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Families become focus for new cesarean deliveries
March 16, 2015

Madison Health is delivering a new birth experience.


Families anticipating a low-risk cesarean now have the option to choose having a family-centered cesarean, a relatively new concept that only a few hospitals in the nation have implemented.


This type of birth plan is not meant to replace the traditional vaginal delivery; however, it provides a comfortable setting that almost mirrors a normal birthing room.


“When a mother has to undergo a C-section, the family often misses out on the benefits of a natural birth,” said Tracy Stewart, Director of Obstetrics at Madison Health.  “Our goal is to create the same environment in the operating room as we do in the labor and delivery suites.”


During a family-centered cesarean, obstetric nurses participate alongside the physician and surgical team.  Mothers also have the option to view the delivery through a clear surgical drape so they can witness their baby’s first seconds of life. 


Madison Health also made physical changes in the operating room.  Speakers were installed to allow for families to relax to a Pandora station of their choice and they may even bring their own iPod.


One of the most noticeable and important differences is the adjustment of EKG monitors and intravenous line so that the mother’s arms are not restrained and she can be the first person to hold her newborn child.  This initial contact has proven health benefits and provides an instant chance for mother and baby to bond.


“Instead of the baby being separated from the mother by the care team, the infant immediately gets to meet his or her parents,” said Stewart.  “ This not only promotes bonding with the family, but the skin to skin contact allows mother and baby’s body to do what comes naturally after birth.  The mother’s blood pressure is regulated along with her baby’s temperature, respirations, heart rate and glucose levels.  This immediate contact not only helps with emotional bonding, but helps initiate successful breastfeeding and significantly decreases the risk of postpartum depression.”


Earlier this year, the Unangst family of Springfield was the first family to experience this type of delivery at Madison Health. 


After delivering her first child via emergency C-section, Courtney Unangst had a more intimate experience delivering via family-centered cesarean.


“I did not see my firstborn for two hours and I felt like I missed the bonding with my daughter,” she said.  “This birth was completely different.  When my son was delivered and laid on my chest, it was as if my whole world stopped.  He rarely left my sight, and overall, it was an absolutely amazing experience.  I want to thank the team at Madison Health for allowing our family the opportunity to deliver with this method.”


Dr. Mitchell Spahn, an OB/GYN and Unangst’s physician, is pleased that the hospital is providing this patient-driven option.


“Although family-centered cesareans are a new concept in the United States, the idea of putting our families first is our focus at Madison Health,” he said.  “It allows parents to instantly connect with their new addition.  The hospital team of nurses and physicians also work cohesively to provide quality care.  It is really inspiring to witness.” 


Obstetrics nurses at the hospital are excited and proud to be on forefront of this family-centered experience. 


“I am proud to say that Madison Health is now one of Ohio’s leaders in this type of birth,” said Jessie Johnson, RN, BSN.  “It is really special to watch families bond as a unit so closely after birth.”


For more information about family-centered cesareans at Madison Health, please call Maternity Services at 740-845-7272.    

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Madison County Hospital
210 North Main Street
London, Ohio 43140
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