VNSNY’s Nurse-Family Partnership Enriches Marlenne and Her Baby’s Lives
Through the joys and rewards of pregnancy and motherhood, Marlenne has been thankful for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and her VNSNY nurse, Delores Thomas. But it was when motherhood suddenly felt unmanageable that the power of the NFP program became fully apparent.
“One day I called Delores, desperate,” recalls Marlenne. Despite having strong family support from her husband and mother, she nonetheless felt alone with her infant, Julianne. “I was home by myself with the baby, and she kept on crying. I couldn’t read her cues, and I didn’t know how to handle it.” Delores came right over, and Marlenne asked her about postpartum depression. Delores assured Marlenne that the condition is common and treatable, encouraged her to talk openly about it, and connected her with behavioral health care. “She let me know it was okay to have negative feelings towards your baby, and that there are resources out there and people who are more than willing to help you,” Marlenne says.
“I get a lot of satisfaction as a nurse when a mother has a bout of postpartum depression and comes out victorious,” says Delores, who, in addition to guiding Marlenne through the labor and delivery process, is now working with her on the many other aspects of motherhood such as nutrition, breastfeeding, and developmental tools and stages.
Marlenne, who is earning her Master’s in Public Health from Monroe College while working and raising Julianne, plans to pay forward all she’s gained from the NFP by one day starting her own program to counsel and support young mothers. “She’s a mother who kisses her baby from her head to her toes, reads to her, does all the things she supposed to do,” says Delores. “And Julianne is developing beautifully.”