Most of my days are spent behind a desk these days. 1/4th of my work hours is spent in patient care, with the remainder of my time hitting the keyboard and other such necessary, but sundry, stuff. Today when I wandered into the NICU to pull some data from a chart regarding ventilation hours, I ended up talking to not just one, but two new mothers. I was so glad to be able to spend this time with each of them. The first mom was getting frustrated with trying to get her baby to breast feed. As the baby was being tube fed at the time, and sucking like a mad man on his pacifier, I discussed with this mother how to read his feeding cues. I also let her know that even though the doctor may have ordered the baby to try to breast feed every other feeding, the breast is available really only when mom is in the hospital. I interpret these orders loosely, i.e. out of every 8 feedings, 4 can be at the breast. It works. I helped this lovely mother to position the baby at her breast. You know what? He latched on and suckled until he was full. Hopefully he will be going home a day or two sooner by having that little bit of success. She knows he can do it now!
The other mom was from farther away. Her baby needed a treatment that the hospital at which she delivered her baby could not provide, and the other hospital close to her house would not accept her insurance (THAT is a whole 'nother tyraid). She was so worried about her baby and about making enough milk for him. Again, I was able to spend some one-on-one time with her and her husband, discussing strategies for successful feeding, both while in the hospital and when at home. I probably was away from my desk only 45 minutes, but I was able to touch both these women's lives (and their babies) in a way that was meaningful to each of them. It's simple things like that which make me love my job.