When a woman chooses natural childbirth at Baptist Health Floyd, she can be confident she’ll get all the personal attention and support she needs. “When both mother and baby are healthy,” said Heather Lewis, MD, OB/GYN, “we are very flexible and supportive of natural options. The nurses are highly experienced and enthusiastic about natural childbirth. They give the one-on-one care that helps women get through the difficult moments. It may include guiding moms with breathing to help them relax, walking with them, and helping them find the most comfortable positions.”
“From supporting the big decisions, such as choosing natural childbirth, to the small things that can make labor a little nicer, like playing music in the room, we do everything we can to accommodate the mother’s preferences. Our primary focus, of course, is on the safety of the mom and baby. But as long as both are healthy, we make every effort to provide a personalized and meaningful birth experience.”
Heather Lewis, MD, OB/GYN
OB-GYN Associates of Southern Indiana
“We know it’s hard to grasp what something is going to be like before you experience it,” said Dr. Lewis. “So we are supportive the whole way. And if a woman changes her mind, that’s certainly fine, too. The atmosphere is one of respect and understanding.”
Dr. Lewis described some of the tools available to help mothers who choose natural childbirth:
- Birthing tubs – “These are special tubs where a woman can labor. The warmth of the water and the relief from gravity ease the pain of contractions and help her relax.”
- Birthing balls – “These can be used in a variety of different positions to relieve pain in the front or the back,” explained Dr. Lewis.
- Remote fetal monitoring – “This allows us to keep an eye on the baby’s heartbeat without tethering the mother to a cord. Moms can walk more freely, sit in a tub or take a shower.”
Expert Support for Breastfeeding
Chandra Smith, RN, BSN, IBCLC, is a certified lactation consultant who works with new moms at Baptist Health Floyd. “When a mother says she wants to breastfeed,” said Smith, “we see her at least once a day throughout her stay. We help her with positioning, show her how to use a breast pump and can advise her on return-to-work plans. Breastfeeding takes a little practice, so we do everything we can to help her succeed. We also make follow-up phone calls after moms go home to answer questions and make sure babies are back to their birth weight. They are welcome to call or email us with questions anytime.”
Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Breast milk is easier to digest. Research shows there is less dehydration and vomiting.
- It contains the perfect nutrition.
- Antibodies in breast milk have been proven to reduce the incidence of asthma, ear infections and respiratory illnesses.
- Breast milk is always the right temperature.
- Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.
- It helps moms lose weight by burning 300 to 500 extra calories per day.
- Moms don’t have to worry about carrying, sterilizing or heating bottles.
- The act of breastfeeding helps hormonally produce a calming effect in mothers.
Did you know?
Baptist Health Floyd is one of only two hospitals in the region to be recognized as a “breastfeeding-friendly hospital” by the International Board of Lactation Consultants.
What Is Kangaroo Care?
“Kangaroo care is a newly popular term for something we’ve done for a long time,” said Dr. Lewis. “It involves placing the baby on the mother’s chest right after birth. This skin-to-skin contact helps get the baby’s temperature up, stabilizes respiratory rate and promotes breastfeeding. It also helps the mother relax and stimulates milk production. It’s an excellent bonding opportunity, too.”
Saturday, September 10, 10 am – Noon
If you’re wondering what you’ll need to do before the baby arrives, then let Baptist Health Floyd help. Baptist Health Floyd’s Paris Health Education Center will be filled with baby specialty stores and services, physicians who deliver at Baptist Health Floyd, pediatricians and much more.