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Preparing for Baby with Enhanced Education and New Equipment 
Having a child is a life event that is equal parts magic and fear. The nursing staff at St. Francis Obstetrical Services has taken steps to ensure that the birth of a child is the best experience possible.


Enhancements to the childbirth education classes and new equipment in the birthing rooms allow the patients of the OB department at St. Francis to be better informed and receive safe, high-tech services while maintaining a family-oriented atmosphere.


“Our OB services have evolved to meet the changing needs of our patients,” states Kathy Brand, OB nurse manager. “Childbirth and infant care classes have been modified because of patient feedback.”


The purpose of childbirth classes is to help parents-to-be understand the process of labor and delivery and to answer any questions about the birthing process. 


“The more knowledge expectant families have of the process of birth, the more likely they will approach their journey with confidence,” explains Brand.


Childbirth and infant care classes are scheduled one-day each month. Childbirth education is conducted every other month and includes the actual birthing experience and post partum care. During the next month, infant care classes consist of care instruction, infant safety (including CPR), and breastfeeding information and coaching.


According to Brand, the department experienced a 12% increase in births in 2010 from 2009 and the monthly schedule of classes improves the opportunity to attend. “Plus we’ve placed an increased focus on breastfeeding, teaching expectant mothers the benefits of breastfeeding,” says Brand.


Eighty-six percent of the all-RN staff has additional training in breastfeeding to assist new moms; 58% are certified breastfeeding educators.


Once the family-to-be is prepared through instruction and delivery is eminent, new technology in the OB department offers patients a safe and comfortable environment.


The new birthing bed and fetal heart monitor completed furnishings for three fully-equipped birthing rooms. The new equipment was the final pieces to complete the refurbishing project for the department that included new flat-screen TVs and fresh, cheerful decor.


“Our three birthing rooms are equipped alike,” explains Brand, “affording the staff consistency of equipment and furniture to reduce the likelihood of errors.”


The new birthing bed is designed specifically to serve the needs of moms-to-be and labor and delivery nurses alike. Advanced ergonomics and intuitive controls provide safety and comfort for the patient, while safeguarding caregivers from physical stress. Innovations such as an inflatable lumbar support, removable foot section and a powered Skoocher set the standard for the maternity industry.


“The Skoocher helps move mom closer to the edge of the bed with the touch of a button, preserving mom’s energy and reducing the need for staff assistance,” Brand says.


The new fetal monitor provides a complete clinical record of care for the mother and newborn. The surveillance functions present information that is transmitted from fetal and fetal/maternal monitors and generate alerts for critical events. One new feature of the new monitor is that it can be accessed wherever patient information is needed – from patient bedside, at the nurse’s station, and physician’s home or office. Easy access to well-organized information improves efficiency, allowing staff to focus more attention on patients and achieve the best quality of care.


 “While we are really focused on patient safety,” Brand explains, “we strive to maintain a family atmosphere.”


To further enhance the delivery experience, the first hour after delivery is set aside for just mom and dad to spend with their newborn. Visitors and other family members are asked to wait while the new parents bond with their infant immediately after the birth.


The birth of a baby is one of the most exciting events in a lifetime and a moment that is cherished and remembered always. The OB staff at St. Francis continually looks for ways to improve childbirth preparation and delivery.


The new birthing bed and fetal heart monitor were funded with proceeds from the 2010 Tobin Benefit Golf Classic. This year’s Tobin Classic will be held May 27, 2011. Go online to www.stfrancismaryville.com for more details.


For more information about St. Francis Obstetrical Services, contact Kathy Brand at (660) 562-2600 or visit the St. Francis website at www.stfrancismaryville.com.

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