Adventist Health Sonora | Health Living | Winter 2020

4  Healthy Living • Nothing but the best for baby and you Stay safe, comfortable and supported, even during a pandemic Class is in session! Learn what to expect and how to plan for your big day. Childbirth and breastfeeding classes are being held with special COVID-19 safety precautions. Call 536-3260 . As a labor and delivery nurse, Alyssa Larsson, R.N., has welcomed many babies into the world at the Adventist Health Sonora Birth Center. But on Aug. 31, she welcomed a very special one: her own son, Brock. “It’s just amazing,” Larsson says about that first look at her baby. “All these thoughts go through your mind—like what are they going to be like? As soon as you hear their first cry, it’s just the best feeling in the world.” The Birth Center team is honored to share moments like these with their patients. They deliver about 500 babies a year—and it’s always special. A choice of labor comforts Laboring moms at the Birth Center have access to a full range of options for managing pain—including IV pain relief and epidurals. Epidurals provide longer-lasting pain relief. They are available 24/7, so you can request one at any time during labor. Normally, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is also an option, though for safety’s sake, it’s suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We also offer natural methods of pain relief, such as special positioning techniques, labor balls, walking and hydrotherapy showers,” says Gina Cowden, R.N., one of the Birth Center’s two directors. Along with co-director Lea Mauro, R.N., Cowden works toward making sure that every birth is comfortable and safe. A positive birth experience COVID-19 safety measures have made the birth experience different in some ways. But you can still have a loved one with you during your labor, delivery and postpartum stay. Currently, visitation is limited to one healthy support person at a time. When Brock was born, Larsson’s support person was her husband, Korey. They kept their families updated with photos, texts and phone calls. The time they spent with Brock, their second child, was very positive and intimate. “It gave us a lot of time to just bond with our new baby and soak up all the snuggles and love,” Larsson says. And Cowden adds that while you might not get as many visitors, the staff will do a great job of supporting you during your stay. The Birth Center team is taking many other COVID-19 precautions to keep moms and babies safe, including: •  Screening and testing patients. •  Using personal protective equipment. •  Doing daily screenings and temperature checks for staff upon entering the facility. •  Using enhanced cleaning methods. Larsson says she felt a peace of mind having a baby during a pandemic because of these precautions and the Birth Center team. “It’s a very safe and loving environment,” she says. A baby-friendly start to breastfeeding At Adventist Health Sonora Birth Center, babies room in. That means you can stay in your private suite with your baby, which promotes bonding. Right after delivery, babies are placed skin-to-skin on their mother’s chest. The warmth and closeness has many benefits for babies, and it’s easier to start breastfeeding. Last March the Birth Center earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation from Baby-Friendly USA. The award recognizes the 10 steps we take to help babies breastfeed successfully—from rooming-in to showing mothers how to breastfeed their newborns. But no matter how you choose to feed your baby, you will receive a ton of support from our highly trained and experienced nurses, Cowden says. They’ll answer your questions and help you learn about your baby before you take your little one home. “We are there to support you and teach you during your whole stay,” Mauro says.