Support For Moms This Mother's Day
Mother’s Day is a special day to celebrate and honor mothers for all that they do for their families. They spend countless hours taking care of their children, ensuring their well-being, and providing them with the best possible future. It is vital for every mother and family to have access to resources that can aid in their journey of raising healthy and happy children.
Unfortunately, all too often, mothers are faced with challenges and barriers when trying to access vital resources. These obstacles can prevent them from providing the necessary care and aid for their families, which consequently leads to stress and anxiety. This can contribute to severe health problems, mental health issues that negatively impact their children, increased risk of domestic violence, unstable housing situations, and other adverse outcomes.
Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition connects pregnant women, mothers, and families to necessary resources, and fills gaps, where needed, when no such program exists. Their purpose is to ensure that every baby in Monroe County is born healthy and that families are prepared and thriving. Pregnancy affords a nine-month window of opportunity to establish a relationship with families and by working with them from the beginning, they can identify needs early on to help support each family’s unique dynamic with the many different programs they offer. Three of the six core programs are discussed here.
Keys to Supporting Families is a program that provides nutrition support and client assistance for essential items like formula, baby food, diapers, and strollers. This support allows a family to use their finite resources and prioritize their spending on other needs like housing and food. One such mother came to them as a referral from their state partner. By providing her with a car seat, stroller, baby clothes and gear, that had been donated to them, she was able to use her resources to cover other essential needs. Additionally, their technicians taught her how to correctly install the car seat. She has since donated back to the organization, allowing them to continue the cycle of helping other moms and families in need.
The Keys to Growing Kids program is designed to promote the healthy development of young children in Florida Keys through free developmental playgroups. With a schedule of fifteen or more classes every month, parents have access to positive play and exploration opportunities that can strengthen the one million neural connections made every second from birth to age three. Recently, one mother shared her experience with the program, mentioning that her son would be starting Pre-K next school year and she wanted to see how he would do in a structured environment with other children. Her son arrived with a smile on his face, eagerly participating in all the activities and even singing along to the music. During story time, he listened intently to the story, impressing his mother with his active engagement. After the event, she thanked the Coalition for facilitating it and expressed her confidence that her son would do well starting Pre-K.
The "Healthy Babies" program is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of both mother and baby during the pregnancy period and early postnatal phase. For this purpose, the program introduced a labor doula pilot project last year and is entering its second year. These professionals are specialized in providing emotional, physical, and informational support to expectant mothers - before, during, and after delivery. The process of pregnancy and childbirth can be strenuous, and their aim is to relieve the stressors that come with it to support a positive childbirth experience and improve outcomes. Furthermore, the labor doula program is structured to be financially accessible to all mothers, and its mission is to guarantee that every expectant mother receives the support they need during this crucial stage in their life.
So, this Mother's Day, let us express our gratitude and support for all moms and mother figures in our lives, and recognize the vital role they play in shaping our world. Let’s also pledge to advocate for policies and resources that improve access to quality maternal health care, parental leave, and family support programs. By working together, we can empower mothers to thrive, and ensure that future generations grow up in a world that supports their potential and wellbeing.
If you are an expectant mom and need support, please reach out to Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition at (305) 293-8424 and you will be connected with resources and one of their caring program leaders. If you would like to support mothers and families in the keys, visit their website at https://www.keyshealthystart.org.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there!