Donate-a-Dime Organization of the Month: Many Mothers

Every month, La Montañita sponsors a local community-based organization through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.

Many Mothers (MM) is an all-volunteer organization that works to contribute to a healthy and vital community by providing free, in-home care and support to any Santa Fe family with a newborn. Helping families from the very start is preventative and reducing the need for future intervention with its higher societal costs. The degree of a mother’s post-partum depression is inversely related to the amount of support she receives. A new baby thrives on love and attention. So does a new mother.

Providing support for families with newborns is hardly a new idea; it has been a way of life for many millennia. However, in the last twenty-five years the support provided by extended families has changed as more and more women must work away from the home, and families in our mobile society often live far from each another.

Today families with new born babies often do not get the help they need. MM knows how exhausted and overwhelmed mothers and families can feel after the birth of a baby. New mothers usually leave the hospital 24-48 hours after giving birth. Extended families are often no longer available to offer consistent and needed support.

New research on women and stress, such as the study by Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D, demonstrates the effectiveness of woman-to-woman interaction. The natural stress reliever, oxytocin, is released when women are together. When acts of service are incorporated, stress is further reduced, providing the mother the opportunity for healthy bonding with the baby. The Many Mothers program of women-to-women care is designed to ensure that new mothers are afforded every opportunity to appropriately attach to their infants.

Bonding and attachment are essential for a baby’s development. Mothering the mother ensures she is more available to mother her infant. With all the joy and excitement that accompanies the birth of a baby, there can also be isolation, a sense of being overwhelmed, exhaustion, and, sometimes, postpartum depression.

MM has served approximately 600 moms, nearly 700 newborns including 43 sets of twins and 2 sets of triplets, and 2 older adopted children in the 18 years they have served the Santa Fe community. MM works with Anglo, Latino, Native American, Asian, and African American families and many mothers seeking MM support are single moms (28%) raising their children alone. Half of the families MM works with have annual incomes below $30,000. All of MM services are completely free and your bag credit donations this month will help keep it that way.

Its Hoop House Program is a collaboration with Ken Kuhne of Grow Y’Own. It has been providing fresh produce, education, and community connections to its recipients since 2010. Families participating in this program receive a 4×8-foot, raised bed garden with soil, covers, water system, heating system, set-up, and starter seeds and plants. Hoop houses are offered currently to eight families per year.

The “Many Mothers Circle” is a free monthly gathering for moms to learn from educational presentations and to network for peer support and self-empowerment. Home visiting programs are proven to improve children’s ability to form healthy relationships, succeed at school and earn higher paying jobs, and to increase life expectancy while reducing juvenile delinquency and substance abuse.

If you’d like to volunteer, make a donation, or are a family with a newborn that would like to request a volunteer, contact Many Mothers at 505-983-5984, info@manymothers.org, or visit www.manymothers.org to learn more.

“Nearly all of us receive our first lessons in peaceful living from our mothers.”
~The Dalai Lama