When Briante Melton, 26, became pregnant several years ago, she didn’t have a great deal of family support.“I moved to Indianapolis from Hammond, so I don’t have a huge family network here,” Briante said. “My mom and siblings live in Indy, but they are very busy with their own responsibilities.”
In June 2018, Briante learned about Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP), a program that pairs first-time moms with a registered nurse for ongoing home visits aimed at supporting mothers and families, and she immediately felt more confident.
“My nurse was a rock,” Briante said. “During my pregnancy, she came to my home so I didn’t have to leave, answered my calls and made me feel less anxious.”
Shortly after giving birth to her son, Isaiah, in January 2019, Briante started experiencing postpartum depression without realizing it. Her NFP Nurse, Michelle Washington, helped her identify the symptoms and provided counsel.
“Postpartum is very alone, very hard and very scary,” Briante said. “I didn’t know at first that’s what I was experiencing until my nurse pointed it out. From there, I could start recognizing it and overcoming the emotions.”
Washington also provided lactation consultation, as well as shared job opportunities and community resources with Briante to ensure the very best start for Isaiah. One recent opportunity that arose through Nurse-Family Partnership is a free doula certification course for Goodwill’s current and graduated participants and students. Briante, who is currently a stay-at-home mom, already signed up for the course and has a newfound career path.
“Now I want to become a doula,” Briante said. “I would have never been on this path without the help of Nurse-Family Partnership.”
NFP is a national, community health program, widely researched and recognized for increasing health care access and improving health outcomes. Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is about to celebrate its nine-year anniversary with Nurse-Family Partnership and currently serves over 1,000 families in 29 counties.
“Even though Isaiah is almost two years old now, I continue to text and talk to my nurse, and she sends me a lot of community resources and tools,” Briante said. “She is my friend now, more than anything.”