HELENA — Lewis and Clark Public Health, along with The Nurse-Family Partnership of Montana, offers a Home Visiting Program, which provides specially educated nurses to help first-time moms-to-be.
The Home Visiting Program (HVP) begins early in the pregnancy and continues up until the child's second birthday.
Through HVP, they offer a Nurse-Family Partnership, where nurses provide new moms with the confidence and the tools they need not only to ensure a healthy start for their babies but to also a life of stability and opportunities for success for both the mom and the child.
"Having somebody that's knowledgeable with evidence-based information, it's up to date on what is best practices at the time. And they can come into your home where you don't have to leave your house. I just think it's it's crucial for all mom. Like, I mean, game changer," said Marisa Johnson, Lewis and Clark's Home-Visiting RN Case Manager.
Johnson was first introduced to HVP as a client with her second child.
"I kind of struggled with breastfeeding the first few months that I had my oldest. So I was like, It would be kind of nice to have somebody come in and make sure I'm doing it good. And since it's been so long. So that was I had my nurse Brie come and we just kind of hit it off," said Johnson.
After Johnson created a close bond with her nurse through the program, she decided she wanted to do the same for other moms too.
"People would tell me I should be a nurse my whole life I was like, no, thank you. And then I found this program and I was like, oh my god. I didn't know that it could be like this. Like, I didn't know that you can have you can support moms in that way."
LCPH also offers programs that go beyond NFP for mothers looking for extended support too.
"The NFP, we can enroll pregnant women. They can stay in that program up until the child is two," said Mary Sparks, LCPH Healthy Montana Families Home Visiting Supervisor, "And then they can go on to Parents As Teachers (PAT) and receive support up until that child goes to kindergarten. So there's really long-term relationships and long-term support for these families."
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about or applying for home visiting services through Lewis and Clark Public Health, please call 406-457-8900 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit the LCPH website here.