• Mentor Spotlight: Merett

    Merett

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I have been a mentor since 2018, but was introduced to the Nurture Program in 2015 when my 3rd child was born & I became a mentee.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    I love the Nurture Program because as a mother myself, I recognize the importance of feeling supported especially in the very early stages after childbirth. This unique program allows for moms to receive support through text messages, which makes it super convenient. As a mentor we are given an abundance of resources to share with our moms!

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    As a mentor, I love knowing that I am a reliable and consistent support tool for new mothers up until their child is 3 years old. Having 4 kids myself, I know how critical it is to have dependable support & accurate information postpartum & with that it can have a positive effect long after the mentoring stops.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I recently had a mom reach out to me 3 days after having her baby with some questions about issues she was having with nursing. I was able to share my own experiences & also give her resources to help support her. She thanked me & after following up with her, I learned she can continue nursing and her issues were resolved!

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    My husband Rob & I have 4 kids ages 2, 4, 6 & 8! Last year I transitioned from working in a corporate setting to being home full time with our kids. We own a gym in our neighborhood & I handle all the book keeping for that while staying busy with my kiddos! I enjoy cooking, writing in my journal, working out & reading.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Jen F.

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Two years.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    The early years of motherhood can be so difficult and challenging, and a lot of new moms (myself included) have no idea what to expect. NurturePA provides a sort-of “virtual friend” for these moms to talk to. A shoulder to cry on, someone to direct you to appropriate resources, even someone who can just tell you “this is normal” or “you’re doing a great job”. As a new mom, I would have loved to have someone checking in on me weekly, to genuinely care about how I was doing. And the anonymity makes it easier for these moms to open up to us in ways they may not feel comfortable doing with people that they know.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    It’s so hard to pick just one! I love sharing in the joy of a new mom when her baby does or experiences something new! I love watching their confidence grow as a new mom.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I’ve had a few moms who were struggling with symptoms of post-partum depression, but didn’t really know it. One in particular would tell me how her partner scoffed at her feelings of fear and inadequacy, and told her that maybe it was a sign that she “shouldn’t be a mom”. I told her that he couldn’t be more wrong, and that lots of great moms feel this way. I directed her to some of our resources for PPD support and allowed her to just vent to me about her feelings. I think that validating her feelings and just listening to her has been really meaningful to her.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I have a great husband and two kids (4 and 16 months), and a fluffy black dog. I work at Magee in the Pregnancy Screening Lab, where I enjoy reading prenatal ultrasounds all day. I love to hike, roller skate (I played roller derby for 5 years), and recently I found a passion for knitting.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Cortney

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I have been a NurturePA mentor since November 2017.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    The Nurture® Program is so special because it gives moms a safe place where they won’t be judged when they ask any questions or share how they are feeling. Those first few months of the post partum period can be really tough for any new mom, so having another mom to talk to who has been there and truly understands what she is going through is amazing! Babies develop so quickly and new moms can’t know everything from day one so having the Nurture® Program is really so helpful to them.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    My favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor is getting the chance to help new moms realize that they really are doing a good job even when it may not feel like it.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I felt like I made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby when a mom thanked me for continuing to send developmental checks and activities to do with her baby. These helped her when she was concerned about how her baby was doing and gave her fun ways to help her baby stay on track developmentally.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I have two wild and sweet little ones who are 6 and 3. We are one of those families who are always on the go. We love to be outdoors doing anything active, which is probably due to my love for fitness. I am the owner of FIT4MOM Bethel Park. I spend my days instructing pre and postnatal fitness classes for a group of amazing mamas with my crazy kids along for the ride. I also just accepted a new part time job working with children with autism and am looking forward to it very much!

  • Highmark Save the Date

    NurturePA Participating in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community

    We are very excited to share that NurturePA, Inc. will be participating in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community again this year!

    The walk will take place the morning of Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Stage AE.

    Saturday, May 11, 2019
    Stage AE
    7:45 am – Event check in
    9:00 am – 5K Walk Begins
    9:15 am – 1 Mile Walk Begins

    The Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is an exciting opportunity to both raise awareness and funding to support the important work you are all doing at NurturePA.

    There are several ways you can get involved and help support our mission.

    Join us at the walk on May 11 — and bring your family and friends! The more people we have who turn out in support of NurturePA, the bigger impact we’ll make! Visit http://hcf.convio.net/nurturepa to register.

    Make a donation. Highmark has generously covered all expenses associated with the walk, which means 100% of the money we raise will directly benefit the nurture program! Visit http://hcf.convio.net/nurturepa to make a donation.

    Get your company or organization involved. Does your company have a matching gift program? If not, would they be willing to consider a special matching gift program for the walk as part of their corporate social responsibility plan? Would your colleagues consider participating by attending the walk and/or making a financial contribution?

