With the help of a translator, I was able to tell the mother that she would be able to hold her baby for the first time. Initially she looked confused and doubtful. I explained how she would lift and hold her baby while I and another nurse would transfer the monitor and tubing. She slowly nodded her head in understanding. When she sat in the chair and we stabilized the equipment, tears flowed from her eyes. For the first time in two weeks she was holding the precious life that had been transferred from her shortly after birth. Tears filled my eyes when as I stood by her and smiled at the precious scene. There were tears in the eyes of Armenian staff too, seeing the response of this mother, and how easily we had facilitated this.
An additional benefit for this mother was drastic improvement in her milk production. After holding her baby skin-to-skin for 45 minutes, Cyndi our lactation consultant from CHOC assisted this mother in pumping breast milk. Prior to this, the mother was making only an extremely small amount of breast milk , chiefly because of the stress and separation she has been experiencing. After holding her baby, she was able to pump an ounce of breast milk for the first time in 2 weeks.. This was a profound improvement and encouragement to her. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a collaborator and change agent for this mother, baby, and the entire NICU staff.
Kristine Golden, RN
CHOC Children’s Hospital