The following was written by Sarasota Memorial Hospital about their new home health care program they are calling the Well Mom, Well Baby program. This is a huge step in the right direction toward postpartum care for all new mothers.
New moms and dads are leaving Sarasota Memorial Hospital with more than their bundles of joy. They’re also leaving with greater confidence in their parenting skills and the health of their newborn, knowing a reassuring house call is just a day or two away.
Sarasota Memorial began offering free home nurse visits last year to ensure the very best health outcomes for moms anxious to leave the hospital and return to other children at home and those who simply wanted to avoid the expense of a second or third day in the hospital. Parents found the visits so helpful Sarasota Memorial quickly expanded the free house calls to all new moms.
“Those first few days at home, even if it’s not your first time, can be a little scary,” said Anme Bass, who was delighted to hear about the new program after delivering her second son, Aiden, at Sarasota Memorial in March. She had planned to return home as soon as possible to her firstborn, Jacob, not yet two.
“You want to do everything right, but you don’t always know what the right thing is,” she said. “It was nice having a nurse right there in my own living room, answering questions that didn’t occur to me when I was in the hospital ... and understanding things I never learned the first time around.”
Comfort, Education & Support
The free one-hour nurse visit is scheduled at the mother’s convenience, usually during her first week home. The specially trained mother-baby nurses assess mom’s recovery and how the baby is progressing. The nurses look for common health issues, such as signs of jaundice, and counsel parents on when they should contact their pediatrician and what they can do at home, such as taking babies outside for some indirect sunshine.
They also are certified lactation consultants and look for signs that moms are struggling with postpartum depression or breast feeding – challenges experienced by nearly every new mom.
“It can be quite overwhelming in the beginning, especially if the mom is having trouble breastfeeding or not getting enough sleep,” said Mary Lewis, RN, one of Sarasota Memorial’s mother-baby home care nurses. “I’ve had moms burst into tears just a few minutes into our visit.
“But that’s the beauty of this program ... it’s very individualized. For that hour we are in their home – or longer if they need us – they have our undivided attention to help them through any fears or issues they are dealing with.”
Home Care Information
Sarasota Memorial Home Care is a Medicare-certified, licensed and accredited home health agency. Our private duty nurses and home health professionals provide care and support not only for new moms and babies, but anyone who needs a little extra care or support at home. For information, call 917-7730.