Becoming a first-time mom is hard, and a worldwide pandemic, does not make it any easier.
For years, the United Way of the Coastal Bend offered the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, but it's proving to be more resourceful during these difficult times.
The program is free to the community, but there are certain requirements.
- You must be a first-time mom
- You must be up to, or under, 28 weeks gestation
- Must live in Nueces County, or within 25 miles of the United Way of the Coastal Bend (4659 Everhart Rd.)
- Must meet income requirements
For first-time moms such as Stephanie Braddock, this program answered all of the concerns and questions she's had so far.
"She's like my on-call nurse," she said of home nurse Jennifer Jones. "And so I have, I've utilized her. I've utilized her multiple times from the most random stuff, even when it's not our scheduled call, like she's always made me feel comfortable that, you can call me at anytime."
Braddock said, as a first-time mom, she wanted all the help she could get.
The Nurse-Family Partnership Program is almost like having a personal nurse for the pregnancy and birth journey.
"Any of the moms that we work with, they come from a huge variety of backgrounds, cultures," Jones said. "So any kind of question that they have, we try to offer them the latest evidence and the latest research that we have as a knowledge-based as nurses."
Jones, a mother herself, said this program will help first-time moms go through different avenues and procedures that have worked for other mothers, such as using formula, making their own baby foods and creating a birth plan.
The nurses working with the program said they want to make sure a woman is not alone on her journey into motherhood.
"Whenever those scary things happen, which, it probably was nothing -- but whenever you're a first-time mom, everything is something," Braddock said.
She said she would have felt more scared going through this journey if she had never found the program.