Since opening 13 years ago, Baptist South’s Labor Delivery Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) department has welcomed close to 26,180 new babies.
“We do our best to listen to what our moms want in order to provide the best birthing experience possible,” said Lucinda Deputy, MSN, RN, NE, BC director of Women’s Services. One of the biggest benefits to mothers is the family-friendly environment and home-like setting at Baptist South. Each patient suite is designed to allow moms to stay in the same room for the entire birthing process—from labor through delivery and recovery to postpartum care.
This unique model of care is proven to be beneficial for the mother, father and the baby because it allows more time for bonding.
“There is no need for the mother to move into different rooms during the process—she and her family can get comfortable in one room that has everything the medical team needs for the entire birthing process,” said Deputy. This design allows for the baby to “room in” rather than go to a nursery, if the mom prefers to have her baby close by.
Personalization is one of the reasons Baptist South is so popular.
“Each mom has her own idea of how she would like her labor and delivery to go, so we accommodate different types of birth plans and stay up on the latest birthing techniques,” said Deputy. Baptist Health has adopted the use of birthing balls, which allow laboring moms to reduce pain and pressure by gently bouncing on a rubber ball. Peanut balls, used in the laboring position, allow a natural opening of the birth canal, which has seen some benefits of reducing possible C-sections.
Before their stay, mothers and their significant other are invited to tour the LDRP area so they can gain a comfort level before the big day. “This is especially good for our first-time mothers,” said Deputy. Baptist Health also offers childbirth classes and free breastfeeding support groups, all of which are open to the public.
Because labor can sometimes last for hours, patient suites are designed with family needs in mind. Each spacious room has its own flat-screen TV, DVD, refrigerator and safe. There is also a sitting area and a comfortable pullout bed for family members.
Just down the hall, there is a spacious family retreat area with a TV, computer area, sitting areas for adults and activities for children, a kitchen with hot coffee and tea, and washers and dryers. “There have been a few times when moms went into labor early and we had their baby showers in the family retreat area once the baby was born,” said Deputy.
Mothers are extremely satisfied with their experience at Baptist South. The latest patient satisfaction scores place the hospital in the 98th percentile when compared to other hospitals of a similar size.