Whether it’s your first or your fourth delivery, giving birth can be a nerve-wracking experience. Natalie Nicholson, director of nursing for women’s health at Renown, offers advice about what to expect and how you can make sure you’re ready.
There are some things moms-to-be can do before they even head to the hospital, right?
Becoming a parent — especially for the first time — is stressful, but by getting ready, you can help calm your nerves (at least a little).
For starters, we recommend all moms pre-register for their delivery on our website, Renown.org. This gives you one fewer thing to worry about and makes your check-in quicker when your baby decides to come.
We offer a variety of helpful classes for new parents. Childbirth education walks you through what you can expect when you’re in labor and after giving birth. We also have classes on newborn care, breastfeeding, introducing first foods, sibling classes and postpartum support groups for after delivery.
We invite moms who are delivering at Renown Regional to take a preview tour of our private Baby & Family Suites to help put your mind at ease before coming to us on the big day.
What can a mom expect when she arrives at the hospital?
You’ll come check in at labor assessment to make sure you’re ready for delivery. Once our nurses and doctors confirm you’re ready for delivery, you’ll get checked in at labor and delivery. From there, it’s really up to the moms- and dads-to-be. We let you decide the experience you want based on your birth preferences.
You’ll have birthing balls, squat bars, adjustable lighting and mirrors available, so you can have the experience you want. We also have moms who bring in their own music and other items to make it feel more like a relaxing home atmosphere.
Immediately after giving birth, we encourage skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby and breastfeeding, as long as mom and baby do not require immediate medical care. The many benefits of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are well documented, and we strongly support both. If moms would rather have the baby get cleaned up, weighed and measured first, we’re happy to do that, too.
As mom is recovering, we offer the option of rooming in — which means keeping your baby in the same room — or if mom and dad need some rest, we can care for the baby in the nursery. Pediatrician visits, photography, hearing and other tests can all be done in your room or outside your room, if you choose.
Transition nurses are also available. Their entire job is to help mom by encouraging skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) who visit with mothers and help provide tips on breastfeeding are also on hand.
Renown Children’s Hospital is also proud to be the only Gold Safe Sleep Hospital in Nevada. This means we don’t swaddle babies or use any extra blankets in the hospital. Instead, we use a sleep sack and talk with new parents about the rules for safe sleep at home. It’s as easy as ABC: A – alone (no co-sleeping), B – back (asleep on their back) and C – crib (in a shared room). We also provide a sleep sack and book on safe sleep habits to every family when they go home.
After giving birth, breastfeeding is often another scary thing for new moms. What help is out there?
Breastfeeding can be intimidating or scary — especially for first-time moms. Our transition nurses talk with moms about their goals for breastfeeding and help guide their first few feeds. We also have certified lactation consultants who visit with mothers and provide tips on breastfeeding.
Once mom and baby are at home, we offer breastfeeding support groups and classes on proper latching and positioning.
The Lactation Connection at Renown Regional Medical Center also offers private consultations, breast pump rentals and supplies, certified nursing bra fittings and drop-in baby weight checks.
For moms and babies struggling with breastfeeding after delivery, we have a donor milk program. This is especially helpful for babies in our NICU.