Looking back on being pregnant with her second child, Melissa recalls having mixed emotions. “I was really worried about having postpartum depression again like I did with my first son,” she says (in the video below).
But when Melissa gave birth at Antelope Valley Hospital — one of 14 hospitals in Los Angeles County to offer First 5 LA’s Welcome Baby program — she learned that she could receive free home visiting services. And that support has helped her and her family in many ways.
“I think without the program this year and a half would have been so much harder on me emotionally … to not have that sense of support,” Melissa says.
But she also raves about the benefits of having a personal research assistant: “If I mention something like, ‘Hey, I’m having these career goals but I don’t really know how to achieve them,’ my home visitor will come back with not just one or two resources, but six or seven.”
Her home visitor also helped her find a preschool for her older son. “With two kids under three,” Melissa says, “there’s not a lot of time to sit and research.”
Lauriel, her home visitor who works with Child Care Resource Center in Palmdale (northern Los Angeles County), says Melissa is amazing and that the learning goes both ways. “It’s really us kind of collaborating and trying to make the best decision,” she says about Melissa — and all the families she works with. “I value so much that they trust me enough to be a part of their decision and their journey … because it’s beautiful to watch.”
Watch for yourself: