MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
Millions of children worldwide often go without food and improper care due to a lack of available services. The Well Baby Clinic is Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s solution to assist struggling military families with a little extra help closer to home.
For almost a year the Midway Park Chapel location for the clinic was unable to service any families because of a lack of space, but a re-launch is just around the corner.
The clinic is a free service for parents, and offers nurses to weigh and measure babies. The nurses also assist with any questions parents have and offer classes on nutritional needs, medications and immunizations.
“We are not a replacement for a doctor’s visit, but we can fulfill most other needs they have medically for their children,” said Heather Underhill, a visiting nurse with NMCRS.
Along with visiting nurses the clinic offers free clothing exchanges where parents can bring their children’s gently used clothing and are able to exchange it.
“We are all about financial education, making sure the military family can be financially self-sufficient,” said Jessica McManus, a relief services assistant with the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. “Saving from buying new clothing when children grow so fast is a great way.”
The twice per month clinic is also a great way for parents to meet with other families who may be in the same situation they’re experiencing.
“It allows families who are possibly less fortunate and maybe afraid to seek other help in fear of hindering themselves or their spouse to meet with parents who are attending for the same reason,” said Underhill. “A reason does not need to be given for the clothing exchange. It doesn’t put them on the spot for not being as well off as others.”
Throughout the Marine Corps NMCRS has offices worldwide but the Well Baby Clinic is exclusive to MCB Camp Lejeune. Through this clinic, families with infants and young children can seek medical assistance and donations, which for some no matter how small, can make all the difference.