Nurse-Family Partnership Program®For first-time moms and their babies
A free home visitation program, nurses mentor income-eligible first-time mothers and provide education and support from early pregnancy through the child’s second birthday.
Through education and guidance, nurses talk with mothers about the medical, psychological, social and developmental aspects of being pregnant. They provide new mothers with support, education and counseling on health, behavioral and self-sufficiency until the baby reaches two years of age. Interested first-time mothers must enroll in Nurse-Family Partnership before 28 weeks gestation.
In 2021, Nurse-Family Partnership served 745 families in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Huntingdon, Somerset, and Jefferson counties.
Call 1-800-315-4358 for more information. Check out the Nurse-Family Partnership by Home Nursing Agency Facebook page for the latest updates!
Living with a drug addiction for 13 years, imprisoned multiple times, and facing a warrant for her arrest, Katie Labus had every intention of taking her life in early 2018.
Then a positive pregnancy test result changed her life forever.
“After I took that test, I knew failure wasn’t an option for me,” Katie says. “I wasn’t living for myself anymore.”
Once she came to this realization, Katie began Subutex treatments to avoid withdrawal and enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership® with nurse home visitor Lynn Watt as her mentor and greatest cheerleader. Lynn began visiting Katie regularly at her home (one room rented out in a shared house) to support her in having the healthiest pregnancy possible for the son she was carrying.
“It was like a switch flipped in her brain, and she wanted to do everything she could to be a good mom,” Lynn shares. As Katie’s due date drew closer, she was arrested on outstanding charges and braced herself for the outcome she feared most – giving birth in jail and losing her son. With professional letters of reference testifying to the positive changes in her life, her case was dropped.
“It was a divine hand of intervention,” Katie says gratefully. “That’s why I named my son Gabriel. He’s the angel who saved my life.”
After giving birth to Gabriel on August 7, 2018, Katie relied on Lynn to see her through the challenges of being a first-time mom and doing the hard work of creating a new life for herself.
“From day one, I trusted my son in her arms,” Katie says of Lynn. “I never had to worry because she was there. I could reach out to her at any time with questions.” Lynn provided information about mental and physical health, walking alongside Katie through recovery after two surgeries and Gabriel’s hospitalization with a respiratory virus. Throughout the ups and downs of Katie’s pregnancy and Gabriel’s first two years of life, Lynn was there to educate and encourage. Part of that journey was finding different ways to cope with stress, as drugs had been her escape.
“Lynn stayed calm, cool, and collected. She was a center for me. She saw us grow,” Katie says. “I’ve never felt judged by her. No matter what story I told her about my life or my past, she’s always accepted me for where I am at now, and that meant so much to me.”
Being part of Katie’s growth was more than just a success story for Lynn. She found herself in awe of this young woman who was charting a new path with one positive change at a time – going to church, eating healthier, exercising, getting certified as a Recovery Specialist, doing things for others, and “one countless thing after another.”
“I feel so humbled and inspired by the lessons she taught me,” Lynn says. “She has perseverance and a willingness to change to make a better life for herself and her son. That’s why I call her a rock star.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person visits, Lynn remained in contact with Katie through Facetime, checking on Gabriel’s progress and her well-being. On Gabriel’s second birthday, they celebrated his growth as a happy and healthy toddler, as well as Katie’s graduation from Nurse-Family Partnership.
“I have every single piece of paper Lynn ever gave me,” Katie shares. She’ll use these records to fill Gabriel’s baby book with the measurements of his growth, logged by Lynn’s consistent presence. The markers of Katie’s development are not so easily recorded, but they are evident in the changed trajectory of her life. She was reminded of this when she recently applied for a new job and was asked for references.
“Professional references…two years ago I had none,” she reflects. “But now I have people like Lynn behind me.”
For more information about NFP, visit NurseFamilyPartnership.org or call 1-800-315-4358.
Caption: Nurse-Family Partnership nurse Lynn Watt received a warm welcome when she made a socially distanced visit to check on her recent graduate Katie Labus and her son Gabriel.