After many 'Nurses Week' celebrations, a new mom is celebrating Mother's Day for the first time.

New mom Maria Endress says there are many nurses who have shaped her into the nurse she is today and appreciates them all, those who have helped her and continue to help her throughout her motherhood journey. She gave birth to her son Isaac, three months ago.

Endress is the oldest of 10 siblings, so she thought she had enough experience to prepare her for her own child, but with the help of free childbirth education classes at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph, both she and her husband learned a lot more.

Ascension Via Christi RN and Childbirth Education educator Toni Howard said that, "When COVID hit, we were the only people who really had something online provided and available to everyone in the area and then someone posted on our webpage and we went national. We offer breastfeeding, so we get them off to a good start with that."

"If you don't know your birth options, you don't have any," Howard added.

"Maria had Childbirth Prep. She had Advanced Labor Support," Howard continued. 

"Once he (Isaac) got here, it was all worth it. We learned a lot through the classes and then when he got here we were actually able to apply it," Endress said. 

She advises mothers-to-be and new moms to, "Just enjoy every minute. It goes way too fast. I can say that just three months in that it's going way too fast."

"All these women and men who come in and they selflessly care for someone else and they make their day better somehow. It's the contribution a nurse makes," Howard said.

In the cabinets of the Breastfeeding Clinic there is equipment and supplies a-plenty to help new moms and dads.

".....but the biggest thing is encourage these moms, they need that more than they need anything," she said.

Toni taught Maria during some of those classes. She said Children's Miracle Network is to credit for helping make it all happen for so many families in our community and beyond.

"Children's Miracle Network pays for all of the classes because we don't want to burden people with that hardship. We have better birth outcomes, moms can go back to work sooner. Babies are healthier, if they know how to breastfeed, so it's a ripple effect all the way down," Howard added.

When asked how special motherhood is for Endress, she said: "It's awesome... I've waited a long time for it."

"I just hope to make people's life better, as we help them, whether it's as a mom, a sister, or as a nurse," Endress added.

If you are about to be a new mom or if you are even an expecting dad, these classes are for you and they are free. Howard says it's best to take these classes before your baby is delivered.

Ascension Via Christi's site on Maternity Care reads:

"Pregnancy is a special time for you and your family. Your care team works together to provide specialized care before, during and after your delivery. And, if you need advanced care for a high-risk pregnancy, we’ll help connect you to the right specialists. Get all the care you need, including breastfeeding support, childbirth classes, high-risk pregnancy care, labor, delivery and postpartum care, level II nursery, Level III NICU, maternal-fetal medicine and neonatal specialty care, OB-GYN and prenatal care and mom-and-baby post-delivery suites with queen-sized beds for family bonding.



You can choose from classes in-person or if you feel more comfortable taking them remotely that's an option for some classes as well. You can find more information here