My first visit to the pregnancy center was to take a free pregnancy test and verify my pregnancy, so I could apply for benefits. At that point I had no idea that the center would have other great services to offer and that I would soon become a regular at the women’s center. Some of these great services that have benefited me have been the Earn While You Learn program, the bi-weekly mommy support groups and the new breastfeeding support group.
When I first visited the center, I had an 8-month-old daughter and I had just learned I was pregnant with my second. Now that my oldest daughter is 18 months old, and I have a newborn daughter, as you can imagine, a lot has changed in that short time from a parenting standpoint. However, these programs and support groups have helped to equip me with the tools to help myself and my daughters in the point of development that we’re currently in. For example, one week I might watch a video that shows me different labor breathing techniques and the next I might attend a mommy support group meeting on the topic of toddler nutrition. Then, the next week, I might meet with other moms as we discuss our issues and successes with breastfeeding and get assistance and advice from a certified lactation counselor. Some weeks I even take advantage of multiple services.
As a stay at home mom, this also gives me an excuse to get out of the house as well as an opportunity to meet other moms and have some grown up conversation. Right now my husband is our sole wage-earner and he is also in school, so the fact that I’m able to buy diapers, clothes, and even large baby items using the mommy money I earn is a huge incentive. At various times I have saved up enough to buy a stroller, a baby carrier and a playpen! I feel really blessed to have stumbled upon the Florida Pregnancy Support Services at the pregnancy center and I am excited to see them continue to expand and reach out to help more young families in our community.