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May 2024

Meet the Nova Team: Kim S.

Honoring Nurses Week, Mental Health Awareness Month and Mother's Day with a series of special associate profiles

Several of our nurses from our medical management area worked in labor and delivery (L&D) or post-partum care before they came to Nova. In celebration of National Nurses Week and Mother's Day, we're sharing their unique perspectives and insights.

How long have you worked at Nova? I have worked at Nova for three years in January of 2024, but have been with the Independent Health family of companies for 16 years.

How long have you worked as a nurse? Graduating in May of 1984 and passing my Boards that summer, I have worked as a nurse for 40 years this summer (that was unsettling to realize!).

Describe in a few sentences your previous work in L&D and/or post-partum care: I have practiced in a number of settings and states throughout my career. One of my very favorite periods was the eight years I spent in Labor/Delivery and then in High-Risk Maternal Child Home Care. While in L&D, my most rewarding times were spent laboring with a first-time mom, just to be able to explain, comfort and encourage her through this experience that she has never had before. Maternal/Child home care is a “next level” experience! Not only do you get to literally step into the homes and lives of a new family, but also teach and equip them for success, whether that means linkage to community services and supports, providing tangible help such as baby supplies and formula, or ensuring compliance with scheduled post-partum and newborn care.

Thinking about Mother’s Day, as well as May being Mental Health Month, please share your favorite part of working in L&D or post-partum care: As an L&D or post-partum nurse, you are given the high honor of stepping into one of the most momentus, challenging, intimate and life-changing periods in a woman’s/couples' life, and walking beside them. On most occasions, thankfully, this is a time filled with much anticipated joy; however, there are times when it involves unexpected and heart-shattering loss. The nursing care and support that is given in this precious time period is critical, and if done well can begin to build a positive foundation for the days and months ahead. A woman that has carried a child, for a few weeks, for several months, or to term is forever a MOTHER, whether or not she is able to leave the hospital with the child in her arms, and should be celebrated as such always.

Anything you’d like to add about nursing, motherhood or mental health? During pregnancy, so much emphasis is placed on the joy of “finally bringing your baby home." For some families it is a time that has been many difficult years in coming. Unfortunately, there is not much “real talk” about the challenges that are ahead for a new mom/family, such as huge emotional changes and challenges, the devastation of weeks of sleep deprivation, the reality that although breastfeeding is potentially the best thing for baby, it does NOT always come easy. Should a mom decide that she wants to bottle feed she needs to know and believe that has absolutely not failed and should never feel anything but supported in that decision. A better discussion prenatally about all of the realities of the postpartum period and allowing space to openly discuss these feelings without shame in the postnatal period would be so very beneficial.