Maternal Health Conference to provide resources, support for mothers, health care providers

Mothers old and young are gathering at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology next Monday to learn more about the challenges associated with motherhood, as well as learn about the medical and mental resources they have available for them.

Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian Reece said this will be the second year they will have partnered with the Carter County Health Department to put this on.

“I have a heart for mamas, but we do not always support them,” Reece said.

The conference, which brings mothers and health providers together in one room to talk and learn from each other, brought roughly 50 people last year. Reece said she is hoping the program will grow even larger this time.

“One in four moms struggle with mental health issues,” she said. “The way our community is built, many are not able to access the best possible care.”

That is where the conference comes in, and it is technically two different conferences done side-by-side: the first half is a series of national and local speakers, while the second half is a more hands-on interaction between moms and providers.

She said one of their goals is to equip providers with the information and experience they need to better provide for their patients who need them.

“It is a fantastic opportunity in Elizabethton,” she said.

One of this year’s speakers will be Ginger Breedlove, author of “Nobody Told Me About That,” a book highlighting the struggles of mothers in the first six weeks of motherhood people often do not realize.

The resource fair in the afternoon is a way for providers to get to know patients and what they need to know.

“Providers went into medicine because they want to help people,” Reece said. “This is also a resource for [them.]”

She said those who participate can also receive 6.5 credit hours towards their CME, and the first 50 providers who sign up will receive a copy of Breedlove’s book.

Those interested in attending can contact Reece at 423-342-8008. The conference costs $75 a person and will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at TCAT Elizabethton, 426 Highway 91 North.

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