Sunnyside Up Youth Pregnancy Services became a vision for Cicely Wilson when she supported her first pregnant teen in 2017. She had been working as a Newborn Care Specialist and Lactation Counselor in her private practice CicelyCARES Birth Services for years prior to this life-altering experience. That single experience of empowerment through education and support created a strong desire for Cicely to transition into supporting young pregnant families. Cicely saw a lack of support for youth and was determined to create a safe place of support for youth ages 13 to 21 who felt alone, unsupported, or afraid during their childbirth experience.
With the idea that no one should experience birth alone, in 2021, Cicely made the leap of faith and hope and incorporated Sunnyside Up Youth into a non-profit organization in an effort to support more youth on a larger scale in more communities. Sunnyside Up Youth provides pregnancy support and new parent education to youth ages 13 to 21. We offer in-person labor and postpartum support to local residents of Nashville, TN and virtual classes nationwide.
Sunnyside Up Youth work with a volunteer support team of trained, experienced and certified full-spectrum doulas, lactation specialists, mental health specialists and educators to provide physical, emotional, informational and mental support to the families we serve. developed a volunteer base of new and experienced doulas giving back to the Nashville Community. Sunnyside Up continues to grow and support more families in Nashville, Tennessee each year.
Studies have shown that when a pregnant individual feels supported before, during and after childbirth, they feel empowered and are more confident in their ability to have a healthy, satisfying birth experience and parent successfully thereafter. This is the primary focus and goal of Sunnyside Up Youth. We continue to create partnerships with local and national resources to provide the best care for the youth in our community.
Empowerment through Education and Support
Our mission is to provide pregnancy support and new parent education to youth ages 13 to 21. We provide emotional and physical support as well as information, education and resources to the youth who want support as they embark on the journey or pregnancy and parenthood.
- We embody compassion and believe in showing kindness to all without judgment.
- We are dedicated members of the community who have an interest in volunteering our time to support families before, during, and after childbirth.
- We recognize and respect the needs of pregnant youth, ultimately trusting their journey and holding their desires without pushing our personal agenda.
- We care about those we serve as individuals, and value differences.
- We hold space for youth and each other to process intense experiences and to foster growth and recovery
- We believe that no one should have to birth alone and we provide comfort and companionship to any pregnant person that requests support, including physical, emotional and informational support during prenatal, birth and postpartum periods.
- Our support is continuous, trustworthy, and mindful of the pregnant person’s needs
- We are accessible to all pregnant youth, resolving challenges that prevent people from obtaining the support they need and deserve
- We are dependable and accessible to the community and to each other.
- We strive to be a positive change-maker in the healthcare community for lower-income people.
- We believe that all pregnant youth are capable of achieving whatever they desire.
- We aim to decrease poor maternal and child outcomes by holding space for families, providing informational support, and expanding choice so that they can make informed and educated decisions about their health and pregnancy. This increases a person’s confidence in speaking up for themselves and their needs during labor.
- We foster courage and strength in our volunteers as they make sacrifices to support youth in need.
- We trust our volunteers to hold themselves to the highest standards, following our Scope of Practice, and seeking help when needed.
- We provide volunteers with high quality, ongoing training and opportunities for career advancement and development.
- We make connections with hospital staff, nurses, clinics and other support services and connect families to community resources as needed.
- We strive to be a trusted and integral part of the birth team and community.
- We believe healthy families create strong communities.
- Through receiving support during their childbirth experience, youth will have an increased belief and trust in themselves and their innate ability to labor and birth
- We support and collaborate with the doula community connecting volunteers with prenatal and postpartum clients through partnerships and collaborations.
- Provide non-judgemental and inclusive care to all youth
- Support pregnant youth however we can, whenever we can
- Encourage natural childbirth and breastfeeding without pressure and guilt
- Leave no one in our care without the tools and resources they need to birth and breastfeed successfully
- Provide additional resources and support after receiving support from Sunnyside Up Youth
We are committed to supporting expectant families between the ages of 13 and 21 as they prepare and recover from childbirth and begin to care for their newborns. We are committed to nurturing and educating these families during the first 16 weeks of the postpartum recovery period.