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Portsmouth Regional Hospital to implement infant abuse prevention program

November 5, 2013

PORTSMOUTH - It's 8 p.m., your infant has been wailing for 3 hours, you've done everything to soothe him or her and nothing is working. "Frustration" barely scratches the surface of what you're feeling. Many parents don't know that increased crying is normal and sometimes the only thing to do is put the baby down in their crib and walk away.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital (PRH) is joining forces to educate new parents about a stage of increased infant crying, the Period of PURPLE Crying®, hoping to prevent infant abuse.

Parents leaving PRH are now informed about this developmental stage of often inconsolable crying, which can occur when a baby is between two weeks and six months of age. 

Jill LaChance, a nurse at PRH, coordinated the effort to bring the program to the birthing unit.  "It's exciting to share this proven program with parents.  We know that frustration with crying is the number one precipitant to shaking or harming an infant.  This program provides a powerful tool to help parents keep their infants safe," LaChance said.

Julie Hallowell, Maternal & Child Services Director says, "The Period of PURPLE Crying provides important information for parents on soothing infant crying, and ways to cope with the frustration that can result from crying that can sometimes last hours."

Using this evidence-based program, trained nurses discuss these soothing methods and stress relievers with each parent in addition to a 10 minute informational movie addressing this stage their child may go through.  Parents are then given their own DVD and booklet to take home and are encouraged to show it to anyone caring for their baby. 

Portsmouth Regional Hospital joins 13 N.H. birthing hospitals to share the Period of PURPLE Crying® infant abuse prevention program with parents. 

Maria Doyle, Training Director at NH Children's Trust and Period of PURPLE Crying Director of NH, Julie Hallowell, Maternal & Child Services Director at Portsmouth Regional Hospittial (PRH) and Jill LaChance, a nurse at PRH meet to discuss implementation of an infant abuse prevention program, the Period of PURPLE Crying, at PRH.