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University Hospital Program Helps First-Time Mothers

University Hospital Program Helps First-Time Mothers story image

By; Ashlei King

SAN ANTONIO -- The largest class of first-time mothers graduated from University Hospital’s Nurse-Family Partnership program on Thursday.

The room was filled with toddlers two years and younger. Many of the children were sporting graduation caps, which represent the challenges their mothers just faced.
"I'd recommend it to any other teen parent, especially. It helps out a lot," Lupita Ignacio said.

Ignacio was 17 years old when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter.

“It’s mixed emotions. A lot of things go through your head. I was in school at the time, so I was just wondering how is it going to be being a parent, 17, still in high school,” Ignacio said.

To put those emotions at ease, she joined a first-time mothers group called Nurse-Family Partnership. It's a program where nurses team up with women who are less than 28 weeks pregnant and coach them on how to be a mother for the first two years of their child's life.

"Every question I needed, or any help I needed, they've been there for us, so it's been pretty good,” Ignacio explained.

The program is not only for teenagers. It's for any woman who lives in Bexar county and meets the income requirements, like Lorian Cervantes.

"She told me that they would help me and they would guide me through and it's been a blessing so far,” Cervantes.

Cervantes' hyper two-year-old daughter was a preemie. She said the nurse she was paired with was a lifesaver.

“It was scary. It was scary and because of her, it made it easy. It made it real easy,” Cervantes said. "Because of her, I'm a great mom. I'm happy and she's happy."

Although this program is now over for the mothers who walked the stage, organizers said families reap the benefits for years to come.

"The program also reduces childhood injuries, trips to the emergency room. It's been shown to increase the involvement of fathers in the child's life,” Phyllis Priess, Nurse-Family Partnership manager, said.

To find out more about the program and see if you qualify, call 210-358-5894.

University Hospital Program Helps First-Time Mothers
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