Welcome to the Circle of Hope (COH), also known as the Birth Mother’s Network (BMN). The COH/BMN was founded in 2004 by NOFAS Vice President Kathy Mitchell. It is a network of women who have consumed alcohol during pregnancy and may have a child or children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Members are lovingly referred to as “Warrior Moms” because of their incredible strengths. Many of the women are in recovery from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. However, the network also includes women who are not alcoholic but drank alcohol during pregnancy.
The women of the COH/BMN support one another in recovery and/or through the challenges of parenting a child with FASD. They serve as mentors to one another and collectively seek to overcome the stigmatization of alcoholism, addiction, and FASD. Join the COH/BMN today by emailing Kathy Mitchell.
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Welcome Video with Kathy Mitchell. View on Youtube
Birth Mothers’ Videos to Inspire Health, Hope, and Happiness
Melissa discusses the challenges she has overcome with physicians both before and after her son was born.
Melanie from San Antonio, Texas is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. She describes her great work at the homeless shelter, Haven for Hope, and her determination to promote the recovery of the women at the shelter as well as that of her daughter.
CJ, the daughter of a birth mother, saw a panel hosted by the Birth Mothers’ Network and was able to understand her own birth mother much better by listening to the birth mothers that spoke at the conference.
Naomi from Ketchikan, Alaska works at a local domestic violence and sexual assault shelter, Women in Safe Homes, and joined the Birth Mother’s Network in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Karen speaks at the teenage pregnancy centers and has a passion for educating teens about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Reba works to educate her community about FASD. She interns at a treatment facility and works as a Case Manager in the department to help women and children.
Arlene from Minnesota preaches abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy to women.
Jody from Washington State felt like the Birth Mothers’ Network gave her a voice and hope for the future. She now educates others on FASD as a peer support specialist.
Lashaunda started working for PCAP, the Parent-Child Assistance Program, and educates mothers about the effects of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy.
Peggy from San Diego, California greatly appreciated the ability to connect with other women in the Birth Mothers’ Network as she raised her daughter, Tracy.
Julie is one of the founding members of the Circle of Hope. She talks about her experience as both a birth parent and adoptive parent to children with FASD. Julie is a strong advocate in the FASD community and speaks regularly at trainings and workshops for FASD awareness and education.
Barbara talks about the importance of meeting other women who shared her experience raising a child affected by alcohol use.
Kathy discusses the diagnosis of her daughter, Karli. Julie, a foster and adoptive mother of seven children with FASD, learns that she, herself, is a birth mother of a daughter with FAS.
Penny, Mary, and other recovering Birth Mothers realize that to be the mothers they want to be, they must be honest about their past alcohol use and forgive themselves.
The Birth Mothers share the importance of solidarity and support found in the Birth Mothers’ Network and how it helps them to move forward in their children’s diagnosis and treatment.
In the conclusion of Recovering Hope, the Birth Mothers show that resources are available for parents and children affected by FASD. The support found through these resources, including the Birth Mothers’ Network, allowed mothers and their children to move forward in hope.