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We’re excited to kick off a new feature, “Five Questions,” that will highlight stars in the Richmond family/childbirth/maternal health field. Every month or so, we’ll post a Q&A that gives you insight into their important work while helping you get to know them a little better, too.

For our first Five Questions, we’re thrilled to bring you this interview with Laurinda Davis, RN, a public health nurse supervisor for Richmond City Health District:

1. What drew you to the field you’re in?
I come from a family of teachers, which connects with nursing because it involves ongoing learning and teaching. Maternal/child nursing is awesome – if you think about the process of conception, gestation, delivery and then having a little person equipped to grow up and have their own personality and flourish – it’s just amazing.

2. What part of your daily work inspires you the most?
I’m most inspired when I can solve an issue that is complex, emotional and/or unusual and provide some insight into the process. I love when our clients return with their babies and express their appreciation for the health care and guidance we have given them.

3. How can RVA keep moving forward as great place for childbearing families?
RVA must respect the role of family support. We must work hard to include the fathers, grandparents and others who are there when providers are not. If we exclude them, they will exclude the client and all our efforts will be in vain.

4. If you could share one piece of wisdom with childbearing families or professionals who serve them, what would it be?
We need to make sure we meet people where they are. If someone is focused on actually finding a place to sleep, we cannot expect them to receive information on safe sleep guidelines for babies. If they are hungry and eating noodles all day, we should not teach about food groups/adequate weight gain and expect them to comply. We must be able to provide empathy and not judge.

5. Tell us about one of your favorite accomplishments.
I have a passion for safe sleep and the importance of grief support. I helped raise money for a single mom to help bury her second baby when the city placed too many restrictions on a memorial if they funded it. It was done with dignity, respect and included her spiritual beliefs. I helped her obtain mental health support and also eventually helped her move out of the slum area that housed so many of the contributing factors in her children’s death. I made her a memorial book with clippings of hair, footprints and family photos to help the siblings remember the baby.


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