    We hope you will consider joining us for the 2019 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community!

  • Mentor Spotlight: Lauren

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Since November 2017.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    You have a zillion questions when you’re a new mom and no one feels sure of herself at first. When I was a new mom, I remember wishing that I had a resource to connect with on a regular basis to help me navigate through the first few weeks and months of motherhood, just to give me some reassurances that I was doing okay and he was developing properly. That’s why this program is so great – experienced mom “mentors” reach out to new moms at least once a week with thoughts on the baby’s development, interesting activities to do with baby, and/or just to touch base to see how mom is doing. If mom has a question or concern, she can tell her mentor what’s going on and get some feedback. Every new mom needs someone in her life that she can turn to for help and advice or even just to share the silly and sweet moments that come with having a baby. NurturePA helps provide that relationship.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    Working with new moms and being able to draw on my own experiences as a mom to help other women.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I don’t hear back from every mom I work with every time I send a message. Some moms respond right away, some just say thanks and some only reply sporadically. That’s fine with me – I’m here to help them and I need them to know it’s okay to reply – or not! – to my messages however they feel most comfortable. One day, out of the blue, a mom who I didn’t hear from very often asked me a question about a situation she was facing with her child. I was able to provide her with support and advice that helped her. Even though we didn’t have a strong relationship, she knew that I was a trusted resource for her and she felt comfortable asking me for help. It felt great to know that I was making a positive impact in her life, even if I didn’t hear from her very often.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I was in marketing, advertising and PR for years, but I am now a full-time stay at home mom and wife. I have an amazing husband and 4 kids– Owen (9), Elijah (7), Stella (5) and Viola (almost 3).

  • Meet Kerry Ann!

    Meet Kerry Ann. When Kerry Ann’s daughter was diagnosed with a severe medical condition, she reached out to Ena, her NurturePA mentor, for advice. Not only was Ena able to connect Kerry Ann with several helpful resources, she was a consistent source of support and encouragement throughout the entire experience.

    “Kerry Ann is such a wonderful mother and I have really enjoyed building a relationship with her. Motherhood truly takes a village and I am so glad Kerry Ann felt comfortable leaning on me for support during what must have been an incredibly emotional and stressful time,” said Ena. “Knowing I can have a positive impact on the life of a mom and her baby is one of the main reasons why I love being a NurturePA mentor.”

    Today Kerry Ann and her daughter are thriving! Kerry Ann recently reflected on the experience and shared this message with Ena.

    “Thank you for being there this past year! I didn’t think I would need this program being a second time mommy, but I am so glad I signed up! You’ve made a big difference in what turned out to be a very difficult year for me. Blessings to you

  • NurturePA Photography RFP

    Is there anything better than a mom interacting with her child? We’re looking to hire a photographer to help us capture exactly that — the beautiful interactions between NurturePA moms, babies and families.

    Our goal is to plan several mini sessions over the course of one day. Each mini session would include a different mom and her child.

    If you are a photographer who has experience working with families (including babies), please consider responding to our photography RFP. We’d love to hear from you!

    Download our photography RFP>

    Proposals are due by Sunday, January 27. Please submit your proposal by email to Kara Droney at kdroney@nurturepa.org. Any questions can also be directed to Kara (kdroney@nurturepa.org).

  • New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy, Healthy 2019

    The new year always brings a sense of a fresh start. While everybody seems to be making plans to hit the gym and try the latest fad diet, we have a few other suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions that will hopefully increase happiness in your life.

    1) Spend more quality time with your child. It doesn’t have to amount to more actual time in the day. The goal is simply to make sure you are spending quality time with your child when you are fully engaged without distractions such as technology or your endless to-do list.

    2) Be kind to yourself. Recognize you can’t always do it all — and that is okay! Sometimes good enough is truly good enough!

    3) When you hit a bump along your parenting journey, repair and reset. We all have times when we’re not our best parenting selves. The beauty of raising children is that they always give us the opportunity to repair temporary blips. In fact, repairing the temporary blips with tenderness and nurturing love actually builds resilience in our children. And those strong relationships are the necessary buffer against stress.

    4) Make a commitment to do something for youself! Spend a few minutes reading a good book, meet your friends for dinner or take that night away with your significant other. Whether it’s something you do once a day, once a week, once a month or once a year — just make sure it’s something you truly enjoy!

    5) Become a NurturePA mentor! In as little as one hour a week from the comfort of your own home, you can support new moms and help them better nurture their babies. Not only is it a great opportunity to give back to your community, but it will leave you feeling great about the positive impact you are making! Click to learn more>

    Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy new year!

  • Mentor Spotlight: Jess

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    January 2019 is my 1 year Anniversary!

