Program provides new moms access to Baby Boutique

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By Carolyn Roy, carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

There’s lots of new activity at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) according to Executive Director Sherry Hatcher. The Baby Boutique is a shop where expectant mothers can use points they earn as currency by participating in a series of educational programs. Hatcher says the boutique has a range of items with just about everything needed for a child from birth to 12 months old.

“Examples include diapers, car seats, high chairs, and more that are made available through donations to the center,” Hatcher says. Clients can earn points by participating in classes and earning while they learn. “It’s a new direction aimed at abundant family life and we encourage the fathers and other family members to participate.”

Carey Blanchard, owner of Blanchard Safety Training, give instruction on infant CPR to clients at the Women’s Resource Center.

The goal is to involve the client’s family and support systems. Classes are conducted Mondays and Fridays. For example, on the first four Mondays of each month, clients can learn to correctly install car seats. On the second Monday of each month, the classes focus on child safety and first aid including infant and child CPR. Another Monday class is entitled, “Healthy Beginnings for Baby.” It will include parenting classes and financial training. Participants can watch videos and complete work sheets.

The more classes clients attend, the more points they receive that can be redeemed in the Baby Boutique. Hatcher hopes to begin nutrition and healthy cooking classes soon. Counseling for clients will continue on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“We encourage clients to stay with the center for the first year of their baby’s life and receive training. They can get supplies and equipment. We help them learn,” Hatcher says.

Dep. David Dorsey shows a client at the Women’s Resource Center how to correctly install a car seat.

The Women’s Resource Center opened in 1989 with a mission of helping pregnant women who want to keep their babies. The Center has between 350 and 400 clients each year with about 30 new clients each month. The Center offers free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds for clients meeting certain criteria. There is a staff of four people with about 20 volunteers who average about four hours per week.

“We’re always looking for more volunteers,” Hatcher says. She says clients wanting more information or potential new clients can call the center at 357-8888. “We’re here to give help and provide options,” Hatcher says.

The Women’s Resource Center provides ongoing support for women who plan to carry their pregnancy to term. It provides free one-on-one childbirth and breastfeeding instruction, material assistance for mother and baby, community referral and information about contemporary adoption options.