Neonatal nurses provide essential support for new parents
As labor and delivery nurses in Boston, Emily Silver, NP-C, IBCLC and Jamie O’Day, RN, IBCLC, never ceased to be amazed by new parents’ reactions when they parted ways after delivery. Almost unanimously parents would be surprised to hear they’d never see their nurses again. They’d ask if the nurses could call, go home with them or just visit. “These parents were terrified, and Jamie and I couldn’t help but wonder why people feel this way. What the heck is going on out there for parents?”
Realizing the parents they were meeting needed more support, Silver and O’Day decided to do something about it. They launched NAPS in 2011, providing day and night nursing care to new moms and babies. Today, they’ve supported thousands of families from prenatal to preschool with in-person support, online forums and live courses.
The company evolved as the two founders became mothers themselves and realized firsthand all the ways new parents need help. Like all parents, Silver has had middle-of-the-night moments when a nagging question about a kid kept her up. Most parents then go online because that’s what’s available at odd hours. “When you Google something, you could end up in a lot of places,” says Silver.
Instead, NAPS launched an online membership where parents can search by topic and age for bite-size information from registered nurses. The membership library includes short video content for hundreds of parenting issues. For other questions, parents can hop into a live Q&A with a registered nurse or submit a question to the “Ask a Nurse” forum. The goal is to help parents find answers from expert clinicians instead of relying on the Internet.
Neonatal nurses supporting families of NICU babies
While most new parents have many questions, any family whose baby spends time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) needs significantly more support. These babies typically qualify for Early Intervention, but getting into that system can take time. It’s not unusual for families to experience a gap in care, where they go home from the NICU alone. For these families, especially, neonatal nursing care from organizations like NAPS is essential.
Silver says nurses at NAPS support NICU families in their transition from hospital to home. They offer continued education on the baby’s coloring, sleeping, eating and more. Night neonatal nurses can also give families a much-needed break. “We’re there for that stepping stone that doesn’t exist.”
Nurses support postpartum mothers
It’s not only newborns who need postpartum care. The common theme among parents they support, says Silver, is overwhelm and sleep deprivation. Most women postpartum experience “baby blues,” and as many as one in seven will have postpartum depression. Even without mental health struggles, adjusting to a new baby is hard. Getting outside help – whether from extended family or services like NAPS – is essential.
NAPS nurses can screen parents for postpartum depression, while lactation consultants help with breastfeeding. They also can connect them to the right providers when necessary. “No matter what, there’s an impact on parents when an RN can interact with them, educate them and help them,” says Silver.
In an age when more organizations, including in healthcare, are moving in the direction of automation and AI, Silver says this personalized care is at the very core of what NAPS is all about. “They’re tired, they’re over-saturated with information and they don’t know how to filter it,” says Silver.
That’s where NAPS comes in.
Click here to learn about liability insurance tailored to your practice needs. By protecting your assets, license and reputation, CM&F’s superior professional liability insurance brings peace of mind to nurses and nurse practitioners.