Moms raise awareness about rural county needs in Washington

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“I want to be a voice for those women who are not comfortable speaking out or who can’t or don’t even know they’re struggling, Jessica Thomas, said.

Jessica Thomas is not only a full-time mother of three, but also a perinatal outreach director with Hope women and family services Inc. for the last six years. This week she said she will be using her mom boys to help bring awareness to the needs of mothers in the rural counties of eastern North Carolina.

“The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed nation. We are also the only country in the developed nation that does not have paid maternity leave,” Thomas said.

This is why Thomas, along with four other moms from the area, will be going to the capital to advocate the Momnibus bill. The bill would cover help with diapers maternity leave, maternal care, better screening processes, and the expansion of Medicaid until the baby is 12 months old.

“Right now pregnancy Medicaid ends very shortly after the baby is born. There’s a lot of complications that can arise after that 6, or 8 weeks even three month mark and those women are essentially sitting ducks, they don’t have insurance, they don’t have Medicaid so how can they be helped,” Thomas said.

Thomas also asked moms what needs she should shed some light on while at the capital. One of the most popular answers was getting resources for mothers who are in active addiction in rural areas just as it’s available in larger cities.

“So getting those resources that they have in the bigger cities here where we also need it,” Thomas said.

Mom Congress will be from Sunday to Tuesday.

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