Overcoming isolation, addressing concerns and cultivating camaraderie
Moms find comfort and wisdom in shared experiences
When Ashu and her husband moved to Squamish from India four years ago, she left behind a tight knit group of family and friends that she saw almost every day. The absence of her social network became even more apparent when Ashu became pregnant in 2022. At 43, Ashu’s pregnancy was considered high risk – and with it came lots of questions.
Kaitlyn, a self-described “social butterfly,” lives in Pemberton. An aunt by the age of 10, Kaitlyn was raised around babies. She believed that early exposure would help prepare her for eventual motherhood. In reality, she says, being a mom is more exhausting than she anticipated.
While Kaitlyn and Ashu’s stories are quite different, the pair – who have never met – have a lot in common. As new mothers, they both sought peer connection and support. And, fortunately, both found it through Sea to Sky Community Services’ Healthy Pregnancy Outreach Program (HPOP) and the other mothers who participate in the group.
A mother of two, Kaitlyn first participated in HPOP after having her first child about five years ago. “I joined for the lunch,” she admits. “The idea of a nourishing meal that someone else prepared and served was a treat.”
While the food is what initially drew Kaitlyn in, she says the camaraderie between mothers is what kept her going.
“Having somewhere to go and connect with other new moms is vital for a new mom’s mental health and therefore baby’s health,” explains Julie Van Eesteren, Manager of Children’s Services at Sea to Sky Community Services (SSCS).
“The group can help mothers find support and resources. For some, that might be referrals to mental health, access to food, public health nurses for breast feeding support, or a place where they can ask questions about developmental milestones,” Julie adds.
The Healthy Pregnancy Outreach Program also serves as an important gateway to other SSCS programs – from Strong Start and Infant Development Program to childcare and playgroups – helping to connect families with other programs, services and resources within the community.
Ashu and another mom she met have begun attending the Infant Development group on Mondays, and Kaitlyn says that over the past five years she has enrolled in “pretty much anything I can get my hands on.”
“It’s been good to know that there are places to go and to know that there’s so many beautiful people in the community who are supporting you in so many ways,” Kaitlyn says.
The population in the Sea to Sky Corridor is rapidly expanding. As the community grows, so does the demand for prenatal support, childcare spaces and support for families. In addition to meals, resources, and access to experts, the relationships built through these programs are the heart of what makes SSCS a community organization.
By donating to Sea to Sky Community Services, you are supporting connection, safety, and a sense of belonging. Please donate today to help new moms and their babies with the best start in life.