Caring Staff, Golden Hour Enhance Birthing Experience
As Lexie Kibler of Camanche prepared to give birth to her second child, she and her boyfriend James Hammond had a meaningful goal: for Hammond to catch their son as he was born.
With the help of the highly attentive nursing team at Genesis Medical Center’s Davenport BirthCenter, Kibler and her boyfriend achieved their goal. Their son Dawson landed in his father’s arms just after 9 p.m. on a June night.
Even better, Kibler and her boyfriend spent the first hour after Dawson’s birth with their new son – a much different experience than Kibler had at another hospital when birthing her daughter, who was whisked way for measurements just a few minutes after she left Kibler’s womb.
Kibler’s birthing experience at Genesis left her touched and impressed with the nursing staff at the BirthCenter. It also influenced her to recommend the center for other expectant mothers.
“Our baby nurse was Ross, and he helped me make sure my baby latched on right away (for breastfeeding),” Kibler recalled. Becca, the couple’s labor and delivery nurse was great, too. “She made me feel like I was the only patient she ever cared about.”
Preparing for Birth: Knowing What to Expect
The couple prepared for their son’s birth by making the most of Davenport BirthCenter’s many special pre-birth offerings. They toured the center, took Genesis’ breastfeeding classes, and brought Dawson’s older sister to “Big Brother, Big Sister” class.
“I thought everything at the BirthCenter looked great,” Kibler said. “The rooms were very clean and organized, and everyone was very nice.”
Kibler was able to lay out her birth plan to the BirthCenter, including the desire for Dawson’s father to catch him. She had opted for a fully natural childbirth, without an epidural or any pain medications. She also wanted her midwife to be present.
Shortly after visiting with her midwife June 12, and only two days after being the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding, Kibler began having contractions. By that evening, she was on her way to Davenport BirthCenter. She’d already been told she could request her preferred room during the ride to the hospital, so she asked for Room #10, a spacious room with a jet-powered labor tub.
Customized Birthing Experience for Her Family
Kibler checked in to her preferred BirthCenter room at 7:15 p.m. and immediately felt the special touch of Genesis’ highly trained birthing staff. Her nurse, Becca, helped Kibler change into a gown and situated her in a soft birthing chair.
While the preparations continued and Kibler tried different positions to find the most comfortable one, her midwife rubbed her back. Kibler’s choice of music, the Disney “Princess” CD, played in the background.
Kibler was the second mom to use a service that only Genesis BirthCenter offers in the Davenport area: nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” which helps lower anxiety during labor.
“It didn’t take the pain away,” she said, “but it relaxed me a bit during the strong contractions.”
At 9:01 p.m., Dawson entered the world with his mother, father, and aunt present – and an exuberant grandmother taking photos of the entire experience.
“The Golden Hour:” Postnatal Bonding
Genesis uses the term “golden hour” to refer to the time Dawson spent in Kibler’s arms immediately after his birth.
“I loved being able to bond with him right away, feed him right away, and share special time with him,” Kibler said. In addition to the golden hour, Genesis BirthCenter encourages “rooming in,” which means the baby stays in the mother’s room, not a nursery, throughout her stay. “He was (in my room) the whole time except for his circumcision and hearing test, and we went with him for those.”
For the next two days after Dawson’s birth, Kibler worked closely with her lactation consultants to further her bond with her new son in a way she wasn’t able to with her daughter.
Kibler appreciated the help to convince Dawson to latch on to her breast for feeding. “It was really great to have that lactation consultant,” she said. “They’d come in and work with me, and show me different nursing positions.”
She also got answers to questions such as when to bathe her son, when or how his umbilical cord would detach, and how long she should wait to bathe him.
Genesis’ emphasis on early mother/baby bonding is the biggest reason why Kibler recommends the BirthCenter to other expectant moms.
“Those first couple of days are so important. You learn so much about your baby, and your baby learns so much about you and his dad,” she said.
“My entire birth experience at Genesis was everything I could have ever dreamed of. I had the most caring labor and delivery nurse, the nicest hands-on midwife, the best birthing room, a wonderful baby nurse, and the most amazing support team. My entire birth plan worked out exactly how I wanted it because of us choosing Genesis as the hospital to bring our baby into this world.”