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The labor and delivery experience

At Bartlett Beginnings, women experience labor, give birth and recover with their babies in a private suite equipped with a special birthing bed. The room is furnished to make you and your family feel comfortable and at home throughout your entire stay. It also provides ready access to the latest medical equipment, in case it’s needed. Your baby is cared for in your personal suite and stays with you and your family. Your room is furnished with a hot tub, guest daybed, color TV, DVD player, iPhone/iTunes docking station, dining area and rocking chair.

We honor your labor and delivery choices

During your labor, a highly skilled nurse will assist you and your support person and provide information and reassurance. We have both bedside and wireless fetal monitoring systems. We want to help you meet your birth goals.

Birthing balls are available in the labor and delivery rooms for your comfort. Your nurse can assist you in their use. Private showers and tubs are available in each room. Many women get good pain relief in the shower or tub.

Childbirth preparation classes can help prepare you and your coach for what to expect during labor and birth.

Pain management during childbirth is about patient choice, and you may change your choice of pain management at any time. These may include:

Breathing, relaxation and massage techniques. Breathing techniques help by calming and relaxing you as labor contractions intensify. There are many methods of patterned breathing techniques that can be very effective.

Relaxation is one of the most important skills you can learn to reduce the pain and discomfort of labor. When stressed, most people are unaware of how tense they really are. The less tense your body is, the more progress it can make during each contraction. We will help and encourage you to rest and relax as much as possible in between.

Intravenous medications. Pain medications are available to ease the stress of labor if you want or need them. Depending upon your wishes and how quickly your labor is progressing, your doctor may suggest an analgesic, which works by reducing pain and promoting relaxation between contractions.

Epidural. Another option for pain management is patient-controlled epidural anesthesia. This involves an injection below the spinal cord, and it works by blocking sensations in the abdomen, back, buttocks, perineum and legs. Epidural blocks must be given by anesthesiologists. Be sure to thoroughly discuss any possible side effects of epidurals on you, your labor and your baby with your caregiver. There is an additional fee charged.

We support skin-to-skin bonding immediately after delivery. Routine assessments, tests and baths for healthy babies are done in the delivery room.

Labor coaches can provide support during all phases of labor and childbirth. Your coach can help you with breathing and relaxation techniques and keep you up-to-date on your progress. 

A doula is a woman trained to provide continuous and nurturing physical, emotional and informational support to a mother during her labor and delivery. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications. Babies are healthier, and they breastfeed more easily. We are happy to provide information and help facilitate a doula-supported labor and delivery through the Doula Network program.

Breastfeeding Clinic

We are a designated Baby-Friendly facility and follow the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative guidelines to ensure that the highest standards possible for protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding are followed. All staff nurses are trained in breastfeeding and can offer guidance and support during your breastfeeding experience.

Our clinic provides breastfeeding support services for mothers and babies by international board-certified lactation consultants who have specialized education, skills and knowledge about helping mothers and infants breastfeed. We offer inpatient breastfeeding support as well as appointments for babies and mothers having breastfeeding problems after leaving the hospital. Our lactation consultants evaluate and treat breastfeeding problems infants may have.

This service is provided free of charge, both during your hospital stay and afterward in our outpatient clinic, if you have any feeding problems. Call us at 907-796-8424.

Specialized care: Training and experience

While the vast majority of pregnancies, deliveries and babies are healthy, some patients need specialized care. Our physicians and nursing staff continue to educate themselves to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and studies. All of the OB nurses have completed neonatal resuscitation classes, and many are certified in either obstetrics or nursery care.

Our unit is equipped to care for women and babies with complications. Women in danger of delivering several weeks early and critically ill babies will be stabilized until a skilled transport team arrives to take these patients to a hospital providing the extra care required.

Cesarean sections

Our philosophy of family-centered care does not change if you deliver by cesarean section—planned or unplanned. A cesarean birth can be somewhat frightening, and we take the time to fully explain what you can expect to happen and why. We encourage you and your family to ask questions so everyone understands what’s happening.

Bartlett Beginnings’ operating room is right on the labor and delivery unit. During a cesarean birth, your partner or support person is encouraged to remain by your side.  

We promote skin-to-skin bonding as soon as is practical after cesarean birth, often right in the OR suite.

If you had a prior cesarean section and are thinking of vaginal delivery, you are encouraged to have an early discussion with your provider and read Bartlett Regional Hospital’s policy on vaginal birth after cesarean.

Discharge calls

You can expect a call within a week or so of your discharge home to see how you and your baby are doing. OB staff is committed to identifying any needs for follow-up care or community resources you might need.

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