by Tracy Moore
Being poor sucks. When you're not not having anything, you're dodging the stigma of being shamed for not having anything. Being poor with a baby sucks worse. And being poor with a baby and no one to help you raise it is a trifecta of suck that almost always comes with a complimentary helping of downward spiral.
So it's my pleasure to mention this no-shit study that finally came out: Poor mothers are more likely to be depressed. Actually, half of the families studied had mothers with some signs of depression. One in nine had mothers who were severely depressed. Perhaps even more depressing is the finding that fewer than 30 percent of those mothers had any kind of medical care. Gee, wonder if it's all connected?
In Nashville, there are community health centers who serve these populations, and The Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center is one of them. They provide OB-GYN care to local uninsured and underserved women who are struggling to navigate a world indifferent and often hostile to them. The overwhelming majority are Hispanic immigrant women or inner-city mothers. Their paychecks would humble you in an instant, and they are all just trying to get by.
The center not only offers low-cost or no-cost care, but it also helps new mothers who've delivered in the past year by gathering some of the staples that make newborn care so much easier: diapers, wipes, car seats, diaper genies, bottles, breast pumps, maternity clothes. (It's OK if some of the latter items are lightly used.) This year, they have approximately 100 mothers who need help with the basics. The collection deadline is Sept. 22. So if you've got anything useful sitting around gathering dust, drop it off.
Sure, you can rationalize why some of these ladies are in their particular situation, what systems may have failed them, and in what ways they are complicit. Or you can give them some of your leftover stuff, knowing you've made a world of difference in someone else's struggle. Donation address after the jump.
Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center
1035 14th Ave. N. (Corner of 14th & Jefferson, near the Nashville Farmer's Market.)
Leave items at the front desk and indicate they are for the baby shower.