Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Getting ready for baby with help from PHH

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017

For most women expecting the birth of their first child, life is suddenly filled with new questions. How should I be taking care of myself? What does a normal pregnancy look like? How do I need to prepare to bring my baby home from the hospital?

Fortunately, moms-to-be have a friendly, helpful resource in Angela Swanson, the birth planner and lactation consultant at Parkview Huntington Hospital’s Family Birthing Center (FBC). Swanson can help each mom-to-be learn about the phases of her pregnancy, plan for her baby’s delivery, and connect with resources for needed mother/baby items.

“I really encourage each woman to become informed, and to take advantage of our many options,” says Swanson. “Our FBC offers free classes here at the hospital in preparing for childbirth and breastfeeding. These classes are packed with useful information, and moms can always ask questions.”

The informative classes include: Childbirth class not only covers what to expect with labor, delivery, and immediately after the baby is born (postpartum), but also tips in parenting a newborn and types of health screening the baby will receive before discharge from the hospital. Breastfeeding class can be helpful, too. “We teach moms-to-be how to get off to a good start,” says Swanson. “That includes positioning, latching, what’s normal and what’s not, and how to know if baby’s getting enough milk. This can be very important for moms who are not familiar with breastfeeding. Even for women whose mothers did breastfeed and can offer advice based on personal experience, it’s a good idea to attend this class, because every woman’s experience is different.”

Each a unique birth experience: The free classes are just the beginning. When an expectant mom chooses to have her baby at Parkview Huntington, she can also make a birth planning appointment. Swanson walks the mom-to-be through every aspect of designing her own unique birth experience. “There’s no need for a mom to settle for cookie-cutter,” says Swanson. “Going through all of the details in advance and knowing what she wants well before the birth allows us to take better care of her.”

That includes Mom’s preferences about: Ways to help her relax during labor such as dimming lights, playing soothing music, or taking a warm shower; who will be in the room during the delivery; measures that can be used to manage pain and discomfort; relaxation steps following delivery such as aromatherapy.

“We even have free Wi-Fi,” says Swanson. “Or if Mom wants to make a playlist for her stay and bring her device with her, she’s welcome to do that. It’s about whatever is going to make her feel comfortable.”

Birth planning also includes discussion of what the mom should bring to the hospital for herself and the baby, services and supplies the hospital provides, information to fill out the birth certificate, and security measures in place in the FBC so Mom can be confident her baby is safe at all times.

“Busy moms are often glad to learn that Parkview MyChart (Parkview’s electronic medical record) is a great tool for connecting with their OB/GYN’s office to get answers to their questions, particularly as they come to the later weeks of their pregnancy,” says Swanson. Swanson says she wants moms-to-be to have the information they need to make having a baby a healthier, less stressful and more joyful experience. After all, she’s a mom, too. For more information, or to register for classes or birth planning, call (260) 355-3640.