Displaying items by tag: maternity housing

Addressing Fatigue and Isolation in the Soul of the Maternity Housing Leader

by Valerie Harkins, Director of Maternity Housing Coalition for Heartbeat Internationalpexels tima miroshnichenko 5717261

As leaders in maternity housing, we often find ourselves giving so much of our time, energy, and love to our residents along with their own tiny residents (their children) in need. While this is a worthy and fulfilling calling, it can also take a toll on our well-being. Fatigue and feelings of isolation creep into our souls without our noticing while we are fast at work with our hands to the plow.

Take this note in your heart and tuck it away for a later date: God is faithful to provide His strength and His comfort in our time of need, but not necessarily an end to the difficulties or even the opposition pressing upon us. He is the miraculous God who does far beyond what our imaginations can even think to ask. While our souls may cry out for deliverance from the lion’s den, He is the wise God who instead gives peace that surpasses understanding while inside the den. How glorious and perfect, a solution that gently silences the powers of darkness at work around us that boast of their own strength while also creating a demonstration of His own nature before unbelievers. This creates an “altar moment” for all surrounding the den and watching you in the midst of a trial. It is an opportunity for all to be awed by Jesus, the One whom even the lions obey.

The life raft for your soul, is the deep remembrance that you are not alone. Never. God is always by your side, ready to provide strength and comfort. In Psalm 46:1 it says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Lean on Him and seek His guidance in moments of weariness. He’s proven Himself over and over throughout the Bible, throughout global history, and throughout your very own life. 

A little practical support for you while you’re in the den:

  • Avoiding burnout is essential for us to continue serving effectively. Make sure to carve out time for rest, relaxation, and movement.
  • Prioritize tasks and delegate when possible.
  • Set healthy boundaries: Remember that saying "no" to some things allows you to say "yes" to what truly matters.

It is crucial to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Connect with other leaders in similar roles for support and advice.

Heartbeat Affiliates: If you haven’t already joined be sure to submit a request to join our private facebook group Maternity Housing Coalition - Affiliates Group. Remember, it's okay to ask for help when needed, or even just when it’s wanted. Every housing affiliate has access to a cost-free maternity housing consultation per month. Hop on the schedule here.

May you find renewed strength and encouragement in your journey as a maternity housing leader. Remember, you are making a difference in the lives of many. Keep shining your light bright!

Maternity Housing Coalition Partnership

by Valerie Harkins, Director of Maternity Housing CoalitionMaternity Housing Coalition & Option Line

The Maternity Housing Coalition (MHC) is excited to announce three features available to Heartbeat International affiliates.

1. Announcing our new housing locator tool!

a. This tool is free to all affiliates.
b. An online application is built into the tool. With the application feature, affiliated homes receive an email with a snapshot of the potential client's information including her name, gestation, current location, and if she currently has a safe place to stay.
c. Affiliate homes are matched with a woman based on the intake information entered. When you reach out to connect with this young woman, you are already prepared with the information you need to have a successful and fruitful conversation.

2. Option Line is partnered with MHC!

a. Option Line is available 24/7, including holidays, to assist women applying for maternity housing.

3. Maternity Homes can Forward Calls to Option Line!

a. Maternity home affiliates can forward calls to Option Line after hours as a complementary benefit of affiliation. When your office is closed, even during meetings or events, Option Line is here to assist women attempting to contact your maternity home.
b. Option Line is bilingual! This gives you peace of mind knowing that even Spanish-speaking callers are being served.
c. Click here to learn how to take advantage of this benefit.

Next Step: Click here to register to be added to the housing locator tool today! We aim to create a robust directory of maternity homes where you can list your services so women can be connected and served even faster. With our partnership with Option Line, we will reach even more!


For questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Slip, Trip, and Fall: Five Safety Tips for Maternity Homes

by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist IntheWakeNYof Heartbeat International

Fall is here! With this great season, we think about football, pumpkin spice, and…baby safety?!?! Yep, in addition to being the time of shifting weather and changing leaves, September is recognized as Baby Safety Month.

In the spirit of recognizing the role of having a safe environment, here are a few safety tips that impact a group living environment, especially with newborns:

1. Wash your hands. When you read about promoting health, especially in group environments, handwashing is ALWAYS mentioned as the key starting place. Whether it’s singing silly songs, giving the stink eye, or side-by-side modeling the behavior, figure out a way to create a culture of clean hands. (Note: Stink eye, while a technique used by moms everywhere, should be used only in special circumstances.)  If pretty-smelling soap promotes the distraction of germs, it’s worth the investment!

2. Use products according to directions and the child’s age, weight, and developmental needs.  That’s the big one given by the promoters of Baby Safety Month so I thought I should feature it!  At maternity homes, we are pretty good at “making do”—but when it comes to the well-being of our little ones, I like the motto, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

3. Be attentive to sleep safety! It’s a tough one to convince sleep-deprived mamas and nearly impossible to regulate, I know! But having safe practices around sleep will give peace of mind and hopefully, better sleep to everyone involved. Maybe we could share creative ways to talk about safe sleeping in our Facebook group?!?

4. Be attentive. Watching moms engage deeply with their child(ren) is one of the joys of maternity home life. Whether engaging playfully, meeting the baby’s needs, or watching for safety hazards, homes should be a source of encouragement for the mother’s active participation in the life of her child. The habit of managing distractions—especially with gadgets constantly at our fingertips—is a great life lesson!

5. Prevent slips, trips, and falls. These everyday hazards are a common threat to kids—and adults!—of the house. Pregnant women may not easily see the underfoot and falling objects that can be dangerous to infants on the ground or in cribs. Be aware of cords, ice, and other hazards.  Teach the adults of the house (staff, volunteers, and residents) to turn on “risk assessment” eyes as they observe the environment!

Let’s raise a pumpkin spice latte to the safety of our homes! May they be places of well-being and protection!