All moms deserve to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
February 21, 2018
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
For expectant and new moms, staying healthy in mind, body, and spirit is crucial. However, many women find themselves too busy taking care of everyone else to make their own health a priority.
For women in the 11 Milwaukee zip codes most affected by premature birth and infant mortality, a healthy mind and body is even more important.
In order to encourage moms to take charge of their own health, strong baby advocate Tonda Thompson and the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) Collaborative have begun Mommy and Me Sessions in the Westlawn neighborhood.
The sessions are free of charge and will take place at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. Each session will feature a guest speaker on topics such as fitness, nutrition, and living stress free. Participants are welcome to bring their children under two.
“As moms, we think so much about the baby,” says Tonda, community engagement coordinator for Milwaukee LIHF. “We have to start making our own physical and mental health a priority. To have a strong baby, you need to have a strong mom.”
The goal of the sessions is to help moms reduce stress and develop a support system, both strategies shown to reduce prematurity, the leading cause of infant mortality in Milwaukee.
The Lifecourse Initiaitve for Healthy Families (LIHF) Collaborative, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP), is an innovative, community-academic collaboration designed to improve community conditions that lead to healthier birth outcomes among African American families in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. Guided by the Community Action Plan and informed by data, Milwaukee LIHF’s primary focus is to prevent the leading cause of infant deaths: complications of prematurity.
A survivor of post-partum depression, Tonda knows the importance of having a support system and access to resources. “Having someone to talk to is really helpful,” says Tonda, “instead being in a silo or confined to your own internal thoughts; that can restrict you from getting what you need. Mom may come to this space to say ‘I don’t have a car seat’ and I can say ‘I know how you can get one!’
“I want this to be a space for mom to be transparent and say what they need, and have a desire to live better and be healthier for their babies,” says Tonda.
The next LIHF 365 with Mom: Mommy and Me Session will take place on Saturday February 24 from 10-11:30am at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, 5460 N 64th st. in Milwaukee.
For more information and to sign up, contact Tonda Thompson at 414-263-8337 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Milwaukee LIHF.