Piko Pals program gives new moms support in community environment

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii committed to helping parents

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and new mothers especially need support as they transition into parenthood. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is at Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii to see how its Piko Pals program provides a safe place for parents to connect with their keiki.

Piko Pals is a place for new moms to be real and raw with all things associated with being a parent, the good and bad, all while building social and emotional support. The program finds success by creating an intimate, emotionally safe space for new parents to be vulnerable as they navigate new parenthood together.

Anya Budinsky started going to Piko Pals as a new mom. “Making friends with new moms who can relate with how you’re feeling, provide insight and advice, or just a listening ear has been amazing!” She calls the program an essential resource during a very special and vulnerable time. “Not only have I enjoyed being supported by this group, but I’ve also enjoyed supporting the other new moms as well.”

The only one of its kind in Hawaii, Piko Pals is 12-week holistic new mother education and support program that is specifically designed for women with newborn babies ages 0-4 months old. Unlike other moms’ groups, which may be beneficial nonetheless, this program focuses on the unique physical and emotional transition into motherhood. The education encompasses important topics, such as newborn feeding and sleep, postpartum nutrition, parenting information and postpartum health, emotional changes, including postpartum depression awareness, coupled with the emotional support of participating peers.

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii offers weekly, 90-minute sessions facilitated by trained volunteers. Entry into the program includes a copy of a participant’s survey collecting information to identify their knowledge of baby readiness and personal feelings of parenting expectations and fears.

“I recommend Piko Pals to all of my new mom friends,” Budinsky said. “It’s easy to not want to leave the house or reach out to friends once you have a baby, but being immersed in community, like Piko Pals, is the healthiest thing you can do for both you and your baby.”

For more information: hmhb-hawaii.org/programs/piko-pals/