Martha’s Table’s Baby & Me Program Helps Set Expectant and New Parents Up For Success in their First Year with Baby.

Martha’s Table’s Baby & Me Program Helps Set Expectant and New Parents Up For Success in their First Year with Baby.

Imagine, you’re a new mom who just gave birth to a precious baby girl. Not long after, you become sick and get admitted to the hospital. You’re living through one of the most devastating pandemics in lived history. Due to your many hospital visits, you get the COVID-19 virus, and so does your entire family, including your new baby girl…

That was Erikka Carter’s experience as a new mom. But, unlike other moms who may have been in her predicament, she had her Baby & Me team by her side every step of the way, ensuring she had the resources needed for her entire family to pull through. 

Launched in 2021 in collaboration with Community of Hope, the Baby & Me program sets out to improve birth outcomes and ensure that every expectant parent and newborn in Ward 8 has the support needed for health, wellness, and stability in their first year. The program meets its goal through cohorts, events, support groups, and resource connections. 

The Baby & Me team works to connect participants with a variety of resources, including:

  • Weekly fresh groceries 
  • Nutritious hot meals created specifically for pregnant and nursing moms can either be picked up or delivered monthly.
  • Personal care and baby items
  • Housing support and referrals
  • Department of Human Services, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Erikka was introduced to Baby & Me by her Community of Hope doula. She has participated in several activities through her enrollment, including Parent Cafe and breastfeeding classes. I attend breastfeeding classes even though my baby is not breastfeeding anymore because I want to continue learning about breastfeeding to become a lactation specialist in the future”.

When Erikka was facing financial constraints due to her medical circumstances, Baby & Me connected her with the THRIVE program–a cash assistance program launched in response to the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. She received the financial support needed to care for her family.

“When THRIVE started, I was like, ‘this is perfect; this will definitely help me out.’ I was very appreciative because it did help us out in our situation.” –Erikka Carter 

Facing another challenge due to her daughter’s specialized milk formula being no longer manufactured, Erikka turned to her Baby & Me team. They were able to help her through the entire process of reaching out to WIC, identifying a formula similar to the one her daughter was on, and providing her with information to a place that could deliver the milk directly to her door! Powered with the experience and knowledge she gained from the help of her Baby & Me team, Erikka’s stress turned into hope. 

Erikka Carter and her daughter, Aria

Monthly Mommy Social, a support group made up of mothers, is another service provided through the Baby & Me program, which Erikka is a part of and describes as ‘amazing and positive’! Moms in the Monthly Mommy Social are currently working on their 2022 vision boards and putting together their New Year’s resolutions. My New Year’s resolution,’ Erikka shares, ‘is to start a women’s group for self-care where we can come together and talk over a little bit of wine or dinner or an activity because we don’t take enough time for ourselves.’

As the Baby & Me program gears up to hit its one-year milestone in early 2022, program manager Dynecia Robinson is excited and hopeful for what’s to come. ‘My vision for 2022 is to reach, then grow, our enrollment capacity and host weekly and biweekly activities through Baby & Me led by experts that cover a wide array of topics.” 

Martha’s Table is committed to promoting family stability and investing in children’s futures. To learn more about the Baby & Me program, click here

Founding support for Baby & Me is generously provided by the Colonel Harland Sanders Foundation, Inc., a charitable entity created by the late Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of KFC and represented in the DC area by Joseph A. Baldinger, Director.

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