MIHOW's mission is to improve health and child development for low income families. MIHOW workers visit parents that are often young and in crisis. As mentors, MIHOW outreach workers listen and give consistent support.
Most importantly, they identify and nurture the existing strengths in the parents they serve.
"I want a chance to raise a happy, healthy baby despite my own troubled childhood."
At 19, Mary had overcome much adversity. Mary grew up in poverty and suffered abuse of every kind. When Mary became pregnant she wanted the chance to raise a happy, healthy baby and show her child the love she had never received.
To become a successful mom, Mary needed support. With the help and visits of a MIHOW outreach worker, Mary learned to effectively nurture her child and foster physical, social, and mental development. A MIHOW outreach worker provided Mary with support at a critical time. She learned how to prepare nourishing meals for her child and for herself. The outreach worker encouraged her to continue her education and to access available resources. Today, Mary is a bright, well-educated, and nurturing mom.
“I am not going back to high school because I just had a baby, and I don’t have childcare.”
One young mom did not plan to return for her sophomore year in high school because of lack of childcare for her infant. A MIHOW worker talked to the young woman about how important it was to complete her high school education and explored with her options for childcare. The young mom recalled a friend that was once licensed as a childcare provider. The MIHOW worker contacted the individual who agreed to be reinstated to be able to care for her friend’s baby. The teen mom is now excited about her return to school and determined about her new commitment.
“I am not going to breastfeed my four month old anymore because she is cutting her teeth,
and she might bite.”
A teen mom stopped breastfeeding her four month old when the baby began cutting teeth. Even though she knew breast milk was the best nutrition for her child, she was afraid the baby might accidently bite her while feeding. The MIHOW worker coached the new mom and gave suggestions about how to breastfeed a teething baby. The mom agreed to try the new strategies. When the MIHOW worker visited a week later, the mom was confidently breastfeeding again. The young mom even talked with two of her expectant friends, teaching them how to nurse their babies.
“I am a single parent and am overwhelmed and stressed by my unplanned pregnancy with twins.”
A young ,expectant, single mom was pregnant with twins. The pregnancy had been unplanned and the young woman was stressed about how to take care of two new babies. The MIHOW worker began visiting on a regular basis. She listened to the young woman’s fears, and helped her think of the positive aspects of her pregnancy and life as a new mom. The MIHOW worker reports that her participant now has a much more positive attitude. “She is beginning to picture all the fun she will have with her new sons and feels confident that she is capable of giving them the secure environment they need.”