How the Baby Steps Fund Helps February 16, 2017 Shelby O'Keefe How the Baby Steps Fund Helps Categories: Funds Without the Baby Steps Fund, a grieving mother could not afford a funeral service for her stillborn baby. Last fall, she gave birth to twins and one baby was born stillborn. She desperately wanted a funeral service for her baby, but could not afford the cost. The Baby Steps was able to step in and provide for a funeral and a casket. “The Baby Steps Fund is great because it’s those times that you want to be able to help people and assist them. It is a difficult time, but being able to alleviate some of that and knowing how grateful the mothers are is worth it,” said Angela Christesen, fund administrator of the Baby Steps Fund and Director of Maternal Child Services Obstetrics/Nursery/Pediatrics. In other circumstances, when a patient at PCRMC has a fetal loss the Baby Steps Fund steps in to help families with comfort and tangible reminders of their baby. The Baby Steps Fund creates a memory box for the family, which consists of pictures of the baby for a photo album, foot and hand prints of the baby and a two-part necklace in which one part stays with the mom and the other stays with the baby. In addition, the fund provides a teddy bear the mother can take home. “We do not want any mom to leave the hospital with empty arms, “said Angela Christesen. The Baby Steps Fund also assists nursing mothers with lactation support and education, breast pumps, nursing bras and supplies to make breastfeeding a success for mothers and babies. Many mothers have to return to work or school and a breast pump is crucial to successful nursing. Last year, a single mother had to return to work at the grocery store where she worked and was unable to afford a nursing bra. The mother had a family of 4 and very little income for nursing amenities. The Baby Steps Fund purchased a breast pump for her to still pump while returning to work. The last area the Baby Steps Fund assists with is for those parents who have infants transferred to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) outside of the Phelps County area. Those parents may not have the money or resources to travel to the NICU and the Baby Steps fund provides gas and food cards. Last year, the Baby Steps Fund helped a mother whose newborn was sent to the NICU in St. Louis for medical treatment. The single mother was not working and had several other children to care for as well. The fund provided for gas cards and food cards to help with costs since she did not have any resources. The Baby Steps Fund is responsible for helping many families during a time of tragedy such as fetal demise or infants transferred to outside hospitals. It also assists many new mothers who need support and help with nursing supplies and education. Without the Baby Steps fund we would not be able to support those mothers in need in our community. For more information on how to donate towards the Baby Steps fund, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-458-7699.