The Power of LovingTouch® in the NICU

Hi Diana and staff,


I just want to share a story about one of my Neonatal patients. Josh, as I shall call him, has been in our NICU for about 6 weeks—ever since he was born. He has undergone many procedures and most recently he had open heart surgery. He had just come off the ventilator, but he still had a couple of chest tubes, as well as several IVs in his hands and feet and lower chest. He was receiving oxygen through a special mask that delivers a constant amount of oxygen and pressure to help him breathe. His parents had just been told that Josh might have to have yet another procedure. His Mom was overwhelmed with everything and was having a very bad evening. Josh’s Dad was just trying to hold himself together and provide emotional support for his wife. Josh was getting anxious and restless, and I knew that if I gave him any type of sedation he would end up on the breathing machine again and his Mom would be devastated. I stood there and just started to massage Josh’s head and face as you had shown us in class. He started to become less restless and anxious and his breathing became less labored and his heart rate decreased slightly. As he had calmed somewhat I stopped my massaging so I could talk with Mom. Within a few moments Josh became restless again and his Mother’s anxiety began to increase. I went back to just massaging his head and face. Once again he started to calm down. But I also think that more importantly I could see his Mom start to relax! It was one of the most wonderful experiences that I have ever had! It still gives me goose bumps as I sit here and write this story. It was just incredibly amazing to watch: as Josh calmed down with the massaging, his Mom calmed down and then could voice her fears and concerns. I never ever expected to have such an experience as this one. Thank you Diana, for sharing your expertise with me so that I could help a child weather a rough evening.

- Local Portland NICU Nurse -