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The COVID-19 pandemic has turned everyday life into a stressful time for many across our community.  Imagine what the pandemic must be like during the already stressful time of pregnancy, and imagine still the pressure of being a teenager, pregnant during the pandemic.

Expectant mothers are finding support through a community program called Nurse-Family Partnership, it’s run in Mesa County through Mesa County Public Health. An article published recently for the Colorado Trust titled, “Colorado Teens Pregnant During the Pandemic Face Increased Isolation and Difficult Decisions,” shares insight into the services offered through the program and features a local teen’s story

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Montgomery wants her boyfriend Jesse to be with her for their daughter’s birth in December. She would also really like her mother present for the labor and delivery. However, she’s allowed only one visitor under current hospital policies to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“My mom is my best friend. I’ve always wanted her to be there to meet her grandbaby and support me,” said Montgomery. “It’s hard that she might not be able to.”

While the coronavirus pandemic has created additional strains and stresses for all pregnant people, teen parents face particular challenges to their mental and physical well-being, and that of their babies. Still children themselves, teenagers have needs that differ from older parents, and the pandemic has made their pregnancies even more challenging.

“One of the things we’ve heard from all of our moms—of any age—is fear around what delivery will look like at the hospital in [the] time of COVID,” said Amanda Jensen, program supervisor for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) in Mesa County, a nonprofit that provides support to new mothers.

For pregnant teens, “frequently, their mother is their main support,” Jensen added. “It’s harder than any other age group. They typically want more people around them, involved with their childbirth. COVID-19 restrictions are hugely disappointing to them—it changes what that will look like.”

Montgomery is a NFP client who doesn’t drive and lives with her mother in Clifton, Colo., an unincorporated community near Grand Junction. To keep herself and the baby safe during the pandemic, she spends most of her time alone at the house, while her mom works and 19-year-old Jesse—who lives with his parents—holds down two jobs, one of which is in a restaurant.

Read the full article here

For more information about Nurse-Family Partnership click here.

Looking for resources during the pandemic?  Check out this section of our website.