As a three-time mom herself, the Duchess of Cambridge understands how overwhelming those first few months of a baby’s life can be — and she wants to help new moms who feel that way too. Kate Middleton’s surprise appearance to support first-time parents on Thursday is the latest example of the royal mom’s commitment to empowering families and helping them achieve the best start possible.
Kate showed up at Evelina London Children’s Hospital for a previously unannounced engagement at the hospital’s Sunshine House, the children’s development center. Per People, the royal mom of three was there to learn more about a hospital nursing initiative called the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) that pairs young first-time parents — ages 24 and under — with a specially-trained family nurse. As part of the voluntary visiting program, the appointed nurse then visits the family on a routine basis for the first two years of baby’s life.
According to her office at Kensington Palace, the purpose of Kate’s visit was to “further her research and engagement with the Early Years Sector,” which is designed to help young moms have a healthy pregnancy and get their family on the best footing to accomplish their goals. Those first two years can fly by, right? Kate understands this acutely. The mom of Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, commented during the engagement that “children can grow up so quickly,” as the U.K.’s Express reports.
Footage from the engagement shared by Kensington Palace shows Kate fully engaged with the young families, from interacting with children to bonding with their mothers. It’s likely this won’t be the last time we see Kate get hands-on with the FNP, given that Evelina London Children’s Hospital is one of her patronages.
Kate Stanley, a professional from the NSPCC children’s charity, underscored earlier this month just how important this time in a family’s life is to Kate. Stanley said the Duchess “has identified very shrewdly that if you want to tackle the root causes of all mental health, then looking at the early years is a great place to be,” as People reports. “It is a critical period of development, lays the foundation for later in life for both our physical health and mental health. It’s a natural progression from that interest.”
Accordingly, the Duchess possesses “real compassion about the challenges of that and the desire to understand the experiences of the families that some of the people around the table work with,” Stanley said. And as they say, compassion is contagious.
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