Health Team

Durham nonprofit offers advice, support to new parents

Posted July 25, 2012

— When a baby is born without any serious health complications, the parents go home pretty quickly with their new bundle of joy. But that doesn't mean they won't have more questions to ask or concerns when health issues pop up. WRAL Health Team Health Team

Durham Connects, a nonprofit program that pulls in resources from the county health department, the Center for Childhood and Family Health and Duke University, is doing its best to make sure families get those important questions answered and receive professional support in the comfort of their home. 

Since 2008, Durham Connects has offered home visits to any Durham County family with a newborn that requests the service. 

Jeannine Sato, the program's director, said parents normally sign up for visits while they are still in the hospital. Once the baby is home, registered nurses come for one or more visits to check on the baby's overall health and development. 

"(The nurses) really interact with the family as a whole, not just the mom," Sato said. 

In addition to the baby's health, nurses check the mother's health. Durham Connects Durham non-profit offers help, advice for new parents

Registered nurse Elizabeth Stevens, who has visited Jacquetta Cherry and her 3-month-old Jah'maya since they came home from the hospital, recommended breastfeeding to help Jah'maya get enough nourishment. 

"To have somebody come in to check on her and check on me, it feels good," Cherry said. 

Durham Connects also helps families find primary care physicians and links to financial assistance when it's needed. 

"This is of course free of charge to parents, so it's a really nice service just to have a health professional in the comfort of your home," Sato said. 

Families that don't sign up for the services in the hospital can register online.


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  • jcbarber6 Jul 27, 2012

    I just absolutely do not agree with you. Support such as this gives a lot of parents the empowerment they need to be great parents. For instance, when I had my first daughter I had the best lactation consultant in the hospital that guided me through my very significant breastfeeding challenges. She was not telling me what to do with my child, but giving me support and encouragement.

  • jcbarber6 Jul 27, 2012

    Short cake there is no doubt in my mind that there are parents out there like that. But, I can put money on the fact that those parents who seemingly care less about their children, also care less about programs such as these.

  • jcbarber6 Jul 27, 2012

    But, the point you are trying to make is not being made here. It is programs like this that try to AVOID the parenting techniques taken by many people today that you speak of. Every parent needs a little support, an ear to listen, or whatever...every single parent. Programs like this do not tell you how to raise your kids. It gives you options and then you can figure it out on your own. And you can't really compare every aspect of parenting from back in the day. I can't tell you how many times older people have tried to give me advice about my children that I would NEVER take. One being to allow my children to cry themselves to sleep. Very emotionally damaging and something that many older generations believe. I could go on forever about these sorts of things.

  • Spock Jul 27, 2012

    You go shortcake53!!! Maybe more folks will wake up and understand.

  • shortcake53 Jul 26, 2012

    You have no clue how I feel about Planned Parenthood, so I suggest you stick to something you DO know about. I have had a front row seat to watching parents with new babies for over 40 years, running my own daycare. I see them come in their robes, drop the baby in my arms and say "Its my day off, I'm going back home to bed", or tell me "I have things to do this afternoon, I wont be here until late", and then they are off without a care for the baby. And any latest gadget that comes out that can make the new parent any lazier gets snapped off the shelves as fast as they can stock it. Its a very sad state of affairs when women think it would be "fun" to have a baby, then the fun wears off very quickly. Then the search begins for a "support group" they can complain to.

  • ekuman Jul 26, 2012

    shortcake 53 would probably be the first to decry planned parenthood, and yet here he/she is badmouthing a program that would help people who have carried their baby to full term. These new mothers might go ask grandmama how to raise the baby, but perhaps grandmama is no longer alive, living in another state, or just not up to date on recent health care knowledge. We all know medicine has made significant advances throughout the last 50-100 years (with no signs of slowing down), so it wouldn't be surprising if grandmama doesn't know the latest.
    The fact that these new mothers want these health care providers to come and check on their babies and answer questions that didn't come up during pregnancy is a good indication to me that these new mothers are going to do just fine. Their kids will grow up to be better adjusted than those kids raised by parents who are too proud to admit that someone else might know more about health than they do.

  • shortcake53 Jul 26, 2012

    Thats exactly my point, jcbarber. They shouldnt NEED programs. If they are not competent to raise kids, then they shouldnt have them to start with. If their baby gets fussy they plop it into a battery operated swing and walk away. Generations ago "mamma" actually took her baby on her lap and rocked it, giving it comfort and the knowledge that she was there when needed. That doesnt happen anymore. If better use was made of a parents time and a committment was made to give the child the attention it needs on a constant basis, other programs would not be necessary. Now parents want instant solutions and for someone else to figure out what should be done instead of doing for themselves.

  • jcbarber6 Jul 26, 2012

    I would like to say a few things here. Everyone on here who complains about "handouts" being given...I hope and pray that none of you ever need it. MOST people do not want to live off of so called "handouts" and are not proud of that situation. You never know if you may need them one day so stop downing those who do. Secondly, this program is about SUPPORT. For many families who do not have it otherwise and it is nice to have someone to talk to about questions. Things now are MUCH different now then they were when our grandparents were young so the notion that parents nowadays are incompetent are obsurd. It isn't about having a manual to help raise your children. It is about reading/educating yourself on knowledge that is so important when raising kids. Wouldn't you rather mothers and fathers use these programs then go out and hurt or murder their children? This program is for the betterment of our society. So, please take your complaints somewhere else.

  • Spock Jul 25, 2012

    Turn off the television, cell phone, and computer then spend time with your kids is the best advice for parents. Now, do I get paid for that advice?

  • shortcake53 Jul 25, 2012

    And before you say, "mothers back then didnt work outside the home", wrong again. My grandparents owned a "corner store" and both worked long hours because they were the only two employees.