Dare to be Danish!

Change can be frightening, confusing or exciting. I’ve noticed some nurses and doctors embracing the change Baby-Friendly will bring to our hospital, and I’ve heard some tell all the reasons they think it won’t work here. I’ve seen smiles and scowls. I’ve felt people’s jubilation and animosity. But mostly, people are in the middle. No strong feelings one way or another.  Those are the ones who need a Dane in their work-life.

Take a 3-minute and 40-second laugh break and watch this video. Watch for the moment when the Danish guys help the woman define the experience with their own laughter.


I love it when she puts her book away and is prepared to bolt. Isn’t that how we sometimes feel when odd things are going on around us? Do I run? Do I wait? Or, as the Danish guys did, do I stay put and enjoy the ride?

We have some Danish nurses here at Memorial. Well, they’re not really Danish, but for all the nurses who didn’t know what to think of Baby-Friendly, these Danes showed them how to love it, or at least how to do it. Here’s how it happened.

First a little background. Every hospital has its barriers to becoming Baby-Friendly, and we knew one of ours would be the process change of admitting babies to the Mother/Baby Unit (MBU) without taking them to the nursery. Babies are born in the Childbirth Unit (CBU) and are transferred to the MBU about 2 hours after delivery. When a family arrives at the MBU, ID bands are checked, and then the baby is taken to the nursery for a bath and assessment. After the bath the baby is warmed under radiant lights. All this takes between 1 and 2 hours. Several years ago the MBU did a trial of rooming-in, but it did not work and the old routine of taking babies to the nursery returned. Until…

About a month ago, Nicky, a charge nurse, said, “Tonight we’re going to do things a little different.”  She ordered pizza and told the nurses all admissions onto the Mother/Baby Unit would be room-ins. Already, two other nurses, LaToya and Kelly, had done some experimenting with room-in admissions, and they came up with a good system. Nicky took those ideas and ran with it.

Other charge nurses on other shifts started following suit. Even through an extraordinarily busy week, some charge nurses found it easier at times to do the admissions as room-ins.  How did our obstacle become a cinch? A few Danish nurses helped others frame the experience. Bravo!

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About blogtobabyfriendly

blogtobabyfriendly is written by Amy Murray, a Childbirth Unit nurse with a touch of earth muffin crunch. A childbirth educator and IBCLC, she's been a breastfeeding advocate all her adult life, believing that if our bodies make milk, it just makes good sense to feed it to our babies. blogtobabyfriendly is her hospital's journey to Baby-Friendly designation. Click to get email updates on new blog posts. Our desire is to learn, share, and learn more.
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6 Responses to Dare to be Danish!

  1. Jenna says:

    I love that you have started the process of rooming-in vs. sending babies to the nursery!

  2. Amy Allsop says:

    Another great blog! Kudos to Mother/Baby unit for embracing rooming in! Not only as a Labor and Delivery nurse, but as a mom, I appreciate this! Who wants their baby whisked away from them after waiting so eagerly and anxiously to meet the little sweetie that has been growing and moving inside them for a long 40 weeks!!! :). Rooming in rocks!

  3. Claire says:

    Yay! Keep it up! And this is a great TED talk

  4. Marie says:

    I love it! What a great attitude.

  5. Sherry Crump says:

    As a CBU nurse and as a mom of eight children, I am thrilled to hear we have gone baby friendly. 36 years ago I had my first baby. I was so young and excited to get to know her, but was told that she would be going to the nursery for ” assessment and a bath”. I waited and waited and kept asking for my baby to come back to my room. I was told on several occasions that I would have to be patient that the” nurse” was not ready to bring her back to my room. I began to get very tearful and finally my needs were met and they brought her to me. How nice to know that my baby daughter, Nicky, is now such an important part of our hospital getting on board with baby friendly! Kudos to her and to everyone who is making sure that moms and babies do not need to be seperated at all.

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