Finding Support during Pregnancy
Support during pregnancy and the early years of parenting is something we all deserve. LFCS is here to assist women and their families achieve safe and stable home environments through our Family Services. It is one of many ways we are working to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect in Missouri.
Cecelia walked into the LFCS office overwhelmed with anxiety. She was pregnant for the first time without anyone but her husband to support her. She was new to the area and had not made many friends yet. Cecelia’s mother had passed away two years before and she had no siblings or other family close by. As excited as she and her husband were to become parents, Cecelia was struggling with all of the unknowns that lie ahead.
After assessing her needs, Cecelia’s LFCS caseworker suggested she attend the monthly support group for young moms. There she was able to meet several other women who understood her circumstances. They shared their experiences of pregnancy, birth, what to expect at the hospital, parenting an infant and more. She met with her caseworker regularly, following an evidence-based parenting education curriculum to prepare for her role as a new mom. Two months after enrolling in the program, Cecelia delivered her daughter.
As the first weeks past, Cecelia felt more and more detached from her baby. “What’s wrong with me?” she thought. Cecelia had planned and prepared, so why wasn’t it all coming naturally? Her caseworker called to follow up and noticed Cecelia didn’t seem like herself. “Come by the office Wednesday. I’d love to meet the baby and talk to you more.” the caseworker requested.
Wednesday came and Cecelia arrived at the LFCS late in the afternoon. She was disheveled and noticeably upset. While sitting in her caseworker’s office, she broke down in tears sharing her fears and questions once more. Fortunately, LFCS was able to provide additional support to Cecilia through counseling services that directly addressed Cecelia’s detachment and post-partum depression.
With regular counseling, Cecelia began to recover and bond with her child. She continued to attend the support group for new moms which helped her understand she was not alone and that many of the challenges she was facing were normal in the baby’s first year of life. Today, Cecelia is parenting with confidence and her daughter is thriving at 16 months.
If you’d like to help create safe and stable home environments for families, like Cecelia’s, make a gift to LFCS today. Your contribution will make generations of children and families across Missouri safer and stronger together.