• 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!

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Dana

     

    danaHow long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    One year!

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    At NuturePA, we connect with moms before they may even be aware of their needs, advice-wise, emotionally, etc. This offers a unique opportunity for us, as mentors, to establish trust and openness from the very beginning. Thus, leading to open lines of communication and the ability to give adequate support in the future.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I love the ability to connect with mamas from all different backgrounds. I had one experience, but all my moms had their own, unique experiences, too. It’s a treat to share what I’ve learned on my parenting journey, and I feel privileged to hear about other mom’s journeys.

    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’m currently working with a mama who struggles with depression. I believe the condition was preexisting, however, the disease has intensified since she’s given birth. I also dealt with something similar, and was easily able to identify with how she was feeling. With NurturePA’s bank of resources, and my personal experience, I feel like the mama and I were able to connect on a more intimate level. I certainly can’t “fix” her problem, but I let her know I’m here for her, understand what she’s going through, and that she can count on me to be there for her when needed. It comforts me to think this mama knows she’s got at least one person who’s firmly in her corner.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I married my partner of three years in June, and we parent a lively little 2nd grader. Aside from my volunteer work with NuturePA, I work as a bookkeeper and enjoy all things outdoors. I’m an avid runner and hiker. My family and I enjoy travel and exploring new territories together. We love the city of Pittsburgh and are happy to share its wonders with everyone and anyone.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Amy

    Amy M

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I’ve been a mentor for about three years.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    NurturePA is special to me because it connects new mothers to current mothers for mentoring. Having a new baby can be unsettling for a new mother and having access to a current mom who has some resources to provide is comforting.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    It’s great to positively impact a new mom in various ways such as aiding with feeding tips, relaying community activities, and discussing developmental milestones.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    A baby has an intense impact on a mother’s life and once thrown into motherhood it’s nice to have a mentor to discuss joys, concerns and questions. I love letting mothers know they are doing a wonderful job and encouraging them to keep up the good work. (Motherhood is usually thankless as we know 😄)

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    Employed as a co-manager for senior living, I enjoy helping senior citizens find and maintain affordable and quality living. For fun I enjoy hiking, bicycling, board games and cards, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Tracey

    Tracey

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I’ve been a mentor since May 2016.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    We get to help moms connect with their babies and let them know they are not alone.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    That feeling when you get a heartfelt thank you from the mom that you helped through a rough time.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    Whenever I let a mom know that she is not alone when she has a particular issue she is facing, I feel that I am making a positive impact on both the mom and her baby.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I am a licensed massage therapist who loves to dance tap and ball room. I have a four year old son who likes to help me with my crafts. I am at my best when I am helping people.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Laura A.

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Hi, I’m Laura. I’ve been a NurturePA mentor since the spring of 2017.

    What makes the Nurture® Program so special?
    NurturePA is special because new moms have someone to listen to concerns and offer guidance- no need to feel alone as a new mom who may be overwhelmed! The mentors are there to support moms by offering a friendly hello, helping them find resources in the community to support their baby, guiding them through their baby’s milestones, acknowleding concerns and helping to find answers. The text based program helps to pass along information conveniently.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    My favorite part of being a NurturePA mentor is hearing from moms! I love hearing about a milestone a baby has reached, or a proud mom moment.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    Our libraries are a great resource. They are more than a place to pick up a book or rent a video. They help build community by offering age appropriate classes to young and old. They are a place for parents and children to interact with each other. And of course resources like books, puppets, music to take home and use to interact with babies. I feel I’ve made an important impact on the life of a baby by providing library resources for the mom. The new mom discovered there are programs she can take her baby to at a very young age! Mom and baby can attend an age appropriate class and I’m sure the mom and baby will continue to use the library as a resource as the baby grows and the needs change.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    Before becoming a mom to my oldest I was a classroom teacher. Life with three school aged children keeps me busy! While not spending time with them I enjoy reading, knitting and walking.