How Do You Spell Relief?


Like the Baskin Robbins slogan goes, “31 Flavors” the idea being, that a person could have a different flavor every day of any month. I once heard an educator use the word flavor like this, “You never know what flavor labor you’ll get” SO TRUE. Having seen many many women experience labor, I can attest, every single one was a completely different flavor. Another use of flavor can be understood if we think about what relief means. There might be nearly infinite expressions of relief. Relief when we hear good news, relief from pain, relief when the taxes are completed, relief after the test result is returned. TODAY, Im feeling TREMENDOUS relief. I recently witnessed the most unforgiving, arduous and downright traumatic experience of labor and birth. With enormous gratitude, I can say, baby is healthy and whole. Mom on the other hand was quite broken. After she returned home, her challenges did not let up. I decided I would stay in close touch. I felt the struggle and knew I had to be accessible. My sense of things steered me in one unified direction. With compassion and professional clarity, I continued to encourage this superwoman birth warrior, role model, to hire night time help and seek mental health support from a post partum stress therapist. Behind the scenes, I quickly and carefully explored the options and lined up contacts. In less than 48 hours, she was on it, and night time support was in place and a first counsel session was in place.  With kindness and relentless encouragement, this new Mom,  who has been through an unforgiving journey, came to recognize that she had to take action. Now, she will be able to get the rest she needs, she and her husband will get to spend much needed alone time. Mom’s Mom will get a very much needed break. She will have the opportunity to unpack it with a professional ear. The individuals in this story, and the family unit will be in a healthier place with this additional support, and Mama’s postpartum health will continue to grow stronger. For TODAY, that’s how I spell RELIEF.  

Seena Elbaum, ACSW,  MSW, LSW, Certified Doula, Certified Yoga Teacher
(215) 808-6852 | seenabeth36@gmail.com

Bala Cynwyd, PA