Being a first-time parent comes with a lot of questions. During pregnancy, you want to know how to support your growing baby. What should you eat, and what shouldn’t you eat? What is gestational diabetes? How can you prepare for labor?
When your baby comes, you’ll have even more questions. Should you breastfeed? Should they sleep on their back, side, or tummy? How can you support your baby’s overall development?
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free program for first-time parents that answers all of these questions and more. When you enroll in the program, you’ll have access to a registered nurse who will support you by providing you with advice and resources to help you have a healthy pregnancy and raise a healthy baby.
After you and your baby graduate from the NFP, you can join the Nurse-Family Partnership Alumni Alliance.
What Is Nurse-Family Partnership?
NFP is a national program, started more than 40 years ago, that supports first-time parents across the country. At VNS Health, our Nurse-Family Partnership offers free at-home support to parents and their children in Nassau County and the Bronx.
The NFP program starts by pairing a nurse with first-time parents-to-be. This partnership and support starts in the first or second trimester of your pregnancy and continues until your child’s second birthday.
Your NFP nurse will:
- Provide you with education about pregnancy, childbirth, and your baby’s development
- Monitor your and your infant’s health
- Help you understand how to take care of your baby, including feeding, bathing, and safe sleep
- Show you ways to interact with your baby to help them grow and develop
- Help you achieve your personal goals, such as continuing your education and finding a job
- Connect you with resources like health insurance and mental health care
The program will also connect you with local resources, such as libraries, medical care, and child care. As a new parent, you might not be aware of the vast resources our communities can offer, which will keep you and your baby connected for years to come.
Our model is to help mothers succeed by unlocking their own greatness. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that inspire hope, hearing that she is doing a great job.Jenn, Nurse-Family Partnership registered nurse
NFP is an evidence-based program. This means it uses evidence from real people and real situations to provide the best knowledge for you and your child. NFP helps give your baby the best possible start in life.
Am I Eligible for the NFP Program?
The NFP program is completely free, and it’s available to first-time parents regardless of age, immigration status, or gender identity. Still, there are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible. You must:
- Be pregnant with your first baby
- Be less than 29 weeks pregnant
- Meet the program’s income requirements
- Live in Nassau County or the Bronx
If you don’t qualify for the NFP, our team will help you find other resources to support you during pregnancy and while raising your baby.
Making Crucial Connections: NFP in the Community
Healthy pregnancies and babies depend on access to crucial resources, support, and guidance. NFP is designed to meet the needs of parents in our communities by providing support to promote healthy pregnancies and babies.
Maternal mortality — which is when a pregnant person dies during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery — is a serious problem in the United States, especially for low-income families and communities of color. For example, Black women are 2 to 3 times as likely to die from pregnancy and delivery-related causes as white women, and the rate of maternal mortality among Hispanic women is on the rise.
NFP is focused on improving health equity, which is when everyone has the opportunity to reach their full health potential. For first-time parents in our communities, this means providing knowledge and resources to support healthy pregnancies and parenting. It also means helping you progress in your education, career, and goals.
Healthy babies are key to healthy communities. VNS Health’s NFP is committed to helping all babies come into a world that supports their healthy development.
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Nurse-Family Partnership Alumni Alliance
The Nurse-Family Partnership Alumni Alliance (NFPAA) is for parents and their child after NFP graduation. When you register for the NFPAA, you can:
- Meet mothers who share your NFP experience
- Learn from child development experts
- Gain insights into making choices about pre-K, elementary school, and beyond
- Explore educational and career options for yourself
You can find NFPAA events on the VNS Health Community Calendar.
To learn more about the NFPAA, call 1-718-477-4744.