2014-15 in numbers
  • 42 young mothers; 52 children
  • 100% report healthier eating habits
  • 88% received access to public health and counseling services
  • 73% are actively pursuing education opportunities
  • 63% are currently employed
  • 18% secured safe and affordable housing through NLHC
  • 10% are actively planning for their children’s education

The challenges of pregnancy and parenting can be overwhelming for any woman, and for young mothers experiencing social isolation, financial demands, and with limited social and family support, the challenges of motherhood are even more so.

The Momma Moments Program was created in response to the significant number of pregnant and parenting young women who came to Choices for support. They showed us an extensive gap in programming, one which was leaving them unable to find healthy ways to interact with other moms, share experiences, learn healthy habits, and enjoy much-needed breaks from the rigors of raising children in a safe environment.

The Program currently runs in St. John’s and Conception Bay South, where groups meet once a week for programming that emphasizes overall wellness – mental, physical, spiritual, and social – for mother and child. Young mothers have access to healthy recreational activities, as well as resources and discussion on topics of family building, income supports, mental health, nutrition, and more. In addition, staff act as advocates for their well-being and that of their children, and consistently provide new connections that build independence. During program hours, volunteers of Eastern College’s Child & Youth Care Program provide child minding services, and staff and volunteers of Momma Moments prepare meals for moms and kids – with an extra to take home.

The program succeeds because of partnerships built with the local community – who provide space and resources that allow Momma Moments to continue, while giving participants new linkages to broader community supports. It is these linkages – plus coaching, skills training, and facilitated dialogue – that empower young mothers to make positive life choices, and to believe that they can, and will, overcome individual challenges. Lastly, at Choices for Youth, we strongly believe that this is a program of generational change, improving the stability of our at-risk communities for years to come.