Visiting nurse a hero for every family

The midwives and nurses are saviors for the young parents

Ivaylo Spasov
Майка се радва на новороденото си дете, което е обгрижвано от партонажна сестра с подкрепата на УНИЦЕФ
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016

31 July 2018

Meet Diana and her one-month-old girl, Lily. They live in Nova Zagora, a small town of 10,000 inhabitants in the Sliven region of Bulgaria.

Like many young mothers, Diana needs practical advice about how to take care of her first-born baby. 

Being a new mom is not easy.

She has a lot of questions: how to put her baby to sleep, how to nurse her, how to be a good mom. She is feeling insecure about a lot of things.

The young mama Diana is hugging her newborn baby girl.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
Like many young mothers, Diana needs practical advice to make her more confident that she cares for her firstborn child. Diana has many questions: how to put her baby to sleep; how to feed her and how to be a good mother. She feels insecure for many things.
Патронажната сестра, подкрепена от УНИЦЕФ, общува с едномесечната Лили.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
She is visited by Sarah Galloon, an experienced visiting nurse from the United Kingdom. Sarah came to Bulgaria to share and exchange her expertise with her Bulgarian peers. The first thing Sarah did when she visited Diana and her baby, was to establish an emotional bond with little Lily...
The visiting nurse is stimulating baby's brain development through communication.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
The brain develops fastest in the first years of life. In young children, neurons form new connections at the astounding rate of 700 to 1,000 per second.

While Sarah is interacting with one-month-old Lily by playing with her, comforting her and encouraging her to communicate during her morning moments, Penka Koleva, a home visiting nurse with long-standing experience from the Maternal and Child Health Centre of Sliven District observes the way in which Sarah interacts with the baby.


 

Пенка Колева, патронажна сестра, подкрепена от УНИЦЕФ, поема малката Лили, за да демонстрира как се прави масаж на новородено.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016

 Early stimulation and interaction with parents and caregivers jumpstarts the process of brain development – and a lifetime of learning.

There is plenty of scientific evidence that highlights the importance of caring, good health, nutrition, and stimulation for all young children and especially children facing adversity. 

This is why Penka will demonstrate to Diana how to initiate stimulation through massage for little Lily. Massage and joint excercises are simple ways in which mothers can interact with their babies and learn about each other.

Lily is enjoying the massage – her little body is warm, smeared in baby oil with a warm towel
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
Obviously, Lily is enjoying the massage – her little body is warm, smeared in baby oil with a warm towel placed on her belly to make her comfortable and help her with colic.
Lily is hugged by the visiting nurse after the massage.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
Everyone in the room is focused on her, speaking in warm, soft tones, while she reacts positively to the attention.

Of course, the best, most natural food for such a young baby is her mother’s milk.  It is important that while nursing, Diana takes a comfortable position to relax in so her milk can flow freely and the baby can enjoy it. 

The visiting nurses, Penka and Sarah, contribute to Lily’s physical and emotional comfort while giving her guidance on successful breastfeeding.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
The visiting nurses, Penka and Sarah, contribute to Lily’s physical and emotional comfort while giving her guidance on successful breastfeeding.

Supported by UNICEF, Post Bank, donors and partners, the Maternal and Child Health Centres in two Bulgarian regions provide an integrated health and social service to parents of young children. This includes home visits by nurses and midwives that conduct needs assessments, provide health care and psychosocial support for pregnant women and parents of young children.


In a home setting, nurses and midwives support the parents, provide counselling and training for a healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding and nutrition for young children and child safety. They also give advice on parenting and the ways in which parents and children can interact in a positive way.

The visiting nurse Penka talks to the young mother and advises her.
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
UNICEF advocates for universal access to home care which should become available to parents nationwide, with the engagement of national and local authorities.
The mother breastfeeds her baby girl Lily
UNICEF Bulgaria/2016
The purpose is for more mothers like Diana to feel supported and confident in caring for and supporting the development of their baby.

Supported by UNICEF, Post Bank, donors and partners, the Maternal and Child Health Centres in two Bulgarian regions provide an integrated health and social service to parents of young children. This includes home visits by nurses and midwives that conduct needs assessments, provide health care and psychosocial support for pregnant women and parents of young children.