For a mother in crisis, the value of a helping hand and a stable home can be immeasurable.
Our Lady’s Inn (OLI) is a maternity home for pregnant women and their children who are unhoused and in crisis, providing case management, nursing, counseling, and support services to help in achieving individual parenting, employment, and housing goals. In these ways, OLI provides for immediate and basic needs while helping to ensure the safe delivery of a healthy baby—from substance abuse assistance to managing stress, addressing trauma and offering guidance in a safe and stable environment.
Funding from the Community Support Grants program at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital has helped to provide on-site perinatal nursing support for the 181 women and children who have received 10,927 nights of residential care at OLI between the St. Louis and St. Charles locations over the past year.
The nursing program is one of the most important components of OLI’s residential program. With registered nurses on staff, every client is connected to pre- and post-natal support, education related to delivery, guidance in creating a nurturing bond with newborns, and referrals to obstetricians and pediatricians. Nurses ensure that medications are taken correctly, provide health-related advocacy, and connect residents to MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women. Nurses also care for the health and well-being of the children in residence, ensuring they are connected to appropriate health services.
OLI knows that it sometimes takes a village to help create brighter futures for women and their children, especially when social and economic factors, substance use disorders, or mental and physical illness lead to high-risk pregnancies. Resources such as the nursing program provided in a nurturing environment empower women to overcome adversity, including one mother who chooses to remain anonymous:
“Our Lady’s Inn was home for several months.
When my family learned that I was pregnant, they kicked me out of the house. I had no place to go, so I stayed in a house where drugs were being used and sold, until one day I was told about Our Lady’s Inn.
I called Our Lady’s Inn, and they helped me get into drug treatment. When I completed the drug recovery program, there was a room waiting for me at Our Lady’s Inn. I am a recovering heroin addict, and Our Lady’s Inn gave me a stable environment where I was able to stay clean and take care of myself during my pregnancy. I learned to eat right and take prenatal vitamins, and to stay focused on the health of my baby rather than getting high.
And now, here I am, months later—clean and healthy, with an absolutely perfect baby girl. My beautiful little girl was born healthy. She weighed almost eight pounds! If it weren’t for Our Lady’s Inn, this precious little girl would probably not be alive, or she would have been born very sick and addicted.
I can’t express how grateful I am to hold my beautiful baby in my arms. Our Lady’s Inn saves lives every day.”
Community grant support from the Foundation helped to ensure that this mother was not the only success story. Lofty goals were set for maternal health and birth outcomes—and exceeded. An impressive 98% of mothers residing at OLI for 30 days or more completed a nursing assessment that identified medical, dental, vision, and prenatal needs and were referred for professional treatment when needed. After that same 30-day timeframe in residence, 85% of babies were born with a healthy birth weight greater than 5.5 lbs. at a gestational period of at least 37 weeks. A staggering 100% of babies were born free of drugs and alcohol after 60 days in residence.
The Foundation is honored to provide grant funding that has led to additional private and government grants allowing Our Lady’s Inn to continue their important work. We extend our continued thanks to the generous Foundation donors who make this support possible.
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