Maternl© What we do | Who we are
Maternl©, a division of Hygeia Health Systems LLC1, provides unique content and developed specifically to offer opportunities and advantages to improve gaps and disparities in prenatal health care for women and their families, world-wide.

Maternl© addresses access to maternal and child healthcare and is particularly focused on disparities to early entry into prenatal healthcare services, in an effort to reduce associated prematurity, neonatal and infant mortality. Maternl© offers assistance to access maternal and child healthcare services and resources. Maternl© comforts and supports all pregnancy and newborn related concerns, particularly should one have a complicated pregnancy that might result in a miscarriage, very pregnancy loss, stillbirth or neonatal death. Maternl offers a rich resource of personal writings, thoughts and poetry inclusive of maternal poems, birth poems and poem of loss. Unique to Maternl© is the opportunity to re-dedicate an original poem to honor a child (or for someone else's child ) and download a personalized, signed poem. One may select a poem written and rededicated for the loss of a pregnancy or newborn or a poem for other occasions to honor, eulogize or celebrate occasions that might be appropriate for the user or for their friends, family or colleagues. This is a complementary service of Maternl©but contributions can be made through GoFundMe to help sustain the mission of Maternl©. Maternl© strives to improve maternal and fetal health, experiences and outcomes, in a milieu of empathy, compassion, advocacy and trust by addressing gaps, disparities and unmet needs in care by promoting the universal adoption of one standard of maternal care for all.

Maternl© is founded on the premise that the use of new technologies that advance science and innovation in maternal and child healthcare can also address age-old human values and lessons necessary for healing and well-being. The programs of Maternl© provide a platform to inform, educate and comfort a pregnancy while embracing language, communication and the vital tenets of 'humanism' to offer unique resources to improve the dimension of caring for all mothers. Maternl© provides original content and applications, authored, designed and monitored by the founder, an Obstetrician with a career-long committment to and practice in obstetrics, maternal and women's health and contributions from the Maternl© advisory board, selected for their life's work, expertise and values inherent in our mission.

1 Hygeia Health Systems, LLC, symbolic of the Greek mythological goddess of health and healing for which it is named, represents a concern for the human dimension of healthcare and medicine, the use of new technologies to share age-old lessons, the development of software programs to improve quality, safety, empathy, compassion and physician-patient engagement and a concern to address disparities in access to and outcomes of care, domestically and internationally.

Our Mission
To Address the care of pregnant patients-indeed all patients- with empathy, trust, and social justice by addressing disparities and unmet needs in care for vulnerable and underserved families and communities including the:

  • need for universal adoption of one standard of care
  • disparities and barriers to access to maternal (pre-natal) healthcare services
  • disparities in the quality of provider-patient relationships through a compelling need for omnipresent, patient-centered, humanistic care
  • access to resources for pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death: imperative and essential bereavement care for healing and well-being for all parents who have experienced such losses
  • to use the power of language to heal. The impact of words and thoughts at difficult times are universal. We are a society of communicators. Through our speech and literature we portray ourselves, just as paint applied to canvas forms a portrait. We should not underestimate the influence of our words, for they are empowering. In a moment they can help; in less time they can hurt. They can bring peace, and they can create turmoil. A few simple words in an appropriate situation can have inordinate influence. (Berman, M)

Why Maternl©
"The physicians of the Hippocratic era called medicine 'The Art'. They knew that the care of their fellows was an act of creativity. They also recognized that each patient and his or her physician form a bond that is unique unto itself. That bond is the foundation upon which healing takes place." 1

Moses Maimonides, "the most important Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages" wrote "The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures... my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children...may I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain" 2

Both citations above speak of patients as "fellows" and "human[sic] creatures and children...". This must commit us who have taken the "Oath" to practice our sacred profession of medicine with an imperative to respect the sanctity of life and health for all those we treat-with a sense of high privilege- for they are the flesh and blood and souls of all humanity - past, present and future-and we, by our choice, their guardians.

There is no place for bias or prejudice or disparate care in our healthcare systems. I have tried in my half-century of caring for patients to follow this philosophy. Now, no longer in clinical practice, I have turned my passion and energies to creating this platform, Maternl©.

A brief personal thought
"I am first a physician, a distant disciple of Aesculapius and Hippocrates3; a clinician, a teacher, and a student. I am an Obstetrician. I stand before my patients4 and facilitate their births. I share their joys; I feel their pains. Yet, caring for the well-being and the illnesses of patients and their families is to accept that medical science in all its depth and possibilities is not precise and that the human mind and flesh are perishable. We are today steeped in myriad medical technologies that in themselves bring hope to previously hopeless conditions and pathologies. Yet there remains inexorable suffering which accompanies failures and tribulations not only of these new medical technologies but of pervasive disparities which exist to deny access to and recipient of one standard of care for all, disparities defined by the social determinants of health:5 the paradox of our societies to both cure and cause pain which is real and evident.

I believe that we as practitioners and guardians of humanity's health, have been granted by oath and by ethic the privilege to examine and treat, to counsel and advise our fellow human beings and we must never abandon the souls of all patients seeking our care. It is my hope that Maternl© will propagate and preserve these tenets. "

Going forward (l)

Today are times of much despair
Yet times of great hope
To affirm our oath
As unfiltered reason and purpose
Rush in our blood
Every pulse a wave
Approaching distant shores
To leave our prejudice behind
To fade into vapors
As common as fog
And guide us to plant
Roots to bond our humanhood and
Vines to grow our brotherhood
As we go forth into tomorrow.

Michael R Berman, MD, MBI, FACOG
Founder, Maternl©


1 Sherwin Nuland, MD. From Preface, Parenthood Lost. Berman, 2001.
2 Excerpted from Dalhousie University Libraries:
3In Greek mythology, "Aesculapius, son of Apollo, the god of healing, was a famous physician. Hippocrates, was a member of the Asclepiadae- priest physicians whose origins may be traced to the mythical personage, Aesculapius"
4Obstare from the Latin meaning "To Stand before"; the root word of Obstetrics
5 "The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries."
6 A poem defined by our times, September, 2020.

We believe in the values of social justice

Inherent in what defines the best practice of prenatal care is an unfaltering responsibility of the healthcare provider and an unconditional trust of the provider by the patient. Together these bond the chasm between vulnerable patients and the knowledge and experience of the physician / provider; a synergy of the need for care and the privilege of caring. This paradigm of healthcare equity must apply to all mothers seeking pre-natal care ( albeit to all those seeking healthcare ) to effectively reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality and address equally pervasive disparities which exist to deny access to one standard of maternal care for all, disparities defined by the social determinants of health.

The Maternl leadership and professional advisory team

The MaternlŠ leadership and professional advisory team is comprised, international, experienced professionals from the disciplines of health sciences, specifically obstetrics, 'mother-baby' nursing, patient safety, mid-wifery, ethics, medical education (faculty, medical students, House Staff) and health informatics. All are committed to the mission and "ethos" of MaternlŠ

Team members  →

Michael R. Berman, MD, MBI, FACOG
Founder, President and CEO
A division of Hygeia Health Systems, LLC
P.O Box 3674
Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525

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