Nurturing Moms and Babies: The Virtual Mentorship Revolution

By: Erica Cochran – Director of Development, NurturePA

NuturePA is a recipient of a 2024 grant from the ACMS Foundation. 

In the whirlwind of new motherhood, NurturePA emerges as a beacon of support, offering a unique and convenient one-on-one text message-based mentorship program for moms in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Nurture® Program, designed to revolutionize parenting, focuses not only on promoting healthy social-emotional development and early literacy in children but also on prioritizing maternal mental health.

Virtual Mentorship for Real Support

NurturePA provides a free and confidential platform for moms with infants aged 0 to 3, as well as expectant mothers, to connect with experienced volunteer mentors. The mentors, trained and supervised by managers with backgrounds in early child development, guide mothers through the challenges of parenting.

Recognizing the time constraints faced by mothers, NurturePA opts for a completely virtual mentorship program. Finding time to make a phone call, meet in person, or even participate in a Zoom call uninterrupted can be seemingly impossible if you’re a mom. A new mom will most likely have questions or concerns during midnight feedings or need to send off her thoughts in the mere 5 minutes she has that day to complete a task. A mom in enrolled in this program can text a question and receive the information from their mentor when needed! Their mentor will also be a cheerleader and sounding board, providing evidence-based information and/or local resources depending on the mom’s needs. Additionally, mentors share activities that can be done with babies that will help put them on a path to early literacy.

Bridging the Parental Support Gap

The first three years of a child’s life are crucial for development, with parents playing the most significant role. NurturePA believes that by supporting moms, they can create a positive impact on both maternal well-being and children’s growth. Parenting is undeniably challenging, especially without a support system, and NurturePA aims to fill this void by connecting mothers with experienced mentors.

A Personal Touch

The inspiration behind NurturePA comes from the founders’ personal experiences—the nervous excitement of leaving the hospital with a newborn, the sleepless nights, and the uncertainty of caring for a baby. NurturePA strives to be the support system that these founders wish they had during those trying times.

Mentorship in Action

When asked about why she became a mentor, Stephanie, a NurturePA participant turned mentor said “I wanted to provide the same quality support that was provided to me at a time in my life when I needed it the most. I thought to myself; I want to do this for someone else because of my wonderful experience.” She then went on to describe how she feels that praise means more coming from another mom who you know understands how challenging motherhood can be and that she strives to be the type of mentor that she had, never feeling influenced or pressured by her mentor concerning a mothering decision or her parenting style. “Parenting can be so isolating at times, and I am so grateful to all the busy moms who volunteer their time to this community. We need each other” stated Stephanie.

Empowering Growth with Financial Support

NurturePA’s impact is growing, with an increasing number of enrollments each year. Financial support from the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) allows the program to enhance its reach. The funds support the software that enables mentors to efficiently assist 10-15 parents in just 1-2 hours per week. This flexibility attracts busy moms to volunteer, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

Join the NurturePA Community

NurturePA invites moms to enroll in the program or volunteer as mentors by visiting their website The virtual mentorship revolution continues to thrive, ensuring that more moms in the region receive the support they need during the transformative journey of motherhood.