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Minneapolis VA Health Care System

 

Minneapolis VA Hosts Its First ‘Baby Reunion’

Minneapolis VA women’s program held their first annual Baby Reunion Picnic on Oct. 8 at the medical center.

Minneapolis VA women’s program held their first annual Baby Reunion Picnic on Oct. 8 at the medical center. (VA photo by April Eilers)

By Sandra Wicklund, Public Affairs Specialist
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Babies. Babies. Babies. . . and more Babies

In 2014, Veterans in the Minneapolis VA Women's Program delivered 43 babies. In 2015, they delivered 49 babies. To date in 2016, there have been 64 births. By the end of the year, based on currently pregnant women, there will be 95 newborns.

To celebrate the “baby boom,” Minneapolis VA women’s program, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, hosted the first annual Baby Reunion Picnic on Oct. 8 at the medical center.

It was a crisp fall day filled with family fun and a celebration of new life. Women Veterans who utilized their VA benefits for maternity care came together to enjoy a day of children-focused festivities, to discover new comradery and to meet the Women’s Clinic staff. Gorgeous arrangements of “Mums for Moms” were also given to Veterans.

Ashley Laganiere, who gave birth to her son in March, said “The care I received from the Minneapolis Women’s Clinic was exemplary. I wish I could have stayed with them my entire pregnancy!"

She added, “I very much appreciate all the help I received from the maternity care coordinator and Women Veteran’s Program manager before, during, and after my pregnancy. They did a great job staying connected with me while I was receiving private OB care and did not feel that I was no longer part of the VA community. After I gave birth, I made sure to reestablish care with my women’s clinic primary care doctor.”

When asked about the picnic experience, Ms. Laganiere replied, “It was great to see my maternity care coordinator and the program manager again and connect with other women Veterans with children my son’s age. Women Veterans wear so many hats, from service member, to spouse, to employee, so it was nice to relax and put on our mom hats for the day.”

VA Maternity care is managed in collaboration with community OB providers. Veterans come to the VA for their primary and specialty care needs but obtain Maternity care through an OB community provider. At the beginning of pregnancy, Veterans are enrolled into the VA Maternity Care Coordination program, which helps them navigate through their entire pregnancy.

VA Maternity Benefits: infertility care, all prenatal care, prenatal classes (including lactation), parenting and birthing classes, breast pump, nursing pads, nursing bras, lanolin, pre-natal vitamins, maternity abdominal binder/back support, medications, and newborn coverage for the first 7 days of life.

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