'People love hats'

Many of the pregnant women being treated at Whittier Clinic along Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis don’t have much, and they really appreciate a hat for their baby.

On Monday, March 28, 2016 we dropped off 53 baby hats and a box full of children’s mittens to be distributed through the prenatal care program at Whittier. The program treats a high number of immigrants and refugees.

“People love hats,” Kristen Brown told us as she looked through the box of baby hats we brought. “These are beautiful.”

“They’re so pretty,” agreed Anne Denucci-Lushine.

The duo brought us back to the room where prenatal groups are held. Through the CenteringPregnancy Program, a group of 8-12 expectant mothers meet together once a month for 10 two-hour-long sessions. Groups are offered in English and Spanish. “After the first couple sessions, they’re exchanging phone numbers and information,” remarked Anne.

The group provides an avenue for these women to find a community in a city where it can be hard to make connections.

Members of each group span a big age range, but they all come together through their shared experience of being due at the same time.

Anne noted that as providers, they don’t need to do much except facilitate the conversation during monthly get-togethers. “We help guide them,” she remarked. But all they need to do is ask a question, and the women themselves find the answer together. The conversation with other moms “is really empowering,” said Kristen. “It’s validating.” She added, “It’s very humbling for us.”

Amy pointed out that we occasionally have baby hats that don’t fit in with the donations we make to cancer treatment centers as few babies have cancer and the Allina Children’s Hospital has told us they’re more in need of hats for teenagers. In the past, we’ve dropped the baby hats off at the Fairview U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital NICU. “I was very happy when I called here and found you could use them,” Amy stated.

The group has 20-30 participants each month. Anne and Kirsten weren’t sure yet whether they’d give away the hats during the prenatal group meetings or at the reunion held with each group 2 months after birth.

For more information, call 612-873-2229 or 612-873-BABY.


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