William Charles Davis III sucks on his pacifier when a nurse holds her stethoscope to his chest. After he’s weighed and measured, William’s tiny sisters will have their turn.
“As a parent, you leave the hospital with so many questions,” says the triplets’ mother, Kim Davis. “Having a resource like this is invaluable.”
Davis and her husband are participating in a program in
“We focus on the parent, as well as the infant,” says Helen Wright, the program’s nursing supervisor. “It’s an opportunity for them to have more time with a health care professional.”
Funded by The Duke Endowment, Durham Connects is a program of the Durham County Health Department and the Durham Family Initiative. Nurse visits begin when newborns are 3 to 12 weeks old and include a physical assessment of both mother and baby. Because the program is in a trial period, it’s currently available only to infants born on even numbered days.
The goal is to reduce child abuse and neglect and help children get the right start to grow into healthy, productive adults. Durham Connects is undergoing a rigorous evaluation and its implementation is being monitored. Assuming the results are positive, the program will expand to cover all babies born in the county each year.
With her triplets thriving,
“When you go home with a new baby, it’s such a shock,” she says. “You’re feeding them all the time and changing them – and you have all sorts of worries. You’re wondering, ‘Is this normal?’ I was very thankful to have Helen visit.”