January 10, 2023
Pregnancy Support Helps Kabita Raise a Healthy Son
“To be called a refugee is the opposite of an insult; it is a badge of strength, courage and victory,” says Kabita Gurung. She came to the United States as a refugee from Nepal in 2003 when she was 18 years old. Kabita and her entire family moved to Des Moines in search of a better life.
In late 2021, Kabita and her husband of four years learned they were going to have a baby. Kabita visited a WIC office to ask what programs they had or knew of that could help her during her pregnancy. A WIC consultant suggested EveryStep and that’s how she met Audrey VanKamen, an RN with EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership program .
“She helps me with everything!” says Kabita. “I still remember a time during my pregnancy when I was about seven and a half months along and had to go twice a week to the doctor. I did not have a ride and Audrey helped me with [transportation] by calling the insurance company. It was so helpful for me, and I will never forget that.”
Kabita’s pregnancy was challenging and stressful, but she says Audrey “made a difference in me” and “always gave me hope.” Kabita delivered a healthy baby boy less than two months ago and says both she and her baby are doing well. “I have an adorable baby boy who is 5 weeks old and he is doing fine. He is growing extremely healthy and happy!”
As part of EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership program, Audrey will continue to visit Kabita and her baby until he turns 2 years old. “Audrey checks the baby’s health, weight and height, and asks how I am doing,” says Kabita. “Each visit, we talk about different things from her plan, which helps to be a good parent. It’s a beneficial program, and I’m glad I have it.”
Audrey is glad, too, and says her favorite part of working with Kabita is her energy. “She is pure joy and it has been a privilege to watch her eagerly learn and grow as a mother. Her son is so lucky to have her,” says Audrey. “I’m so grateful to have her equally teach me. I’ve learned so much about her culture. That is the beauty of a job like this. I get to share my wealth of health care and parenting knowledge and have them teach me about who they are and where they come from.”
EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership program pairs specially educated nurses with first-time moms-to-be. Regular visits begin early in pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. The nurse provides new moms with the confidence and tools they need to provide a healthy start for their child, as well as continued support for the mom’s health and wellbeing.
Kabita plans to share her experience with EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership with others in her community and adds her experience as a refugee enables her to help others in difficult situations. “Be thankful for the struggle you go through. It makes you strong, wiser and humble. Do not let them break you. Let them make you.”
For more information about EveryStep’s Nurse-Family Partnership program, visit https://www.everystep.org/provider-resources or call 515-558-9946.