A health program in the Rio Grande Valley can give first-time moms a helping hand.

The Valley’s Nurse Family Partnership program is offered by the DHR Women’s Hospital. Expecting mothers can receiving one-on-one home visits by a registered nurse who will help them with parenting skills.

The at-home care can reduce cases of child abuse and neglect and mitigate future behavioral problems in children by age six, according to the program’s spokesperson.

Vanessa Bocanegra is a mother currently enrolled in the program. At 17-years-old, Bocanegra found out she was pregnant. Six months into her pregnancy, Bocanegra was diagnosed with a liver condition called cholestasis. She leaned on the help of the nurse program for support.

“That put a lot of fear into Vanessa,” said Gabby Calzada, a nurse who currently assists Bocanegra with her 18-month-old son, Damian. “My role during that time was to just provide her support in any way I can.”

For Bocanegra, the assistance she received from Calzada has been instrumental in her parenting, she says.

“When Gabby came, she taught me how to be patient and that’s how my love for my son grew stronger, because i knew what to do,” said Bocanegra.

Since 2012, more than 140 mothers have enrolled each year. Nurses will work with mothers for up to two years after the child is born.

To find out more on eligibility and enrollment, residents can visit txnfp.org or call 346-201-3730.