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MomsBloom stepping up to meet the growing need for in-home postpartum care in West Michigan

MomsBloom stepping up to meet the growing need for in-home postpartum care in West Michigan
Written by Publishing Team

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Don’t let the name fool you, MomsBloom, a nonprofit serving Kent and Ottawa counties, isn’t just for moms. The non-profit organization serves interested parties who care for one or more infants aged 0-3 months, in the comfort of their own homes.

Families from all walks of life are encouraged to apply. The organization has no income restrictions and gladly serves birth parents, adoptive parents, LGBTQ + parents, and anyone raising a newborn baby.

According to Executive Director Carrie Kolehouse, the organization is stepping up efforts to meet the growing need for postpartum care at home in western Michigan.

With the stress of the pandemic, higher expectations of parenthood and an increasingly globalized society, many families find themselves without adequate support when they bring home a new baby. Cooking, cleaning, baby-keeping and other nurturing actions that family and friends once did are often not possible, which means some parents and caregivers go through this exhausting and isolating postpartum stage on their own.

MomsBloom seeks to fill this gap by sending trained postpartum support volunteers to the homes of parents who have reached out and asked for help. Many families are referred by nurses, doctors, social workers or affected friends and family members.

MomsBloom volunteers stop by once or twice a week for a few hours at a time to provide the whole family with caring, non-judgmental and loving support. This comes in the form of offering the opportunity to take a nap or shower, soothe babies, prepare food, do laundry or do the dishes; anything that will relieve stress for tired and overwhelmed parents.

Although the organization was founded over a decade ago, it has recently experienced rapid growth, with a particular focus on expanding services in historically underserved communities.

“There are many reasons why mothers of color are often at higher risk for health problems or even death during childbirth and in the postpartum phase,” says Kiara Baskin, Board Member of MomsBloom . “This is why we are so passionate about helping to bridge this disparity, ensuring that the opportunity to have birth and postpartum support is available to women of color in our community. ”

In addition to serving an increasingly diverse clientele, the organization is continually looking for volunteers from various backgrounds to join the service of families. Volunteering only requires 2-3 hours per week, and training can also be completed in a matter of hours.

MomsBloom

Moms like Vanessa Cervantes say support from MomsBloom has been a game-changer during a difficult postpartum time. “I have never had postpartum depression with my other children, but this last one was different,” says Vanessa. “It was something I couldn’t control, but when I signed up for MomsBloom things changed. My volunteer was more than a volunteer – she was a mentor and a sister to me. I was waiting with it. looking forward to her visits. She helped me get over that. and I am forever grateful to her. “

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MomsBloom

While it’s no surprise that mothers appreciate having help during their postpartum period, MomsBloom reports receiving so many positive comments from volunteers about how meaningful and enjoyable their volunteer time is. . Volunteer Tara Allen, who recently served a family with newborn twins, said: “Knowing that I was relieving the daily stress of caring for twins was very gratifying. Their mother was extremely grateful to have extra hands to help with the housework, to help her take care of the babies and to give her much-needed breaks for a quick shower or a phone call. “

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MomsBloom

“We often hear from volunteers that they feel they gain more from the experience than the parents they serve,” says Kolehouse. “As we only match one volunteer with a family at a time, this has been a safer volunteering opportunity for many people, and I think that’s why we have continued to expand our reach despite the pandemic. “

If you would like to sign up to volunteer with MomsBloom or receive services, visit momsbloom.org [momsbloom.org].

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