America's Nurses: Meet Neonatal Nurse Jody S.

NursingFebruary 22, 2014


Jody S. is a neonatal nurse that is passionate about working with moms and their babies. Her journey in nursing began 30 years ago in a traditional nursing school, where she earned her RN degree. From there, she began working with newborns in the NICU, where she gained 20 years of experience and skills necessary to take care of very sick newborns. However, after the birth of her third son, she decided to leave the NICU and spend more time taking care of her own children.

After about two years of staying home with her family, Jody began to miss the NICU. "It's a very strong passion of mine, so I thought about what kind of nursing services I could provide to new moms, once they came home from the hospital," Jody states.

So, armed with those 20 years of experience, she began her own private practice, working with mothers and babies in their homes. She is her own boss, makes her own hours and is completely independent. This allows her to raise a family and still work in her chosen field. "While there are good and bad things about working for oneself, the very thing that sustains me is how much my moms appreciate what I do for them."

As a neonatal nurse, she takes calls from new moms, who need support taking care of a newborn baby, especially medically complex and premature infants. Additionally, she is also board-certified as a lactation consultant, which forms an important part of the work that she does with new mothers. She teaches breastfeeding classes, which have become very popular, and she also spends time individually with mothers, both on the phone and in person, to help them establish a successful breastfeeding relationship with their newborns.

"I am now convinced that my work in the home environment is just as important as the initial admission in the NICU," she notes. "I also enjoy connecting to new families on a much deeper level.  Breastfeeding can be really hard work, and I am so honored to be there offering my expert care for moms who are struggling, with no one to help them meet their goals of breastfeeding and baby care."

Jody continues to be an advocate for moms and babies. "All moms deserve respect and support for their mothering choices, for parenting is the toughest and most guilt-ridden job, ever." She maintains a website for moms looking for lactation support in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area.

She is also thinking about continuing her education in a nurse practitioner program, and she advises potential nurses to look for an RN program that believes in them. "The nursing profession is very challenging and you will need a lifelong interest in learning. However, the rewards and career choices are endless!"

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons