Debbie, the public health nurse in Wanblee, really needs our help. Several new babies have recently arrived on the Rez and she doesn’t have enough layette items to give out to the moms when she makes her two week postpartum visits. Because of the breastfeeding initiative on the Rez, the hospital can no longer give out diaper bags and all the goodies that came with them. The bags are labeled with the formula company’s name and formula is something the Rez wants to discourage mothers from using. Breastfeeding offers many more benefits to baby and mom and that is stressed to women at the hospital and in prenatal programs.
Nurse Debbie follows up with women and their babies who have been seen at the 3 prenatal clinics in the area she covers; Wanblee and the surrounding areas and Martin. As soon as a baby is born the hospital provides Debbie with all the information on the new mother and baby and their discharge date. Seeing a newborn in the early weeks is especially important, not only is it a time to see how mom and baby are doing but it’s also a good time to determine what kind of follow up the infant will need over the next few years. Meeting the nurse allows mom to get to know someone at the clinic whom she can call on if a need or a question should arise and it also allows the nurse to see the needs of the mom in her home environment and also decide if any other care is needed at the time of the visit.
With many moms being under the age of 20, (something the Rez is addressing through education) baby and child rearing knowledge is really lacking. Many women didn’t receive adequate prenatal care for varying reasons so making contact with them helps to get them into the health care system where they can stress the importance of good health care now and for any future pregnancies.
Baby items are always in short supply, the trucks of donated items that come to the Rez are mostly filled with clothing and goods for older children and adults but not so much for the baby to toddler ages. If you’ve ever had children you know that those first 6 months is when you really need all the baby stuff to deal with all the wetting, pooping and spitting up. Doing laundry on the Rez is not an easy task but is something that has to be done often as families don’t have a lot of clothing, linens, etc. Women on the Rez do pass baby clothes on to new moms after their child has outgrown them, but many times they aren’t in great condition as they didn’t have a lot to start with. The hospital does give out items they might have on hand, mostly donated from generous donors like you.
Our goal at Sew For Kids this month is to help provide layette items for 10- 15 new mothers in the Wanblee area (average number of births per month). If we get extra, GREAT, Debbie will have items for next months new babies. Used items in good condition are always welcome, please check our donation guidelines before sending. In addition to basic layette items we would also like to send clothing suitable for the hot summer months which has already arrived. We will need to change to warmer clothing for future drives as the colder months approach. As I stated above there’s an average of 10- 15 births a month in the Wanblee area so there will always be needs for babies and children. Can you please help nurse Debbie help the new moms and babies? Even having a small gift available to give out on her visits helps break the ice when doing a home visit for the first time.
1. 15 Diaper bags or backpacks ( lots of teen moms who might prefer this )
2. 15 Changing pads
3. 15 Blanket/afghan/quilts
4. 30 Receiving blankets. Will give two to each mom ( a normal layette has 6)
5. 30 Burp cloths
6. 30 Bibs newborn or small
7. 15 Sleep sacks-(lightweight cotton/flannel for summer quilted, fleece or double flannel for winter)
8. 15 Towel/hooded towels
9. 30 Washcloths baby/toddler size
Clothing Items Size 0/3 months
1. 30 Socks/booties 0-3 months ( 2 pair per baby)
2. 15 cotton hat or bonnet 0-3 months
3. 30 onesies, rompers or bubble suits, short sleeves and short or “no” legs 0-3 months
4. 30 baby Tshirts snap front or tie 0-3 months, for use until cord falls off, onesies rub and irritate
5. 15 baby gowns, lt. weight, hemmed or elastic in casing no string or tie bottoms
6. 15 sleepers, light weight with or without feet
7. 15 jackets, sweaters or vests, lightweight
1 15 baby wash (used for both shampoo and soap)
2 15 “bum” creams” – Desitin, or Vit A & D ointment, generic fine
3 15 Q tips packages
5 baby nail clippers and mom nail clippers
If you sew, crochet or knit this is a perfect summer project that can make a big difference to the babies and moms on the Rez. Check out our free pattern list, if you have a pattern to share we’d love to add it to our lists, just send us the link. If you’re not a crafter you can still help by shopping your local thrift store or garage sale or maybe a family member or friend has children that have outgrown their clothing they’d like to donate and you can send items from the toiletry list (look for online free shipping, Dollar General, amazon, etc.). If you’re not into shopping or just don’t have the time you can always help by making a donation to Sew For Kids through Hearts of the Sacred Spirit website. Your charitable donation is tax deductible.
If you can help us meet our goal please send a list of items here or in the blog comment section as we maintain a spreadsheet of all donations which helps us keep track of everything. Newborn needs is our goal at the moment but you can certainly send items for older age children, after all babies grow and they will wear them soon enough. It’s also nice to have items stocked in our Clothing Closet should a need arise.