By: Martha Valentine Tutrani
Welcome to MICA 2020, year three of Maternal Nerve Injury from Childbirth Awareness Month. Our theme is Standing Up for Those Who Can’t. While we have been united in dealing with MICA as a global community, we are additionally united in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. I have great confidence, that with the perseverance and tenacity I have seen our MICA moms utilize to deal with nerve injury, they will use that same focus to cope with Covid-19. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
We are very excited to announce the launch of our rebranded and redesigned website Nerve Damage from Childbirth and the opening of our Zazzle Store that has a variety of advocacy t-shirts available for MICA Month. The website designed and managed by nerve injury advocate Reagan Smutny is an incredible resource for women, and their families, who have sustained nerve damage from labor and delivery. To shop for your MICA tee or some fun mama swag simply click on the “store” section above or go directly to the Zazzle Store.
The MICA Team received an answered prayer in 2019 with the addition of Jennifer Gibson Webb RN, as we have been in search of a medical team member. Jennifer suffered femoral nerve damage in 2018 and felt called to educate the medical community regarding maternal nerve injury. Jennifer presented MICA at a medical conference at Texas Health, Arlington, Texas in September, 2019 and has been accepted into two national medical conferences in 2020, the American College of Nurse – Midwives (ACNM) and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses ( AWHONN.) Additionally, Jennifer and her colleague Barbara True RN, have developed a research survey, the first research into maternal nerve injury, to go out to the nerve injury moms in the near future.
The MICA team continues to provide support to the nerve injury moms through daily monitoring of the Facebook group, Moms with Femoral/Peroneal/Sciatic Nerve Damage from Labor and Delivery. The group continues to grow by approximately 35 new adds a month and has close to 1600 members from 38 different countries. Maternal Mental Health continues to be an area of focus in our online group as we recognize that nerve injury is birth trauma, and the emotional healing can frequently be as difficult as the physical healing. MICA’s social media presence has continued to expand with the MICA Facebook page having close to 500 followers with additional outreach on Instagram and Twitter @micamonth.
We have continued to develop our partnerships including Unhindered Steps, Allison’s Reach Kite Festival (a maternal mental health awareness event), Greater Richmond Maternal Mental Health Coalition and National Foot Drop Awareness Day.
This month we will be posting a weekly educational series on What Maternal Nerve Injury Is; How to Prevent it; What to Do if You Are Injured; MICA in Action-Advocacy and Education; and Healing and Moving Forward. So please be sure to follow us on social media and share this valuable information as we continue to raise awareness for maternal nerve injury from childbirth.
Finally, a huge thank you to my MICA Team: Molly Carey, Jodi Manny and Samia Sami who provide support to our moms in the Facebook support group daily. Thank you to Paula Drage Wroble who founded the original online support group with eight members. Additional thanks to our gifted communications expert Reagan Smutny and finally our newest member Jennifer Gibson Webb, RN. The extraordinary combination of talents from this team have helped so many moms in their journey through recovery from maternal nerve injury from childbirth and truly embody the spirit of the MICA 2020 campaign, Standing Up for Those Who Can’t. “The Lord has promised us good things.” Numbers 10:29.
About the Author: Martha Valentine Tutrani is a proud grandmother of two, including a precious Nib (nerve injury baby.) Her daughter Molly suffered nerve injury from labor and delivery in 2016. The tremendous challenges the family faced while pursuing diagnosis and treatment for Molly inspired her family to start the first MICA Month in 2018. Martha holds an M.Ed. in Dance Education and feels that her background as a classical ballet and Pilates instructor, as well as leadership roles in arts administration, equipped her perfectly for her new role as MICA advocate. She can be reached at email@example.com.