A mother cries over her newborn. He is barely 22 hours old. He has been born for less than a day.
Why is she crying?
Is he sick?
But, what is that in his arm?
It is an IV access. Since birth, her newborn has travelled by wheeled bassinet to the NICU for IV antibiotics every 6-8 hours. He spends about 30 minutes in the NICU while he receives his dose; depending on the nursing staff he might be brought back sooner. He is receiving these antibiotics prophylactically, just in case. His mom was positive for Group BetaStrep and received only one dose of antibiotics before delivery. She came into the hospital in active labor and simply delivered too quickly to receive the second dose. Her membranes were ruptured less than 6 hours total, her baby was full term, but still; according to hospital protocol, she should have received 2 doses of IV antibiotics before delivery to protect her infant from the possibility of infection.
Well, isn't she silly to cry like that!
The hospital is simply making sure that her baby is safe and doesn't get a serious infection that has a particularly high mortality rate!
Well, she isn't crying about that. She is actually very grateful about her infant being born healthy and she is grateful that he is receiving such excellent medical attention, just in case he were to be at risk for infection, even if the incident of GBS infection in her case is actually very rare.
So, why the Tears?
The Neonatologist says that her baby needs some Formula supplementation! She is suddenly feeling very inadequate and insecure. This is her first baby. During her pregnancy she decided that she wished to breastfeed. She hoped to be able to avoid formula, at least in these early days after birth, when his digestive system is most sensitive.
Well, why does the Neonatologist recommend supplementation?
When the baby was in the NICU receiving his antibiotics, the doctor observed the baby sucking on his fists and acting irritable!
Did he assess a breastfeeding session?
Did he assess the infant's weight loss since birth?
Did he assess the infants wet/stool diaper output?
Does this kind of thing happen everyday in hospitals?
The NICU nurse returned the baby to the room with formula in the bassinet. The NICU nurse tells the mother that the doctor has recommended Formula.
Now this new mother is worried, concerned, scared.
Maybe she doesn't have enough milk? Maybe the baby really IS hungry and unsatisfied? Maybe his IV access hurts when she pulls him in close to nurse.
She has a healthy baby.
now this mother's head is full of Worries.
now she holds her baby in to nurse Tentatively.
now her eyes are full of Tears.