From Helping New Moms To Co-Workers: EveryStep Nurse Becky Borgman

Despite her career as a labor and delivery nurse, Becky Borgman (pictured on the left above) wasn't prepared for the feeling of helplessness to have a baby and be sent home just a few days later.

Becky took that experience and thought about how she could make a difference for other women through her career.

That's when she found EveryStep and the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program. The NFP program matches first-time parents with a nurse who provides ongoing education and support beginning during the mother’s pregnancy and continuing until the child turns 2 years old.

"I always tell moms that I have been trained in labor and delivery, but still felt when I had my first daughter, 'now what,'" she recalls. "I love being there for new moms, it's a new time and an unsure time. I can be there to help them."

Becky didn't always know she wanted to be a nurse. In fact, she wanted to be a teacher as a young girl, but as she progressed toward high school graduation, she saw nursing in her future.

Now, she does both; educating new mothers while using her nursing background to ensure their and their children's health are taken care of.

"I really enjoy now being able to educate people, not only helping in doing their assessments but to get them the education to stay healthy," she says.

While Becky loved her time working on the labor and delivery floor - a place she says is happy 99% of the time - she was ready for a change when she saw a call for nurses in the NFP program.

"I looked up the program and watched videos about it, and fell in love with it," she says. "I remember sending it to my mom, and saying I think this is a really great opportunity."

Five years later, she's made countless connections and fostered relationships with clients of all backgrounds through the NFP program.

"It's really interesting just to go into so many different variety of people's lives," Becky says. "Every story is different. It's really eye opening."

One of the best parts of the program, Becky notes, is getting to really know her clients and their families.

"It's kind of nice," she says. "When you're in maternity or labor and delivery you only see them for two days, now I get to build that relationship. By the end of the program you feel like you're friends or part of their family, the children know you, parents know you well. It's nice to have that relationship extended more than two days."

While participants graduate from the program when their child turns two years old, the impact can be long-lasting.

In fact, Becky recalls a recent interaction in which a former participant reached out to let Becky know she had her second child.

"She was so thankful with how much we taught her and how much of a difference we made for her with her second child," Becky says.

The ability to educate and empower new and expecting moms has also been a highlight for Becky.

"I am a really big believer in knowledge is power, and it's really cool to give the moms the education tools to use and to learn to advocate for themselves, to have a little more confidence in themselves."

By providing that knowledge and confidence, Becky notes that the NFP program can have far-reaching impacts.

"We get an opportunity to have such a big impact, not just on people today, but on their children in the next generation," she says.

Stepping Up to New Challenges

While Becky loves her job with the NFP program, she's nothing if not a team player.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she knew she wanted to continue serving her clients any way she could.

"We're doing all visits virtually," she says. "We're trying to do them over [Microsoft] Teams os we can see clients and babies, but that's not always feasible."

Because it's such an unsure time for a lot of people, Becky and her fellow nurses are hoping to be a beacon of stability for clients.

"There's a lot of mixed education out there at this time," she says. "I feel like all the moms - pregnant or with a young child - are very scared right now and unsure of what to do and to keep each other safe and healthy."

Becky says she's noticed that with the situation surrounding COVID-19, many moms may not be receiving the education they normally would at their regular doctor appointments.

"Some of their questions just aren't being answered, so I'm grateful that we exist to take the time to break it down and educate them in a way they understand and take the time to hear their questions," Becky says of her role.

Recently, Becky helped a young mom whose live-in mother-in-law was diagnosed with COVID-19. The family immediately went into quarantine, but they were unprepared for the situation.

"She said they didn't have enough food or diapers," Becky recalls. "We were able to reach out to community resources and [EveryStep's] Stork's Nest for those needs."

In addition to helping clients through these uncertain times, Becky has also taken on new duties through the EveryStep organization.

Shortly after the pandemic started, her manager asked if she would be willing to help her fellow employees.

She's been working alongside the human resources department to track and help employees who report flu-like symptoms or illness. If the employee's doctor can't test them for COVID-19, Becky helps to facilitate testing and then monitors when the employee can return to work. As of early May, no EveryStep employee tested positive for COVID-19.   

"It aligns with the NFP program," she says of her new tasks. "I just walk alongside them and make sure someone is there to answer their questions and help them out."

While life is busy for Becky during this time, she's thankful that EveryStep has stepped up to not only continue serving clients in the community but our own employees.

"I just feel like our company has been amazing with the response," she says. "We've always been very good with listening to employees if they have a need or concern, and they have continued to show that through this pandemic."

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