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On behalf of the Public Health nurses working on the North Shore I want to thank Founder Sally Livingstone and the Spectrum organization for the invaluable service they provide. For many years there was no real hands-on support available for North Shore women with limited financial means. Public health nurses often felt worried about their vulnerable clients who lacked support when bringing home their newborn baby.  When Sally founded Spectrum an important gap was filled.

Spectrum has offered a life line for many postpartum women who have been in great need. Women who have inadequate finances and limited support in their lives have been primary referrals to Spectrum from public health nursing. We often refer young parents, single moms, and women whose partners work in low paying jobs but are not home to help. Spectrum has been able to give women priceless support.   Some women may receive as little as 4 hours a week, but for someone with limited help this is enormous. It may be that the main need is to have someone keep an eye on the baby while the mom gets some precious sleep.

Public health nurses also refer moms with postpartum depression to Spectrum. It is so important to have a caring, supportive person around when you bring home a new baby.  This is particularly true for women suffering from depression. The caregivers involved with Spectrum are able to give so much more than help with baby care. They improve a woman’s confidence in caring for her baby and assist in promoting the relationship between mother and infant.  The caregivers are wonderful role models who encourage caring behaviours for many moms.

Spectrum is an extraordinary resource for moms on the North Shore. 

Joan Brown

Program Lead for the Early Years Team, VCH - North Shore

Photo: Joan chats to Lynn Lipsey, caregiver, at an Appreciation Event