Want a healthier pregnancy and birth? Talk to your nurse. This is the suggestion of How to Change the World author David Bornstein in a recent opinion piece in the New York Times.
He draws his conclusions from the outcomes of the near 40-year-old Nurse-Family Partnership, which provides home visits by nurses to low-income or vulnerable mothers, beginning in pregnancy up through baby’s 2nd birthday. Bornstein says the data shows it’s nurses who have created healthy interventions and outcomes for women and infants at risk—more so than other providers in similar home-care situations.
Why? It begins with trust, Bornstein explains. Year after year, nurses are rated by the public as the most trusted health professionals, and that gives them influence to help women adopt healthy habits during and after pregnancy, care for their infants and delay subsequent pregnancies. As educators and care providers, nurses are successful in helping women stop smoking, and kick drugs and alcohol.
But it doesn’t stop there. What are your health goals? Harness The Power of Nursing as Bornstein describes by talking with your nurse at your next healthcare visit. You may just have found your strongest healthcare partner and ally yet.
“What’s unique about Nurse-Family Partnership is that the program was studied in what’s considered the strongest study design, and it showed sizable, sustained effects on important life outcomes which were replicated across different populations,” explained Jon Baron, president of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonpartisan group.