By David Brand
First-time mothers-to-be have an ally in the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program, which pairs new moms with experienced pediatric nurses.
The initiative tackles health disparities among low-income mothers and mothers of color. Maternal morbidity rates are disproportionately high in majority black communities, like neighborhoods in southeast Queens and central Brooklyn.
The nurses are on-call to guide new moms during their pregnancy and for the first two years of motherhood.
Farhana Islan, an Elmhurst resident who manages a Manhattan Walgreens, said she turned to nurse Lauren with many questions, especially after her son was born.
“Sometimes it takes time to reach a pediatrician and if I have any questions she gives me the answer,” Islan said. “She has supported me in every way.”
Islan said Lauren’s presence was particularly important during the postpartum period.
“In New York, no one has time for you and you don’t know what you’re doing and who can help,” Islan said. “Lauren said if anything happened, whatever time it is, I could leave a text message or voice message and she would get back to me.”
On Oct. 26, the NFP hosted a graduation ceremony at Corona’s Langston Hughes Library to honor mothers and nurses who participated in the program.