(How pretty she is) the nursing student tells the mother of the smiling baby. This baby is special to the student. As a Birth Companion to the baby’s mother, she helped facilitate a birth plan for the family, supported the mother during the labor process, and visited the family shortly after the birth.
Tonight mother, baby, and student are attending a very big birthday party in the atrium of the new School of Nursing building. They’re celebrating all the recent births supported by the Birth Companions program. Hands reach out to cuddle the babies and—because many of the students are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in the mothers’ countries of origin—voices soothe the babies with the lullabies of South America, Africa, and Asia. But it’s not just cake, ice cream, and cooing at this party. The mothers are also here to learn more about Text4Baby, a free, unique application for cell phones that will offer daily advice and support to these new mothers.
It’s a scene that will be replicated again and again in this new multi-purpose socializing and learning area. Designed as a gathering place, a central focus, and a spot for quiet contemplation and study, the three-story atrium will serve as an oasis for learning for Hopkins Nurses and for the communities and families they serve.