LRH sees a baby boom in 2013Published 11:23am Wednesday, February 19, 2014
There was a slight baby boom in 2013 for the Lake Region Healthcare Women’s and Children’s Health Center in Fergus Falls. A total of 338 babies were born there last year, 24 more than in 2012.
Though Karen Stenstrom, director of the Women’s and Children’s Health Center, cannot explain the increase in births, 2013 is still an increase from the past few years. In 2012, 314 babies were born, 312 in 2011 and 310 in 2010.
Of the 338 babies born in 2013, 172 were boys and 166 were girls.
Top names included Liam, Alex, Elijah, Jacob, Jaxon/Jaxson, Landon/Landen, Levi, Parker, Emma/Emmah, Ava, Hannah/Hanna, Harper, Sophie/Sofia/Sophia and Nevaeh.
The LRH Women’s and Children’s Health Center has undergone several changes over the past few years.
It now allows low-risk pregnant patients to go into spontaneous labor, following evidence-based guidelines and endorsed by American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The center has implemented a “hard-stop” police to prevent elective delivery prior to 39 weeks gestation without a medical indication, which benefits both mothers and babies.
LRH also make every attempt to allow skin-to-skin contact with mothers and babies shortly after birth. Evidence is mounting that this contact helps newborns in several ways, including helping them and their mothers relax.
“It is found to help regulate the breathing and heart rate of the newborn, regulates their temperature and stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering,” Stenstrom said.
Births at LRH can be family-centered. Contrary to what most people believe, this even applies to cesarean section deliveries, according to Stenstrom.
At the center, they encourage the partner or family member to attend the surgery, take pictures and be in the recovery area after the procedure. With family-centered recovery, the family stays together either in the post-anesthesia care unit or intensive care unit when surgical services is closed.
The center also has a certified International Board of Lactation Consultant in the department. When a breastfeeding issue occurs, she will meet or speak with the mother to help lead to breastfeeding success.
They’ve also added a new screening for critical congenital heart defects for newborns before they are discharged. CHDs account for nearly 30 percent of infant deaths due to birth defects. These early screenings can help identify some infants with critical CHDs before they show signs of the disease.
The goal of Stenstrom’s department is to simply “make sure families receive the best care and birth experience,” she said. Part of that includes requiring all of the professional staff working in labor and delivery to be registered nurses with certification in neonatal resuscitation.