When Shequita found out she was pregnant with her first child, she didn’t know where to turn. She didn’t know how to care for herself during pregnancy and didn’t know how to prepare for having a baby. Shequita knew she needed help, but family urged her not to share her concerns or let any “outsiders” become involved. She felt lost. At four months pregnant, Shequita found out about the Any Baby Can Nurse-Family Partnership Program (NFP) through a member of a local church. She contacted Any Baby Can, enrolled in NFP and began receiving weekly home visits from her nurse, Lindsey. Together, they set short and long term goals, and Lindsey taught Shequita about healthy eating and lifestyle habits, child development, how to prepare for delivery and caring for a newborn. Shequita showed great promise. She poured through the parenting materials that Lindsey provided and began developing the skills she would need to support her baby.
Things were going well, but during the last months of the pregnancy, Lindsey noticed that Shequita was showing signs of depression. She was extremely anxious and had quit her job at a fast food restaurant because it had become so emotionally taxing. Shequita and the baby’s father, Steven, were now living off his meager student loans while he was working to get his medical assistant certification. To say the least, they were struggling. To address Shequita’s mental health needs, Lindsey referred her to the Any Baby Can No Estás Solo Counseling Program. Shequita made good progress with the counselor, and was taking healthy steps to address her anxiety and depression. But then things took a turn for the worse. Shortly after Shequita had her baby girl, she and Steven were robbed at gunpoint and lost the loan money that he had recently cashed. Due to the robbery, they were unable to pay rent and were evicted. As part of Any Baby Can’s crisis assistance efforts, the agency provided financial assistance to find temporary living arrangements, and Lindsey helped Shequita and Steven navigate the legal process to address the eviction and find stable housing.
Now, Shequita’s small family is thriving. Her baby is healthy and happy and the three live in a safe, affordable apartment. She is using the skills that she developed before her daughter was born and now feels confident about being a good parent. She has also continued counseling, and her depression has subsided. Steven is close to finishing his medical assistant program and has taken a part time job to allow Shequita to stay home and care for the baby. Through the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, Lindsey will work with the family, providing education, guidance and support, until the baby is two years old. Shequita is excited about the future and says she’s proud to be the strong, nurturing mother that her daughter needs.