New ‘Right Track’ program helps new parents with in-home mentors

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Staff members with Integris Baptist Medical Center say over 3,000 babies have been born at their hospital in 2019, which is the most they've ever seen.

That's why they say it's the perfect time to officially roll out this new, free "Right Track" program.

The program aims to help new parents with parent education and family support.

“It took a little bit of adjusting, inviting somebody into your home, and then getting my daughter to know the parent-teacher,” said Ashley Hill.

After the adjusting period, Hill says she and her two babies, including 2-year-old daughter Eveie, couldn't live without the "Right Track" program.

It allows an in-home parent mentor to visit her every week.

“Trying to juggle both of them, and read books, and sit down to get that one-on-one time, it’s easier when you have somebody to help you,” said Hill.

She says they usually do developmental activities for the babies, like playing with blocks.

“She was able to see if she could stack stuff, see if she could see things,” she said.

Leaders from Parent Promise, Integris Baptist Medical Center, The Integris Foundation, and The Arnall Family Foundation worked together to make this program happen.

Oklahoma's First Lady Sarah Stitt is also supporting the cause for new moms.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen. You have long nights, not enough sleep, not enough resources, so programs like this offer a good foundation of stability,” said Stitt.

Hospital staff says about 60% of the babies born at Integris Baptist are born with risk factors that could challenge new parents.

The program will help combat very real, very serious issues like child abuse and postpartum depression.

"You just get tunnel vision, and it’s very hard especially if you don’t have family support or anyone there to help you. If it’s all on you, you don’t know that this could be very normal and these feelings could be normal,” said Stitt.

The end goal is for babies like Eveie to have a bright, successful future.

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