Maui News

$4,640 Grant Supports Mothers, Babies on Maui

January 31, 2017, 3:26 PM HST
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Mālama client Kalea Watimer reads ‘Goodnight Moon’ to her baby Kailey Van Zandt in Mālama’s Early Learning Center.

Women’s Fund of Hawaiʻi recently awarded a $4,640 grant to Maui nonprofit Mālama Nā Makua A Keiki (Mālama Family Recovery Center) to support the organization’s Maternal-Fetal and Parenting Program.

Mālama provides caring, holistic substance abuse treatment to women and children so families can live safe, independent and healthy lives. It is Maui’s only women-specific addiction treatment center and the only place on the island where infants and young children can live with their moms in therapeutic and sober living environments.

The program supported by the grant will help prevent drug and alcohol use by women during and after pregnancy, encourage mother–baby/child bonding and provide support to mothers of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

“Most of these women have given up hope and don’t think they can get better,” said Dr. Lisa Ponichtera, Mālama’s Clinical Director. “Thanks to this grant and the community’s support, our clients can turn their lives around and be loving and capable parents. We are deeply grateful to the Women’s Fund of Hawaiʻi for their generous gift.”

Part of the grant allowed Mālama to purchase “Goodnight Moon” board books and bunny blankies as well as womb music heartbeat baby monitors with conductive gel.

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“We are so excited that moms at Mālama can share this classic bedtime story tradition with their children and that our pregnant clients can read to their unborn babies and listen as their babies’ heartbeats slow in response,” said Megan Morrow, Mālama Program Assistant.

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“Expectant and new mothers will also hold the bunny blankies while reading because they will retain their scent, thereby soothing their babies later on and enhancing bonding,” said Morrow.

The grant will also enhance Mālama’s parenting support services by covering the cost of purchasing and implementing ‘The Incredible Years’ Baby and Toddler Parenting Program curriculum.

Mālama relies on the community’s support for its programs that target pregnant women and mothers with young children. To learn how you can help, visit Mālama Family Recovery online or call Development Coordinator Frances Duberstein at 808-579-8414, ext. 8102.

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