Martina's UCM Family Support Worker (FSW), Sophia, started making weekly visits to Martina at her home. Sophia recommended that Martina participate in a Perinatal Maternal Mental program. But Martina refused the services, saying “I’m not comfortable talking with people I don’t know.” Her personality was reserved and quiet spoken, so it was a challenge to have conversations at their weekly visits.
Sophia would start each meeting with Martina by asking: “How are you feeling today?” Over time, Martina began to develop a trust with Sophia and opened up to talk about her feelings and depression. She said she felt guilty about becoming pregnant at such a young age. She was afraid that when her father found out, he would blame her mother. Her parents are now divorced, but Martina had been raised by her father in El Salvador. When he become abusive, her mother had filed for custody and Martina eventually moved to Virginia with her.
During the last weeks of her pregnancy, Martina didn’t attend high school, with the excuse that she was too tired. She was overwhelmed and had low motivation. She was worried she would not love her baby or know how to care for him. Sophia was able to be help Martina process her feelings and fears, encouraging her to discuss her emotions with her mother. Martina discovered her mother was very supportive. Her confidence increased, and she delivered a healthy baby son Adam.
Thanks to UCM, Martina has been able to make critical improvements to her family's well-being. She and Adam's father are now living together, so he can help raise their son. He is working a stable job and has plans to attend community college. So far, Martina has completed 11th grade, started a part time job, and secured medical and childcare for her baby.
"Without my UCM Family Support Worker and her advice, I don't know where I would be," she tells us. "I would not be as happy or as motivated. She teaches me how to play with and read to Adam and to enjoy him. I am so lucky we have Sophic in our lives."