Even before COVID-19 we knew that all families could use support at the birth of a child, and some things never change. Now more than ever families may be experiencing heightened stress, anxiety, and other obstacles when they are bringing a new child into their home.
Babies don’t come with an instruction manual. That’s why Family Connects Texas offers a FREE home visit from a registered nurse for families with a newborn. Before the pandemic, our nurses would come to your family’s home 3-weeks postpartum and offer in depth support. Now, our nurses meet you virtually, to help your family safely in today’s socially distanced world. During your 2-hour video chat, nurses check on mom, baby, and the whole family.
In light of COVID-19, Family Connects was able to pivot their model to meet families where they are – virtually. We are so proud of our team for finding innovative ways to reimagine what high quality care and education in our community looks like. Families are still receiving the same great service, at a safe social distance during COVID-19.
Staci Bishopp is a local first-time mom who has been weathering birth and postpartum during the pandemic, and she is thankful for the support Family Connects was able to provide her.
Staci, her partner Tim, and their baby Finn all received a virtual visit from a Family Connects nurse earlier this summer. She first learned about Family Connects Texas from her providers at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, and signed up to receive her free visit immediately. Staci was gracious enough to share a little about her experience of becoming a mom during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how Family Connects impacted her.
How has COVID-19 affected your journey into parenting?
“This strange time is working in our favor, oddly enough. My husband is able to spend so much more time with us than he would have and he’s been invaluable in raising Finn. It takes a village and together we make a pretty good one.
Sadly, because of hospital policy, my doula was not able to be with us at the birth. This was crushing at the time. However, I think the outcome of my birth experience would be the same.
I do wonder if all this hadn’t been going on if I would have been able to have a natural birth. If my stress level would have been lower, would Finn have come sooner and would a c-section have been necessary? But he’s here and he’s healthy and I’m healed so it doesn’t really matter all that much to me anymore.
Covid also kept our doula and family at bay after the birth, so postpartum was much different than I thought it would be. Luckily my husband was (and still is) a great support.”
What have you found most rewarding about being a mom?
“The ability to make my sweet baby boy smile and the change in my perspective on the importance of family. My empathy has grown leaps and bounds.”
What have you found most challenging?
“The constant change in Finn’s mood. Every day is different from the last and I can’t control it – which took me some time to get used to. I still get taken aback when he’s having a particularly hard day. I have to stop and remind myself that it will pass and the most important thing is to make him feel safe and loved and not to get angry or stressed when things aren’t going as planned.”
How did your Family Connects visit impact you?
“It was so nice to have someone to talk to those first few weeks. To have Brenda validate what we were doing and how we were feeling was really comforting. She gave us a ton of good advice and resources to help after our time together and it made us feel very taken care of.”
Did you learn anything new from your nurse that you were able to take action on, or implement?
“Reiterating how important swaddling is, was a big one! It saved us from having a lot of sleepless nights and from a few meltdowns.”
What could have made your visit better?
“I can’t think of anything more that could have been done. I felt really supported.”
Would you recommend a nurse home-visit to other expecting families?
The first few days and weeks home with a new baby can be a challenging time for all families. Family Connects Texas nurses are trained to answer your questions and connect you with the support you need. COVID-19 has presented unique birthing, postpartum, and early parenting experiences for families, and Family Connects has proven to be a vital resource for families during this time. It takes a village, and Family Connects is here to be a part of yours.
Receive your FREE virtual Family Connects visit! Request your visit today.