Cooperative healthcare comes to Southern MB

Top row, left to right: Linda Menzies (Morden Massage Therapy), Dr. Andrew Bryk (ND, The Whole Avocado), Dr. Jocelyne Rondeau (MD), Phylis Kroeker (Public Health Nurse, Southern Health). Bottom row, left to right: Brianne Fortier-Turner (Midwife, Southern Health), Kaylee Meakin (RMT and Doula), Sonia Funk (The Whole Avocado), Ashley Froese (Morden Physiotherapy), Babby Penner (With Women Doula Collective), Kari Kauenhofen. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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The Avocado Lady has kept her promise. Mommy Matters, the first collaboration between Western and Natural Medicine to ever hit the Pembina Valley, went down on May 25. Mommy Matters is a local healthcare collaboration, under the umbrella of The Whole Avocado, aimed at bringing the village back for moms.
There are no comprehensive postpartum care programs for new moms in Manitoba at all. Sonia Funk and her diverse, community-based Mommy Matters team are changing that.
The event featured a variety of health practitioners, doctors, and local agencies and resources.
“We wanted to highlight resources… and emphasize the importance of asking for help,” pelvic floor physiotherapist and one of the event planners Ashley Froese said.
The organizers said their goal with Mommy Matters was to create a safety net for mothers, strengthened by local resources and the community.
Funk has worked in collaborative settings before. “The whole premise of a collaborative event like this rests on the acknowledgement that all the practitioners, doctors, agencies and therapists involved don’t necessarily agree on everything and that’s okay,” she said. “What we did all agree, in this case, is that moms need more support and they are all willing to cooperate to provide that support.”
Taking it to another level, Funk firmly believes that different perspectives are incredibly important. “I think not agreeing is crucial for safety,” she said. “Tension between two or three or five ways of doing things creates a context and a space to do better, be better, ask better questions and find even better answers. The fear that drives the divide between different forms of medicines is just that, fear. It’s all very human.”
Funk said at the event, there wasn’t much disagreeing taking place. “We all had our piece to contribute and it came together beautifully,” she said.
Presenting at this event were Sonia Funk (Nutritional Therapist at The Whole Avocado), Dr. Jocelyne Rondeau (MD at Agassiz Medical Centre), Pelvic Floor Therapist Ashley Froese (Morden Physio Therapy), Dr. Andrew Bryk, (ND at The Whole Avocado), Kaylee Meakin (RMT at Kaylee Meakin Massage Therapy), Linda Menzies (RMT, owner Morden Massage Therapy) and Florain Lassnig (Osteopath, Noricum Manual Therapy).
Other health care and resources present were Public Health, Pregnancy Care Centre, Health Baby, With women Doula Collective, and Southern Health Midwives.
Angela Kuhl, a nurse at Agassiz shared her personal story and journey through Postpartum Depression. Kari Kauenhoffen shared her struggles through bottle and breastfeeding issues. Funk shared her own personal struggles as a new mom that were the inspiration to create this event.
The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive and more, smaller events are now being planned for 2019.
“We definitely started something today,” Funk said. “I could not have done it without this incredible team. These people care and they are willing to invest in our community. It’s beautiful.”
To learn more about Mommy Matters and future events, find them on Facebook and Instagram @mommymatters2019.