We all know what a health visitor does and of course a midwife, but do you know what a family nurse does?
The successful Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a licensed programme, originally developed in the USA, in which specially trained nurses work with first-time teenage mothers to develop their parenting skills and support them to make positive choices for themselves and their children.
The programme was adopted in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde seven years ago and the team will soon be welcoming their 1000th family.
Carolyn Denham is a Family Nurse, based out of Drumchapel Health Centre.
She said: “As Family Nurses it is our role to help the mum from the time she finds out she’s pregnant, right through to when the baby turns two years old. That is the golden 1001 days, when a baby’s brain is developing fastest and we have the opportunity to get them off to a great start!”
The intensive programme, which sees mums and Family Nurses meet up weekly, is open to any woman aged 19 or under, who is pregnant with her first child and continuing with the pregnancy.
Carolyn added: “It’s all about getting the best for the mum and getting the best outcomes for the babies. The success is there for us all to see. For those who come through the programme, there are health benefits for both mum and baby, improved socio economic outcomes and the children are more ready for school when the time comes. It really is a win win.”
21-year-old Olivia Murray is mum to baby Brynn and lives with her mum in the Possilpark area of Glasgow. She first met Carolyn when she was 18 weeks pregnant.
Olivia said: “It’s been great to get Carolyn’s support from the get-go. I wasn’t keeping too well at the start and could hardly eat. She was great at suggesting different things I could try.
“She has given me so much confidence to be a good mum to Brynn. She’s also given me lots of information, but most of all it’s been confidence. I am now planning to go to College and hope to become a social worker. I know it will take me five or six years to get there but I hope by the time Brynn is at school I will be able to give her a good life and not need to worry about money.
“I am very lucky as I have great family support, but having Carolyn there has made me feel I have someone else on my side. She’s become like a member of my family. Having a family nurse has helped me so much and I would recommend it to any young expectant mum out there.”
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