Shamnikeya first heard about Welcome Baby at UMMA Community Clinic in Los Angeles during one of her prenatal checkups. She was in her third trimester, but enrolled in time to receive support from Welcome Baby before she delivered.
She remembers her first prenatal home visit, and how her Parent Coach connected her to helpful community resources. She says it was comforting to know that caring and knowledgeable Welcome Baby staff would be there for her — available to answer questions and to provide tips on having a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
“If you need something, they’re there to help you,” she said. “You could call and ask questions at any time — that’s what I liked.”
When she delivered, a Welcome Baby Hospital Liaison visited Shamnikeya in the hospital and gave her breastfeeding support and other resources. Then, a couple days after returning from the hospital, Shamnikeya had a Welcome Baby Registered Nurse stop by to check on her and the baby.
“During my nurse visit, she weighed the baby for me and checked him to make sure everything was OK,” she said. During this visit, Shamnikeya was also able to get the support she needed to help her get her son latch on while breastfeeding — something she was having a difficult time with.
“Being in Welcome Baby was a refresher for me, even though this was my fourth child,” Shamnikeya said, noting that her Parent Coach continued to help her with tips on caring for a baby until the program ended (when the baby is 9 months old). For example, “Welcome Baby gave me resources and helped me with information about my baby’s immunizations.”
She is currently pregnant with her fifth child and was quick to enroll in Welcome Baby again. “This will be my first time starting the program from the beginning of my pregnancy, so I will experience the full program,” she said. She was happy about being able to get the same Parent Coach to work with her.
“It’s a really cool program — I’ve referred the program to some friends,” she said.
Thanks to Maternal and Child and Health Access, which administers the Welcome Baby program in partnership with California Hospital Medical Center, for allowing us to share Shamnikeya’s story. This post is adapted from MCHA’s 2019 Welcome Baby calendar.