SisterFriends Detroit connects people with programs, resources to help new mothers thrive

SisterFriends Detroit offers mentoring, financial support, and more

DETROIT – The SisterFriends Detroit program helps connect people with programs and resources to help new mothers and their babies thrive.

Pregnant people in Detroit face many challenges, such as access to quality prenatal care, social isolation, and stress that can put babies at higher risk of being born too small or too early.

Denise Fair Razo is Detroit’s chief public health officer and she’s about to embark on the most important job of her life. She is going to become a mother.

Someone might look at her credentials and ask why would a woman of her means need these services. She’s educated, gainfully employed and has support from her family -- but new mothers can never have too much support. That’s where SisterFriends Detroit steps in.

With her husband by her side, mom-to-be Denise Fair Razo is ready to take on a new chapter in life.

“I am overjoyed,” said Denise Fair Razo. “I’m honored. I’m also a little nervous, like every other first-time mom, but this is an exciting journey for my husband and I and we’re almost close to the finish line.”

She has tremendous support from her husband Rico as well as her parents, in-laws, and extended family, but she still felt like she needed more support. That’s why she joined SisterFriends Detroit. The organization provides a circle of care around pregnant women to ensure they have a successful pregnancy and a healthy newborn. The support continues until the child is one year old.

“Like every first-time mom we all have questions, we’re all nervous and we need to have a safe place where we can ask those questions,” Fair Razo said.

Denise Fair Razo found that safe place through the classes offered through SisterFriends Detroit and in her mentor, Dr. Annette Jo.

“So, with the program, we contact the mothers every once a week just to make sure they’re not having any problems,” said Jo. “To encourage them to eat well and go to their doctor’s appointments and once the babies are born try to encourage them to make sure they go to their well-baby visits. And get their vaccines on schedule and so just to be there. They can call us if they have any troubles.”

If needed, the mentors help the mothers find everything from breastfeeding and teething resources to transportation services. SisterFriends Detroit is not just for the mom-to-be, but also for anyone helping to support or rear the child.

“There are classes where you bring in your family,” Fair Razo said. “In fact, there’s a safe sleep class, which is offered virtually and I plan to bring my entire family and they’ll learn about the ABC’s of safe sleep and they’ll learn how to support my child.”

For Fair Razo, the knowledge she’s gained from the classes, resources, and friendships is priceless.

“I may not need a ride to an appointment, but I can pick up the phone and talk to my SisterFriend and just vent and that’s something so invaluable,” Fair Razo said.

Fair Razo’s baby boy is due later this spring. They have a name picked out, but they’re waiting until the baby is born before they reveal it.

The only requirement to participate in the SisterFriends Detroit program is that you have to be a Detroit resident. The program will match those interested with a mentor and it is absolutely free.

You can learn more about SisterFriends Detroit by calling 313-961-BABY or by clicking here.

About the Author:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.