Nurses for Newborns | St. Louis Public Radio

Nurses for Newborns

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Nurses for Newborns is a local organization that seeks to improve the outcome of infants in at-risk families. Since the organization was founded over 20 years ago, the nurses have helped more than 100,000 families raise healthy babies. At any given moment, the nurses are helping more than 1,000 babies younger than age 2 and their families.

Jan Polizzi
Provided by the family

For 12 years, Jan Polizzi was a nurse in pediatric intensive care units. That was as long as she could take it.

''I still recall the first child that I ever lost,'' she said in a 1988 St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. ''I dressed and bathed him and got him his favorite toys. I learned to love that kid and his family.''

Nurses for Newborns

Organizers of a St. Louis-area diaper drive say they’re extending their effort another week because of enthusiastic community response.

Disposable diapers are estimated to cost up to $100 a month for one baby. Some St. Louis nonprofits try to assist families, but there is no dedicated diaper bank charity in the city.

Linda Spina, center, with helpers sorting donations to Nurses for Newborns.
Robert Joiner | St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With years of experience as a nurse and a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health, Linda Spina has gained a lot of insight into why babies are born too soon, weigh too little, and, in some instances, die prematurely. She also has learned that conventional wisdom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to saving at-risk newborns.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Click flash ... click click, flash flash ... clickflashclickflashclickflash ...

The sharp sounds and bursts of light come from a disposable camera in the hands of Carolyn Dickerson. When Healthy Start, a maternal health group, gave cameras to her and other at-risk pregnant or postpartum women, they told the women to show how the world looked through their eyes. The organization might have been a little surprised by some of the results.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: So-called "outreach moms" are among the most important links in the Healthy Start program for pregnant women, infants and families. Their work isn't easy; each of the three moms is expected to be available 24/7 to respond to problems that might crop up among at-risk women.

A crazy thing happened last week. A friend of mine, chief executive of Nurses for Newborns Foundation, posted a Facebook status noting that their diaper reserves had been reduced to zero. For those who are not familiar with Facebook, the "Status" is a line of text at the top of your profile that some update more than others and people use to convey everything from the weather to how they are feeling to true confessions. When you log in to Facebook, the home page displays status updates and other postings from your circle of friends in chronological order.