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HEALTHY LIVING: Keeping moms and babies safe during the pandemic

April 7, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

The delivery of babies has been a happy event for the labor and delivery team at Siloam Springs Regional Hospital (SSRH) over the past year. Welcoming these new family members at the hospital has been a welcome sight in the midst of the global pandemic.

While the virus has changed many things in the world – the Women and Children's Unit at SSRH is a pleasant constant, located in a separate, enclosed area to provide specialized care and services. A dedicated team of nurses and obstetricians work exclusively with the moms and babies through delivery and post-partum care.

Prenatal care remains critical and women are encouraged to stay in contact with their obstetrician and keep their appointments to be sure their pregnancy is on track. And once baby is here, regular visits to the physician are important to help them thrive.

The hospital and physician clinics keep the safety of their patients as the top priority. Many actions have been taken to enhance infection prevention and support social distancing to maintain a safe environment during the pandemic.

When an expectant mom arrives at the hospital, she goes to the Emergency Department entrance where she will be screened for covid-19. Our current visitation policy allows moms to have two support persons for the duration of their stay that can come and go as needed.

We take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the families we serve. Hundreds of moms have their babies here each year and we give each the personalized care they need.

Labor and delivery proceed as they always have and most adjacent procedures remain available. Tubal ligation after delivery is an option if a mother is negative for covid-19 and circumcisions can also be performed. Breastfeeding is encouraged, even for moms who test positive for covid-19 and can protect their infant by wearing a mask.

At Siloam Springs Regional Hospital we offer both virtual and in-person prepared childbirth classes. We also will start offering breastfeeding classes beginning May 11 of this year. All classes are free and will follow social distancing and masking guidelines.

Low intervention birthing suite

For women looking for a non-medicated natural childbirth experience, the new low intervention birthing suite is now available at SSRH. With minimal intervention and technology, the Low Intervention Birth Program allows staff to support patients and families in their labor and birthing goals.

The newly opened suite offers a full-sized Murphy bed, specialized labor tub, shower, birthing stool, labor balls and waterproof, wireless monitoring. The hospital also offers a variety of options for comfort during un-medicated labor including nitrous oxide for pain relief and anxiety, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. Speak with our OB navigator to find out more about these options.

While the low intervention suite is a new addition to the Women and Children's Unit, SSRH's additional labor suites are capable of accommodating low intervention pain management options and wireless monitoring. What sets the low intervention suite apart is the labor tub for water immersion and the full-sized, family-friendly bed. Use of the suite must be discussed and approved by a patient's healthcare provider. Availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on the program or to speak with SSRH's OB navigator, call (479) 215-3305 today.

For more information on the Women and Children's Unit at Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, visit NorthwestHealth.com or call (479) 215-3305. If you need help finding an obstetrician, pediatrician or another physician, visit the "Find a Doctor" link at NorthwestHealth.com or call (800) 734-2024.

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