Motherhood might not always be a walk in the park, but it doesn’t mean you have to take the stroll alone. When it comes to the key people, resources, or programs to help you on your journey to becoming a mom, here are the top 6 to keep you feeling empowered and healthy.
Pre-Natal & Post-Partum Support (BIH)
At Black Infant Health (BIH), we aim to improve Black infant and maternal health and decrease health inequities by providing empowerment-focused group support services and client-centered life planning for even healthier life choices. It’s essential to have a strong support system when going through the journey of preparing for birth. Our Healthy Mothers’ Let’s Talk Prenatal and Post-Partum support groups let you cherish the beauty of pregnancy and raising children through our lively community of love, bonding, and friendship.
Birthing Experience (Doulas)
Doulas are professionals trained in childbirth who provide you with emotional, physical, and educational support to prepare for birth, as well as offer much-needed support and guidance during labor and immediately after birth. They help you create a birth plan, support you through processing your concerns, and guide you on techniques to reduce stress during pregnancy. During labor, doulas provide comfort with pain-relief techniques and continue to support you to have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience. In the San Diego County area, our partner, For The Village, provides free doula services to all families.
Health & Nutrition (WIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves women nutritionally at risk who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have infants or children up to age 5. The WIC food packages are filled with foods designed to meet your special nutritional needs, including infant formula and baby food filled with fruits and vegetables. They also provide health care referrals, nutrition education, and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons to purchase fresh foods at farmer’s markets. [Text Wrapping Break]
First-Time Parent Support (Nurses)
Nurse-Family Partnership connects families with free personal nurses to help improve pregnancy outcomes. They empower first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies by engaging in good preventative health practices. Through home visitation services, NFP nurses provide support for mothers to experience positive outcomes for their families, including receiving referrals for essential services and family planning to improve economic self-sufficiency.
Individualized Maternity Care (Midwife)
Community midwives are highly trained, holistically-minded care providers licensed by the California Medical Board. For example, midwives at the San Diego Community Birth Center provide evidence-based, individualized maternity care for you and your family, including water birth support. You also don’t need to have a baby yet to connect with a birth center! Midwifery care covers a range of services, including STD testing, Pap testing, family-building support, IUI procedures, and menopause management.
Breastfeeding Resources (SDCBC)
Preparing for birth also means having the support you need post-birth and breastfeeding. The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition offers a variety of breastfeeding resources such as helplines, providers of lactation services, hospital breastfeeding services, general resources, ankyloglossia (tongue-tie) services, and WIC offices serving San Diego County. You can also find a free local breastfeeding support group to join!
How you prepare for birth and what type of support you want before and after are unique to your motherhood experience. Know that there is support available that can be tailored to your needs!