New birth options for pregnant women at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — All this week, Good Morning Richmond is highlighting healthy living where you live by focusing on women’s’ health.

More women in our area are choosing to deliver their babies using a midwife and they can do it right at the hospital.

8News anchor Whitney Harris met up with one woman right after she gave birth to see why she says it was a better option for her.

“I feel great,” said new mother Stacy West. “She’s been perfect…everything is wonderful.”

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West just had her second child but this time around, she decided to use a midwife.

“It was great for me, especially since it all happened as quickly as it did,” West said.

She says her midwife encouraged her to go the more natural route.

“It was definitely more comfortable,” she said. “It felt more like a natural experience.”

West is not alone.

“Eighteen to 20 percent of patients are looking for a low intervention birth and that population is growing,” said Amber Price, VP of Women and Children Services at Henrico Doctors Hospital.

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Henrico Doctors’ Hospital has come up with a unique program where the doctors and midwives work together.

“It’s really about trying to figure out what people are looking for specifically rather than painting one picture that this is how your birth is going to look like,” said Meghann Batten, Director of Nurse Midwifery Hospitalists at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

During the first year of the program, they expected to deliver about 100 babies. They instead delivered about 350 babies.

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“Lots of women start thinking about having the natural or unmediated or low intervention birth. So when you start to explore those options, people come to midwifery,” Batten said.

If you go to Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, you’ll have options like soothing lights, hydrotherapy with large tubs where you can be fully submerged and even a new wireless monitoring system where they use a sticker to get the vitals of both the mom and baby.

“Special things to make her birth seem very home like but in a hospital setting,” said Rhonda Johnson, a certified nurse midwife and midwife hospitalist.

In fact, Johnson helped West deliver her new baby girl — a bonding moment for both of them.

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“Helping a woman give birth is an honoring event,” Johnson said. “It is fascinating and beautiful to watch a family become a family.”

“When I came in, she remembered me and I remembered her. I remember as I was pushing the baby out she said, ‘its Rhonda you’re OK,’ and I was like, ‘I remember you, I like you,’ so it was…it was definitely a nice experience.”

The new midwife program and some other programs Good Morning Richmond will be highlighting this week all place at the new women’s hospital at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, which is expected to be fully finished in October once the NICU is completed.

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