#MapYourJourney . . . Gil

Prego2Prego D and E

In October 2013, I started my journey with HealthConnect One. Also in that month, I received a phone call from my sister Cristina to tell me that she was pregnant. This was amazing since our younger sister, Monica had announced that she was pregnant a couple of months before. I was going to be an uncle, twice! My sisters are two years apart and have very different lives. At the time, Cristina was living with her husband abroad while Monica was in California, focused on her legal career.

Meanwhile, I was learning about HealthConnect One’s Community-Based Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor programs throughout the country and their effectiveness in achieving healthy birth outcomes and positive experiences of pregnancy.

While I was learning about the power of peer-to-peer support, my sisters were living it. They might have been separated by time zones and thousands and thousands of miles, but that didn’t stop them from supporting one another. “We would call each other up and usually start the conversation with: ‘Hey, Prego-to-Prego…’ and then ask each other questions.” Cristina told me. When it wasn’t easy to reach each other by phone, they emailed, Skyped or Facebook chatted. They trusted one another. They supported each other through the wonder, the humor and the anxiety of being first time moms:

Hey, Prego-to-Prego!
Prego2Prego 1

Prego2Prego 2

Prego2Prego 3

Prego2Prego 4

Prego2Prego 5
Prego2Prego M and DMy sisters know how lucky they are. Not only do they have each other, but they are fortunate to lead lives that allow them to connect with health education and can advocate for my niece and nephew, both of whom successfully breastfed.

But there are many young mothers that don’t have that sister, that friend, that support that will lead them to know what questions to ask the doctor, or make them feel less scared. In the neighborhoods where my sisters and I were raised, there are growing disparities in income and education that keep moms from making those prenatal appointments or learning about breastfeeding.

“Having someone who knows who you are and where you come from makes such a big difference,” Monica told me.

Prego2Prego C and EAnd this is why I’m on the journey with HealthConnect One, so that babies across the country can have the chance that my nephew, DJ (aka Big Boy) and my niece (Lil Duck Butt) had. Please consider donating to HealthConnect One, to connect moms across the country with support for a healthy pregnancy.

 

Prego2Prego D taking a break while bf

~ Gil Zamora, Development Coordinator, HealthConnect One

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