About the programs 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 abet 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 monitor the progress of the user's pregnancy through its Personal Prenatal Health Record 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 a Maternl© advisory board selected for their life's work, expertise and values inherent in our mission.

Mission of Maternl©

To Address pregnancy care and well-being 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 maternal care
  • need for immediate and continuous access to personal prenatal health record information
  • 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
  • availability of a moderated, public space and a private and personal space to reflect and share thoughts, feelings and questions during pregnancy and beyond

Personal Statement of the Founder
I am first a physician, a distant disciple of Aesculapius and Hippocrates1; a clinician, a teacher, and a student. I am an Obstetrician. I stand before my patients2 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 one standard of maternal care for all, disparities defined by the social determinants of health : 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.

Copyright @2020 Michael R Berman, MD, All rights reserved

Maternl©, a division of Hygeia Health Systems LLC, provides unique software programs 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© provides important tools to monitor each pregnancy's progress, better understand the providers' care, and 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 miscarriage or very complicated pregnancy that might end with a pregnancy loss, stillbirth or neonatal death. Unique to Maternl© is the opportunity to re-dedicate an original poem to honor their child (or for someone else's child ) and download this 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 occassions that might be appropriate for the user or for their friends, family or colleagues. This is a free service of Maternl© but contributions can be made through GoFundMe to help sustain the mission of Maternl©.

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. ________________________________________

Your Programs
When you join Maternl© you generate a personal homepage and Maternl© dashboard which includes today( more tools and applications to be continuously added):

A personal portal for education, information and tools to track your pregnancy

A personal pregnancy health record (PPHR)

The Maternl© Personal Prenatal Health record (PPHR) is a portable, secure and interactive electronic personal health record, to be used by any pregnant woman but designed specifically for pregnant women in underserved, urban and rural communities, nationally and internationally.

This program provides a place to document, store and retrieve:
  • Current pregnancy information

  • Past pregnancy information

  • Prenatal visit Information

  • Medical, family and social history

  • Allergies and medications

  • New problems and conditions as they develop

  • Thoughts, questions and information to share with your healthcare providersbat each visit to better understand their care and help you take part in decision-making for your pregnancy

  • Your baby's movements (kick counts)

  • A daily diary to track how you are feeling and alert you if you need to contact your healthcare providet

A space for comfort, empathy, support and hope if you should experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death
Original writings, poems, sharing and bereavement resources

"Though strangers we may be, we are all connectied by the loss of a child, and that makes us all soulmates..."

Maternl© strives to improve the awareness of the impact of perinatal, neonatal and infant loss on families, community and society and supports the premise that perinatal and infant morbidity and mortality can be affected by providing all women and their families who have experienced perinatal losses the availability of perinatal bereavement counseling, pre- and inter-conception counseling( including an evaluation and understanding of their losses) and access to comprehensive women's healthcare services.

Here you will:
  • Learn about the importance of bereavement care after a pregnancy or newborn loss

  • Find comfort in sharing writings, poetry and stories of loss and hope

  • Be able to join an international community of families who have experienced pregnancy and /or newborn losses both recently and from up to 25 years ago

  • Have access to Bereavement resources and support groups

  • Be able to communicate directly with the Maternl© bereavement team if you are in need of further resources and referrals near your home

A program to rededicate an original, personalized poem to a loved one or friend or keep for yourself as a remembrance or celebration

Ability to select a poem to download and print which is personalized and rededicated for you to have and share.

Poetry enables me to ask why even when we already understand how. It permits me as a Doctor of Medicine, witness to the frailties of our humanity, to abet healing through the very core of what makes us human, our language and our personal emotions. It is my platform to tell my 'stories', to honor my patients, my friends, my family and indeed, the essence of humanity, the "family of man". It is my hope that offering these very personal poems to the users of Maternl© for their own or to be shared with friends and family will bring solace, comfort and hope at most difficult of times and celebrate and honor those of friends, family and colleagues who are in deed praise-worthy of such.

As an Obstetrician, my professional mission has involved a striving to bring comfort and healing to children, born and yet to born, and to mothers through their years of childbearing and beyond. I have been uplifted by the triumphs of birth and healing and depressed by the failures. Yet I have always tried to look beyond the failures in search of the triumphs. I have counseled patients at the darkest times of their lives, when their children have died, and I have turned to the comfort of personal reflection, poetry and self-expression to better help me help my patients. Maternl©, along with the companion book, Parenthood Lost, I am sharing these personal poems, essays and thoughts; my personal approach to my patients that I can now extend to many others to help comfort those who have endured the tragedy of a Pregnancy Loss and / or Neonatal Death. Unique to Maternl© website is this opportunity to re-dedicate an original poem to honor their child (or for someone else's child ) and download this personalized, signed poem.

For those who would like to contribute to and help sustain the mission of Maternl©, you 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; occassions that might be appropriate for you or for your friends, family or colleagues.

Here you may:
  • Request an original poem, rededicated and personalized to memorialize a pregnancy or newborn loss, specific for a particular typle of loss; i.e. stillbirth, miscarriage, newborn

  • Request an original poem, rededicated and personalized to honor, eulogize or celebrate the lives and deaths of others

  • Receive immediately the poem, signed by Dr. Berman, with the name of the baby, child or adult to whom it is dedicated and suitable and ready for framing

  • An Obstetrician's Poetry, Personal Thoughts and Words

  • Sample a few select poems

A private and personal -or if your choose public- space to reflect and share

Sharing personal and professional reflections, ideas and thoughts This program offers a private space for only the registered user to access to memorialize thoughts and reflections and a public space, moderated by the Maternl© team. Here, you - including but not limited to healthcare professionals, students and patients - will find a place to document and share personal reflections, essays, stories and commentaries that reflect perspectives on maternal and child healthcare, including humanism, disparities in access and care, ethics and the importance of trust: the hallmark of the doctor-patient relationship as well as thoughts and teachings about our patients when they die or are incurable: the ultimate challenge to the bond of patient with doctor. Each entry is also emailed to the registered user.

