Not Every New Mom Gets a Baby Shower

Not Every New Mom Gets a Baby Shower

When Jason and I were getting ready to welcome our baby daughter, our family and friends were over the moon happy for us.

My mother-in-law had already started shopping for baby girl clothes the minute we found out we were having a girl.  

But this wasn’t the first time we were this excited.

We had been pregnant before – with twin boys. We were going to name them Micah and Isaiah. But at 20 weeks in utero, we lost them.  Doctors said it was because they suffered from ‘twin to twin transfusion syndrome.’

The pain from that experience – utterly devastating.

So, when we got the news of being pregnant again, we were ecstatic but nervous at the same time.

The excitement of being pregnant again and the fear of having another miscarriage...

all kinda melded together and it loomed over us the whole 9 months. 

But the closer we got to our due date, friends and family asked us when we would have our baby shower. They were just as excited as we were with this new blessing and couldn’t wait to celebrate the arrival of our baby girl.

One of our family friends offered her home for our baby shower.

Looking at this photo, I don’t even remember how we fit all our gifts in our tiny one-bedroom apartment after this shower.

I can’t believe this was over 23 years ago.

Jason & Aliw's First Baby Shower

Today, the baby that was in my tummy, our daughter Alison Micah, is now 23. Followed by our son, Ruben Isaiah, now 20.  We gave them the twins’ names to honor our twin boys.

Since that photo from over 23 years ago, I’ve been to dozens of baby showers, which I thought was just always part of the journey of having a baby.

Surely, everyone has friends and family to throw them a baby shower, right?

But just a few weeks ago, I realized just how wrong I was.

Homeless Prenatal Program Baby Shower

(Photo Courtesy: Homeless Prenatal Program)


I got to witness a different kind of baby shower. 

The kind where there’s more than one mom, more than one set of giddy soon-to-be parents, being celebrated and honored.

And a whole community helping prepare them for the journey that comes with no manual, called parenthood.

Mom in Line at the Homeless Prenatal Program Baby Shower

(Photo courtesy of Homeless Prenatal Program)

The Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP)  has been holding baby showers like this for decades now, helping homeless and low-income families, who complete prenatal classes for 8 weeks.

At the end of completing this course, they come together for a baby shower like this one where about a dozen moms come together to open their gifts together and go home with truckloads of donated baby clothes, strollers, car seats and even our BUNSO diaper bags.  

If it wasn’t for HPP, many of these expectant and new moms would not have a baby shower, let alone the prenatal support and education that they receive, which is crucial during pregnancy. 

Whether it’s their first baby or 2nd, HPP has been here to help these parents to navigate having a baby in challenging circumstances. Group Picture of Homeless Prenatal Program TeamSome of the staff at HPP | (Photo courtesy of Homeless Prenatal Program)

We work with low income and homeless families in the San Francisco Bay Area. So, anyone who needs support, case management or just wants to come and build community and learn about pregnancy, this is the place to be. We love to make our families feel special because they deserve like everyone else,” said Lupe, the program manager of the HPP Wellness Center, who was a client of HPP herself 22 years ago.

Snapshot of a mother holding her baby at the Homeless Prenatal Program Baby Shower

(Photo courtesy of Homeless Prenatal Program)

After being a client and going to school and working in different departments and care services of HPP, she says she came back to the same place that helped her over two decades ago, for one reason.

I came back because I so believe in the work, I know that it works.  I am living proof of this program. Many people on this team are living proof that this program works,”  said Lupe.

From the volunteers to the HPP staff, to the clients, the room was filled with love. Love being given and love being received. There are no words to describe the smiles of these soon-to-be moms and dads as they walk into their baby shower, complete with food, games and of course gifts. 

Homeless Prenatal Program Baby Shower

BUNSO was one of the sponsors in this unique baby shower along with other organizations who are often part of this quarterly event. This is the 3rd HPP baby shower that we’ve been a part of, but the first time meeting the families directly.

We also met Martha Ryan, the founder of HPP.  A family nurse practitioner by profession, this passion to help mothers started 34 years ago.

There were women who were homeless and pregnant, and they weren’t getting care, and they had no place to be, no place to take care of themselves so they could deliver healthy babies,” said Martha.

Since then, she’s helped thousands of people and families in over three decades of service.

Homeless Prenatal Program Snapshot of Gifts at the Baby Shower

(Photo courtesy of Homeless Prenatal Program)

But this is a project that is a team. We could never do what we do if we didn’t have the support of partners like you, BUNSO. Thank you,” she continued.

Martha said that in over 30 years of helping homeless and low-income mothers, this is the first time that HPP has had quality diaper bags donated to them.

Diaper bags are essential to the families we serve. Moms need to be able to carry diapers with them, lotion, wipes, formula, bottles…they need to be able to have a bag of change of clothing for the baby,” said Martha.

Parents Wearing their BUNSO Bags at the HPP Baby Shower

And for many parents, something as simple as a BUNSO diaper bag complete with a pull-out changing station, can literally make their lives so much easier.

A lot of places don’t have diaper changing stations or even if they do, they’re not all that clean, at least this way, you can have something that will cover it up and you can change the baby in a safe way. You don’t have to worry about getting anything icky or anything like that. This really is nice and helpful,” said Alicia who’s expecting her first baby and said living in San Francisco, it’s hard to find clean places, let alone clean places to change your baby.

Picture of AliciaSoon to be mom, Alicia.


Picture of parents holding up their BUNSO Bag

One soon-to-be-dad even said, “this is a God send. Thank you!

As I looked around in this room of expectant parents and as they left with bags and bags of gifts, I realized that not every mom gets a baby shower, let alone a high-quality diaper bag, like BUNSO diaper bags to keep all their baby essentials in.

Looking around this room with the glowing faces of these expectant mothers, I couldn’t help but be extremely grateful for organizations like HPP who take the time to make sure that every new mom that meets them, will definitely get a baby shower. 

And the thing with baby showers, many people think it's just about the gifts. But it’s more than that.

Baby showers is not just for the baby but it’s a celebration of life, a new life of the baby but also the new chapter of life for the new mom and dad. It’s where people come together to celebrate hope for a new generation in a family.

And how lucky are we here at BUNSO for being given an opportunity to help not just one mom, but dozens of moms and their entire growing families in this new adventure that awaits them.

Homeless Prenatal Program Founder with Bunso Baby Co-FounderWith Lupe, Martha and Aliw /  Photo courtesy: Homeless Prenatal Program



Aliw Pablo is co-founder of BUNSO Collection, along with her husband, Jason. She is a writer, a Christian Media Producer and is mom to two college kids, Alison and Isaiah, and one fur baby named Koopa.  She enjoys spending time with her family,  watching documentaries, and volunteering with the INC Giving Project.


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