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Step-by-Step Guidance for a Life-Changing Journey

VNSNY’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program in the Bronx pairs nurses with low-income, first-time mothers, starting in pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday, in order to promote life-long health and wellness for mom, child and future generations.

The following is from a young mother who completed VNSNY’s Nurse-Family Partnership program:

I found out I was pregnant in October 2011. I was 19 and a sophomore in City College. I felt as though my world had come crashing down. I couldn’t bear the thought of being considered a statistic who didn’t finish school and got pregnant at a young age.

I initially heard about the Nurse-Family Partnership program during my second trimester, through my prenatal visits at Morris Heights Health Center. Within a week of calling the program, I was introduced to Denise, the best nurse, friend, mentor, and advisor a teen mom could ever have. She changed my life. Throughout the spring of 2012, Denise told me everything I needed to know about my pregnancy.  She taught me how to eat correctly and how much weight I should be gaining, and provided step-by-step guidance on this new journey called parenthood.

Still, I had a difficult time accepting my pregnancy: I didn’t go to school that semester because I was embarrassed of what my peers would say. Instead, I worked a part-time job until a few weeks before my due date of May 30th. Denise helped me learn to slowly embrace my pregnancy, but I worried about my child struggling, my family struggling, the stereotypes, money, a place to live, my education, my child’s education, and more. Once Hailey was born, however, everything soon fell into place; my daughter meant the world to me. I wanted to be the best parent in my child’s eyes. Denise helped me realize that, at 19, my life was not completely over. I bonded with her because she was also a young Hispanic mother and she motivated me to do better. I admired her success as a young parent and how she made it her business to give back to the community.

I started school again, and focused on my daughter. But being a new mom, full-time student, part-time worker, girlfriend, daughter, friend, and more was all too much to take in, and I fell into a post-partum depression. Denise knew I would benefit from talking with Debbie, the Mental Health Counselor at NFP, so we began sessions. With the help of Denise and Debbie, I improved my relationships with my mom, my in-laws, my boyfriend/ Hailey’s father and, most importantly, myself. I continued seeing Debbie for some time. As she began to see me blossom with more confidence and pride, we were able to part ways successfully.

Thanks to the Nurse-Family Partnership, I can proudly stand here today and say that I am a senior at City College who will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Childhood Education, and I will be applying for grad school. I have an amazing, hard-working boyfriend and an amazing support system, my mom, Denise, Debbie, and everyone who has accompanied me in this journey. Today, I know what it is to stand up for your child, and take pride in caring for and loving another living being.

Children and Family Services

Children and Family Services

VNSNY offers services for infants and children who require home care for short-term (acute) and long-lasting (chronic) conditions, as well as for medically fragile children, children who may have developmental issues or special needs, and for high-risk families. Read More
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