Support For Moms with Newborns & Infants Is Available in Memphis

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

As a single or married mom, having the feeling of support and security is crucial in the outcomes of our decision-making. Sometimes, it can determine where we choose for our families to live, the type of employment we decide to take, it affects our ability to trust others, and can either free us or lock us into fear. Well in this blog I want to focus on why I decided to become a doula, lactation consultant, and family adviser. Specifically moms with young children play the role of “full-time household manager” and are extremely in tuned with the needs of the others in her home (even more so than herself).

In my eleven years of being a parent this question of, “Who’s there for me?” is one I can now easily answer. But when I first gave birth to my son, answering that question wasn’t as easy. I realized I had A LOT of help later on in my journey. I had to come to the realization (quickly) that I wasn’t alone, someone cares about me, I am wanted, I am not abandoned, and I HAVE HELP.  It took my former Pastor to assist me in coming into this realization. FIRST, I realized that scriptures say that, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2)”. Allow me to simplify this eloquently put King James Version of our Bible.

Now just imagine!

(1) I literally had to lift my eyes UP so that I could gain clarity. Looking at the downward side of things won’t allow us to see the goodness of what is right in front of us. 

(2) Hills are high places. High places are places of worship. If we worship the Lord, then we can find Him there. High places are have the best quality of view that we can expect to see. Mommies (old and new), this is where your help comes from.

(3) Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth! Did you read what this just said? Your help comes from the Lord who made your entire existence. You CAN and will accomplish ANYTHING.

SUPPORT is available to you and it’s up to you to take it. Needless to say, I TOOK IT. AND…once I got a taste of it, I desired MORE!

NEXT, scriptures also says that, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22)”. Since I found out the help of the Lord is a blessing, I also realized that is made me wealthy. Not necessarily wealthy monetary (but that too), it also made me feel an overwhelming sense of peace, security, stability, and care. My current Pastor (who is also my husband) helped me tremendously with this. When I was a single mom and we were dating, he lived in a different state. So life as a single mom continued but I began to experience a “richness” in my thinking and understanding. I gained some awesome wisdom from my husband and it positioned to continue to learn these principles living a life of “no sorrow”. I can hear someone asking, “so you never get sad now?” Of course, I do! Well at least sometimes. But I learned how to not stay there for long! Every time I think about if I am being a good mom, am I doing a good job, did I do this or say this right, I could have done better, and myriad of other daunting thoughts, I begin to think about that help and how much of a blessing it has been.

The first year I began to live in Memphis, the Lord re-activated my dream to become a doula. I learned that doulas were not very popular in most urban communities. Within that first year, I gained several clients (most expecting their first child), and educated them on the role of a doula and the many benefits it offers to families. By the following year, I had assisted nine women with birth and/or postpartum doula care. We had positive birth outcomes. I was so proud. But the Lord abruptly brought to my attention that this care was needed because years ago Memphis statistics shows that “in 2003, the infant mortality rate was nearly 15 baby deaths per 1,000 live births.” Since that was over ten years prior, more recent statistics show that “infant mortality rates among non-Hispanic blacks was 10.6 per 1,000 live births in 2015.” And, “it remains higher than the national rate of 5.8 baby deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014, according to a June 30 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Associated Press)”.

My thinking was, “We have a lot of work to do.” I felt that becoming a lactation counselor would assist offering more postpartum support to mothers, lower the chances of poor neonatal health, postpartum depression in moms, and other taboo subjects we often overlook.

Tennessee Department of Health says, according to the 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

  1. 71.1 percent of infants born in Tennessee have ever breastfed, which is below the national estimate of 81.1 percent.

  2. At 6 months of age, 42.5 percent were breastfeeding (only 16.1 percent exclusively).

  3. The rate of breastfeeding at 12 months of age was 24.7 percent.

The large difference between the rate of mothers who have the intention of breastfeeding and those still breastfeeding at six months indicate that many obstacles exist for mothers in their attempt to breastfeed. Some of those obstacles are:

  1. Lack of experience or understanding among family members of how best to support mothers and babies

  2. Not enough opportunities to communicate with other breastfeeding mothers

  3. Lack of up-to-date instruction and information from health care professionals

  4. Hospital practices that make it difficult to get started with successful breastfeeding

  5. Lack of accommodation to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace

I bet a lot of people don’t know this…I know I didn’t. Hosea 4:6 says partly that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We need to be educated so that we can be a solution and a help to others. The Lord can surely use one person’s struggles to help uplift another.

I’ve committed myself to be the answer to this question that moms may ask similarly. I have officially committed to receiving my Certification for Lactation Counseling, Certification for Birth & Postpartum Doula, CPR Certified in Adult & Infant Basic Life Support, and working on the Board Exam to become a Lactation Consultant. These services are extended to families in the Tennessee-Arkansas-Mississippi tri-state area, and beyond where the Lord will continue to lead me.

Please see and share this link to my services. My contact information is listed.

Thank you for reading!

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References:

Associated Press. (November 2016). Times Free News. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2016/nov/21/fewer-babies-dying-memphis-rate-still-higher-national-rate/399120/.

http://www.tn.gov/health/article/breastfeeding-data-and-statistics.

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