Liberty Regional Medical Center Perinatal Services Department is a Level I center which provides care to childbearing women and newborns around the clock. There are 2 "OB triage" rooms on our unit, which are used for observation for pregnant women. We have 4 Labor and Delivery Rooms, where the mom-to-be receives nursing care and support throughout the labor and delivery process. After delivery, the mother and her newborn together are transferred to one of our 4 post partum rooms. Here, she can adapt to caring for her newborn with guidance and teaching from nursing staff, while she and her newborn are assessed on a regular basis by nursing staff. There is an operating and recovery room on the unit for women who need to have a cesarean section, either planned or unplanned.
The "newborn nursery" is also in the Perinatal Services Department. It is utilized for newborn assessments, procedures (such as circumcisions), and for any newborn requiring a higher level of nursing care. When it is not necessary for the newborn to remain in the nursery, he or she "rooms in" with mom, to promote bonding and facilitate the new mother feeling comfortable and confident caring for her newborn.
Liberty Regional Medical Center participates in the "Georgia 5-STAR Hospital Initiative", which is a program to help encourage and support breastfeeding. Our nursing staff is knowledgeable and available to help new mothers and babies to breastfeed during their stay in our department.
Liberty Regional Medical Center Perinatal Services Department works hard to provide the best care possible, including making changes in the care we give when updated information becomes available. One of the changes we have made is participating in "The Magical Hour" after delivery. Studies have shown that initiating "skin to skin" contact as soon as possible after birth, by simply allowing the newborn to lay against mothers chest (skin to skin), he or she can have an easier time adjusting to living outside of mothers womb. The list of benefits proven by using this simple, enjoyable method is very long. A few benefits are that the baby stays warm and calm during the first hour. Skin to skin time after birth helps to normalize heart rate and breathing patterns in the newborn.
If mother and her newborn baby are both stable (not having problems requiring medical intervention), we like to place the new baby onto mothers chest and allow mother and newborn to bond for about an hour, which will give the new mother and her baby an opportunity to obtain the benefits of "The Magical Hour." This time frame of "an hour" can be adjusted to the new mothers comfort level. During this time, the new mother and her baby are assessed by nursing staff, who try to do so with minimal interruption to the "Magical Hour."
To help ensure the safety of our moms and newborns, Perinatal Services Department is a "locked unit." To be able to enter the unit, visitors press the "doorbell" button on the wall outside of the double doors. The doors are unlocked by a staff member only after being identified as someone who should enter the unit, via intercom and monitor screen. The doors must be unlocked by a staff member each time a visitor exits the unit, as an additional safety measure. Staff members of our department are easy to identify because we all have an image of 3 hearts under our photo on our ID badge. While nursing staff may take the newborn to the nursery for assessments, mothers and their designated support person are instructed to not allow anyone without these 3 hearts on their badge to take the newborn out of room for any reason.
For our new moms who wish to have photos of her newborn, we have digital photo packages available through "moms365.com." The parents can choose the poses to order, and can choose to be in the photos if they wish. Moms365.com gives option of having the photos available online for family members to be able to view.
While the nursing staff in the Perinatal Services Department is knowledgeable and enjoys opportunities to give our new parents instruction regarding taking care of their newborn, there are Childbirth classes available for the mother to be who wishes to participate. The father of the baby or other designated support person is invited to attend also, to learn how to best support the new mother during the labor and delivery process and beyond. The classes are kept small and tailored to the need of each family participating. If interested in participating, please call the Jan St.John, RNC at 912-369-9428.
Frequently asked questions
How long will I stay in hospital after I have my baby?
The length of time a new mother stays in the hospital after is usually between one and three days. If you deliver vaginal, the normal expected length of stay is 1 to 2 days. If you have a cesarean section ("C-section"), the normal expected length of stay is 2 to 3 days. If there are complications, the length of stay may be longer.
How many visitors can I have during labor? Who can come to visit?
During the labor and delivery process, you may have 3 visitors at a time come into your room. Visitors during this time must be 12 years or older. The new mother to be (or baby) may need medical interventions that may not be pleasant for younger visitors to see. Younger siblings of the newborn may come to visit after delivery, once the new mother and her baby are determined to be stable. Any visitors under 12 years of age must be siblings of the newborn. One adult support person may stay overnight to help care for the newborn. We have a couch that pulls out to a bed in every labor/delivery and post partum room for the support person to sleep.
What tests do you perform on my new baby? Do you really have to take her blood?
Some newborns need to have their blood type determined. This is usually able to be collected via the umbilical cord at birth. Some babies develop jaundice, so each newborn has a blood sample collected from his or her heel (foot) and sent to the lab for a "bilirubin" test, which we get the results of the same day. We also send a "PKU Test" also known as a "metabolic screen" to the state (Georgia) lab. Since the "PKU Test" (metabolic screen) is mailed to the state lab, the results are not immediate. For this reason, it is very important that the mothers contact information is correct in the medical record. We perform a Newborn Hearing Screen on every baby. The hearing screen is one tool which may detect babies at risk for hearing loss. We perform a "CCHD Screen" on each baby, to detect newborns who need to be assessed for congenital (present at birth) heart defects. The CCHD Screen is performed by placing a probe connected to a "pulse oximeter" to the newborns right hand and either foot, and assessing the recordings.
For more information about the PKU Test: http://www.georgiapku.org/
For more information about the CCHD Screen: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/cchd-facts.html
My friend told me that when she came in to get checked out, you made her husband wait in the waiting room while you got her settled in. Why?
We like to have an opportunity to introduce ourselves properly, to assess the new patient, and ask questions that may be uncomfortable for visitors to hear. Additionally, the risk of domestic violence is increased during pregnancy, and we like to give all of our patients a chance to speak with nursing staff in confidence. This is for every patient, every time.
We are always looking for ways to make Liberty Regional Medical Center better. If you have something that you would like to here from you. If you would like more information about our services or anything else you have learned on this site, contact us.