Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have Your Baby In Style In $4.7M Birthing Center

At Bassett, Labor Seems A Bit Easier

The Freeman’s Journal
No one seemed happier about the new Birthing Center than the nurses who staff it.  At left are Jill Bauenfeind, Whitesboro, and Pat Otis, Worcester.  Behind them is Peggy Bergan-Pavelka.  At right is Robin Stasilla, Mohawk.


‘It doesn’t look very medical.  It looks like a hotel room,” observed FoxCare’s Dr. Carlton Rule as he toured Bassett Hospital’s $4.7 million Birthing Center, which opens for business Valentine’s Day.
“It’s very nice,” agreed Kathleen Ash, a clinical nurse specialist who was leading tours around the sparkling new suite of rooms for moms and babies on the third floor of Bassett’s original building.
Anyone who has participated in so-called birthing, moms- and dads-to-be and anyone else, would have to agree as well.
Dozens of people were taking the tour Tuesday, Feb. 8, sampling the buffet line and listening to expressions of thanks from Bassett President/CEO Bill Streck, OB/GYN Chief Dr. Siobhan Hayden and Mike Stein, who had just returned to Bassett fulltime as VP of Development the day before.
Len Marsh, president of The Friends of Bassett in 2005, when the bulk of the money for the Birthing Center was raised, was singled out for particular praise.
Afterwards, Stein recalled that when he joined Bassett in the 1980s, one of his first fundraising undertakings was for the maternity unit this new one replaces, built on the LDRP model.
That combined L (labor), D (delivery), R (recovery) and P (post-partum), “all in one room,” a new concept then.
This new entity takes that model apart.  The about-to-deliver moms go into one of four LDR rooms and, once baby arrives, are shifted into one of eight post-partum rooms.
The idea is that if there’s a rush of deliveries, the LDR rooms can be opened up more quickly for those who may be waiting.
That’s become more important over time, Stein said, as the number of deliveries rose from 350a year in the 1980s to more than 800 today.  That’s more than four a day, and Brahms’ “Lullaby” played twice over the P-A system while the tours were in progress, each signalling another young arrival.
In the ‘80s, Tri-Town Hospital in Sidney, Cobleskill, Mohawk General and other hospitals had maternity wards.  But with rising insurance rates in that particular specialty, hospital closings and consolidations, only Bassett and its Fox affiliate are doing so today.
But describing the shift from LDRP to LDR-plus-P doesn’t deliver the full impact. 
Each delivery room has a jacuzzi to ease moms’ stiffness during labor.
In the post-partum rooms, the sinks are shaped like bassinets so babies can be bathed at their moms’ bedsides.  There’s a fold-out couch if dad wants to stay the night.  And there’s a small fridge, for snacks.
There’s a well-appointed family lounge.  And one for staff as well.  The bathrooms are larger, and there are more of them.
There’s an operating room handy in case a C-section is required.  The state requires access to an O-R in less than 30 minutes.  “I imagine we can do it in less than five minutes,” Ash observed.
And there’s a nursery, although most babies stay with mom these days.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Kathleen Ash describes features of the post-partum room to Dr. Carlton Rule


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