A personalized letter of introduction to a center for pre-natal care and women's health

"Get The Healthcare You Deserve"
The Maternl© organization believes that all families must be able to enter and be embraced by a healthcare system. Through its 'GetCare' program, Maternl© can provide not only help with finding and access to pre-natal care centers and resources, but Maternl© fosters advocacy and personalized direction to these center by providing a letter of introduction to the center so dignity and respect can be realized and essential pre-natal care services be obtained.

About GetCare©
The intent and purpose of this program is specifically to improve the maternal and child health of the population it serves by reducing what are major disparities in health, particularly antenatal health care in an effort to reduce disparate rates of premature births, perinatal losses and infant deaths. Among these disparities is a lack of awareness of local healthcare facilities offering maternal and child health care services including prenatal care, a lack of understanding of the need for pre-natal care, albeit early care, the late diagnosis, recognition and acceptance of one’s pregnancy embarrassment and denial, and perhaps, we hypothesize, shame, diminished self worth and dignity and a feeling of isolation without a place or professional to turn to for immediate care, counseling and advocacy. Families without access to healthcare feel vulnerable and disenfranchised. These families must enter and be embraced by a healthcare system. By providing not only a significant awareness to the need for inter-conception and pre-natal care, but advocacy and personalized direction for this population at risk, such dignity and self worth can be realized, privacy and confidentiality assured, and through the Get The Heath Care You Deserve© program of Maternl©, personalized referrals can be given to women to present at a healthcare facility so they will know there is an organization advocating for their health. This organization, Maternl, a program of Hygeia Health Systems, LLC, was established in 1995 as the Hygeia Foundation, Inc., a trusted non-profit organization with a membership of more than 30,000 families, world-wide, which provided local and online bereavement support, information and advocacy for families who have incurred the devastation of perinatal loss and infant death. The Hygeia Foundation, Inc. was dissolved in 2102 and Hygeia Health Systems, LLC is now reintroducing several programs to improve a mother’s health and reduce perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Through this portal, Get The Heath Care You Deserve© provides the user with easy access to a database of geographic-specific Federally Funded Clinics where Maternal and Child Health Services linked throough HHS.gov, and Global Centers of Excellence where prenatal and delivery care can be given. The user obtains a personalized letter of referral from the Maternl an d Hygeia Health Ststems, LLC which introduces them to their health care facility as one who needs help, much like a private patient would have a letter of referral to a doctor from another doctor. The service is free of charge to those who wish to use it and can be easily linked to local and regional social services so the families can have their support as well. The primary entry point into the system is through the Internet portal http://maternl.org / http://maternl.com or by a soon to be introduced “Maternl Passbook.” This will be distributed at markets, fast food chains, pharmacies, laundromats, and other retail venues. The user can go to a public library, school, church, community center etc. (if no internet access is available at home) and be assisted in accessing the Get The Heath Care You Deserve program. The program serves a parallel purpose in narrowing the disparities of the “digital divide” and the disparities in access to healthcare.

Educational Objective:
Fetal and infant mortality rates have decreased dramatically over the last century with improvements in sanitation, nutrition, infant feeding, and maternal and child health care, although the decline has been slower in recent years. However, disparities in the risk of infant death remain. Black and Hispanic teens are more than twice as likely as white teens to mother a child before the age of 20. The infant mortality rate for children born to teen mothers is about 50 percent higher than that for those born to women older than 20. One third of pregnant teens receive inadequate prenatal care; babies born to young mothers are more likely to be low-birthweight, to have childhood health problems and to be hospitalized than are those born to older mothers. It is the educational objective of the Get The Heath Care You Deserve© program to emphasize the need and necessity for health promotion, health prevention, inter-conception care, pre-conception care and early pre-natal care to bring underserved and vulnerable families into the healthcare system, inspiring respect, self-esteem, self-worth and dignity.Problem
  • Over 43 million people in the United States lack access to primary health care.
  • The infant mortality rate for children born to teen mothers is about 50 percent higher than that for those born to women older than 20.
  • 1/3 of pregnant teens receive inadequate prenatal care; babies born to young mothers are more likely to be low-birth-weight, to have childhood health problems and to be hospitalized than are those born to older mothers.
  • 11% of Hispanic teens, 10% of black teens, and 4% of white teenagers gave birth
  • Blacks and Hispanics are more than twice as likely as white teens to mother a child before the age of 20.

    Get The Heath Care You Deserve©
  • addresses women and families who have no healthcare provider thus addresses the disparities in access to maternal and child health in an effort to reduce prematurity and perinatal / neonatal / infant mortality.
  • refers and directs users of the program to a Health Care Facility/System locally in their neighborhood.
  • provides a letter of referral and introduction to the Health Care Facility which advocates for the facility to provide care for the bearer of the letter.
  • improves the healthcare of these user-families by emphasizing health promotion, health prevention, inter-conception care, pre-conception care, early pre-natal care, and providing them with a primary healthcare provider/facility.
  • inspires respect, self-esteem, self worth and dignity by making the user of the system feel they are part of a global, credible and caring "community" and a referral source which will act as advocate for their healthcare needs.
    Michael R. Beman, MD, MBI, FACOG
    Founder, President and CEO
    Hygeia Health Systems, LLC
    P.O Box 3674
    Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525
    http://hygeia.org  http://maternl.org