Ask any mother, the transition to mom-life can be a difficult one plagued with uncertainty, loneliness, new emotions and confusion. The demands of early parenthood are challenging no matter where one lives, but in a place like Minot with the extended winters and extreme cold, new mothers and fathers can often find it difficult to socialize with and support others new to parenthood. For this very reason, Polina Reinhold founded the New Mom Support Group in September 2021.
A professional Doula and military spouse herself, she wanted to create a helpful outlet for new moms on the base. The group currently meets every Wednesday at the Jimmy Doolittle Event Center at 10:30 a.m. It is free and open to any moms with young kids that need support, a friend, or just some time out of the house. During the meetings, babies will play, and moms will snack and chit-chat. Once a month, a live yoga instructor even leads the group in a free Yoga class.
When asked why she felt this group was so important to the community, Polina said, “Research shows that one in five new moms have some kind of postpartum mood disorder. Fatigue and imperfect nutrition are among the top reasons for experiencing postpartum depression. I can’t quite help with the fatigue, but I bring snacks to make sure moms are fed. And I listen. Talking, venting, and sharing always helps too.”
The Northern Sentry caught up with several moms that have been attending the group to get some feedback about how it has helped or supported them. Member Taylor Young explained, “… [I] was a little apprehensive about going because I’m not the most social person in the world and find it hard to put myself out there. This is our first duty station while the rest of our family is in Florida so that has made the pregnancy hard. I wanted to join this group to feel connected to other mil spouses on base as well as other moms who would understand the struggle of not having family close by.” Taylor also mentioned that being a part of this group has allowed her to “be part of a community of powerful women who are able to be vulnerable with one another.”
Another New Mom Support Group Member, Stephanie Mastroianna, said she joined the group because she knew she was going to need support and community while being here. She said about the group experience, “It has been the catalyst for making some of the best friends I could ask for! Everyone is so welcoming and encouraging. The transition into motherhood is difficult, and it is not something that we were meant to do alone. This group helps you find your community- other moms who are in the same spot as you, and moms who have ‘been there, done that.’ It has also been a great place for my son to socialize and play!”
Former service member and new mom, Jazzmine Humphries, found that this group helped support her in decisions she needed to make for her family. She said, “The encouragement I received from other moms helped lift me up and gave me the confidence to make the best decision for me and my family.” Courtney Chenevey said that this group helped her with mental stability and helped her feel like a capable mom instead of one that is constantly failing.
It is evident from speaking with Polina and many members of this group that supporting women, and especially new moms, is essential in the positive development of motherhood. To learn more about the New Moms Support Group, please find them on Facebook at Minot AFB New Moms + Pregnancy Support Group, email Polina at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply show up! Polina and the other moms would love to meet new or expectant moms.
“My goal is to help moms not feel alone. To give them a safe, friendly place where all vibes, feelings, emotions are welcome,” Polina Reinhold said.
A team of 5th Medical Group (MDG) Airmen attempt to stabilize a simulated patient during a 5th MDG training day at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 18, 2023. The training simulated that the patient suffered a life threatening hemorrhage, a brain injury and...