New, young moms get valuable advice, support

Kamadie Traore hugs her daughter, Asa. “It was always in me, but I credit the program for bringing it out of me that I could be this mother. I could do this.”

Before her daughter Asa was born, Kamadie Traore called her Blessin. She decided on her prenatal name with the help of her visiting nurse, Karen Lewis, to help Traore form a bond with the baby that was she was carrying in her 19-year-old body.

National teen pregnancy rates are in decline, but as of 2008 nearly 7 percent of women between the ages of 15 to 19 become pregnant. First-time young mothers are often stretched thin in a multitude of ways — like Traore, who was working and attending community college when she found out she was pregnant with Asa.

In all but eight states across the country, low-income young moms are learning how to relate to pregnancy and motherhood through the Nurse-Family Partnership that assigns a nurse to a new mom. The free service is available to low-income moms who are fewer than 28 weeks pregnant with their first child and match up a nurse through the child’s second year.

Traore was Lewis’s first client since joining the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, a not-for-profit organization contracted by the city to operate the program in the Bronx. While doing research on what resources New York City could offer to her, Traore found the program and enrolled.
 
Born in Mali, West Africa, Traore is the eldest of six siblings. She said her mother’s parenting style included very little open communication. She met her husband in a traditional Malian way, but wanted motherhood to be different.

“I wanted to be able to have that relationship with my daughter where we can communicate with each other, where I can say I love you without awkwardness,” she said. With Lewis by her side (and via text) she learned a different, more nurturing side of parenting.

Growing up in a house where her parents rarely engaged with children, Traore didn’t have an easy time caring for Asa at first. But soon she felt more confident and even started sharing with her mother the things she learned from Lewis.

“I told her about the benefits of breastfeeding,” Traore recounted. “I’m taking the opportunity to build a better relationship [with her].”

Traore is now seven months pregnant with her second child and still texts Lewis for advice. When Lewis speaks of Traore, it is with warmth and respect: “She was and she will forever be special.” 

What to expect

The national Nurse-Family Partnership provides      guidance on many aspects of motherhood, including:
   
What is expected during pregnancy
Nutrition, health and contraception
Bonding techniques with your fetus
Connecting and communicating with your child; breastfeeding
Life and career guidance

Learn more at www.vnsny.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."