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    Several things. First of all it’s volunteer based, so most people who choose to become a mentor really do have an interest/passion for helping and supporting other moms, which has been so refreshing when meeting and talking to other mentors. I really love how the program is “text” based through NurturePA’s online program. I feel it takes the pressure off of new moms and allows them to reach out on their terms. NurturePA is also unique in that it not only provides an abundance of resources and ways to offer support at every stage of development for baby, but it also provides several resources for mothers and/or families during the “4th trimester” (i.e. after the birth of their child) when they may not get it otherwise. Raising children is not easy and just having my NurturePA Moms know that I am there whenever they have a question, concern or just need to vent (because yes we all do!) has been so rewarding and what truly makes the Nurture® Program special.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I absolutely love being able to provide new (and not so new) moms with resources and support that are readily available whenever they may need them. I know when I was a new mom I had a ton of anxiety and questions, but always hesitated to ask in fear that I would be judged or was embarrassed because I felt I “should” know the answers. When a mom confides in me with questions or support, I’m so honored to provide resources that are research based and genuine support to help ease her mind and/or guide her in the right direction.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    There’s been a few moms that stand out that I feel I’ve made a positive impact on…mainly due to the mom’s anxiety level and the need to be reassured that she is in fact doing everything just as she should. However, there is one mom who I felt a strong bond with, mainly because she had just given birth to twins. Since I am also a twin mom, I immediately felt a connection and was so happy to provide her with “twin resources” and support that were unique to her situation. This twin momma felt comfortable enough to share her experiences and concerns with me (which were very similar to mine) so it was so nice to be there for her, share what tips I had and provide support where she may not have been able to get from a momma who hasn’t had experiences with multiples. When I receive the messages of heartfelt gratitude or statements like “this means more than you know,” my heart smiles and I know that I’ve made a positive impact.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I’m originally from a small town in West Virginia and went to Bethany College where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I then moved to Pittsburgh with a couple friends and worked for the summer as a TSS with a few students with Autism. Fascinated by these children and their need to increase their communication skills, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Communication Science Disorders at Pitt and became a Speech and Language Pathologist. I worked for 10 years both in an outpatient setting and in the schools, mainly with students on the Autism Spectrum or with children diagnosed with severe speech and language disorders. In the meantime, I met my husband while playing PSL kickball and we had 3 spunky, beautiful children together…twin boys-Owen & Jake (almost 4 years old) and a girl-Raea (2 years old). It was after my daughter was born that I decided to become a Stay-at-Home Momma, at least until they are in school full-time. Right now, other than soaking up all the love from my children and attempting to guide them to be their best selves, you can find me focusing on my health and fitness in a cycle, barre or yoga class. I’m currently training at Sweat pgh and plan to instruct there in the New Year.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Amanda

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I started mentoring in June 2018. It has already been such an amazing and rewarding experience.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    As a full time stay at home mom, it has been hard to find volunteer opportunities that fit within my children’s schedule. I love that I can send a text regardless of where I am. Additionally, the NurturePA mentor community is so amazing that I never feel like I don’t have a place to turn to get an answer if I don’t know it myself. In these few short months that I’ve been part of NurturePA, I’ve learned so much about the Pittsburgh community that I wish I had known myself when my children were babies. I love being able to pass that information along to the mothers I mentor.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    Becoming a new mother can often lead to feelings of isolation and lack of support, especially when a mother has no idea where to turn to find information. My own experiences with challenges to motherhood have sometimes led me on a wild goose chase to hunt down knowledge and resources that were not always easily identifiable or readily available to me. At NurturePA, the mentorship community is working hard to provide a vast array of resources for new moms, which they might otherwise not know are available to them. It has been amazing to be a part of this organization and feel like I’m helping and supporting other mothers as they navigate the challenges of new motherhood.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    I had the opportunity to see the enormously positive benefit of NurturePA very early on in my mentor journey. The very first mother I was assigned to support had a baby who ended up hospitalized due to some feeding difficulty. After numerous tests, it was determined that the baby needed to have surgery. I feel so grateful to have been given the chance to communicate with her during this time in order to provide her with resources to assist not only her baby, but also herself. I can’t imagine what a scary time that must have been for her and her family and I hope that having someone at NurturePA to turn to was able to ease a little bit of their anxiety.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I’m currently taking a break from my career in the counseling profession to stay home and care for my 3 year old and 5 year old (and 11 year old fur puppy). When I’m not busy chasing them around or exploring the Zoo or any of the numerous Pittsburgh area museums, I am training for my 4th half marathon or repainting some room in my house. As a Wisconsin native and Pittsburgh transplant, you can find me parked in front of the TV on most Saturdays during the fall as I cheer on my alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers.