Elena’s Story

New mom overcoming unexpected obstacles on her journey to parenthood

mom and baby

Elena first came to Champions through our Prenatal Breastfeeding Class. She was eager to put her learning into practice as soon as she gave birth, but when the baby came, she found herself faced with several obstacles. Her baby suffered from dangerous jaundice levels that interfered with breastfeeding, and mom suffered birth complications that resulted in significant pain and an extended hospital stay.

Elena was overwhelmed and stressed by the feeling that in just the first few days of her baby’s life, so many things were not going according to plan, most distressing of all was that she was struggling to feed her baby. Through everything, Elena stayed in constant touch with Champions’ lactation consultant Monica, who provided consistent information, reassurance, and advice that gave her confidence about her baby’s health and her own abilities as a new mom. When she was released from the hospital, she continued to utilize phone support and also in-person consultations until she felt everything was okay.

She later wrote to Monica:

“I want to say thank you for being my light during the darkest moments for me and my newborn. I trusted your suggestions 100% and was able to see progress immediately. I’m so blessed to have had you through my experience.”

4 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

1. Support Black-Owned Businesses 

Life mixed with parenthood is busy, and cooking dinner may not be manageable every night. Food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash make it easy to support black-owned businesses by highlighting them on their apps this month. By supporting more Black-owned companies, you can help create more opportunities for property ownership, credit building, and generational wealth for black communities. Having dinner with your children also builds strong bonds and promotes open conversation.  

2. Learn about Influential Black Figures

During Black History month, the focus is normally on Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and other well-known figures. Take some time to learn about local history makers like Lee Roy Selmon – professional NFL Hall of Famer who made his mark on Tampa Bay. Try reading about the Armwood family who established domestic science schools for black women and girls, co-founded the Tampa Urban League, and organized numerous clubs and organizations dedicated to the betterment of the community. Is your child interested in sports or dance or literature? Take time to research, then talk with your children about Black trailblazers in their areas of interest! Share pictures, videos, or movies and that helps tell the stories of these prominent Black figures. 

3. Purchase, Read and Share Books by Black Authors

There are wonderful children’s books that celebrate our country’s diversity and the black culture. ‘Dream Big Little One’ by Vashti Harrison and ‘Full, Full, Full of Love’ by Trish Cooke are great examples of books that celebrate black culture and black authors. 

Follow Champions’ “Book of the Week” on Facebook where we highlight one book per week from our Amazon Wish List. Books allow our children to experience the world in different ways. Storytime can help your child learn new words, meet new people, and broaden their thinking — all while cuddling with you at home.

Visit our Amazon Wish List to support our efforts to provide books to our client families and community partners! Find the Wish List here: https://a.co/0xX21HJ

4. Celebrate with Art

With many Black History Month events taking the virtual route this year, the good news is that it’s even easier to attend events. Did you know Michaels Craft Store is hosting virtual classes and events? In this month’s class, they will discuss why Black History Month should be incorporated into young people’s (and adults’) learning throughout the year. They will share how to have conversations about race and skin color with young people through creativity and art by creating their own portraits using basic paint colors. This class is taking place on Monday, February 15th. Visit Michaels’ website to sign up today!

Celebrating Black History Month at home is fun and easy. It also allows you and your children to learn and give tribute to significant achievements from the Black community. From supporting Black-owned businesses to crafting and art-making with a purpose, there are tons of activities to do at home to help you celebrate.  Want more ideas for celebrating virtually or in-person around Tampa? Check out this extensive list put together by Family Friendly Tampa Bay.