Moms And Babes Too at 5716 Wellness Helps Pregnant Moms and Kids Be Healthy

May 5th, 2011
Maelen Irizarry and her daughter Nashalli watch as her son Josue has his height measured by Carron Jones of Moms And Babes Too

Located on the lower level of 5716 Wellness, “Mom And Babes Too” is dedicated to the good health of pregnant women and young children.

It provides a WIC program and a Maternal Infant Mental Health Program, serving 3000 consumers a month with the two programs. WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children.

“I think it’s very appropriate that we’re in the basement of 5716 Wellness,” says Aleasia Hall, executive director of Moms And Babes Too. “We think of ourselves as part of the strong foundation for the whole building. As the kids we serve grow up, they can go up in the building to use other services that will help them be healthy, both mentally and physically.”

The other services at 5716 Wellness include the Covenant Community Care medical and dental clinic on the first floor, Life Directions and Madonna University’s S.W.E.E.P. program on the second floor, and our Children, Youth and Families programs on the third and fourth floors. Across the hall from Moms and Babes Too, Children’s Outreach provides early childhood education, childcare and home visits.

The partnership of all these programs and the cross-referral of services constitute the integrated healthcare model of 5716 Wellness.

Because at-risk families often have many serious needs, helping these families become successful requires multiple and coordinated services. Research shows that an integrated services model that connects families to a wide range of resources and opportunities may be the best hope of bettering their lives.

Maelen Irizarry, 23, believes that her family will benefit from the spectrum of services at 5716. Maelen is expecting her third child in two months. She has a son who is three and daughter who is two. Maelen comes to Moms And Babes Too for WIC services and has also been helped by the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP).

“Because of Moms And Babes Too, my kids and I are definitely healthier,” Maelen says. “Not only am I able to get healthy food for my kids and myself, but they have taught me a lot about being a good parent.”

WIC subsidies can only be used to purchase healthy foods such as milk and dairy products, whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables, pure juices, cereals, brown rice, legumes and other nutritious items.

At Moms And Babes Too, mothers receive many services. They meet with a nurse, social worker and nutritionist. They are counseled about the importance of a healthy lifestyle so that their children will have a better chance for success in life. They learn about prenatal care, childbirth, childcare, and parenting. They and their young children (0 – 5 years old) are tested for lead in their blood. If the family needs additional services, such as counseling or medical care, they are referred to agencies that can address those needs.

The Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) also provides home visits to counsel mothers and help create a home environment conducive to the safety and healthy development of children.

Moms And Babes Too started in 1996 and was located elsewhere in southwest Detroit before moving into 5716 Wellness this year. Aleasia and her mother began the business because of their own experiences.

“My mother had me as a teenager,” Aleasia says. “We have a strong passion to help pregnant moms and make sure they receive the educational and tangible resources they need to be the best parents they can be.”

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