marches all around the United States. Wow, what a weekend!  My social media feeds were jumping with quotes, live feeds, first-person accounts and lots of pictures from those in attendance.  Lamaze International was one of the sponsors and it was great to see our organization's name up there on the huge center stage.  I was proud of the role that my certifying body has taken in standing with other leaders in maternal-infant health to improve outcomes for families and supporting this event.

 

March for Moms continues with their campaign by meeting with Congresspeople on Tuesday in the Washington D.C.  They have declared this week the first-ever Maternal Health Week and teams of people are prepared to represent parents and babies to the people who allocate funds and are charged with protecting the most vulnerable.

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I caught up with Lamaze International Board Member Alice Turner after she participated in the March for Moms event on the Mall in D.C. on behalf of Lamaze this past Sunday.  Alice attended with her mother Linda Gilbreath age 68, and her two daughters, Lily, 16, and Cecile, 14.

"I was thrilled to see the Lamaze name on the giant banners next to the stage!  Everyone on the board was in full agreement to sponsor the event and I think we should continue our support in the years to come.  I loved that there was a big turn out from staff, several board members, past board members, program trainers and LCCEs.  It was a great group!
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I brought my mom and my two daughters and was proudly carrying my sign saying "3 generations marching for maternal health".  My mom was going there to support me and because she believes in the cause, but she was shocked to hear the statistics and the real-life stories from the speakers.  She kept saying "I had no idea. I just had no idea."  My daughters hear about childbirth a lot having me as a mom, but they also were greatly affected by the speakers. The first-hand stories from those who lost their daughters and wives were especially powerful.  They both left with a feeling that they need to take healthcare into their own hands and be advocates for themselves.  
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What was it like to be there...I can't quite put it into words.  It was emotional, powerful, moving...  I almost felt like time was standing still and I would remember that day for my entire life. I was surrounded by people who care as deeply as I do about maternal health.  These people were doing something!  These people were showing up.  These people were being BOLD action takers.  
I am SO glad that we made the trip and I plan to attend every March for Moms event that I can into the foreseeable future."

 

There were lots of representatives on behalf of Lamaze, including staff and organizational leaders. I am so appreciative of everyone's time to turn out and stand with others to help improve outcomes for parents and their infants.

For more info about the advocacy work that March for Moms is doing, check out this resource.  The MfM Advocacy toolkit is available here. Did you attend the March for Moms in Washington D.C. or in your community?  What was your experience like?

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