The North Shore Mother Visiting Partnership (NSMVP), a coalition of area public health nurses, presented information about their innovative, pilot program for new mothers and their babies at the Statehouse recently.
The nurses were invited to share their work last month with by the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression's co-chairmen, state Sen. Joan B. Lovely, D-Salem, and state Rep. James O'Day, D-Worcester. The two lawmakers commended the group on its recently published op-ed in the Gloucester Daily Times on domestic violence and maternal child health.
Making the presentation were Amanda Donovan, Pam Palombo of Newburyport, Christine Lee of Hamilton, Chassea Robinson of Peabody, and Kelley Hiland of Gloucester.
The Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression is a legislative commission tasked with investigating perinatal mental health policy initiatives and promoting mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The program, under the support of local public health departments, provides a range of health screenings and services for new moms, as well as resources to those suffering from intimate partner violence during the perinatal period.
NSMVP offers a one-time nurse home visit to all mothers with babies regardless of age, income, risk or number of children. Fathers, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents are eligible for home visits as well. All visits are free and confidential. Visits are conducted up to one year postpartum, but ideally within the first 12 weeks.
All participants receive a Baby Box filled with goodies for mom and baby after completing a short educational course on safe sleep practices and healthy parenting strategies. During the visit, the nurse identifies and addresses family needs through screening, brief intervention, education and support, and making appropriate referrals to community resources.
If you or someone you know is interested in a free nurse home visit, please visit www.nsmvp.org to contact a nurse in your town.