Tuesday, April 26, 2016

West Side moms-to-be have care options

By L’Oreal Adams
Bengal News West Reporter
Pampers, pacifiers and playpens are some of the many items that a new mom will need while caring for her bundle of joy. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, oats, lean meats, and vitamins will increase her chances of delivering a healthy baby.
Having a baby requires more than choosing a name and planning a baby shower.  Resources on the West Side recognize the special needs that a new mother may have. These services make prenatal and postpartum care easier for mothers-to-be from our backyard and from all over the globe. It could be particularly challenging for a mother who speaks very little English and doesn’t know the health care system.

            The Priscilla Project of Buffalo is a program with Jericho Road Community Health Center on 184 Barton St. The project caters to low-income, pregnant refugee clients. Volunteers work one-on-one with expecting mothers and visit them weekly until the birth of the baby.
Expectant mom Mugiraneza Gakumi
Sandra Doss, senior case manager at the Priscilla Project, believes that the bond formed between moms and volunteers is more than just community work.
“They act as a support, a resource, and a friend for them,” Doss said.
There are programs that address healthy lifestyles during pregnancy. One is Project Choices, a program of the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, which works with women of childbearing age in part to help reduce or stop the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.
Tammy M. McGovern, a West Side resident and interventionist prevention educator with Project Choices, believes that it’s important for a woman  to be aware of what she is putting into her body if she is at childbearing age and isn’t using birth control. Often women will become pregnant and will be unaware for as long as three months. Smoking and binge drinking during the first trimester can also result in a complicated birth.
“It is not okay to consume any amount of alcohol during a pregnancy and it is very important that the mother eats the proper foods that will be beneficial for her and the baby,” McGovern said.
 Project Choices promotes proper nutrition to reduce the risk of disease and foster longevity, which is the mission of Nourish Nova, a new business literally catering to expectant mothers.
            This May, Nourish Nova will prepare and deliver meals designed to help nurture fertility, promote a healthy pregnancy, and to provide supportive nutrients for mama and baby after birth.
West Side residents James and Sarah Ernest are the creators and chefs running Nourish Nova. They were inspired to create this when Sarah had an emergency cesarean and newborn baby Stella had to go under special care for a week.
“Stella's birth and our early journey together has inspired our family to start this business so families can have delicious and revitalizing foods to eat after birth to help rebuild nutrients,” Sarah said. “My daughter and I are coming up to our one-year breastfeeding journey, and I feel that my diet and positive mindset is what has continued us through, regardless of the difficulties we faced after birth.”
Since recovery, the new parents have been able to focus on business. With just a click of a button, delicious dishes such as Blueberry Baked Oatmeal, and Pumpkin Lentil Chili could be delivered right to your door.
The company will also offer Dancing Mama Snack Boxes that can be bought, gifted and shipped nationally. It will contain samples of treats such as Mama’s Magical Macaroons and Booby Bites. It will also sell kid-friendly foods like Veggie Nuggets and Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese with carrot dogs.
Sarah and her husband chose the name Nourish Nova because nova mans new or young and, Sarah said, they “hope to nourish both mama and baby in their new lives together.”