GREENFIELD —Listening to Newborns, a program familiar to parents who have delivered their babies within the past few years at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, is now receiving national attention. Linda Jablonski, assistant nurse manager of the Birthplace at BFMC, was in Denver recently to speak about the program, and will be back on the road in Dallas in September.
Listening to Newborns is an approach to newborn care in which nurses carefully evaluate each individual baby’s status to determine how much intervention is needed. All well babies are immediately placed skin-to-skin with their mothers, and are not bulb-suctioned unless they need to be. Clamping of the umbilical cord is delayed until pulsation stops, and breastfeeding babies are encouraged to self-attach. “The medical equipment is all there if we need it,” explained Jablonski, “but through our systematic evaluation of the quality outcomes for these babies, we have found that newborns with little or no intervention display equivalent Apgar scores, temperature, and respiratory and cardiac adaptation. Listening to Newborns is a gentler, quieter welcome for both baby and mother, and we now have the evidence to back up it up.”
At the annual convention of the Assoc. of Women’s Health, Obstetrical and Neonatal Nurses in Denver, Jablonski presented her paper, which had been selected out of 269 entries from across the country for the Outstanding Innovative Program award. Speaking to an audience of more than 200 about the program that had been developed by nurses at Baystate Franklin, Jablonski was received with enthusiasm by nurses from small and large hospitals alike. “It was an amazing professional experience,” she said, “and I was so proud to have our work recognized at the national level.”
The conference theme was “Inspire, Lead, and Forge New Directions,” which Jablonski incorporated into her own presentation. “This is all about inspiring nurses to improve the quality of their practice, and our Birthplace nurses did so in partnership with the midwives, obstetricians, pediatricians, and anesthesiologists on our team. Together, they developed a program that is forging new directions, both here and around the country as we spread the word.”
Next, Jablonski will be presenting the evidence-based Listening to Newborns program at the Lamaze International convention in Dallas. The audience there will be primarily childbirth educators, along with some nurses, midwives, and physicians. “The Lamaze approach to childbirth is very low-intervention,” said Jablonski, “so this is a natural fit for us.”
Babies have done well with Listening to Newborns, and parents have been pleased with it, too. This year, the Birthplace ranked in the 100th percentile nationwide for patient satisfaction, based on its Professional Research Consultants (PRC) scores.
“Listening to newborns, listening to mothers and families, listening to and collaborating with each other is how we have created the unique Birthplace culture,” added Jablonski, “and it’s a pleasure to share our experience with others.”