• Mentor Spotlight: Michele

    Michele and her family

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    A little over three years.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    Being able to offer support to moms of new babies who might not have anyone else to turn to.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    The feeling of connection that you form with moms. Also feeling as those you’re making a real difference in a family’s life.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    When I got up in the middle of the night to answer a text because I was worried about a mom and her baby. It turned out to be a simple sleep question, but I’ve been a mother up in the middle of the night with a child and I felt really alone. I felt good about offering company when she was up with a sleepless child.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I am a mother, a grandmother, and an educator. I decided to run for State House of Representatives because I think we need more women in Harrisburg, more educators in Harrisburg, and more mothers in Harrisburg. Women are good at multitasking, good at fighting for family’s rights, and good at bringing money back to their districts.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Jackie

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Just over three years!

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    For me, connecting with other mothers has really made a big difference. Building a support network of “mom friends” takes time and so does having a newborn. It’s not always possible to build those relationships in the early days of motherhood. I love that NuturePA gives new moms their first connection to another mother so that she can learn to lean on others for support.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    Celebrating milestones with the moms is my favorite part of mentoring. I’ve been connecting weekly with some of them for three years and I truly look forward to hearing from them each week. It’s effortless — like checking in with a friend.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    When a mom reaches out to me spontaneously to ask a question or share something, I feel like I have accomplished the goal of being a friend to turn to at any time.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    Before I became a mom, I earned a Master of Library Information Science (MLIS) and was a School Librarian. I am currently stay-at-home mother of one very vibrant (almost) five-year old. I can usually be found in the kitchen. I love to cook!

  • Mentor Spotlight: Andrea M.

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Just over a year.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    It is a one of a kind program. I don’t know of many other volunteer based programs that are so easy to participate in on a weekly basis.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I love feeling like I’m helping such a vulnerable group. Post-partum women, in general, seem to be overlooked. Everyone is always looking at the health of the newborn baby, but not so much the mom. Feeling like I’m making a connection with these women, and really making a difference in their lives is amazing.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    One new mom was struggling with the transition from 1 child to 2. Because I had gone through the same transition in the previous 2 years, I felt I was able to give her some practical advice that truly helped me through the transition. She definitely responded to my advice, and has remained one of my most responsive moms over the past year!

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I’m the proud mom of 2 kids – Maggie, 4 and Max, 2.5. I’m expecting my third in January of 2018, so right around the corner! My husband and I recently moved from Greenfield to the South Hills, and we’re really enjoying getting to know our new neighborhood and the surrounding areas!

  • Mentor Spotlight: Christy

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    I’ve been a mentor for about six months.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    It connects new moms with the support of other real moms.  When I was first a mom I would sit up at night with my sleepless baby, scrolling the internet for information about this whole parenting thing.  I had no idea if what my baby was doing, or I was feeling, was normal, or if we were all going crazy! Haha.  The huge amount of “experts” out there can drive a person crazy.  Having a fellow mom who “gets it” and who will always be respectful and supportive just a text message away is unique and invaluable.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I started as a mentor with NurturePA because I wanted to “repay” in some way, all of the support from others I received, and continue to receive, as a mom.  But that aside, I just love to listen to people.  NurturePA has been a wonderful way for me to learn about others in my broader community.  Totally a selfish answer, I know, but I have learned a lot from this program — at least as much as I have taught others.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    One new mom was really struggling with breastfeeding.  She told me all about everything she had tried, everyone she had worked with, to try to breastfeed her baby.  And yet she was still experiencing pain, her child was still not getting enough, no one was sleeping, pumping at work was a mess, etc.  But she felt so much guilt around it all.  I was able, as an outsider, to reassure her that she was doing a wonderful job as a mom and that her baby would thrive even if she couldn’t continue to nurse full time.  It seemed to be the permission she was looking for to stop being so hard on herself.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I’m a mom of two boys, ages 5 and 1 ½.  I used to be a classroom teacher and have my certification as a Reading Specialist.  Since my oldest was born, however, I have been working as a nanny and part-time tutor.  Basically, I’ve been balancing being a SAHM and generating some income.  People are my passion (which is funny, because I’m a definite introvert).

