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    Caring for Pregnant Veterans

    Caring for Pregnant Veterans

    Photo By 1st Lt. Bailey Breving | Navy Veteran Michelle Perkins holds her 12-day-old baby while attending the Baby...... read more read more



    Story by Bailey Breving 

    Veterans Health Administration

    VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) proudly hosted a heartwarming baby shower event for pregnant Veterans at the Chattanooga VA Clinic on May 8, 2024.

    The gray clouds and rain didn't stop TVHS from delivering on its promise to Veterans. Despite the ominous weather, the event saw a remarkable turnout of 10 Veterans attending, accompanied by multiple family members and children, making the event a true family affair. Planning considerations like ensuring a calm environment, providing extra seating, and assistance by carrying items to attendees' vehicles were priorities to create a welcoming environment for expecting mothers.

    Linda Humble, a Marine Veteran, expressed her appreciation for the thoughtful consideration that was put into the baby shower event. "The community coordinator sent me an email to RSVP, and I’m glad I did. This is so casual and relaxing and not overwhelming for someone that suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder," she said.

    Michelle Perkins, a Navy Veteran, shared her particularly serendipitous story. Having confirmed her attendance for the event while she was still pregnant, Perkins attended the shower with her husband, two-year-old...and her newborn son, who was just days old.

    "I gave birth to my son just 12 days ago, so my husband and two-year-old were able to join me today. Having family attend made this baby shower even more enjoyable. I was so surprised with all the food and gifts. This was great that Women’s Health put this together," Perkins remarked.

    The baby shower provided essential supplies such as baby diapers, wipes, gift cards, teethers, books, soaps, and more to the pregnant Veterans. As attendees entered the event space, they pulled numbers out of a bag that correlated to bigger ticket items like car seats and portable infant play areas. Once the Veterans received their items, VA employees carefully packed their goods into sturdy laundry baskets and transported them to the Veterans’ vehicles.

    “Our aim is to ensure that every Veteran receives the care and support they deserve during this important time in their lives,” said Kathleen McCutcheon, women's health maternity care coordinator.

    Expecting Veteran families can look forward to more baby shower events throughout the year in Middle Tennessee, especially in communities with the largest populations of pregnant Veterans. These events are part of TVHS's ongoing efforts to support and celebrate Veteran families.

    To be eligible for future baby shower events, Veterans can enroll in health care at VA TVHS to begin receiving a range of health care services and support, including free lactation kits, prenatal yoga classes, childbirth education classes, food and nutrition services, postpartum support, and more.

    For those interested in supporting or making donations, visit the TVHS volunteer website or call 615-225-4555.

    For more information on maternity services and support, Veterans can visit the TVHS women’s Veteran care website or call 615-918-4592.


    Date Taken: 05.08.2024
    Date Posted: 05.29.2024 13:14
    Story ID: 472459

    Web Views: 25
    Downloads: 0