How it Began — A Cry For Help
Sharon Rohrbach is saving the lives of newborn babies — preventing medical problems, neglect and even death — by reaching out to parents who need help.
As a newborn nursery nurse in St. Louis, Sharon was disturbed by the growing number of babies coming into the emergency room with life threatening illnesses that she felt could have been prevented. "So Nurses For Newborns was founded to try to make difference," says Sharon.
The Solution — A Nurse in Every Home
The Nurses For Newborns Foundation sends experienced pediatric nurses into homes to teach parents how to care for their infants and recognize the signs of illness. "We found that the nurse home visitation is the most effective thing that you can do to prevent neglect," Sharon says. "A lot of the neglect that we see is not neglect in the eyes of the parents — if they knew it was neglect, they wouldn't do it."
About 90% of the mothers the Nurses For Newborns Foundation serves are single mothers who need extra help and support. "Because I didn't have any money, I was worried should I get her some diapers or should I eat because I was breast feeding. It was really a scary situation," one mother helped by Nurses For Newborns says. (My nurse) helped me change my life and the baby's life around. I'm going back to school; I want to be a nurse. I want to help other people out like she helped me."
Through their home visits and mentoring programs, Nurses For Newborns will serve 2,500 families this year. "We're very excited about the effectiveness of our teen parent program," Sharon says. "Most of that success is really due to the nurses being a mentor, encouraging [teen moms] to stay in school and to really do something with their life."
"This organization was out there for me when I was in that very vulnerable position," says one young woman, who became pregnant when she was sixteen years old. "I've come so far. I'm married with three children and I work at a bank. Sharon did lay out a foundation for me as being a parent or a mother. I think back to a lot of the things Sharon had taught me and I use them still today."
Sharon says, "It really is a privilege to be a part of these babies lives and to watch them grow. I'm sure that I receive much more in joy and peace than what I'm giving."
A Special Gift for Newborns
Many mothers are forced to choose between diapers and dinner — Huggies donated $10,000 worth of diapers! "You should not have to choose in your lifetime in America between 'should I diaper my baby or should I have dinner.'"
Items To Donate
Nurses For Newborns Foundation is in need of baby food, strollers, blankets, baby books and sleepers for newborns.