MamaHood to MamaMood Reducing isolation and creating support

Gabriola Health and Wellness Collaborative

Submitted Article

Wednesday, May 29 2019

The Gabriola Health Care Foundation, with support from the Gabriola Library and the Gabriola Health and Wellness Collaborative, hosted a keynote presentation this past Saturday at the Community Hall. Nicolle Nattrass, a Nanaimo based performer, presented Mamahood - Bursting into Light, a 1 hour keynote address that took the audience through her poignant, relatable and often emotional experience of pregnancy, labour and becoming a mother for the first time. Mamahood touched on themes of expectation, trauma, transition and post-partum mood changes. 

Following the presentation Nicolle hosted a talkback panel with family doctor Tracey Thorne and April Kuramoto, a counsellor and Doula from Nanaimo who currently focuses on helping mothers process the birth experience.

The audience, who were mothers, fathers, supportive friends and community members, expressed gratitude at having the opportunity to have a conversation around motherhood and the very real emotional and personal challenges it can create. 

The honest participation of the audience in the talk back session indicated that this dialogue is much needed in our community.

The event served as the kick off to a new program here on Gabriola - MamaMood, a professionally facilitated group aiming to provide support, connection and empowerment for mothers on Gabriola. 

Funded through a grant from the BC College of Family Physicians, MamaMood will be a place for mothers (of all ages and stages) to discuss and share experiences, challenges and solutions. 

Maggie Mooney, a local registered clinical counsellor, has been hired to facilitate the meetings which will explore changing identity and the inherent tensions common in motherhood. 

The goal is to reduce the isolation mothers often face and to create a community of support around our mothers as they do the most important work in the world.

If you are a mother interested in participating in the program please register with Maggie Mooney via email at, or contact Dr. Tracey Thorne at the Gabriola Medical Clinic. 

Meeting are scheduled for Monday mornings June-August at the Community Hall. 

There is no cost to participants, and childcare will be available.