Palmer: Every day is Mother’s Day in the Labor and Delivery Unit

Mother’s Day comes once a year on the calendar, but for Labor and Delivery nurses, every day is Mother’s Day — a special time in the lives of parents-to-be, when the joy of welcoming a newborn into the world is often preceded by a sense of being overwhelmed.

Nurses can help provide a calming influence for expectant moms — and dads — during these happy, exciting and stressful times in their lives. For first-time parents, there are so many questions. Which hospital should I go to? Can I take a tour of the Labor and Delivery Unit? Who can help answer my questions about nutrition, breastfeeding, car seats, birth certificates?

It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

We can help answer those questions and provide guidance for before and after delivery. I’m proud to be a Birth Navigator at Abrazo West Campus, part of a free service designed especially for helping mothers plan for the big day. Sort of a personal guide for the journey into motherhood.

As a Birth Navigator, we get to provide information and answer those questions that women have been thinking and wondering about. As mothers ourselves, we’ve been there and had those same thoughts and worries. It helps create a special connection with our patients.

Some of the things we can help with are assessing each person’s individual needs and getting them acquainted with the hospital’s prenatal services, assisting with selecting birthing, infant CPR and parenting classes, discussing labor and birthing options, and provide information about breastfeeding, nutrition  and other healthy behaviors.

Parents-to-be have a lot to plan for before the big day, and every labor and delivery is unique. Our goal is to help moms feel confident and comfortable before the big day arrives.

This week is also special for us as nurses, as May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. Nurses, no matter what specialty, are incredible individuals who are passionate about delivering safe, compassionate care.

This year Mother’s Day happens to be on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. It may be a coincidence, but in a way it’s serendipitous.

Some say it takes a village to raise a child and at Abrazo Health we are part of a community built on care. Like mothers, nurses are an integral part of our community and I feel fortunate that we can be a part of so many families welcoming new babies into the world.

I am continually inspired by the work we do every day to help our patients and to make them feel welcome and safe within the walls our hospital. Like mothers, nurses have many roles — from caregiver to educator to nurturer — roles that are at once challenging and rewarding.

And we couldn’t be more grateful for the satisfaction we feel in knowing that in some way we’ve been a part of something special every day.

Editor’s note: Natalie Palmer, RN, is a Birth Navigator in the Labor and Delivery Unit at Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear.

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