Eight years ago this month my pregnancy developed complications and I was put on bedrest. While searching for information online I found out about the website Sidelines.org - an organization providing volunteer support for moms in situations like mine. I was matched with a buddy who had been through a pregnancy with similar complications. Her emails and insights and encouragement were crucial in helping me survive the next scary three months of bedrest, then our son's premature arrival and the four months he was in the NICU. When he finally came home and I shared his birth announcement with her she cried with joy like we did! I will be forever grateful for her care.
In our next pregnancy things went more smoothly but we were very, very anxious and being watched closely. Sidelines matched me with not just one but two volunteer buddies, one who had experienced pregnancy after a micro-preemie arrival and another who had VBAC'ed after a preemie arrival. They were wonderful!! As a way to express my gratitude for the selfless service of these amazing women I became a Sidelines volunteer as well, and I'm able to now support other moms through challenging pregnancies.
I believe strongly in this organization's mission so I spoke with my director about sharing a bit more about them on my site. If you know anyone needing some extra support through high risk pregnancy then please let them know about Sidelines. I've supported moms as far away as Turkey and cheered and cried when I received a birth announcement for their little one.
Sidelines has been serving women and their families experiencing a high-risk, complicated pregnancy or premature birth since 1991. It was founded on the basis of one-to-one peer support, and has expanded to providing psychosocial support through e-mail, phone, social media, and web site. The web site contains tons of extra information and printables at the top of the resources page. You can also order a copy of Left Side Lines magazine through the web site. Studies have shown that peer support can help extend a high-risk pregnancy by reducing stress and encouraging the mom as the most important member of her healthcare team.
Nancy Veeneman is the Operations Director for Sidelines.
Their toll free number is 1-888-447-4754.
The web site is: www.sidelines.org.
Their Facebook page is: here.
The Pinterest page is: http://pinterest.com/sidelines/
They are also on Twitter @sidelinesmoms
The photos above are of me on bedrest 24 days before our preemie arrived, and our preemie in the NICU. While in our situation the high risk pregnancy did end early, I've been fortunate to also support moms experiencing a high risk birth who delivered at term. Whatever the cause of the bed rest and high risk concerns, Sidelines can help!