From birthing and breastfeeding support to childcare and infant wellness, women today often navigate the unknown waters of motherhood alone with little to no support. This is the stark reality many new mothers face well before their little bundles of joy are born—and long after. One Rhode Island mother has created a way to help other mothers who are lacking support through her new business The Flourish Fund Inc.
According to a recent article by The Newport Daily News, Melissa Bowley, a mother of two boys, founded The Flourish Fund Inc. during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist mothers in their maternal health and wellness needs from pregnancy to postpartum. The company aims to fill the gap in maternal healthcare and make wellness accessible to all moms.
It all began in 2020 with the Flourish Fund Baby Registry, which allows parents to register for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support in addition to essential products for mom and baby. The company also provides access to evidence-based services provided by a vetted, exclusive network of birth doulas, lactation counselors, postpartum doulas, newborn care specialists, fitness trainers, and more.
Just days ago, the company announced that they were declared the winner of this year’s Rhode Island Business Competition and will receive a $50,000 cash reward and $33,855 in professional and consulting services to grow and market the business.
“We are so honored and humbled to have won; it also shows Rhode Island’s commitment to bettering maternal health. This award will be instrumental in building awareness of our first-in-kind baby registry that focuses on family wellness,” Bowley said in a news release.
According to the company website, Bowley discovered the lack of resources and support for new mothers during her own pregnancies with her two sons.
“When I sought medical help, I was told this is just the way it is once you have a baby,” Bowley explained. “Through research, I quickly realized that this is not the ‘norm’ and that most other countries provide more support and care for new and expecting moms than the United States. Taking care of mothers results in healthier babies, families, and communities.”
Bowley told The Newport Daily Times that the pandemic exacerbated the isolation many women experience as new mothers. In particular, the pandemic has taken a toll on new mothers struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, driving home the need for wellness support for new mothers. In response, during the pandemic, the company has been holding virtual panels where professionals answer questions for new moms. The company plans to continue to hold these panels after the pandemic has ended.
“I think the isolation has always been a factor and I think it’s one of the main reasons for postpartum depression currently and it’s just naturally after the baby’s born you’re not out and about as much and you do feel isolated, but I do think COVID brought that to a whole nother level and people were left to fend for themselves and I think that had a big impact on people’s mental state, so they’ve seen a rise in postpartum anxiety and depression due to that,” explained Bowley.
The success of Flourish Fund Inc. reveals an important need present throughout the country—the need for more support and wellness resources for new mothers. As Live Action News previously reported, according to research from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, the reasons mothers undergo elective abortion are most often socioeconomic.
Mothers in all circumstances, and especially in difficult ones, deserve the help of a village, and businesses like this one show positive momentum towards ensuring that mothers have the resources they need to thrive while raising their children.
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