Seven years ago, Libby Berkeley, Naomi Fertman and Nicole Cobb saw a growing need for new parents and growing families in the region who needed support, advocacy and a community with whom to learn and share.
With that in mind, they founded El Jardín Birth and Family Resource Center. Click here to view video.
El Jardín Birth and Family Resource Center is now home to a growing community which provides breast feeding support, family support and interactive music classes for babies, little ones, siblings and caregivers. The nonprofit also filmed and released the documentary “Birth In Pieces.” The documentary focuses on problems within the healthcare system which women face during pregnancy and childbirth, as told by mothers themselves.
The nonprofit, which is part of Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s Community of Philanthropy, gives new families a community to lean on.
“We grew from doing education around new parenting and growing families and advocacy for those populations,” said Fertman. “There aren’t a lot of options out there for folks that are free and consistent where they can come as a whole family every week and get support and services.”
Fertman said that El Jardín Birth and Family Resource Center uses the resources that Paso del Norte Community Foundation offers, like fiduciary management and El Paso Giving Day, to make sure that funds are available and used in ways that supports new families.
“It’s been great having Paso del Norte Community Foundation as a partner because it has been nice to have a team behind us for things like accounting, paying our rent, managing checks and things of that nature,” said Cobb.
The nonprofit was also an active participant in Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Giving Day for the last three years. El Paso Giving Day is held each November and is a day on which the entire community comes together to give back to the nonprofits who provide educational, health, after-school, arts, animal welfare and other services and programs.
In 2019, more than 180 nonprofit organizations raised over $3 million on El Paso Giving Day.
“We don’t really have the capacity to fundraise for ourselves. So, Giving Day has been big for us. We’ve benefitted three years in a row now with the Giving Day challenges,” Cobb said. “We’ve been able to win the ‘Power Hour’ challenge and that’s really allowed us to get the community out there and donate and see who the community is.”
The nonprofit used the funds to help keep their programs running so it can continue educating and advocating for new mothers.
“Moms need each other,” said Berkeley. “They come here and they create communities that sometimes last through their child’s whole childhood. That makes it possible to continue breastfeeding, which mostly everybody wants to do, but a lot of women stop before they want to because they just don’t know where to turn.”
Berkeley said many new moms are frustrated when leaving the hospital after childbirth because today’s healthcare system isn’t focused on giving women the tools they need to begin breastfeeding and caring for newborns.
Programs like Music with Maria and the Breastfeeding Garden create a support community for the families.
“I, and every other expert in the country, say that one of the reasons women give up breastfeeding when they do is because there is no support after a hospital discharge,” said Berkeley, who explained that most mothers are only in the hospital one or two days after giving birth and get discharge with no support.
For more information on the Breastfeeding Garden, Music with Maria and other programs of El Jardín Birth and Family Resource Center, visit their website at https://www.eljardinbirthandfamily.org and visit its Facebook page for upcoming events.