Sarah was referred by the hospital when she delivered her baby. When the nurse came for her visit, Sarah was ‘out of sorts’. Sarah was crying and not bonding well with her baby. Sarah said that she hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and her house was littered with trash although clearly it had been a home that was typically clean. Noticing the symptoms of depression, the nurse did a depression screening and Sarah scored off the charts. Together, the nurse and Sarah called her doctor and was able to get an appointment for later that day. Sarah was prescribed anti-depressants and the nurse continued to visit every week. During their weekly visits, Sarah’s nurse provided her with counseling resources and talked with her about coping strategies including asking family members to help with the baby so that Sarah could take time to herself to read a book, go for a walk, or soak in the tub. Due to her high risk, the nurse brought in a Community Health Educator (CHE) to also visit and help reinforce Sarah’s education and provide an extra layer of support. The nurse reports that as the most recent NFN visit, Sarah’s home was clean, Sarah and her baby appeared to be bonding appropriately, and her depression score was down to a more appropriate level. The nurse and CHE continue monthly visits to ensure Sarah receives supportive services.
Olivia was born extremely early, at only 26 weeks gestation, and weighed two pounds. Her parents were overwhelmed with it all. They had previously lost a baby due to extreme prematurity so were terrified that it was all happening again. Mom was considered to have poor bonding because the NICU staff observed that she was afraid and reluctant to touch and care for Olivia.
When Olivia was discharged from the NICU she was referred to Nurses for Newborns due to her medically fragile condition as well as concerns about bonding and the parents’ need for infant care instructions. When her Nurses for Newborns nurse made the first visit to the family home she found both parents to be loving and concerned about Olivia but scared to death. Mom’s behavior in the NICU was due to her extreme fear that Olivia was going to die. Now at home, Mom was staying awake all night for fear something would happen while she slept. They had no family locally and Mom had no friends or social supports. Over time the visits and assessments by Nurses for Newborns gave Mom the reassurance she needed to be able to rest. The nurse also worked with Dad to help him be confident enough to care for Olivia to let Mom get some much needed “mommy time”.
With support, education and encouragement over the next two years Olivia flourished and her parents learned to enjoy her. Olivia’s Mom was attentive and followed her nurse’s suggestions so there was never any significant delay in development despite her prematurity. Olivia had a medical home (health care provider), was current on her immunizations, and Mom was able to identify and utilize community resources. She got over her fear of going out in public with Olivia and encouraged her socialization, enhancing mother’s health/mental health.
Olivia is now twelve years old and is a typical, healthy, happy, young lady and her Mom is forever grateful for the support, education and encouragement provided by Nurses for Newborns.