  • Mentor Spotlight: Veronica

    Veronica

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

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    Mentors are provided with amazing local resources, plus an extensive content library with age-appropriate conversational prompts. The mentors are even able to ask each other for guidance through a private social media group. This combination gives new moms unique access to resources that are simply a text away!

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    My favorite part is being able to give back and help new moms with ease! I am able to login from anywhere at any time and connect with my moms. As a new mom I remember feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.  At that time I only had one ‘mom friend’ and I depended on her for a lot. NurturePA is an amazing resource that I wish I would have had!

    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 this way when one of my first moms began opening up. She has asked about everything from personal loneliness, to her daughters’ development, to where to sell used baby clothes. The conversation with her has become more personal and open. I truly feel like an extension to her support system.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I am the proud mom to a five-year old son and a two-year old daughter. I met my husband while in college and we have been married for 9 years. We live in the North Hills and I have worked for a local staffing and recruitment firm for almost 10 years. On the weekends, you can find us out and about exploring the city or simply hanging out at home with friends that have turned into family!

  • Mentor Spotlight: Andrea P.

    Andrea Pollack

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

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    The nurture® program is special for so many reasons! It is a fantastic opportunity for moms to educate and support other moms in a constructive and judgement-free manner. It also reaches women who may not have support, or may not know how to communicate exactly what they are feeling during the wild journey that is motherhood.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    Motherhood has been so humbling and I love being able to connect with other women to share the inevitable ups and downs. I also really enjoy having access to such amazing resources. I have learned so much reading through the content material and resource pages.

    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 honestly feel like the first back and forth text between any new mom has felt the most poignant to me. It is like I can almost hear the sigh of relief from a new mom having this amazing place to vent, learn, inquire, and perhaps vent some more.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I am the mother of a hilarious, cuddly, dynamic little boy who made quite a dramatic entrance into the world. My water broke at 26 weeks; I remained pregnant and on bed rest for almost 4 more weeks until my son was born at just over 30 weeks, weighing 2lbs 5oz. We spent 45 days in the NICU, but he has been the picture of health ever since! I am also in my final year of medical school, and so is my partner. Clearly, we thrive on chaos and insanity. I am exhausted, but I cannot imagine life any other way! I am so honored to be a part of this wonderful organization and I know it has strengthened me as a mom and as a future medical professional.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Erica

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Over two years.

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    I am fortunate to have a strong and compassionate support system in my friends and family. I think this, maybe more than anything, shapes a woman’s experience as a new mom. It is such a challenging and emotional transition. Feeling that your experience is valid and  that your voice is heard and met with empathy is so powerful for new moms. I love that NurturePA has found a method (mom-to-mom mentoring) to provide this to new moms in a way (text message) that fits into  their busy lives. I love that I can be a part of that.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I love that even with two small and busy little boys at home, I can find time to volunteer with an organization that I think is so important to our community. If I can utilize my own parenting experiences, both the highs and the lows, to help another mom, even in a small way, it feels really good.

    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 been mentoring one of “my moms” for over two years! We have such a nice rapport and I truly feel like we’re sharing our real and honest experiences in motherhood with each other. Her gratitude makes me feel that our texts have been a positive support in her life.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    Before I became a mother, I was a high school English teacher. Now, I’m a stay-at-home mom to two energetic and endearing little boys, 4.5 years old and 1.5 years old. They are incredibly funny and incredibly exhausting. When I have time to myself, I enjoy baking, gardening, roaming around Target, trying new restaurants in the city, and spending time with my friends and family.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Mary

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    Since October 2016

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    While there are heaps of online resources to help new parents, the heart of NurturePA is the mentor/mentee relationship.  Having a relationship with new moms is crucial to supporting them, and it makes the text-based platform come alive.  It’s the perfect blend of new-age technology and old-fashioned personal connection!

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I am a child development geek, so I am passionate about sharing the treasure trove of NurturePA’s great developmental information and activities with my mentees.  I believe that understanding your child’s development is empowering, and I love being able to share that rich material with new moms.

