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Bartlett Beginnings Birth Center

Bartlett Beginnings provides family-centered, individualized care. We strive to meet your goals for childbirth while providing you all the safety and backup services you'd expect from a state-of-the-art hospital. Our staff cares for you with genuine warmth, dignity and respect. During your labor and the birth of your baby, your privacy, comfort and safety are of the utmost importance to us.

Covid-19

Bartlett Beginnings is constantly evolving our practices as they relate to Covid-19.  Our hospital team is hard at work collaborating with the our regional, state, national and international partners. Our responsive actions are based on the best current evidence as well as clinical judgement. The following points address areas of care that are impacted by our efforts to provide safe family-based care. 

Pre-Registration

Families expecting to deliver at Bartlett Beginnings are invited to pre-register over the phone by calling (907)796-8900, dialing "0" to reach Patient Access Services. It is best to do this about one month prior to your anticipated date of delivery. 

Visitation

One birth partner/labor support person is invited to accompany the laboring mother. This person is not interchangeable throughout hospital stay and is asked to stay present in the family's room. These practices help us keep all our families safe and protected. 

For a "visit" to our beautiful and comfortable birthing unit prior to your delivery, please click here for a virtual tour

Masking

All patients and visitors to Bartlett are asked to wear a mask whenever healthcare providers are in their room or when in common areas. Mothers and their labor support can bring their own cloth/community masks. Staff will provide mothers with ear loop style mask if they prefer or don't have one of their own. 

Testing

Screening swabs are commonly being done in Primary Care Clinics. Some swabs are also being collected in the hospital depending on clinical information. Please talk with your provider about what this might mean for you. 

You and Your Baby

Bartlett is a "rooming-in" hospital. This means that your baby stays with you in your room throughout your stay. This practice promotes breastfeeding, bonding, and helps families gain confidence and independence in learning to care for their new babies. Families may wonder what happens if the mother is positive for Covid-19? Depending on the health and status of the mother and the newborn, the care team will work closely with the family to determine the safest plan. This does not automatically mandate separation of moms and babies.  

Breastfeeding 

As a Baby Friendly Hospital, Bartlett is extremely supportive of Breastfeeding. The professional organizations that direct our care continue to agree that the tremendous health benefits of Breastfeeding remain extremely important. Supporting the foundation of a strong Breastfeeding relationship from birth is a major factor in approaching the care of both mothers and babies in this time of Covid-19 concerns. 

These key points are taken directly from the CDC website.

  • Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. We do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely to be a source of transmission.
  • Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.
  • A mother with confirmed COVID-19 should be counseled to take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including hand hygiene and wearing a cloth face covering.

Lactation services continue to be available to any and all families who need breastfeeding support and guidance while in the hospital and after returning home. Our team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are here and ready to help. This help is often best in-person, especially if hand on assessment or assistance is needed. Additionally, our outpatient clinic is set up to provide visits in a virtual format through Zoom when this is clinically appropriate. Please talk with your provider if you have breastfeeding concerns, and as always, please feel free to call the clinic to speak with one of our IBCLCs and to schedule an in person or virtual session. 

 

Visit Our Facility

Mothers determine their own visiting hours. Please check with the OB staff prior to visiting to make sure your visit occurs at the most appropriate time. View our visitation policy for additional information.

We recommend that you preregister with Patient Access Services. We also recommend that you call and schedule a tour of our facilities prior to your expected delivery date. If you let us know at least a half-hour before you plan to arrive, we can usually accommodate a tour. This chance to meet our staff, see our facilities and have your questions answered will help you be more relaxed as you anticipate labor and delivery.

Please see the Covid-19 section for the most up-to-date policy related to visitation to the unit. 

For a "visit" to our beautiful and comfortable birthing unit prior to your delivery, please click here for a virtual tour

The Labor and Delivery Experience

We Help Families Feel at Home

At Bartlett Beginnings, women 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 labor room is furnished with a private Jacuzzi tub, guest daybed, color TV, DVD player, dining area and rocking chair. If you have a planned surgical delivery your room has slightly different accommodations to increase your comfort during recovery such as a walk-in shower.

Typically, families remain in the same room after delivery. Due to the unpredictable nature of birth numbers and the size of the facility, there are times when stable families are asked to move to either another room on the OB unit or in a neighboring unit in the hospital where they remain under the care of our nursing team. 

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. Water aids in relaxation. 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 in labor.

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 their necks, shoulders, arms, etc., really are. The less your body has to work in these areas, the more progress it can make during each contraction. We will help and encourage you to rest and relax as much as possible between each one.

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

A doula is a woman who is 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. While not employees of the hospital, they can provide their services here. For more information on doulas, visit juneaudoulas.com

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 a 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 for the specialized services of an anesthesiologist.

Skin-to-Skin

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

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 Beginning's 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 practical after cesarean birth, with the goal to accomplish this 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

It's natural to have questions about childbirth. This is a very special time for you, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need. 

When should I go to the hospital?

It's time to come to the hospital when:    

  • Your water breaks.
  • You have a bloody discharge similar to starting your period.
  • Your contractions occur every 4 to 5 minutes for over an hour.
  • Your doctor or healthcare provider instructs you to do so.

Please call us before you come to the hospital (907.796.8424). We can help you decide whether it's time for you to come in, and we can prepare for your arrival. When you arrive, we will evaluate your progress and notify your doctor.

What kind of room will I have?

You will have an attractive, private room in which to labor and give birth. Bartlett Beginnings has an on-site operating room for a cesarean birth, if needed.

What should I bring to the hospital?

