Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment for Women
In my role as a maternal health care coordinator at UF Health Jacksonville, I have seen firsthand how important it is to provide support and resources for the women I work with. Through our program, we offer access to medical care and education, which can be critical for clients who might not have these resources otherwise. As an Americorps member, I am proud to contribute to filling a significant need in our community by raising awareness about the risks that impact certain cultural groups, such as black clients being at a greater risk for premature labor, and providing education on safe sleep practices for babies to lower the high rates of SIDS in Duval county.
It's crucial to recognize the unique journey of each woman through motherhood. During my service term, I have learned that empathy and understanding are vital in creating a safe and supportive environment where women feel comfortable sharing their experiences and seeking help when needed. Acknowledging that we are all doing our best allows us to approach each client with respect and dignity.
As part of my service, I offer wellness and parenting classes at a pre-trial detention center. Our classes focus on parenting resilience, physical activity/nutrition, and mental health, which provide a foundation for mothers to strengthen their relationships with their children. We also emphasize the importance of taking care of oneself, which is highlighted in our "healthy me, healthy baby" brochures. By providing education and support, we empower these women to advocate for themselves and improve their overall health and well-being.
Participating in wellness classes at the pre-trial detention center is one of the most rewarding aspects of my service position. Our parent cafes provide a safe space for women to share their concerns about motherhood and life stressors. Through our classes, these women develop goals and action plans to achieve them, leaving our sessions feeling inspired and with a newfound community that they can turn to for support and advice.
Motherhood can be a challenging and emotional journey, and having a support system in place can make a significant difference in a woman's mental and emotional well-being. By creating a space where women can share their concerns and feelings about motherhood, we can help them feel heard and validated. As an Americorps member, I am grateful to be able to contribute to our community by supporting and empowering these women on their journey through motherhood.
Jacksonville FL, 32209