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Hello

My name is Rachel Killorin Hemminger.

I am a Colorado native and a Texas transplant.  

I have a wonderful husband and baby boy.

We enjoy spending time together as a family at home and in the great outdoors. 

 

As an OT student, I focused my capstone project on perinatal and maternal healthcare OT. This website and course are the culmination of my capstone project.

Alpinen meadow

My Perinatal Story

During my 7th term as an occupational therapy (OT) student, my husband and I discovered we were going to have a baby!  A host of different emotions came about including both excitement and nervousness.  I took a semester off to have my baby and when I returned to school, I worked around my classes, schoolwork, and experience hours with babysitters, daycare, a strategic allocation of my time,

and an incredible support system. 

The transition to motherhood is a beautiful thing, and it is also completely novel, exciting, and difficult! 

My postpartum experience is what drew me to consider diving into perinatal and maternal healthcare for my capstone project. I was in my second day postpartum in the hospital with my husband and newborn, and completely overwhelmed and overjoyed with the role transition that I had just experienced. At one point I said to my husband, "I really need an OT right now." This got me thinking about all the ways in which occupational therapy would be a paramount addition to any perinatal healthcare team.

My experience is just my own. Everyone has a different journey throughout the perinatal period, and we all have different needs, desires, and outcomes. ​

I began digging into the literature to see what occupational therapy is doing to address this population's needs, what is not currently being done, and how occupational therapy can fit into the equation. I found several pieces of literature describing the need for occupational therapy within maternal healthcare, however, there was overall a lack of literature defining the exact role of occupational therapy

in the care of perinatal women.

Through my own personal experiences and through an examination of current literature, I realized that occupational therapy has an essential role to play in helping women and families through all stages of the perinatal period, and there is a great need for occupational therapy to address these occupations and barriers to participation and performance that are not within the scope of other maternal healthcare professions. 

Through my capstone experience, I was able to work with the only maternal health occupational therapists in Austin, TX., Matrescence Occupational Therapy, and began to dive even deeper into the role that occupational therapy has with perinatal women. 

I also partnered with Austin Doula Care of Austin, BirthCo. Chiropractic + Wellness of Austin, and Postpartum Support International- the Minnesota chapter- to gain a well-rounded and rich set of experiences and exposures to the world of perinatal and maternal healthcare. 

And so, this is the birth of my capstone project: a freely accessible online educational course for stakeholders to learn about the role of occupational therapy with perinatal women. 

I hope that this content inspires you to want to learn more about the needs of perinatal women and continue to grow the perinatal and maternal healthcare occupational therapy setting.

Please reach out to me in the "let's connect" section at the bottom of the page if you have any questions or would like to connect. 

Enjoy!

Let’s Connect!

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