March 14, 2023
First-Time Mom Tina Finds Support During Pregnancy and Help with New Baby
Tina was a full-time cosmetology student holding down a full-time job when she found out she was pregnant. And she was worried. “I was like, I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't feel prepared at all. I was terrified to give birth. I don't know how I'm going to do it!”
Tina learned about EveryStep early in her pregnancy and reached out. “I thought, well, we’ll give it a shot. And you know what? [EveryStep] has been a huge help with the entire process — pregnancy through delivery and now that he’s here.”
Tina was paired with EveryStep Nurse-Family Partnership program RN Stacey Blitz.
One of the biggest challenges Tina faced was breastfeeding. “We didn't really have a great experience at the hospital. I left there feeling very defeated, feeling like this kid is going to starve. I didn't want to do formula, so I tried to work with the lactation consultant there, but with everything going on and the timing of her visits, it just wasn't good. I was stressing out.”
Tina left the hospital wondering how she and her partner could afford formula on a single income. “I finally reached out to Stacey and told her “I don't know what to do. This is so painful. It seemed like he wasn't feeding properly because it just felt like he was starving every single time.
“[Stacey] worked extensively with me. Alone, I almost wanted to give up. She said you just have to keep going. You just have to remember that it’s going to get easier and better, and it did. I remember one day it just wasn't hard anymore.” Tina continued to breastfeed baby Jack through his first year.
“She was determined to breastfeed,” says Stacey. “That made the difference. Tina has been amazing since the first time I walked in her door. She’s always concerned about her baby, always wanting to make sure she takes care of herself and Jack. Tina’s very smart and has great instincts. Sometimes I’m just a sounding board. I feel like she already knows everything – she just doesn’t know she knows it.”
“It's just helpful knowing she's a nurse and she's had kids too. There’s just something about the mother bond that we share,” says Tina.
Baby Jack turned 1 on February 17 and Tina is thankful EveryStep continues to provide assistance to her family. “This program has just been a godsend.”
EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership program pairs specially educated nurses with first-time pregnant people. Regular visits begin early in pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. The nurse provides new parents with the confidence and tools they need to provide a healthy start for their child, as well as continued support for the birthing parent’s health and wellbeing.
The help EveryStep provides to new moms like Tina is just one example of what EveryStep’s staff and programs do every day, all across Iowa. As a nonprofit, EveryStep relies on gifts and donations to ensure this work continues. If you would like to be part of EveryStep’s mission, visit https://www.everystep.org/donate.
If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at www.everystep.org/find-care. EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.