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Pandemic Pregnancy Project helps parents share their experiences with motherhood

Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 12:00:51-04

N’Jameh Russell-Camara gave birth to her beautiful baby girl less than a year ago. Like so many other moms, her entire pregnancy took place during the pandemic – and she wanted to document those stories – the very beginning of the Pandemic Pregnancy Project.

“Because this is a very historical time,” she says. “To look at what it’s like to give life when so much life was and is being lost around us because of COVID.”

N’Jameh interviewed dozens of mothers about what their pregnancy journeys had been like. She heard a lot about isolation and pressure.

“What is it like to do a stay at home order and also work? To have a day care shut down and also take care of your kids at the same time?” N’Jameh remembers.

There were also plenty of moments of sweetness.

“A lot of people talked about the beauty of having a Zoom baby shower and being able to put on a dress and just feel beautiful for themselves.”

N’Jameh and her husband took those interviews and compiled them into written and recorded stories for people all over the country to learn from. She says these types of stories provide context in a sea of statistics.

“We need empathy right now,” says N’Jameh.

And it’s not just moms learning from the Pandemic Pregnancy Project. N’Jameh’s husband ian says isolation during COVID has been tough on dads, too.

“It’s harder to lean on resources and get support and mentorship in that way,” he says.

Ian says it takes a village, and in a small way, these interviews helped provide it.

“Hearing what some of these spouses are doing helps me understand how I can be better, too,” he says. “That’s what was missing, because I didn’t have that mentorship.”

Whatever people take away from the Pandemic Pregnancy Project, N’Jameh says she was just happy to give these mothers an opportunity to speak.

“They said to me, ‘I’ve been looking forward to this all day,’” she recalls. “I think the ability to share your story, it’s rewarding, it’s cathartic for you as an individual. But, also knowing that someone else could learn from your story is also a beautiful release.”

N’Jameh has added a blog element to her website so people can continue adding stories to the Pandemic Pregnancy Project. If you’d like to read or add, just follow this link.

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