At Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health, we offer services and programs which are aimed at helping young parents along the journey of parenthood. All our services and programs are provided free of charge.
Hospital grade hCG urine tests
These tests can detect pregnancy hormones ten days after conception and provide results within 3 to 5 minutes. If the test is positive, a written proof of pregnancy is given to the client and a referral made for further medical care to an appropriate obstetrical office.
Limited ultrasound examinations
Sonograms are performed by an R.N. trained in sonography for purposes of confirming an intrauterine pregnancy, detecting fetal cardiac activity, and estimating gestational age. Our ultrasounds are not for the purposes of diagnosing or detecting any medical problem or condition for the baby or client. All ultrasounds performed are done so under the supervision of a qualified medical provider.
Counseling for referral to an adoption agency
The Center is not affiliated with any adoption agency. However, we are often the first to discuss this option with the mother. We present what an adoption plan looks like so the client can make an informed decision. Birth parents are in control of the adoption process. They make and usually choose between three types of adoption: open, partially open, and confidential. Ongoing support is offered for the birth parents before, during and after the adoption as they work with the adoption agency.
Counseling for post abortion recovery
Many men and women experience unresolved emotions after an abortion. For some, this is right after the abortion and for others these feelings may surface years later. The Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health is that safe place to talk one-on- one with a trained client advocate or medical professional to promote healing, both emotionally and spiritually. We offer an eight-week post-abortion individualized program and may refer a client to an intensive weekend retreat called Rachel’s Vineyard.
The L.E.A.P. program
L.E.A.P. (Learning, Empowering, Affirming, and Progressing) is an outreach, teaching and mentoring program which aims to help individuals improve themselves in four basic ways. Individuals who sign up for the L.E.A.P. program will Learn valuable parenting skills, feel Empowered and Affirmed as parents, and will Progress to set and achieve their goals in life. Clients schedule classes at GCMWH during normal business hours. At present, there are approximately 40 in-house, individualized classes available for any client. Each class is designed to guide participants through a healthy pregnancy, parenting skills, infant care, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, etc. Most importantly, classes continue post-delivery to address relationships, effective discipline, and healthy boundaries.
We encourage clients to participate in our many programs to insure a healthy pregnancy. Clients earn “Points” by attending prenatal classes, OB appointments, support groups, dental appointments or psychological counseling. These points can be used to “purchase” essential baby supplies in Gracie’s Baby Boutique.
Post-Partum Home Visits
Following the birth and discharge from the hospital, a Maternal Newborn Specialist will perform a post-partum home visit. This is an ideal environment to have one-on-one contact with clients to observe and evaluate the mother and the baby. The infant will have a limited physical exam to observe skin color, general activity, temperature, breast feeding technique, and cord care status. If warranted, referrals may be made to an appropriate medical professional for further evaluation.
ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) testing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study (ACE Study) uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. These experiences can harm developing brains in children, predisposing them to autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer, depression, and a number of other chronic conditions, decades after the trauma took place. Appropriate integration of resilience factors born out of ACE concepts — such as asking for help, developing trusting relationships, forming a positive attitude, listening to feelings — can help people improve their lives. Our trained staff can help with reversing these factors.
Gracie’s Baby Boutique
Gracie’s Baby Boutique was designed for new moms/dads to “purchase” new baby items such as baby clothes, car seats, “Pack and Plays”, diapers, and other maternity/baby items through “Mommy Money” under our L.E.A.P. program.
GED testing and classes
The GED program is offered through the services of one of our board members. Clients interested in obtaining their GED can be tested at GCMWH and take classes on site or at 11 other sites in the County where instruction is offered.
GCMWH provides case management services for clients based upon their needs. Our case managers provide an array of services to help individuals and families cope with complicated situations in the most effective way possible, thereby achieving a better quality of life. They help people to identify their goals, needs, and resources.
- Linking clients with the valuable resources within our community
- Transportation to resources
- Material assistance
- Financial planning goal setting
- Parent education
- Court advocate
- Counseling services by a LCPC
- Support groups for young moms and dads
- Individualized nursing care plans. This benefit decreases fragmentation of care and increases improvement in client care
Programs and Support Groups
Young Moms of the Lower Shore (YMLS)
This support group provides guidance to young mothers to help them handle the everyday challenges of motherhood and become strong role models for their children. Dinner, child care and transportation are provided. The program includes a guest speaker, interactive crafts, practical education, and a time for sharing. The YMLS meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at Pocomoke High School from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm in southern Worcester County.
D.A.R.E. (Dads Are Real Everyday)
D.A.R.E. is a support group for young fathers. The mission of D.A.R.E. is to inspire and empower men to honor children by transforming men into dads who are committed to creating and nurturing a healthy family. The leaders of the program act as mentors and role models in this program. They strive to be more transparent about experiences from their own childhood and/or their relationship with their own father. There also may be an added component if any addiction to drugs or alcohol has complicated their own life. The atmosphere of D.A.R.E. is one of openness and trust. Dinner, child care and transportation are provided. D.A.R.E. dads meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at our Center.
W.E.W. (Women Empowering Women)
GCMWH desires to be the link which will connect every mom with any addictions to an appropriate addiction facility and/or program where they will feel valued, safe and loved. Our program provides drug addiction support which promotes prevention and empowers these women to break the cycle of addiction and domestic violence which affects them and/or their family unit. Dinner, child care and transportation are provided. This group meets every other Wednesday at our Center from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Mother’s Circle (Maternal Mental Support Group)
One in seven women experience postpartum depression or anxiety and most do not have the support to talk about it. The Mother’s Circle is a support group made available through a grant with the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. This support group is for pregnant women or postpartum moms currently experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms. The group provides support. compassion and encouragement for women during this immense transition in their lives and offers tools to heal from perinatal mental health symptoms.
This group meets every other Wednesday at our Center from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
Holistic Opportunities for Prevention and Education Program addresses the current gap in services offered to high-risk pregnant women on the Lower Eastern Shore. The Program, provided through Qlarant in Easton, targets poverty stricken and ill-informed women facing pre-partum or postpartum depression as well as addiction. Holistic healing is characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account the mind, body and spirit as well as environmental and social factors.
Through grant funding by the state of Maryland, we are able to partner with pregnant or parenting 18 – 24 year old mothers and fathers. The aim is to plug them into the right resources to improve their job skills, further their education and find a job. In turn, this provides them the opportunity to better serve themselves and their family.