COVINGTON, Ga. — Ashley Spears thought she knew exactly what to expect as she prepared to deliver her second child at Piedmont Newton Hospital. As a surgical assistant with a local OB/Gyn’s office, Spears spends a lot of time in the hospital’s Women’s Services department, and she had also delivered her daughter at the hospital via cesarean section nine years earlier.
“Even though I’m working in the hospital on a regular basis, my experience as a patient was completely different,” Spears said in a news release.
“As a patient, I experienced exceptionally personalized care. That’s one of the main benefits of delivering at a smaller hospital. I received the same high-quality, clinical care patients think they have to travel to Atlanta to receive, and I was minutes from home. That’s incredible.”
Spears and her husband chose a family-centered C-section for her son’s birth. This allowed both Spears and her husband to participate more in the event, including watching their son being born through a clear drape, her husband cut the cord, and the baby was immediately placed on her chest for uninterrupted skin-to-skin time.
“When my daughter was born, I remember being sad because I felt like I only saw her briefly before she was taken to another part of the room to be measured and weighed,” Spears said.
“With the family-centered C-section, both my husband and I were able to fully engage in our son’s birth and he was immediately put onto my chest. It was an incredible experience for both my husband and me.”
The Women’s Services department at Piedmont Newton offers families high-quality clinical care in an atmosphere that focuses on patient-centered, personalized care. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that integrated mother-infant care leads to optimal outcomes for healthy mothers and babies.
Family-centered maternity care is supported by nurses and staff educated on the latest clinical research and best practices. Examples include skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding within 30 minutes of birth which reduces post-partum hemorrhage, maternal depression and stress.
According to Spears, once she moved into a postpartum room, she experienced another change the hospital recently implemented; quiet time. Understanding that rest plays a role in healing, as well as gives new families uninterrupted bonding time, Piedmont Newton has "quiet hours" from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. During quiet time, there will be limited disruption to patients to allow for rest and recovery.
“During the designated times, the entire department was quiet,” Spears said. “Hospitals are busy places, so to have those few hours of quiet gave us an opportunity to bond with our son, as well as get some much-needed rest without a constant influx of people in and out of the room.”