On Wednesday May 11, 2016, administration unveiled their brand new labor and delivery unit at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, VA. It was a long-awaited event for the Peninsula birth community.
Hampton Roads Doulas was proud to be personally invited as a company to attend this momentous occasion. We were honored to hear the Riverside administration speak about their passion for families, babies, and our community. They brought us down memory lane to when the first Riverside hospital helped babies come into this world.
The amount of care Riverside and their staff have for their patients was apparent in all the time, money, and thought that was put into developing an amazing location for families to welcome their new additions and make lasting memories.
We were brought on a tour and allowed to look into the new suites to have a taste of what our clients would have during their stay. All of the upgrades seem to hold the promise of having such a positive influence on the experience of the patients while they are at the hospital.
This is the biggest change, in some people’s opinion. There are two labor and delivery rooms with tubs instead of showers. These tubs will be for the low-risk laboring individual, and will even be open to partners (who are wearing swimsuits, of course!), according to one of the L&D nurses at Riverside.
Waterbirths will not be occurring as of now at Riverside, but the laboring person will be allowed to utilize the tub until they reach approximately 6 centimeters dilation. So up until that point, they are able to soothe the pains of labor with some submerged hydrotherapy.
Wireless monitors are always something that one hears about as being much more comfortable in labor, because the birthing person has more freedom to move around during labor, while still having the safety of knowing what the baby’s heart is doing throughout the process.
Riverside has now placed Monica monitoring systems into every labor and delivery room!
These monitors have one small centralized box that is placed on the abdomen, with electrode patches that keep track of baby’s heart rate, the patient’s heart rate, and the contractions. These monitors do NOT require any type of belts that go around the waist, or wires connecting them to the base unit. The signal has even been picked up outside of the room, for those people interested in a bit of labor walking.
Updated baby warmers are in the new labor suites as well which will make access to baby much easier and streamlined, making it a better experience for the family and everyone involved.
Overall, the atmosphere was warm, inviting, peaceful, and so ready to welcome families into this new, patient-centered space during one of the most exciting moments of their lives. We were especially excited to see a sign stating that Riverside is “Doula-friendly!”
We at Hampton Roads Doulas cannot wait to continue serving our clients at Riverside and we are so excited for what these changes mean for Hampton Roads Families!