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Message to moms-to-be is to pamper and love themselves

Samantha Shuttleworth rocks her four-week-old son Izaia to sleep during the Love Yourself Day at Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship on Thursday, Feb. 23. - Andrew Leong
Samantha Shuttleworth rocks her four-week-old son Izaia to sleep during the Love Yourself Day at Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship on Thursday, Feb. 23.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

We can all agree that everyone deserves to be pampered at some time in their life.

And when you're pregnant — perhaps with some risk factors involved — it's great to feel you're being spoiled and looked after that for a few hours.

Love Yourself was a recent two-hour luncheon event for women expecting babies or who have recently had a baby, who for one reason or another are at risk.

"Love Yourself is modeled after a similar event held in Vancouver's Downtown East Side which supports marginalized women who are expecting babies," explained organizer Laura Sjolie.

The event held at Hilye'yu Lelum (House of Friendship) was sponsored by VIHA and Healthiest Babies Possible.

During the event, stylists, make-up artists and massage therapists came together to donate their time to pamper these soon-to-be moms.

Several stations were set up including back and shoulder massage, hand and nail care, a creative space to craft, hair and make-up and photography. Volunteer Margaret Burdge helped the women make frames for their photos and package bath salt sachets, while another volunteer, VIU's Naomi George provided manicures.

Lunch was provided by Hope Farm, an addictions healing centre located in Duncan.

Since 1977, Healthiest Babies Possible has been working with women to have healthy pregnancies and improved lifestyles with a focus on nutrition.

Cowichan's Healthiest Babies Possible is one of 55 Pregnancy Outreach Programs in B.C.

"We work with clients who have a variety of risk factors involved with their pregnancy," Sjolie explained.

The program offers prenatal education and breastfeeding information and support. As well, it focuses extensively on nutrition and provides vitamin supplements as well as gift cards to access healthy food.

Also available are counseling services, and the group also connects with and utilize community services.

"Our program serves 20 per cent of the pregnant women in the Cowichan Valley and has been operating for over 20 years," Sjolie said.

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