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“Women want to have a voice in how their baby is brought into this world. And we are making every effort to support them in that,” says Miriam Cartmell, Kettering Health’s director of women’s services.
To continue to empower women in their birth experiences, Kettering Health maternity centers and affiliated OB-GYN practices have expanded natural birth options for laboring mothers.
Kettering Health has a team of certified nurse midwives who offer a custom birth experience to patients in the safety of a hospital. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). They have specialized training in women’s health and a concentration in pregnancy, labor, birth, and care after birth.
Midwives support natural birthing experiences, but are trained to administer medication for pain management.
In addition to midwifery, Kettering Health has other resources to support women who wish to have a more natural childbirth experience.
In 2017 Kettering Health became the first Dayton health system to offer nitrous oxide for pain management to laboring women. Nitrous oxide is a gas the patient self-administers through a face mask during labor to help manage contractions.
“Nitrous is a good option for women who are interested in a more natural childbirth experience but want an analgesic option,” says certified nurse midwife Darla Baker.
“It has a euphoric, calming effect, taking the edge off the contractions. Nitrous is used widely in Europe and becoming more popular in the United States. Its effects disappear within five minutes, and there is a low incidence of the drug crossing the placenta.”
Nitrous oxide is currently offered at Kettering Health Main Campus and Soin Medical Center.
All of Kettering Health’s maternity centers also offer labor tubs to patients.
Tubs are intended to help relax the mom and provide comfort through labor contractions. The tubs are not for water births.
“Women may choose to get in the tub for a while and then get out. From their they use other natural options like position changes, birthing balls, and peanut balls, and then return to the tub,” says Jackie Lovelace, the nurse manager at Washington Township’s maternity center. “Some may choose to use the tub in early labor and still choose to have an epidural later in labor.”
All Kettering Health maternity centers offer a full scope of childbirth education classes for expecting parents. One class is dedicated to natural childbirth.
“Laboring Naturally is a class for couples who want to achieve an unmedicated childbirth,” says Nicole Lagedrost, the nurse manager at the maternity unit in Hamilton. “The class is in addition to the regular Childbirth Preparation series and focuses on relaxation and breathing techniques.”
“While we continue to expand our natural birthing options, we also prioritize the most up-to-date technology and training,” says Cartmell. “When patients welcome their baby with us, they can take comfort in knowing they will be supported in their decisions and have the most advanced medical resources available to care for them and their child in any situation.”
Visit one of our maternity locations to learn more, or click here to learn about touring the maternity center closest to you.
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