Tip for Mams: Ask for Help When You Need it! with Amy Lacopi, MPH

I first found myself thrown into the role of caregiver in my first pregnancy when my water broke at 33 weeks. My daughter was in the NICU for about 2 weeks and I never left her side. Taking care of myself AND my newborn (and learning to breastfeed!) was extremely challenging and exhausting. We could have easily used a professional advocate then to help us better understand all of the medical tests, specialists we were referred to and why, as well as to offer us additional emotional support during the stress of it all.

My advice to Mamas – ASK FOR HELP! Whether it’s a professional patient advocate, postpartum doula, lactation consultant, your doctor, therapist, neighbor, or best friend – there are always people willing to help but they often don’t know what to do. If someone offers assistance, don’t be afraid to give them specific guidelines; for example, “Thank you for your offer to help our family. We would absolutely love a plate of lasagna if you could leave it on our doorstep tomorrow night.”

I started Iacopi Health Research after my mother was diagnosed with an unusual subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The oncologists did a wonderful job taking care of my mother, but I noticed something missing: there was no one dedicated to addressing my mother’s-or both my parents’-needs and concerns beyond the medical aspects of the cancer.

As a patient advocate and ally, I support you and your family logistically and emotionally by acting as your medical research assistant. I will be your facilitator of communication with clinicians and family members, your referral specialist, hand holder, note taker, and so much more.

Jane Austin Yogi IconJane Austin is an internationally recognized Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher and Teacher trainer empowering women and pregnant people to trust their bodies as they transition into parenthood and beyond.

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