New program offers home visits for moms with newborns in Forsyth County

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- It has only been a few weeks since Nick and Teresa Goins became first time parents welcoming their daughter Chloe into the world.

“It’s been great. It’s not like anything else you’ve ever experienced,” Teresa Goins said.

Whether you are a first-time parent or not, having a baby means a big adjustment for families.

Novant Health is offering a new program through Forsyth Medical Center to assist moms shortly after giving birth.

The program is called Forsyth Connects -- a home visiting program where a nurse will visit a family to assess mom and baby.

“We offer home visits to all moms who had a baby, who live in Forsyth County,” said Monica Smith, nurse manager for Forsyth Connects. “We talk about emotional health, health care plans, back-to-work plans.”

The visits last for about two hours.

During that time, a physical assessment is done on the mother and child.

Given that having a baby is not just a physical adjustment, it’s also a time to ask the mom how she’s adapting emotionally.

“We go in about two to three weeks later -- after the baby’s born. That’s typically when the help leaves. Grandmas go back home, husbands go back to work. It’s usually a time of isolation and a time of being very overwhelmed,” Smith said.

“For me, I think that was what I was most impressed about was that although the focus was on the health of the baby, on Chloe, it was nice she also took a large amount of time just focusing on how Teresa was doing,” Nick Goins said.

The home visits began in August.

So far, 168 families have been visited.

Fully staffed, 10 nurses will cover Forsyth County.

Follow-up visits are scheduled if necessary.

The program is free and it doesn’t matter if you are a first-time parent or not.

Together, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Duke Endowment provided more than $2 million in funding.

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s investment in Forsyth Connects is part of a broader early childhood initiative, Great Expectations, focused on children aged zero to five in the community.