April 2019: NBO practitioner, Wendy Flecker, writes about her experience with the NBO in Myanmar
In January of this year, my husband and I moved to Myanmar to volunteer through a Canadian NGO. I was lucky to connect with an organization that has a Safe House (shelter) for women who have experienced violence. One of the women who arrived at the Safe House was a former sex trade worker. She had sold her baby to someone for approximately, $15.00USD. The manager of the Safe House heard about this, found the mother and bought the infant back. It was agreed that the Mom would stay at the Safe House for free as long as she exclusively breastfeeds her infant for 6 months. After that, if she wanted to, she could put the baby up for adoption. Of course, the hope was for the Mom to form an attachment and decide to keep her son. I immediately thought I could help support this by showing mom what an incredible human being her child was through the use of NBO. What a success! Not only was the mom amazed but other women at the house were engaged and interested.Another important piece to this story is all of this was done without an interpreter. Mom does not speak English and I have only a few words in Burmese. Body language is universal.
Several weeks have passed since that first NBO. As a trained Infant Massage Instructor through IAIM, I have also been introducing the power of touch. Mom massages her infant daily and she shows me how her infant responds to her voice and touch! Yesterday she told the manager of the Safe House that she would be keeping her child! The use of NBO provided the opportunity to enhance attachment between mom and infant but it also allowed me to connect with the Mom through her baby.
February 2019: NBO Trainer, Alex Harrison describes the response to the NBO in her trainings in El Salvador and Lima, Peru.
My trip was magical. I got so much wonderful experience with NBO and also I came to believe in it as a helpful tool in a new way. I thought very highly of it before, but after the response of the nurses and doctors and social workers in these three institutions, I saw the enormous value of the NBO as a practical means of bringing what they call a “humanitarian” approach into their daily work with infants and their families. You would have been amazed at the response we got. In El Salvador, we had 40 participants. One Obstetrician already got 5 of his babies forms in to me. Can you believe it? Two neonatologists in that training are from Honduras and want me to come to do a training there.
The attendance was smaller in Lima (about 10-15 participants), but the response was even more emotional. The nurses and neonatologists kept hugging me and telling me I had to come back, that what I was teaching in the NBO was so valuable, that they wanted to make a bigger training next time. They deliver thousands of babies. One of the wonderful NICU nurses (who has been working there for 30 years) showed us an AMOR card in her uniform when we visited the NICU. In the trainings, we had 5 babies in El Salvador and 7 babies in Lima. We got lots of videos. The only problem was that the cute little babies didn’t open their eyes enough to do the tracking! But they all turned to their parents’ voices. We saw two fathers in El Salvador (mothers recovering from C sections) and two mother/father pairs in Lima, one family had two adolescent parents