DETROIT – Becoming a new mom can be scary, and there are many challenges along the way. Thankfully, one local organization is stepping in to help.
From the moment you become pregnant, to the day your child turns one year old -- and everything in between -- Detroit nonprofit SisterFriends is there to guide you through it.
New, and proud, mother Victoria Dunlap says the nonprofit has helped her feel ready to take on this new chapter in her life.
“I feel awesome,” Dunlap said. “It’s a beautiful experience. It’s wonderful and I have help with SisterFriends. They’re so wonderful.”
While she has great support from her daughter’s father and her own family, Dunlap says she needed someone she could talk to outside of family to help her navigate through her pregnancy, and now through motherhood. She found that in her mentor at SisterFriends.
“Whenever I need help, they’re there -- like on call,” Dunlap said.
Nonprofit organization SisterFriends is designed to connect expecting mothers, called “little sisters,” with resources and knowledge they may not otherwise have access to.
“I was looking for a way to give back, and I wanted to do something impactful and that meant something to me,” said SisterFriends mentor Carmen Coleman. “When I became a mom, I encountered some difficulties and didn’t know quite where to go. I knew that it was hard for me, and if I could make it easier for someone else, I wanted to do that.”
For just over three years, SisterFriends has helped educate and support pregnant women or new moms in the city of Detroit until their child reaches one year old.
“In the city of Detroit, we know that based on stressors and based on other issues, that many of our babies are born too early, or they’re born at low birth weight, and then we have issues,” said head of SisterFriends, Shirley Mann Gray. “A larger percentage of kids are dying before the age of one due to unsafe sleep and other issues in the city of Detroit.”
For Dunlap, the knowledge, friendship and support she has gained from her mentee has been invaluable.
“My mentor, she’s everything!” Dunlap said. “She calls to check on me. She doesn’t let me go, not even three to five days without hearing from me.”
SisterFriends helps educate mothers on topics like the importance of breastfeeding, and why new moms should not co-sleep with their children. The organization also helps connect mothers with items they may need for their infant.
The nonprofit offers services for free for the little sisters who join, and works with them until their child reaches one year in age.
See the full report in the video above.