I work as a labor and delivery nurse. I love this. It’s exactly why I became a nurse, but I’ve discovered something else I truly love.
A couple years ago I started working as a clinical nursing instructor. Each semester I get to take a group of junior level nursing students onto the Mother/Baby Unit and help them apply their classroom knowledge to real patients. Each group is with me for around seven weeks. Some of them have never picked up a baby before coming to my clinical. By the end of our time together, they hold and care for babies with a level of adeptness and confidence that astounds me. What joy!
This semester, my joy is not only in the students’ learning but also in the Baby-Friendly changes I see on my sister unit. Last semester, babies were routinely wheeled into the nursery for assessments, observation or to let the mother rest. When we would arrive in the morning, oodles of babies were in the nursery.
This semester we walk into an empty nursery. We go into the rooms to find babies in their little beds, sleeping next to their mothers or fathers. Or we walk in to see a mother gazing at her baby and saying, “I just can’t stop staring at him. I can’t believe he’s here.” These are sacred spaces the Mother/Baby nurses have helped create.