Health Team

House Calls Bring Relief, Advice For New Parents

Posted October 12, 2007

— Taking a new bundle of joy home from the hospital can be an overwhelming experience. But nurses from one local hospital are making house calls, offering help and advice to new parents.

FirstHealth Moore Regional launched the Great Beginnings program in late August. Registered nurses make complimentary house calls within 5 days after the infant leaves the hospital. Nurses also follow-up when the baby is three and six months old.

New parents Amanda and Andy Benefield said the visit by Sherri Thomas, R.N., the program's coordinator, provided some welcome tips.

"Sometimes in the hospital, you're kind of rushed in and rushed out. You don't get answers," Amanda Benefield said.

Thomas gives each infant a physical examination and reviews the child's environment. She leaves materials, so parents can accurately track their baby's developmental milestones.

For the Benefields, she answered questions about normal infant weight gain and showed how to safely arrange a baby's crib.

"Put him (the baby) on his back. He doesn't need big, fluffy blankets. He just needs a crib sheet and a light blanket over him," she said.

Thomas recommended never bringing a baby into bed with you.

"You know you're sleep deprived to begin with," she said. "You could actually roll over. The baby could get lost in the blankets."

Organizers expect nurses to make at least 400 house calls within the first year of Great Beginnings. The program is funded N.C. Smart Start through a grant from Moore County's Partners for Families and Children.

Andy Benefield, who has raised two children before, said he was glad "to have someone come into your own home when you're there and let you know everything's all right."


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  • donndeboer Oct 14, 2007

    mrtwinturbo- why are you so harsh and critical to these folks. How can you take that small tidbit of information that he's had kids before and manufacture something negative from it. And IF there is an age difference, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE? Its sad you need to try to bring people down to feel good about yourself.

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 14, 2007

    "Andy Benefield, who has raised two children before" I'm guessing from a previous marriage, and by looking at his "very" young wife sitting next to him, the statement made by Thomas "recommended never bringing a baby into bed with you" He should have thought of that before he took this baby to bed and he would not be holding one right now.

    The program does sound like a good one but what happens when the grant money runs out, does the program dissolve or do the charges start coming in the mail?

  • howdiditgettothis Oct 13, 2007

    i see a lot of benefits to this program.

    first - the parents benefit by receiving additional information/resources. believe me, our pediatrician's office is possibly the least helpful resource i can name. they almost never did anything those first few years, and at times, spent all of 30 seconds in the exam room with us. (which i see as the "norm" for most doctors --- pediatricians or not -- so changing doctors would not remedy this).

    second - it really benefits the child several ways. someone checking up on the family ensures the child is being provided for (at least to minimal standards), and may prevent potential problems (as were already mentioned).

    any effort at better healthcare is welcome!

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Oct 13, 2007

    What a great story! I guess if we can't mandate parenting classes for grades 9 through 12, this is the next best thing. Excellent service to provide families of newborns.

  • Huey Oct 13, 2007

    Whatelseisnew, I wonder if you are a parent. A visit by a nurse
    to the home of a newborn is not the "nanny state". It is just a
    common sense approach to good health care for the baby and the

  • oceanchild71 Oct 13, 2007

    This is a great idea! Especially the fact that it is complimentary and they come to you.

    There is a pediatrician's office in North Raleigh (who shall go unnamed) that will have someone talk to new parents in the office during the baby's 1st checkup after going home. Then, when you go to check out, they slam you with an $85 consultation visit that is not covered by insurance! And they never mention before that this is an added fee. It was all, "Do you have any non-medical questions about your newborn? We can send someone in to talk to you while the doctor reviews the charts."

    We left that practice soon after. Such deceptive business practices and springing them on unsuspecting, tired, stressed out new parents to boot!

  • whatelseisnew Oct 12, 2007

    More nanny state stuff. But hey they have a plan. Pretty soon you won't have to worry about bringing a baby home. You just drop them off in the government run nursery and they take it from there. You can cash the 5 thousand from Hillary and a thank for donating a few peasant to the system and then start working on the next one.

  • NCMOMof3 Oct 12, 2007

    what a wonderful program! when you are in the hospital right after giving birth, you are tired and overwhelmed. It's after you've been home for a few days that the questions start to pile up. A visit from a nurse a few days after you've gotten home and gotten settled, even if it's just to reassure you that you're doing it right, would be great. And just imagine the dangers it can help avert such as fluffy blankets and stuffed animals in cribs, putting babies to sleep on their tummies, or having babies sleep in the bed with mom and dad. All seemingly innocent things but can be dangerous. What a good way to spend Smart Start monies.

  • Huey Oct 12, 2007

    Great idea! I remember how it was for the wife and I back in the
    early 70's when we brought our first newborn home. We were scared
    to death. But with luck we made it ok and had 2 more late on.