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I'm posting this request on behalf of a friend's sister, K., who is about 10 weeks pregnant in Jackson, Michigan. My childless friend has asked me for advice on resources, and even though I'm pregnant myself, I have no clue.... I thought I'd turn to all of you knowledgeable women <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
K. is 22, and has been married for about two years. She and her husband have some serious marital and financial problems, and lapsed on birth control both because they couldn't afford it, and because they thought a baby would help their marriage. I'm sure we can all agree that for most people, these generally aren't great reasons to have a baby. K. has also suffered from depression, and I'm guessing that treatment has also been difficult due to their financial situation. Although my friend and her family want to be as supportive as possible, they are legitimately concerned that a baby will be the proverbially straw on the camel's back for the marriage, not to mention their concern for the baby itself, and are hoping to offer up some resources to help with problems even before the baby is born.<br><br>
I've suggested WIC and Medicaid, as I'm sure she's financially eligible. But because I've (fortunately) never needed these services, I don't know what kind of resources, if any, are out there for low-income women in terms of marital and financial counseling. In an ideal world, I'd try to find midwives who would take her as a free client, or midwives who might be paid for by Medicaid. I know my midwives at New Moon in Ann Arbor are wonderful, and if I personally had such problems, I'm sure would help me out with whatever advice/recommendations they can [and I do plan on also asking for resources recommendations at my next appointment in a few weeks]. But I'm not sure how realistic this is, or how welcome it would be by K., who generally resents any advice from her family, making me more reluctant to suggest something as *radical* as midwives (her opinion, not mine, obviously <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Any suggestions for resources in Jackson or Ann Arbor, or anywhere in SE Michigan (especially the western end) would be most welcome.<br><br>
Many thanks!
 

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I'm in Lenawee County, but if K would be willing to call the Michigan State University Extension office Jackson and find out if they offer a budgeting class through FNP (Food Stamp Nutrition Program) that could prove helpful. If she qualifies for WIC, she qualifies for MSUE programs. There is also a breastfeeding educator who works with moms in their homes, and should be able to provide a great list of resources. She's also a part of the MSUE programs available. There is also the FNP program itself which offers nutrition education, how to make food dollars stretch, and so on. Every county, and every program associate, runs things a little differently so I can't tell you a lot about what to expect there. Medicaid will cover midwifery services as long as the baby is delivered in a hospital and the midwife works with an MD, at least that is my understanding of it, sometimes it seems like answers depends on who you get on the phone when you call medicaid with questions. Also, many people who qualify for food stamps don't think they possibly could. There is a website she can plug in their basic information into, no names or anything, and get an estimate of what they may qualify for, it's <a href="http://www.foodstamphelp.org" target="_blank">www.foodstamphelp.org</a>. It's run by the center for civil justice and they are very helpful on the phone as well, their number is 1-800-481-4989. The state of Michigan website has printable food stamp/medicaid applications under the DHS area and she can fill it out at home and call the local DHS office to find out what times she can take it in, usually regular business hours. Hope this helps a little, it's so hard for so many people to ask for help when they need it but situations like this are really what assistance programs are for. Obviously this isn't a lifestyle for them, it's a life situation, one that MANY, MANY people in Michigan are facing. I have several clients who qualify for food stamps and are too proud to take them, which kills me. The money they are spending on food could go towards other bills and reduce a lot of the stess/tension in their lives. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need more information.<br>
Amy
 
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