MICA Month 2023: Standing Up for Those Who Can’t

May, the month we celebrate mothers, launches our sixth annual MICA Month. Standing Up for Those Who Can’t is our theme to advocate and to educate globally regarding maternal nerve injury from childbirth. MICA, run by a team of dedicated volunteers, has achieved a great deal since our launch in 2018. We are very proud of the many resources we have developed that are now available to any mom globally suffering from a nerve injury. Our advocacy focus in 2023 is a message of HOPE. HOPE for moms planning for a baby after nerve injury, as well as HOPE for moms in recovery both short and long term, as we discuss physical therapy as a necessary tool for recovery. BE JOYFUL IN HOPE, PATIENT IN AFFLICTION, FAITHFUL IN PRAYER. Romans 12:12.

Social Media: MICA has continued to develop its presence on social media. The MICA Month Facebook page has approximately 800 followers and the Facebook support group Moms with Femoral, Peroneal, Sciatic Nerve Damage from Labor and Delivery has tripled in size with close to 2200 members and has a dramatic spike in membership during MICA Month. We are also active on Instagram @micamonth with 140 followers. Our social media presence during MICA Month is vibrant with 100’s of advocates sharing posts globally with their communities including their favorite parenting Facebook groups.

Website: The website www.nervedamagefromchildbirth.com receives 11,000 views annually and is an invaluable resource we share with every new member to the Facebook support group. In 2020 the Zazzle store opened with a variety of advocacy t-shirts, momma bling and baby attire. Exclusive for 2023 we have some new t-shirt designs. All Zazzle Store proceeds go towards supporting the website so please head to the store and purchase your 2023 advocacy t-shirt today!

Medical Team: Our talented medical team has made major strides in raising awareness for nerve injury and developing protocols for the prevention of future injuries. In 2020 the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) published two articles written by our team: Lower Extremity Nerve Injury in Childbirth: AWHONN Practice Brief Number 11 and Integrative Review of Lower Extremity Nerve Injury During Vaginal Birth. The medical team’s most recent publication titled Birth, Postpartum and Home Experiences of Individuals with Lower Extremity Nerve Injury was published in Nursing for Women’s Health in June of 2022. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses ( AWHONN) has endorsed the new protocols for prevention of nerve injury and the medical team continues to share these at national medical conferences in the United States. 

Partnerships: Allard USA, a manufacturer of orthotic and prosthetic devices will collaborate with us again in 2023 to share the MICA message. Please follow Allard on Facebook and Instagram @allardusa and look for their MICA posts and stories featuring our moms. The Get Back Up Today Movement, National Foot Drop Awareness Day, and Unhindered Steps are ongoing alliances. Unhindered Steps founders Omar Farooq and Samia Sami, MBA, MHA along with Cheryl Parker, DNP,CRNA,RNC-OB co-authored a letter to the editor titled Lower Extremity Nerve Damage During Childbirth: Patient Resources in the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter in June of 2022.

A huge thank you to the MICA Team who gives so selflessly of their time to help so many moms to navigate through nerve injury recovery. Our volunteer team members include: Molly Carey (Facebook group support, writer), Omar Farooq (Co-Founder of Unhindered Steps, writer), Emily Kleine (Graphic Design), Jodi Manny (Facebook group support, writer), Reagan Smutny ( website creator, Facebook group support, Social Media: NDFC on Instagram and LinkedIn.), Samia Sami ( Co-Founder of Unhindered Steps, Facebook group support and writer), and Paula Wroble ( Founder of the Facebook support group). Medical Team volunteers: Cheryl Parker, DNP, Martha Sleutel, PhD,RN, CNS,C-EFM and Jennifer Webb, RN, BSN and CCRN.

Please join us in celebrating our sixth year of  advocacy for MICA Month 2023 by following us on our Facebook page MICA- Maternal Nerve Injury from Childbirth Awareness Month and on Instagram @micamonth where we will be posting weekly advocacy tips for you to share the MICA Message with your community as we continue to be providing HOPE and Standing Up for Those Who Can’t.

About the Author: Martha Valentine Tutrani is a proud grandmother of two, including a precious Nib (nerve injury baby) and a Pleni (protected lower extremity 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 believes 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 maternalnerveinjury@gmail.com.

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