DELTA, Colo. (KKCO) - Every year 600,000 babies are born to low-income first-time mothers in the US.
Often times these parents are at higher risk for suffering health, education and economic disparities. But one program looks to reach out to these mothers with guidance and caring.
Louiz Antonio Juan Lizola couldn't wait to meet the world. "He was a month early we were expecting him the 22nd of February," says mother Brenda Lizola.
Now at three-and-a-half months, little Louiz weighs just over 11 pounds. "He's been smiling a lot more and starting to coo and talk," says Lizola.
Lizola will tell you it's been a wonderful journey so far, but this adventure doesn't come with a road map. "You really don't know what to do especially when you are first time mom," she says.
But luckily she has a travel guide. "We go out and visit babies and moms. We start when the moms are pregnant," says Kim Cook, a nurse with the Nurse Family Partnership or NFP, a program through the Montrose Health and Human Services.
Cook says, "Our thing is to help the moms be the best mom that they can be."
Nurses in the program are paired with first-time mothers at pregnancy and meet several times a month. "Every two weeks 'til the baby turns two," says Cook.
Primarily working with low-income families, NFP helps mothers improve their health, education and economic self–sufficiency, among other things. Lizola says, "About two visits ago I asked her about medicine, because I was scared of the flu season coming up."
In Delta and surrounding counties the NFP program serves 75 families, but hopes to expand that with money set aside for similar programs from the Health Care Reform Bill.
Lizola says, "Its just great having her and being able to have that extra hand that if I have a question I can just call her and know what's going on." It's a sort of road map Lizola says, a map for the most important journey in a new mom's life.
The Nurse Family Partnership is also available in the Grand Valley. Nationally the program has been helping first-time mothers for 30 years.