Great Expectations: The Maternity Ward "Tour"

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
March 12th, 2015

For parents about to have a baby, it’s good to know what to expect (besides the baby) when you arrive at the hospital for birth.   

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH)  in Trail offers a “virtual tour” of the maternity ward, with information that will be very helpful to know before arriving:  pre-registration (and a free copy of the “Baby’s Best Chance” book),  access to the secure maternity ward,  what to bring with you (that you might not have thought about) and what is provided, what the facility offers,  your birth plan, infant feeding support and much more.   It’s an interesting presentation for anyone to go through.  Look  it over here.   The Interior Health Authority website has other helpful materials here, too.  

New fathers:  for before and after the birth, there’s a website “by dads, for dads” with helpful information and advice to keep it all from becoming too overwhelming.  Take a look at it here.

I asked the opinion of a doula about the hospital’s virtual tour, and she praised it highly.  What’s a doula, you ask?  A doula works with parents to keep them calm, confident and comfortable before, during and after birth.  A doula provides emotional and physical support and information.  She can help locate resources to guide parents’ decision-making. 

A doula is not a medical professional, and will not perform nursing duties or prescribe treatment, but she  can be with you throughout the labour and birth, and can help with the adjustment to life with a new baby.   There is a Standards of Practice document for doulas, set out by Dona International, an organization that certifies doulas.  That document sets out the purpose and limitations of doula services in more detail.  Find it here.

Rossland doula Hanne Smith has warm praise for the maternity ward at KBRH.  She describes it as an excellent facility, with caring staff who will do their utmost to respect and accommodate  your birth plan.   Besides being a doula, Smith teaches pre-natal classes at the Trail campus of Selkirk College, and offers “Hypnobabies”  courses privately.  Her website provides more information on what to expect from a doula.

Besides the useful information in the hospital’s virtual tour, Smith  offered more advice on what to take to the hospital:

For moms, she suggests taking some high-energy, nutrient-dense foods to keep up her energy during the birth: a smoothie, or soothing ginger ale.  She advised using a bra that is easy to remove.  She suggested taking some fresh, clean oil such as grapeseed oil, to use on the new baby’s bottom to make it easier to clean, with less friction on the delicate new-born skin.

For dads, she suggested taking a swimsuit, and to have a cushy camping pad available in the car in case you need to sleep in an older chair; she suggested taking food to nourish you through the birthing process, and a good meal for afterwards.

She urges both parents to feel comfortable asking whatever questions they may have, and said that the maternity staff at KBRH give very positive, nurturing care.

New parents can access amazing amounts of information on-line to help them in their journey.  I’ve just offered links to a brief smattering here.  If you’re having a baby, the Rossland  Telegraph wishes you well, applauds your courage, and wants your offspring to have  the best possible beginning in life. 

Categories: Health

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