From left: Peggy, who doesn’t share her surname with clients for security reasons, and Beverlee Barr with the Pregnancy Outreach Program smile for a photo with Janis McRae and Audrey Quechuck. McRae and Quechuck are members of the St. Ann’s Catholic Women’s League, which donated a new rocking chair (centre) to the program. Heather Norman photo

St. Ann’s Catholic Women’s League makes donation to Pregnancy Outreach

The women’s league donated a new rocking chair to the program

St. Anne’s Catholic Women’s League donated a rocking chair to the Pregnancy Outreach Program at the Quesnel and District Childhood Development Centre this week.

The Catholic Women’s League raised $1,200 by handing out empty baby bottles at their church and asking members to take some time and try to fill them with their spare change before returning them to the group.

Janis McRae, a member of the Women’s League, reached out to the Pregnancy Outreach Program to see if there was anything they needed.

After several repairs to their old rocking chair, which they had for about the last 13 years, they were worried it was no longer safe to use. So when McRae called, they knew exactly what to ask for.

Beverlee Barr, the program’s co-ordinator, says new mothers will often sit in the chair to rock their babies, or to nurse.

“We aim to [provide] a comfortable, home-like atmosphere so people feel welcome,” says Barr.

The Pregnancy Outreach Program is for new and expectant mothers who are looking for a little more support. They are eligible to participate until their baby is six months old. The program is by self-referral, and it includes a drop-in group once a week for all the moms who wish to participate. The program also provides one-on-one work as well, for anyone wanting more private support.

“When you’re starting a family, there are a lot of challenges that new parents can face,” says Barr. “We’re just here to offer support and guidance around what to expect.”

Barr, a registered dietitian, also helps mothers manage their nutrition. Other services the program provides include: labour and delivery information, information about breastfeeding, help with car seat safety, help with stress, anxiety or depression, and more.

More than guidance, the program also helps mothers who are struggling financially with help buying groceries and pre-natal vitamins. In some cases, the program will also help out with diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes and even car seats if they have the funding for it.

READ MORE: St. Ann’s Catholic Women’s League fights slavery with Red Sand Project

Heather Norman
Community Reporter
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