April: Finding Strength in Support-USO Rota's Special Delivery Program

USO Rota’s Special Delivery program is a joyful experience for new and expecting moms within the military community, offering a unique celebration and support system for those up to 6 months postpartum. This Spring, USO Rota hosted a Honeybee Themed Baby Shower for new and expecting moms at NAVSTA Rota. The Special Delivery not only celebrates motherhood but also addresses the mental well-being challenges that military families often face. During this event, USO Rota aims to foster a sense of community, share coping strategies, and provide valuable resources for the mental health and self-care of new mothers within the military community.

*The Special Delivery Experience: *

The baby shower event is a festive occasion where new moms come together to celebrate the joy of creating a new life. The atmosphere is filled with camaraderie as the moms engage in fun games, win prizes, and share experiences. The moms in attendance left with amazing gifts such as burp cloths, a baby gym play mat, diaper bag, changing mats, and other special treats from our community partners. The one of the highlights from the event is the gift basket of baby essentials that each mother receives, ensuring they leave with not just memories but also practical support for their parenting journey!

As Jenny Hurtado, a military spouse noted, “The Special Delivery was so thoughtful and helpful for me as a mom-to-be overseas. It’s been 8 years since I’ve had a baby and this made me feel pampered, cared about, and special in a place where we don’t have family… It was also helpful to see other pregnant mamas that are here in Rota. These are the beginnings of connections we will need in the future when we have babies and need support still. “ Carmen Morion was another mom in attendance that also expressed, “Personally, as a first time being pregnant and with little experience in the topic, it was very nice to feel supported with such initiatives. Sometimes it feels like you are expected to excel as a professional, housewife, mother all at the same time, and it is overwhelming. Your event felt like a break, like ‘Hey, we know what you are going through, and we are here to help’. Also, it was nice to meet other women who are in the same or similar situation. So, thank you!”

*Community Partnerships: *

USO Rota’s commitment to holistic support extends beyond the celebration. The involvement of community partners such as the Red Cross, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Educational and Development Intervention Services (EDIS), the NAVSTA Rota OB department, and The Forty Day Doula adds depth to the event. These partners provide essential information and resources, addressing both the practical and emotional aspects of parenthood. Through this collaboration, the event becomes a hub for valuable insights, creating a comprehensive support network for new military moms.

*Emphasizing Mental Health and Well-being: *

Understanding the sensitivities surrounding mental health discussions within the military community, the community partners that attend USO Rota’s Special Delivery strategically integrate well-being and morale into their presentations for the new parents. By emphasizing the importance of emotional support while overseas, the baby shower acknowledges the unique challenges faced by military families navigating separation from relatives and spouses. The focus on well-being aims to promote a positive and supportive environment, encouraging open conversations around mental health and motherhood.

USO Rota’s Special Delivery program goes beyond being a baby shower; it is a testament to the USO’s commitment to the well-being of military families. Through joyous celebrations, community partnerships, and a focus on mental health and self-care, the program embodies the theme of “Finding Strength in the Support of Others.

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