Neighborhood Health Watch: Planning for child birth
In this week's Neighborhood Health Watch, we're talking about planning for the birth of a baby. The prospect can be daunting but having a safe and healthy birth takes planning.
Your birth plan starts with health and fitness before pregnancy. This helps ensure a nice delivery. Studies suggest women who exercise during pregnancy decrease the risk of their child having a cardiovascular disease in his or her lifetime. Fitness also helps with endurance during labor. Dr. Erica Royal, with Chippenham Hospital, also says know your delivery team because many people are involved in the process. If you choose a midwife, make sure that person has an obstetrician as a backup.
Here's what to look for when choosing a hospital.
"You want to know that the hospital is equipped to handle whatever happens. I would suggest that it is not the furniture in the lobby. But, maybe something like the publicly reported patient safety scores that the hospital has. Also, the nursery, the neo-natal intensive care unit is there in case there's a problem with the baby specifically level three or level four can handle just about anything that can happen with the baby. At Virginia Complete Care for Women we have obstetricians. We have midwives. We're developing relationships with doulas. We are affiliated with Chippenham Hospital which has an excellent safety score and a level three NICU," said Dr. Royal.
Dr. Royal says things go well most of the time, but occasionally there can be a problem so it’s a better experience for the entire family when you know what to expect because you have planned.