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Better worlds start with great families and great families start with Nurse-Family Partnership

Danette Jackson

Becoming a new parent can be exciting, scary, challenging, rewarding and much more. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the support of a free personal nurse during pregnancy and after your baby arrives?

First-time moms enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership are empowered to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies. NFP works by having specially trained registered nurses visit first-time mothers starting early in pregnancy and continuing until the child turns 2 years old. Women enrolling in NFP must meet income and eligibility qualifications.

NFP nurses serve as guides for new mothers as they navigate the social, emotional and physical changes of pregnancy. A nurse may assist with setting diet and exercise goals; finding strategies for relieving stress; and accessing support through family, friends and community resources. Pregnant women may receive education on topics such as breastfeeding, childbirth and symptoms to report to their prenatal care provider.

After the baby is born, an NFP family continues to receive telehealth and in-person visits about twice a month. Schedules and topics discussed during these visits are flexible to meet client needs, but could include nutrition, developmental milestones, activities for infants and toddlers, child behavior, and sleep concerns. NFP nurses can support clients in goals such as going back to school or work.

An NFP client wrote:

“I joined NFP two months before my son was born, he is now 5 months old! The transition I’ve had into motherhood has been so positive since I’ve had Tawnya, my NFP nurse involved. The constant support and never-ending knowledge have been wonderful. I feel so secure in myself because of what I’ve learned over the last 7 months. Tawnya has not only helped me as a mother but also helped me as a partner to my husband as well as find kindness for myself. Becoming a mom is the hardest journey I’ve ever experienced, and I’ll forever be grateful for the resources NFP has provided for me and my family.”

Nurse-Family Partnership has more than 40 years of scientific studies showing success in helping mothers have healthier pregnancies, improving child health and development, and improving the economic self-sufficiency of the families served. Research has demonstrated reduction in child abuse and neglect, fewer childhood injuries, improved school readiness, reduction in use of government assistance, higher employment rates of mothers, and increased involvement of fathers.

Nurses and moms develop a partnership lasting up to two and a half years. This strengths-based relationship provides new mothers with the confidence and tools needed to promote a healthy start for their child and the opportunity to envision success for both mom and child.

At San Juan Basin Public Health and Nurse-Family Partnership, we support mothers and families to envision a better world.

Danette Jackson is the Nurse-Family Partnership supervisor for San Juan Basin Public Health. Reach her at djackson@sjbpublichealth.org.