    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 love it whenever a mom asks a question or finds something useful.  Once a mom was very worried about her baby’s eyesight, and she reached out to me for help.  Mostly I just listened and supported her with a caring presence, but it felt like we helped her to feel less alone with her concerns until a doctor could evaluate them.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I have long been a student of child development, and I have worked and played with babies and young children whenever I had a chance.  I grew up in Meadville, PA and went to Bucknell University and Penn State University.  After earning my Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, I worked a couple of years as a caseworker for Children & Youth Services (Lehigh County, PA).   Then, I spent 16 wonderful years “employed” as a Stay-at-Home mother with my 4 children (now ages 19, 23, 26, & 29) in Pittsburgh.  For the past 13 years, I’ve had the pleasure of being the Director of Shadyside Presbyterian Church Nursery School, where I’ve been privileged to work with an amazing staff, delightful children, and wonderful families.  Being a NurturePA mentor has given me a new and challenging way in which I can share my skills and contribute to the wellbeing of mothers and babies.  Thanks for the opportunity!

     

    Pictured Above
    Mary (center right) with her husband (far right) and their four children (from left to right), Matthew, Erin, Meg, and Daniel.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Lauren

    LaurenJ

    How long have you been a NurturePA mentor?
    A little over two years!

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    Becoming a new mom can be a very isolating time for some women and NurturePA helps to take away that sense of seclusion.  During one of the most vulnerable times of parenthood, the program allows a new mother to connect with someone who has been in her shoes, all without ever having to leave her home.  Since NurturePA is a text based program, there is also a sense of anonymity that allows moms to be more open, to ask the questions that they may be hesitant to ask in a face to face interaction, to share not only the joys but also the struggles of this wild and crazy ride.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I am lucky to have so much support in my life and I love that NurturePA allows me to give back in some small way, from the comfort of my own home and as my schedule permits.  I simply love connecting with others moms – whether it is sharing in the joy of a new milestone, commiserating about sleep struggles, or offering ideas and resources for any number of issues that may come up as a parent to a young child.

    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 is one mom that I feel I have made a connection with, even though she responds to my texts intermittently.  One time, after not hearing from her for awhile, she responded to my message and voiced concern that her son was not saying “mama” to get her attention.  She later shared that she was worried she wasn’t doing enough for her son.  I offered some strategies to encourage her son to better communicate, but also assured her that the fact that she was worried about not doing enough meant that she most certainly WAS doing enough, and that really seemed to put her at ease.  Sometimes moms need a little encouragement, too.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    Before becoming a mom, I worked at The Children’s Institute as a feeding and behavior specialist.  I now stay at home with my three boys – ages 9, 7, and 4 – and they keep life interesting, to say the least!  I enjoy taking trips with my family, getting outside and being active, enjoying all that Pittsburgh has to offer, and hanging out with fellow moms.

  • Mentor Spotlight: Katy

    katy rank lev

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

    What makes the nurture® program so special?
    I love the idea of a voice speaking to moms, just a small voice reassuring them that they’re doing great. Thinking back to the early days of motherhood, when not many of my friends had babies yet, I could have really benefited from another mom just consistently checking in and telling me my bond with my baby was special. I love that this program is like an extra hug for moms, with a side serving of information and connection to resources where needed.

    What is your favorite part about being a NurturePA mentor?
    I really find it fulfilling to give back. I’ve received so much kindness from other moms and it feels nice to just share encouragement. Parenting small people is tremendously difficult. If I can be of some small help, that feels really good.

    Tell us about a time when you feel like you made a positive impact on the life of a mom and her new baby.
    One of my moms was really struggling to afford diapers for her baby. I was able to speak with someone from the United Way’s 211 call center to identify diaper banks throughout the region and really connect this mom with a vital resource she needed right away.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself,
    I work as a freelance writer and I have 3 sons under 7, so most of my energy goes toward the gritty work of parenting very young children. I led our local chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network for many years, served on the board of directors at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library, and became a peer breastfeeding counselor with Breastfeeding USA. All of those organizations were a great help to me throughout my motherhood experience! My youngest son starts preschool this fall, so I plan to celebrate that milestone by climbing a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado. If I have any breath left at the top, I’m going to dance for joy.