Tue | Jul 14, 2020

She Matters to Me Initiative adopts teen pregnancy cause

Published:Saturday | March 7, 2020 | 12:00 AMDanae Hyman/Gleaner Writer
Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley, gynaecologist and creator of the Woman’s Touch sanitary line, aims to provide 100 care packages for 100 teen mothers through her She Matters to Me initiative.
Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley, gynaecologist and creator of the Woman’s Touch sanitary line.
Restaurateur Sonia Thomas is a big supporter of the She Matters to You Initiative. A former teen mom she helps through cash, kind and time.
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While pregnancy is a significant milestone in any woman’s life, adolescent mothers are often not given the opportunity to enjoy this journey as some are ridiculed by family members, and there are others who are forced to fend for themselves and their unborn child.

Dr Chris-Ann Simpson Harley is hoping to change this. The gynaecologist and creator of Woman’s Touch sanitary line launched the She Matters to Me Initiative to help make a difference in the lives of these young ladies, who she says are often left frightened and demoralised, with little to no support.

The organisation has adopted the teen pregnancy clinic at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, and Simpson Harley is aiming to create 100 care packages for the adolescent mothers, packed with all the necessities for their hospital bag.

“Sometimes, these teens girls come to the hospital and they don’t have anything, they just come with their clothes and they don’t have some of the necessary things that you need. What we want to do is to create those care packages, that when they are going to have a baby, they have something, you know, baby caps, baby blankets, you know, diapers, even things like maternity pads, things that some of us take for granted that would have been in our bags when we go to have a baby,” Dr Simpson Harley said.

Deeply personal

The impetus to help teen mothers is deeply personal for Dr Simpson Harley because of the struggle she knew her grandmother faced having a child at just 14 years old. The doctor and entrepreneur donates proceeds from every sanitary item that is purchased from Woman’s Touch to the She Matters to Me Initiative.

Although the foundation has received some donations already, with one of their major donors being Sonia Thomas, chief executive officer of Sonia’s Homestyle Cooking and Natural Juices, Simpson Harley said they have not yet met half of their desired goal.

“We want to create 100 care packages, [but] what we have received so far is not even close to creating 10 or 20, unfortunately, so we want to get much people on board to give donations,” she mentioned.

Thomas, who was also a teen mother, having given birth at 14 years old, says she is motivated to help the initiative because she understands the struggles teen mothers face.

According to her, she did not get the necessary emotional or financial support when planning for the birth of her child, as her family disapproved of her pregnancy. She donates cash and kind to the initiative and uses the lobby of her restaurant as a drop-off centre, allowing customers to place their donations in the receptacle provided.

“Whenever I go to the supermarket, I will also pick up little things and put in that box because, when I had my first child, I went through a lot of struggles. It affected me a whole lot, I was beaten down, I was taken to do an abortion, that did not work, and I didn’t have any support. So when she (Dr Simpson Harley) [told me about this], I decided to do it because of what I have been through,” Thomas said.

After reaching the goal of 100 care packages, Simpson Harley says her work with the adolescent mothers will not stop there. According to her, she also wishes to mentor the girls as much as possible, even once a month or on their clinic visits. Additionally, she would like to create more care packages to distribute to the teen mothers before they give birth, with prenatal vitamins or even just breakfast or a snack when they visit the teen clinic.

“We have adopted the teen clinic at Victoria Jubilee Hospital, so we can continue to go in and mentor these girls. What we also want to do is to bring women on board that have gone through the same situations that they have. So, women that were teen mothers themselves, who have gone on to achieve their careers, just to say listen, I have been through it and you can do it. This is not going to be your state for the rest of your life, there is so much more that you can do” Dr Simpson Harley said.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com

 

ITEMS YOU CAN DONATE

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Baby chemise

- Soft jumbo tissue

- Maternity pads

- Toothbrush (medium bristle)

- Toothpaste

- Deodorant

- White cotton balls

- Pears Transparent Soap

- Petroleum jelly

- Cocoa butter lotion

- Newborn diapers

- Baby wipes (sensitive)

- Rubbing alcohol

- Baby socks

- Baby cap

- Baby receiving blanket

- Baby tote bags

- Baby comb and brush

- Baby bath

- Rubber slippers or flip flops

- Bath towels (Large)

- Wash rags

 

To donate or learn more about the She Matters to Me Initiative, visit getwomanstouch.com or visit @getwomanstouch on Instagram and Facebook to see how you can help.

 

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