Sherrelle Hale has always proudly “done it on her own.” Moving into her own apartment and raising her seven-year-old son, Desmond, by herself are some of her proudest accomplishments.
Just when she got pregnant with her second son, she experienced domestic violence from her partner. She craved all the help she could get.
At Community of Hope, she found sisterhood, support, and compassion. Sherrelle already had a doctor she trusted at our Conway Health and Resource Center. Our health center was close to home and, coupled with the personalized care she was receiving from our medical staff, she knew immediately that Community of Hope would be the best medical home for her and her baby.
“I trust the doctors to take good care of me –as I was dealing with other [home] situations.”
With no other support system by her side, Sherrelle’s visits to Community of Hope became her source of information and encouragement. Our doctors knew just how much she would benefit from being around other moms-to-be. At six-months pregnant, Sherrelle joined our CenteringPregnancy® Group.
The CenteringPregnancy® Groups help ensure that moms and their babies have the best birth outcome possible. Moms benefit from interactive learning and fun discussion about labor, breastfeeding and newborn care – but that’s not all. In addition to the one-on-one check-ups with the midwife, expectant moms use these groups as a means of connecting to other women who might be going through similar experiences.
For Sherrelle, it was a relief to finally have others to relate to and rely on. “Once I opened up, I saw how many of us were going through the same things: pregnancy struggle, domestic violence,” she shares. “I knew I wasn’t alone.”
In those groups, Sherrelle found a supportive community – her sisterhood. The care did not stop there.
Right before Sherrelle gave birth to baby Isaiah, she joined Community of Hope’s Healthy Start Program – where new parents receive post-partum care and support to learn about their baby’s development right in their own homes. We believe that achievement gaps begin in the cradle and we hope to provide support to parents so that our children will do well in the classroom and in life.
Through that program, Sherrelle’s sisterhood grew to include a case manager, who supported her as she experienced post-partum depression, a new experience from this pregnancy. “She wasn’t just a case manager, but a nurse, friend, and guide.”
We have been at Sherrelle’s side since before Isaiah. Today, Isaiah is an active, happy eight-month-old.
“The Centering Group and these home visits have made all the difference,” Sherrelle says, smiling.
We thank the many supporters who have made Centering Pregnancy and our Home Visiting Program possible - March of Dimes, CareFirst Blue Cross BlueShield, Bainum Family Foundation, and the DC Department of Health.