‘Welcome Baby’ Mom Pays It Forward

“Teachers affect all eternity. You never know where their influence stops.”
— Henry Adams

Sarah was exhausted and at the end of her rope. That’s not uncommon for a new mom. But she was also feeling the anxiety and frustration of not being able to breastfeed her hungry newborn.

Her husband was back at work and she had just spent her first night alone with the baby, struggling to breastfeed but feeling like the baby wasn’t getting enough to eat. And she did not have any formula.

“I was in a panic,” she told Marisa, her Welcome Baby home visiting nurse, who works out of Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills.

Sarah explained that she had called her friend Maria, who lived down the street and was the mother of a 9-month old, to see if she could bring some formula.

Maria told her she was exclusively breastfeeding and didn’t have any formula on hand, but said she would be right over to help.

As it happens, Maria had been through the Welcome Baby program (also with Marisa as her home visiting nurse) and had learned some useful breastfeeding techniques.

They paid off — again. Maria helped Sarah with latching and positioning and demonstrated the tricks that Marisa had taught her. No formula necessary.

“When I went to visit Sarah soon after this, I hadn’t heard the story,” Marisa said. “I was actually in low spirits that day.”

But when Marisa arrived and was greeted by both Sarah and Maria, her mood did a one-eighty.

“It was so great to hear them tell me how I had helped. And Maria was just totally radiant — so proud and happy that she could help her friend,” said Marisa. “Now Maria says she walks around the neighborhood offering help to any new mom who needs it!”

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