<title>Maternl©
Our Programs

GetCare
Help with access to pre-natal and women's health care

Step 1.

Get your personal letter of introduction to a center, clinic, hospital or other healthcare facility

You will be able to print this personalized letter of introduction to a center for pre-natal care and women's health with our "Get Care: Get The Healthcare You Deserve" program (centers continuously being added to database). Maternl© 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 centers by providing a letter of introduction to the center so dignity and respect can be realized and essential pre-natal care services be obtained.

Through this portal, GetCare provides the user with easy access to a database of geographic-specific Federally Funded Clinics and Maternal and Child Health Services linked through HHS.gov where prenatal and delivery care can be given and a global database of centers in developing, vulnerable countries and cities. GetCare provides a personalized letter of introduction for the user to the health care facility they select as one who needs help with their care, much like patients have a letters of referral to a doctor from another doctor. By having this introduction to prenatal care services GetCare addresses the lack of an advocate / provider, the 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 ones pregnancy, embarrassment and denial, and perhaps, shame, diminished self worth and dignity and a feeling of isolation without a place or professional to turn to for immediate care, counseling and accompanying advocacy. The letter itself is not a referral but an introduction. This service can be easily linked to local and regional social services so families in need can have their support as well.



Step 2.

To locate a FQHC Federally Qualified Health Center and / or a center for primary care, prenatal care or women's health care, enter the city or country (This database is in the process of being developed.) If your city or country is not found, you may email us at info@hygeia.org for help.



Our Personal Prenatal Health Record and Tools

Maternl has developed a set of pregnancy tools and elements of a personal prenatal health record. The information that you enter will be emailed to your email address. This will enable you to collate and keep this in your email. The following modules are currently available:



Receive a personalized, original poem

Here you may read, request and receive a personalized, original poem of birth, loss, hope and other themes of human thoughts and feelings.

This program enables the user to rededicate an original, personalized poem written by Dr. Berman, a physician-poet, to a loved one or friend or a poem to keep for oneself as a remembrance or celebration and the ability to select the poem to download and print which is personalized, signed 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."
( M.Berman )












A Library of poetry, personal thoughts and words
"Poems are not just feathers drifting into the Grand Canyon;
they can make a real connection with another mind and heart"
Leisel Mueller, personal communication

Our Poetry is about hope and despair; about celebration and sorrow. But mostly, it is about hope. Forms of expression implicit in symbolic language; poetry and verse, song, prayer and ritual, have served a role in all cultures and societies to dispel the tears and foster the healing of death and human loss, suffering and despair. Why does poetry triumph as a source of enduring inspiration and hope?

Though our spirits may fade and our viscera bleed, we are enabled by the agents of our humanity empowered by ancestral song and promise (Berman, 1999)

Comfort may be achieved through the transfer of the poet's feelings into the reader or listener's mind. It transports the reader from the distractions and influences of the outside world inward to the internal rhythms and solace of the personal soul. The poet becomes a healer and his poetry his staff. Through verse and meter, free of inhibition yet full with expression, the poet may articulate a sensitivity and empathy and provoke this introspection and inner peace. A poem is transformed into a message of hope. There is wonderment and magic in the words of a poem. Each word is selected for its individual meaning within the context of the entire poem. A few properly selected words can move the reader to tears and awaken the primal emotions of joy, promise, despair and hope. A poet should evoke emotion in his work and write as if each poem is written with the poet's last words.

The language of poetry, within the broader context of its 'parent body' (literature,) has always had as its great themes, love, loss and death. The inclusion of hope to these thematic elements is worthwhile if not essential for, (as humans) we have the capacity to bring hope to a despair that is uniquely created by our humanity and our human conditions.

"By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other." Rita Dove

"Only those within whose own consciousness the suns rise and set, the leaves burgeon and wither,can be said to be aware of what living is." Joseph Wood Krutch




Comfort and support for pregnancy or newborn loss

A place for comfort, empathy, support and hope if you should experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death including more original writings, poems, sharing and bereavement resources and excerpts from Dr. Berman's book: Parenthood Lost.

"Though strangers we may be, we are all connected by the loss of a child,
and that makes us all soulmates..." ( from a Maternl / Hygeia user )


Maternl believes it is the greatest professional privilege to participate in the care of a pregnancy and the birth of a child. Yet, when a child dies; when elation turns to grief, and joy to sorrow; when in a brief moment the expected becomes the unexpected, this privilege becomes sacred. For we are first to see and touch them, we inscribe their image indelibly in our minds, and their death, in paradox, does not sear our bonds of caring but rather seals them. Furthermore, we as health professionals must grasp the importance of our presence, our words and our deeds when our patients are dying or incurable or families are grieving a perinatal, infant, childhood. Everyone who touches, speaks with and interacts with the patient -both in a primary and a secondary role -should be aware of what their life-long influence on healing for the patient and family can be.

As an Obstetrician, my professional career 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. It has been the cause in my life. 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. I have learned that by writing down thoughts which might elucidate my feelings more clearly than the spoken word, I have become a better physician.

Some thoughts about caring for the Loss of a pregnancy or newborn When the outcomes of our patient's pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, we struggle to find the right approach to break the news to them, treat them medically and/or surgically, help them recover physically and emotionally, and console them in their grief. Most of us have not been taught to provide this bereavement care. We learn fast that there are hospital nurses and social workers, bereavement counselors and therapists, support groups and religious ministries to whom we can refer our patients for immediate bereavement care and subsequent follow-up. We can do the D and C and we can attend and assist in the birth of the baby who has experienced an intrauterine death. But then, for many Obstetricians, we refer our patients for bereavement care. When we hold in the palm of our hand an 18 week fetus immediately after our patient miscarried or attend the stillbirth of a term pregnancy, our intellectual knowledge and rational thought fade as we struggle to find the right words to say. Unlike the repetition of performing a surgical procedure, no matter how many times we have experienced a loss with our patients, it does not become easier.

Although the stillborn baby which might have been born viable represents the greatest emotional and management challenges, we must recognize any loss in pregnancy as a life-altering event for our patients. The care of the patient experiencing a Pregnancy Loss is a paradigm for what we do as physicians. It tests not only our clinical skills and judgments but stretches the fibers of the human aspect of caring very thin. Although we might ask, "how can we heal when our patients' children are incurable, when they are suffering or when they die or what do we do when the advanced technology that has become a part of our black bag fails", we must understand that we can heal by providing comfort , empathy and hope. As bad as this experience is for our patients, we can make it better. If we remain aware that we are the link between the stillborn baby and the bereaved family, that we were the first to touch and hold their child, albeit their stillborn child, then we can share this with them, remember this with them, and from this point forward, heal with them. The bond we form becomes the unbreakable fiber, which strengthens and indeed cements our role in the doctor-patient relationship.




4In 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"
5Obstare from the Latin meaning "To Stand before"; the root word of Obstetrics
6 "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." https://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/
7 A poem defined by our times, September, 2020.






In-kind organizations
It is our hope Maternl© will join the strivings and sucesses of other highly respected, in-kind organizations devoted to the health and well-being of all mothers and families, complementing each's humanistic values and missions to improve the healthcare of those at-risk, vulnerable and disadvantaged families, world-wide. Complementary organizations include:


                         




Contact
Michael R. Berman, MD, MBI, FACOG
Founder, President and CEO
Maternl©
A division of Hygeia Health Systems, LLC
P.O Box 3674
Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525
http://maternl.com    http://maternl.org
info@hygeia.org




Please consider a contribution
to help support our mission at