New mentorship program for moms promotes healthy pregnancies in Muskegon
In an effort to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Muskegon County, the School of Nursing in Muskegon Baker College and Muskegon County Public Health collaborate to a new mentorship program for moms.
The free program, which is currently recruiting mentors and mentees, is designed to provide local pregnant women with the support, education and connection to community resources they need to have healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes.
Muskegon County’s infant mortality rate from 2015 to 2019 was 7.2, exceeding the state average of 6.6, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The new program is committed to connecting expectant mothers to community agency resources, providing appropriate education for healthy pregnancies, helping new mothers learn parenting skills, and offering non-judgmental love and support.
“In the Baker College nursing program, service-learning opportunities like the Mom Mentorship Program are part of our commitment to the community and to our nursing profession, and it is a privilege to be involved. be a part,” says Melissa Miller, director of nurse/clinical coordinator and assistant professor at Baker College of Muskegon. “The women in this program, both mentors and mentees, are our neighbors and peers, and their health and well-being are integral to ours and that of our community.”
Support continues until baby’s first birthday
Pregnant mothers/mentees will be matched with a volunteer mentor, who must complete an essential training session, attend bi-weekly educational meetings, and commit to at least one hour per week of active mentorship for 18 months.
The mentors support the mentee mother from pregnancy until the baby’s first birthday. The program is open to all pregnant women, no more than 16 weeks old, who live in Muskegon County.
“The partnership we have with the Baker College School of Nursing and our mentorship program for moms is a fantastic way to meet the demands of students while serving as a valued member of the community,” says Shelia Wilson, Supervisor Maternal and Child Health at Public Health Muskegon County. “Helping women throughout their pregnancy and up to their baby’s first birthday can be very rewarding.”