In April 2013 started their activities the Hospital de la Madre y el Niño in La Rioja (Argentina).

It is patient-centered care Hospital and its main values are: respect, warmth, satisfaction and continuous improvement.

The first Unit of Obstetric Intensive Therapy (UTIO) was created to assist the critically ill pregnant patient. Therefore, the ICU Team must have special training in a new subspecialty: obstetrics in ICU, dictated by the Argentine Society of Intensive Therapy (SATI).

Almost immediately and with Dr. Natalia Llanos (both founders of this unit), mobilized by her humanitarian spirit and particular sensitivity, we proposed to establish breastfeeding in the UTI.

At the beginning the proposal shocked everybody, especially to the old-school intensivists (formed in strict regimes, isolation of patients, strictly controlled visits to the ICU), and appeared resistances; that were quickly diluting to give rise to some of the practices more human and hopeful that I have personally lived in an ICU.

Once referred to the bio-safety and technical aspects, we work tirelessly with the collaboration of the more followers, our nurses of UTIO, neonatologists, and family.

It is an arduous task to involve peope who still maintain these resistances, but day by day and in view of the results, we achieved greater adherence. Citing the Coordinator General of nursing, licensed Teresa Lune “In this Hospital, staff responsible for performing care needs learn from Paediatrics”.

The purpose of breastfeeding in UTIO are: strengthen the link and attachment mother-son, accompanying mothers during their stay in the unit and reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. It has a protective effect against the sudden death syndrome.

The basis for success of breastfeeding in ICU is the interdisciplinary teamwork. The presence of strategies and protocols facilitates the entry and permanence of the newborn with her mother in the UTIO.

Communication is the essential tool for teamwork (UTIO, obstetrics and neonatology services).

We walk together toward the humanization of the ICU.

Dr. Paula Andrea Juarez (@PaulaDoctora)
Intensive Care Physician.
Hospital de la Madre y el Niño. La Rioja, Argentina.