This post is sponsored by BehaVR, however, all thoughts are our own!
The thing that makes motherhood so special (and so complicated!) is that each of us has our own journey, from conception to pregnancy to labor and delivery to the postpartum period to raising our babies. Until now, there has never been a form of education and mental health support that was able to help with each and every mom’s specific needs. That’s where NurtureVR comes in. This is a revolutionary new support system for pregnancy and postpartum that uses virtual reality. You heard that right, this is a headset system that can walk you through everything from breastfeeding positions to meditations for stress relief. Welcome to the future!
Our Rookie Mom Squad feels so honored to have been able to try NurtureVR so that we could share how amazing it is with all of you! Below we will go over everything you should know about NurtureVR from how and why it was created to our own favorite courses.
What is NurtureVR?
Before we get into everything we love about NurtureVR, I feel like you need to understand what it really is. NurtureVR exists because BehaVR, their parent company, saw a gap in maternal care. A staggering 15-21% of pregnant and postpartum women experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) with symptoms including depression, OCD, postpartum stress, and psychosis. When women experience PMADs or high levels of prenatal stress it can lead to long-term physical or behavioral health challenges for both mom and baby. There is a deep need for us to talk about this more in our society and help prepare new moms with the resources to help them through this.
According to BehaVR, their mission is to “reimagine how people access and experience care, to improve health at scale” and with NurtureVR they are doing just that for moms. They partnered with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and gathered an amazing team of nurses, physicians, midwives, and mothers to collaborate and come up with this truly revolutionary product. This means you are getting the best of the best information that is out there and you basically have a wealth of knowledge from the best nurses and midwives right at your fingertips that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
If you could receive care for you and your baby from the best nurses and physicians, that is who you would choose right? Well, with NurtureVR you actually do have the option to learn from these people and take their knowledge into your motherhood journey.
Here’s Why the Virtual Reality Aspect is SO Important
Along with having the knowledge of so many incredible individuals gathered into one resource, the thing that really sets this apart from other maternal health courses is the virtual reality aspect. You are probably wondering what makes virtual reality so amazing in the case of healthcare and if you are anything like me then you are probably also thinking, “Well, I am sure that is a cool experience, but why is it necessary?” Well, let me tell you what I have learned since being introduced to NurtureVR!
First of all, you can use NurtureVR right from your own home. This means if you don’t want to get out of your pajamas or want to cuddle up on your favorite spot on the couch while taking the courses, you can do that. Because of this, it can be used by mamas on bed rest which is awesome!
More importantly than convenience, VR has the unique neurological power to catalyze a perspective shift. This makes it easier for you to learn and connect to the content being shown to you. Virtual reality is going to be used for some really incredible things in the future of healthcare because of this unique power!
The NurtureVR modules cover so many issues including extremely important topics like maternal-baby bonding, partner intimacy, stress management, and hormonal and emotional changes. These topics require you to feel comfortable and open, and it can be a real pain to get comfortable when pregnant so being able to have your body pillow around is a huge bonus! Plus, with VR you have the agency over your own health to take things at your own pace and as you see fit.
All About the Courses
Once you put on your headset, you will have access to all of NurtureVR’s awesome self-guided content. We all thought it might be tricky to set up and start using, but it’s actually a breeze and walks you through everything.
We recommended kicking things off by customizing the settings to match various things like you and your baby’s skin tone, your environment, and how you hold your baby while breastfeeding. This will allow you to really dive deep into the experience.
Once you’re all set up, the modules go week by week through the third trimester and through 8 weeks of postpartum.
Here are some of the topics covered in the modules:
Your Baby Week by Week
If you love the fruit and vegetable comparisons of your baby’s size week by week, you will love these modules! You get an up-close view of what your baby is likely up to and how they are growing and changing.
Stress Management & Relaxation Techniques
Each week, there is a mindfulness practice. You get to choose which voice to listen to and your setting (like a waterfall, forest, or beach), and you are walked through breathing and meditation practices. It is an amazing way to make sure you are stopping and taking a little time for yourself each week.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always come to us as naturally as we would like, so I love that NurtureVR covers this topic with you before your baby arrives to give you an idea of what to look forward to.
Breathing Techniques During Labor
Breathing is so important during labor and knowing the right techniques can bring you a lot of relief. You can go over these techniques with NurtureVR just like you would in a birthing class, but what sets it apart is that you can bring NurtureVR along with you to the hospital! You can escape to your favorite peaceful setting and practice breathing during labor.
Making sure you are properly filled for your new role as a mom is really important, especially if you are breastfeeding. Our Rookie Mom Squad noted that this isn’t always something the doctor goes over properly, so this is definitely a piece of information that will fill the gap for many moms!
Why Skin to Skin is Good for You and Baby
There are quite a few postpartum modules on NurtureVR that will help you bond with your baby, but we especially love this one. Skin to skin is so important for moms and babies, and can be done after your hospital stay as well!
That is just a brief glimpse into the many things you can learn and experience with NurtureVR. As you can see, there is both practical information that you would receive from a birthing class and therapeutic information like how to relieve your stress during labor & delivery. This program will be there for you when you need it most through the anxieties that pregnancy can bring and the transition of adding a new member to your family!
Here’s What Our Rookie Mom Squad Thinks About It
We had two amazing, yet incredibly different from one another, mamas from our Rookie Mom Squad use NurtureVR. Both of these women had the chance to use NurtureVR through both their pregnancies and fourth trimester! Below are their thoughts.
Amber is a mama to 6 through birth and adoption, so yes, she had been through it all before! However, this time was a little different and left her searching for something that could help her through pregnancy and postpartum while also leading a busy lifestyle with a house full of older children. She had taken the classic courses before where you go sit in a room full of other expecting moms and watch video clips and listen to a lecture, but she wanted something more intimate this time around.
Her main goal was for NurtureVR to help manage her anxiety caused by being older this pregnancy, having experienced preeclampsia in the past, and the fact that her husband was unable to attend any appointments. Luckily, NurtureVR turned out to be an amazing resource for this, allowing her to escape from the chaos for meditations (while still being right at home with her other kids!).
What really surprised her though was how much she learned from the NurtureVR modules! This goes to show that no matter how experienced a mom you are, there is always something new to learn.
Kait is a mom to 2 sweet boys and used NurtureVR throughout the end of her second pregnancy. Having experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to her first son, she knows how important it is for new moms to have a network of support. She wanted to give NurtureVR a try to see if it could be a part of her support system through her second pregnancy.
Right away Kait fell in love with the VR aspect. It is pretty incredible to just be transported to another place and it really allows you to dive deep into the stress relief modules. With a toddler running around keeping her busy, this serves as her reminder to give herself some time each week to soak in where she is at with her pregnancy.
She can’t wait to continue using NurtureVR after she gives birth and is really looking forward to the tips and ideas for bonding!
The Future of NurtureVR
While we were over the moon for the chance to try out this amazing program, we are even more excited about the very important role they will play in the future of maternal health education.
We mentioned above that one of the revolutionary things about NurtureVR is the way that it makes knowledge from the best of the best accessible all in one place, through a headset that can be taken anywhere. This gives NurtureVR the opportunity to have a huge impact on underserved communities and help to close the gap in maternal health education, which is exactly why they have teamed up with maternal health organizations like Save Moms and Cherished Mom.
So, How Can You Get Your Hands on NurtureVR?
I really cannot get over how truly mind-blown we are with NurtureVR. Every expecting and postpartum mom deserves to have the incredible support it provides. Our Rookie Mom Squad really did not know what we were getting into when we first decided to try this out because there is nothing like it, but now we could not recommend it more. The fact that you can sit in the comfort of your home, on your favorite spot on the couch, and learn about your body, your baby, and your mental health is a game-changer.
If you are interested in learning more about NurtureVR and getting your hands on one of your own, follow this link to their website and use code ROOKIEMOMS for $50 off!