Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:00 AM

Gift gives Mothers Resource Center new life

New mother Stephanie Stone spent months reading how best to care for her baby, but when little Mia was born, all the books in the world left her feeling helpless when it came to breastfeeding.

“I didn’t know what to do. I felt awful because it felt like I was starving her,” Stone said.

That’s when Stone turned to the Mother’s Resource Center at Community Regional Medical Center – the only place in central California where mothers can find top experts who specialize in helping new parents like Stone.

“We are here for as many visits as needed, and we individualize the plan of care for each new mother and baby,” said Suzanne Stipe, the center’s supervisor for inpatient and outpatient lactation education at Community Regional. “We work with each mother to best meet her and her baby’s needs.”

The Mother’s Resource Center often has mothers who need immediate help, and the center tries to see everyone within 24 hours Monday through Friday. It also carries specialized breastfeeding equipment/supplies like breast pumps for rent or purchase, books, collection, storage and feeding supplies and provides before and after pregnancy breastfeeding education.

A recent gift from the Fansler Foundation spruced up the Mother’s Resource Center giving it a needed update and at the same time provided more equipment, educational supplies and two new lactation specialists to keep up with the center’s growing needs.

Community Medical Foundation’s vice president, corporate development Katie Zenovich said the Fansler Foundation has made a huge impact on those in this region needing specialized help.

“This gift gave more to our moms than a beautiful, comfortable care center – it opened up more appointments with specialized experts to solve their problems and products and education to send these moms home confidently,” Zenovich said. “Being able to get to these experts right away, especially when they’re desperate for help, means the world to these mothers.” And everyone at the center is grateful too.

“Now it’s not what we can’t give our patients, but what we can give them,” Stipe said of the help from the Fansler Foundation. Having more specialists on hand to provide counseling and education makes more time available for mothers who need immediate help.

The new resources are available to mothers throughout the Valley like Stone. “They really helped me make it work and gave me enough assistance to fly on my own,” she said.

To learn more about the Mother’s Resource Center, call (559) 459-6288. To make a contribution, click here or call Community Medical Foundation at (559) 459-2670.

Ginny Joslin reported this story. She can be reached at