Cincinnati Family Magazine

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June 22, 2024

hospital stays for expecting moms

Hospital Stays for Expecting Moms

Your journey to delivery is filled with emotions of all kinds; here's what you can expect from your experience in the hospital...

Originally seen the May 2024 issue of Cincinnati Family Magazine, Hospital Stays for Expecting Moms, is a feature article by Nyketa Gaffney. 

The most transformative events you’ll ever experience as a woman: childbirth. The journey to delivery can be filled with both joy and grief, confidence and fear, as well as optimism and uncertainty. There is a myriad of emotions to be spoken for through the pregnancy process until the moment mom is cradling her baby in her arms. 

In fact, if we’re being honest, a mom never stops experiencing mixed emotions beyond delivery. As time goes on, women learn how to cope and acquire techniques that allow us to effectively regulate our nervous system.

Women are very resilient! We develop an acute skill of tenacity that enables us to overcome feelings that may stifle our interpersonal connections, giving every effort becomes the best person we can be for our families – but more importantly for ourselves!

The evolution of childbirth practices in our country span well over a century. We’ve gone from expecting moms at home surrounded only by female counterparts holding their hand through the process to birthing options that alleviate stressors, with advancements in both medicine and technology. Scientific research of the birthing experience has elevated the systematic course of action for families, reducing anxiety and achieving the safest delivery possible for mom and baby.

Although birthing centers gained popularity over the last few decades, according to Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice, an academic text (available on National Center for Biotechnology Information, a U.S. government website) 98.4 percent of women still choose hospitals to endure childbirth. At such a critical time as this, majority of moms lean upon the expertise of medical professionals to provide reassurance and comfort.

 

hospital stays for expecting moms

What to Consider

It is common for many women to be apprehensive or overwhelmed about their pending hospital stay, especially if they have not had to. Your journey to delivery is filled with emotions of all kinds; here’s what you can expect from your experience in the hospital interface with physicians very often up to this stage in their lives. It is why as expecting moms, and families, it is important to acclimate yourselves with the facility and your care team in advance of delivery. This comes by way of attending scheduled appointments with your doctor and prenatal care classes.

 

Length of Stay

The length of stay varies from mom to mom. There are factors such as the duration of labor and delivery, health of mom and baby, hospital practices, and health insurance which impact how mom’s stay is supported. Understanding that there is no definite timeline to prepare for is extremely important. Acknowledging that everything moves accord ing to the natural blossom of mom and baby is the priority.

You must fully accept that in this moment it is permissible for time to slow down. Give way to nature’s course. It provides mom peace through the process. Furthermore, mom deserves to calmly focus on her role alone. This is a unique and one of a kind experience that does not warrant the pressure of comparison to anyone else or the expectation to meet a Standard.

Take into account these statistics:

  • First- time labors typically take the longest because the body is learning a new function.
  • The average duration for mom’s first delivery is 12 – 24 hours although how labor time is counted varies from hospital to hospital which impacts national reporting accuracy.
  • The duration of delivery typically shortens with each pregnancy
  • On average, moms who deliver vaginally are typically cleared to go home after one night.
  • Moms who deliver through Cesarean section typically stay in the hospital two or three nights.

 

Chosen Labor Support

Childbirth is a scared time for mom. Her energy, her mind and her spirit should be in a positive space because her physical body is about to take on its greatest challenge. Therefore, mom rightfully decides who gets to share in the moment and what support looks like for her. Hospitals today respect that mom controls this aspect of labor and delivery experience.

Deborah Metz, nurse manager for Mercy West of Mercy Health Hospital, says it is their priority to make sure mom’s desires are heard and her needs are met. “It is about mom’s wishes and what she wants for her delivery. Some moms want everyone in the room and others only want their partner in the room,” says Metz. “At Mercy, we honor mom’s wishes regardless and develop a code word that helps mom communicate with her medi cal team so that she doesn’t hurt family members’ feelings. We don’t mind being the bad guy in this scenario,” she adds.

Beyond the family, moms may choose to incorporate midwives and Doulas as part of their care team during the delivery process. Both doctors and nurses have increasingly accepted midwives and Doulas in their respective roles, because they aid mom’s comfort.

The difference between a Doula and a midwife is fairly simple. Asked explained in sum by healthline.com, a significant difference between a midwife and a Doula is that a midwife will provide medical care for mom during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Doulas provide mom and her  family with emotional, informational and physical support during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum.

 

Care Team Relationships

Building a rapport with your medical care team is essential. Often times medical professionals are busy and have many patients, but your visit is yours. Seek each opportunity to learn more from your doctor and your nurses along the way. Being able to trust medical professionals every step of the way will increase mom’s confidence and will help to guide her to a successful birthing experience.

Be mindful that the baby comes on their terms. If he or she arrives early, there may be changes to which doctor is actually available to perform mom’s delivery. Mom needs to expect the unexpected in this regard, then be able to mentally and emotionally adjust to the new course of action. Nothing in life is perfect, however preparation is always key when life events arise; we must be adaptable humans.

 

Owning Your Process

Charla Payne, nurse manager at the Liberty Birthing Center for The Christ Hospital, says that every effort is given by her team to facilitate each mom’s special journey. “Everybody has an individual need as well as desire. These are experiences that take us well beyond even those first 12-weeks postpartum,”explains Payne. “These are experiences we take for the rest of our lives.

I think Cradle Cincinnati [a non-profit that The Christ Hospital began a partnership with in 2012] was one of the first to encourage the process of pulling together resources and leading the way in a collaborative effort to meet the specific needs of patients in this regard.”

A comprehensive approach tailored to each mom’s care plan is something that The Christ Hospital values for its patients. “Focusing on the fact that everybody is unique and that some women have higher medical risks than others, such as postpartum depression and postpartum hemorrhage, then determining how to best educate them to ensure that they and their families have the resources to best care for themselves is what we must do,” says Payne. “If we are not caring for women and their bodies completely, then they cannot care for their families.”

As a mom, you will write your very own birthing story along with your baby! Therefore, the journey to the delivery room, the vital work that occurs to bring baby into the world, and the triumph of holding them close when labor is finished is uniquely and divinely created for your purpose.

Yes, I firmly believe women are magical.

Metz and Payne share the many services their hospitals provide expecting mothers. The ultimate patient experience is to feel heard, protected and supported. Cincinnati has outstanding medical professionals who’ve proven to go the extra mile for their patients, allowing hospital stays to feel safe. When vulnerable, this is all we can ever ask for. 

 

 



About the Author

Nyketa Gaffney

Nyketa is proud mother of a 15-year-old daughter who is bright, funny and an aspiring actress. She is a local freelance writer, enjoys creative environments and colorful personalities. Nyketa aspires to tour the world, write books, eat great food and inspire children to be their best selves!