Once a single mother has housing and childcare resources taken care of, her next mission is to make sure the child has proper heath and nutritional services. On a limited income and with no parenting skills training, teenage mothers may not understand the importance of feeding and caring for a baby properly. Having a list of the young single mother resources for health and nutrition will help both the baby and mother to survive and thrive.
Some young single mothers may want to breastfeed. Studies have shown that breastfeeding provides the infant with a strengthened immune system. However, many teenage single mothers may not know how to breastfeed or may fear that breastfeeding will damage the size or shape of their breasts. The La Leche League is a resource to get information for breastfeeding and in some places they do take an interest in helping young single mothers by having specialized meetings for them. There are few other young single mother resources that address the benefits of breastfeeding as well as the La Leche league.
The WIC (Women, Infants, Children) is a federally funded program to provide low-income women with nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health care. Typically, the program services children under 5 years of age and the mother must qualify for the program based on income and other factors. The program is administered at the state level and one needs to contact the state’s social service programs to register. As far as young single mother resources go, this is one of the best nutritional assistance program the Federal government sponsors.
By registering the state’s department of social services, the teenage mother may have other young single mother resources made available to her, like food stamps. Food stamps are now given in the form of an Electronic Benefits Transfer card which works much like a debit card as is quite discrete. Applying for services at the social services agency takes time and patience, but can provide a level of assistance that is dependable for a short period of time.
National School Lunch Program
Public schools give the opportunity to low-income residents to have their children take part in the national school lunch program. Breakfast and special milk programs are also available. These programs are subsidized by the Federal government and are there to insure that children have adequate nutrition while in school.
Local Food Banks
Local food banks offer a limited supply of groceries for those that apply. The food banks are usually privately funded but the amount of paperwork to fill out is minimal compared to applying for food stamps. In a pinch, many families rely on their local food banks to fill their pantries when they are short on cash. Local food banks are one of the most valuable young single mother resources as it frees up cash for other necessities of life.