Many young women dream about the day when they'll fall in love, get married and have a baby. Lindsay Ceniceros was no different. However, what Lindsay didn't foresee were some of the challenges she might face — and overcome — along the way.
Lindsay, 38, met her husband, Rene, in 2011 and they married a few years later. Happily looking forward to starting their family, they were devastated to learn Lindsay had stage 3 breast cancer, a mere six months after their wedding.
Once Lindsay successfully completed cancer treatment, the couple was determined to get their dreams back on track and happily welcomed their son, Cain. Soon they learned that being new parents can be a challenge in itself.
Unable to breastfeed because of her prior illness and related treatments, Lindsay struggled with feelings of insecurity and concern for Cain's health. Both she and Rene were exhausted, like many new parents, and worried Cain might not be reaching developmental milestones.
That's when a friend told Lindsay about the Baby and Me Time support group at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. The group allows new parents to share the experiences and responsibilities of parenthood.
Lindsay first attended the group in person. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group moved online for safety.
"I was nervous and hopeful," Lindsay says about joining the group for the first time. "But I really enjoyed how relaxed the atmosphere was and how nice and understanding everyone was."
Lindsay loved that after almost every meeting, she and Rene saw that Cain had learned something new. She also appreciated the tips and recommendations from other moms going through the same new-parent experiences, especially as they navigated the additional challenges of the pandemic.
"Originally, I thought I was just going to Baby and Me Time for Cain's benefit," Lindsay says. "But it has helped me in so many ways too. Being able to have adult conversations about your baby with someone who is going through similar experiences, as well as having a professional give advice, really helps. You don't have to be alone figuring it out."
Baby and Me Time is one of many community programs Sharp provides. In addition to no-cost support groups, COVID-19 vaccines and health screenings, Sharp gives back to the community by donating time and volunteer support, education and training programs for students and community health professionals, and uncompensated care for patients who are unable to pay for medical services provided by Sharp hospitals. In fiscal year 2020, Sharp donated nearly $463 million in community benefits and services, including unreimbursed care.
Learn more about Sharp's work in the community, and the Community Health Needs Assessment that informs and guides this work.