CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, United Way of the Coastal Bend hosted a holiday drive-thru distribution event for first-time mothers enrolled in its Nurse-Family Partnership Program.
The NFP program, which is a free program available to the community, pairs first-time mothers with specialized nurses to meet with them and help them from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday.
“We give them education, different resources, and help them along their journey of motherhood,” said home-visiting nurse Jennifer Astle. “Momming is just a really tough job, so I think the support piece of all that becomes an invaluable component. When you’re a new mom, and you don’t know what you don’t know, having a person to ask questions to, it really changes the dynamic of that journey.”
One first-time mother Astle has assisted is Mariah Ruiz, whose daughter is 15-months-old.
“As a first time mother, it’s helped me more than 1000%,” Ruiz said. “I don’t have to call the doctor every other week. I can just literally just call her and be like, ‘hey, I have a question.’”
Ruiz said the biggest help while she was pregnant was knowing what she could and couldn’t eat, and after her daughter was born, Astle helped her through issues with breastfeeding.
“With Miss Jen helping me, telling me, ‘keep going, you’re doing great, you’re doing everything right,’ it really helped me,” she said.