The first non-profit organization of its kind, the rapidly growing Yellow Ribbon Birth Project is actively working towards its goal of no military wife giving birth and recovering alone.
Founder and fellow Marine Corps spouse Jenna Bush, shares with USMC Life the mission, goals, and motive behind creating The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project.
The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project Mission:
The Mission of The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project is to provide expecting active duty military spouses whose husbands will be deployed for the birth of their baby or who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, with comprehensive doula care, birth/newborn photography, and lactation education during and after birth. This mission will be fulfilled by the donation of services from numerous birth and postpartum doulas, lactation consultants/educators, and photographers across the country.
About Founder, Jenna Bush:
I am an extremely proud Marine wife, mother to three young children, and founder and president of The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies and attended The University of California, San Diego where I received my education to sit for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.
Thereafter, I became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and began a private practice. I have ceased accepting any clients, as my sole focus now is the success and mission of The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project. While I am not working, my goal is to spend as much quality time with my husband and children as possible, and to volunteer with various organizations in whatever capacity needed.
Why did you create The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project?
Our family is no stranger to the demands of the Marine Corps. In fact, my husband was either scheduled for training or deployment for the birth of all three of our children. The grace of God pushed the training or deployments back, so he was able to be there for each delivery (for which I am eternally grateful for). But I remember the feelings leading up to each baby’s birth and thinking, How am I going to do this alone? consuming my days. I saw a desperate need for an organization that provided comprehensive birth support and care beyond delivery for such special warrior women. I believe it is vital that upon returning home from the hospital, women continue to receive specialized care and assistance from experienced birth professionals. Birth can stir up a vast array of emotions, and with an absent husband, it only amplifies those feelings.
No other organization was offering such comprehensive services to military wives, so I created The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project, which became the first non-profit organization of its kind. It has grown rapidly since, and has provided services to a multitude of women from coast to coast and draws in volunteers worldwide.
How Can People Volunteer?
There are several volunteer opportunities with The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project. We are continually searching for birth professionals across the nation willing to occasionally donate their skills and services to the organization. Additionally, we welcome any volunteers willing to help fulfill the mission of the organization. To submit an application to receive services or to volunteer, visit www.theyellowribbonbirthproject.org.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to receive services from The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project, a woman must be the spouse of an active duty service member who will be deployed for the birth of their child, or who has made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Additionally, applicants must submit their application no later than two months prior to their estimated due date to give us sufficient time to place them with birth professionals. There are no rank thresholds, as I feel that every woman is deserving of such services, regardless of rank.
What’s Next for The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project?
We’re excited to kickoff our next phase shortly: offering safe, reliable childcare for applicants’ existing children for the duration of the mother’s hospital stay. One of the most stressful logistics of women giving birth while their spouse is away, is ensuring that their children are cared for during their absence. Many military families don’t live close to family or may not have created a network of friends that can be there immediately upon going into labor due to recent moves. We are also proud to offer (to those interested) chiropractic and placenta encapsulation services to applicants dependent on their location.
We are also honored to provide Stillbirthday Trained Doulas to families facing pregnancy and infant loss in need of bereavement services and grief support. These doulas undergo specialized training to help these precious families, ensuring they feel supported, cared for and have an outlet to express their emotions during such an overwhelming time.
We also look forward to some exciting fundraising events and new merchandise hitting our website shortly.
For more information, to apply for services, and to volunteer, please visit our website, Facebook page, or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org