A week or two before your due date, pack a bag with the following items for your hospital stay:

  • Nightgown (front-opening styles are convenient for breastfeeding).
  • Bathrobe.
  • Slippers.
  • Bra (nursing style if you plan to breastfeed your baby).
  • Clothes to wear home.
    • For you: comfortable clothes that fit during midpregnancy.
    • For your baby: blankets, a diaper, infant-size sleepers, infant gown, etc.
  • Cosmetics and toiletries.
  • Camera or video camera. Remember to bring your charger.
  • Personal comfort items.
  • Please leave all valuables at home.

Who can be with me during labor and delivery?

This is your choice. You may invite your husband or partner, a support person, and family members to stay with you during labor and delivery. If it becomes necessary to deliver your baby by cesarean section, a support person may accompany you to surgery.

What about circumcision if I have a son?

If you have a baby boy and wish to have him circumcised, tell your care provider. Your care provider will often perform this procedure in the clinic after you and baby are discharged, but it may be done before you leave the hospital. There is a hospital charge for the procedure, and a professional fee will be added to your care provider's billing.

What about meals?

While in the hospital, you may select your meals from daily menus. Juice, coffee, milk, fruit and some snacks are available in our OB unit for you. Your husband or partner, family, and visitors may purchase beverages, snacks or meals from the hospital coffee shops or cafeteria and bring those items back to OB. You and your husband or support person will have a celebratory dinner after the delivery of your baby. OB staff will tell you more about that after your baby is born.

What about paperwork?

Hospital staff will help you complete birth certificate forms according to state requirements.

If you are unmarried and want the baby's father's name to appear on the birth certificate, you and the father must sign a paternity affidavit in the presence of a notary public after the baby is born. A notary public is available in the hospital. The hospital will submit this affidavit to the state along with the birth certificate.

What is the hospital discharge procedure?

Your doctor will decide when you are ready to go home. Your nurse will help you complete any remaining paperwork and review with you instructions for caring for yourself and your baby.

Someone will need to drive you home because you should not drive a vehicle for several days after delivery.

How long will I be in the hospital?

The answer varies for each patient. Generally it is very safe for new mothers to return to the comfort of their own homes 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. Before you go home, your physician will examine you. If you are not medically ready to go home, you will be encouraged to stay and continue to receive the care you need.

What should I know about my insurance?

Before your baby is born, learn what your insurance plan covers. Nurses cannot answer insurance questions. You will need to know:

  • If preauthorization is required for maternity services.
  • If the plan covers both you and your baby.
  • The authorized length of stay for vaginal and cesarean births.

After Delivery

After your baby is born, you will stay in Bartlett Beginnings until your doctor discharges you to home.

Bartlett Beginnings has specially trained nurses to care for both your needs and those of your new baby. They will help you get to know your baby so you can begin to feel comfortable caring for him or her by the time you go home. Your baby will remain in the room with you day and night during your stay at Bartlett Beginnings. Spending this time with your new baby will help you get to know your baby. Also, mothers and babies rest better when they are close.

Hearing Screening Test

All newborns in Alaska receive a hearing screening test. This painless procedure takes about 30 minutes, and parents receive the results immediately. For more information regarding hearing screening tests, check out the state of Alaska's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program website.

Newborn Metabolic Screening Test

The newborn metabolic screening test involves a blood test. A small prick to your baby's heel produces a few drops of blood, which is all the lab needs to screen your baby for 30 different metabolic disorders. Your baby will be tested once before you leave the hospital and then again at around 2 weeks of age. Your baby's doctor will discuss any abnormal results with you. For more information regarding metabolic screening tests, check out the state of Alaska's Universal Newborn Metabolic Screening Program website.

Vitamin K Shot

Sometime within the first 1 to 2 hours of birth, your baby will be given an injection of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a naturally occurring vitamin that helps in the blood-clotting process. Once feeding is well established, your baby's body will produce enough vitamin K on its own.

Eye Ointment

An ointment called erythromycin will be placed in your baby's eyes within 1 to 2 after birth to prevent infection and possible blindness that might result following exposure to certain bacteria during the birth process.

Sleep Education

All new parents have questions about infant sleep. Bartlett Beginnings provides safe sleep education for families in keeping with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline. Caregivers can find more information about infant sleep through HealthyChildren.org a publication of the AAP. Since 2016 Bartlett Beginnings has received support from the Bartlett Foundation to provide the Bartlett Sleep Awareness Family Education or B-SAFE program. The tools of this program are utilized in the education of all families that deliver at Bartlett. Details of this program can be found here through the Bartlett Foundation

Car Seat Safety

Alaska state law requires that all infants ride in a safety-approved car seat. Did you know that more children die each year in motor vehicle crashes than from all childhood illnesses combined? It's true. Bartlett Beginnings wants you and your children to be as safe as possible every time you ride in a car.  Make sure your baby's car seat is newer than 6 years old and that it fits your baby properly. We will assist you in settling your baby in the car seat before you leave the unit. Check out the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for an excellent online tool for selecting the "right" car seat for your child.

Bartlett Regional Hospital staff does not check the fit of the car seat in your vehicle—but 4 out of every 5 car seats are used incorrectly! For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment to check the installation of the car seat in your car. This is a free service and only takes about half an hour. Schedule a checkup through SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Child Passenger Safety Program at 907.364.4456 (www.carseatsak.org) or through Safe Kids Alaska, sponsored by the Juneau Police Department. Call 907.586.0600 for your free appointment.

Not long after they had their first baby, little Roger, at Bartlett Beginnings, Margo Connolly-Masson and Roger Masson gave us a call. They wanted to share their great experience with other prospective parents. As Roger concludes, maybe Bartlett Regional Hospital should offer "destination deliveries."