Maternity Services remains a strong option for anyone expecting and wanting to deliver their child close to home, being cared for by family and friends. For over 73 years, the hospital staff has been welcoming babies into the world and continues to offer these local services in the hospital’s Birthing Center.
Dr. Dave Schwartz, Halie Ruff, Nurse Practitioner, and Katy Maker, Nurse Midwife & Nurse Practitioner, make up the Maternity Services Team at Veterans Memorial Hospital and Medical Clinics. Both Dr. Schwartz and Halie see maternity patients in the Waukon Clinic building, and Katy Maker sees patients in both Waukon and Postville. They follow moms all the way through their pregnancy and post-partum care with Dr. Schwartz or Katy Maker assisting with the delivery. Halie Ruff partners with both Dr. Schwartz and Katy Maker to provide a well-rounded maternity experience, working closely with moms, supervising their progress from the beginning of the pregnancy, continuing with postpartum care following the delivery. Ruff states, “Throughout the pregnancy, the Mom’s have an OB team to rely on and ask questions.”
Katy Maker is the newest member of this maternity team, joining the staff nearly two years ago. She states, “From an obstetrics and gynecology point of view, I am proud that our obstetric nursing staff give dedicated one-on-one care to our patients when they are in labor and delivery. Here we create a relaxing environment for women to give birth with so much close attention when they need it. I feel you really have to be there with your patient in labor, giving them the time they need, and I am able to do that here.”
Water birth is still an option at Veterans Memorial Hospital and has been for over 20 years. Low-risk mothers who are looking for a natural birthing option in a controlled environment find water birth a successful option. Both Schwartz and Maker are certified for water birth deliveries and perform them routinely at the hospital.
Water births are a gentle and natural form of delivery. Women who use warm water for labor and birth report benefits such as enhanced pain relief, greater comfort, and a deeper sense of relaxation. Women are able to move more freely in water allowing greater opportunity for positioning and research has found that women report having an easier, shorter labor and delivery and a decreased need for pain medications.
Not always is the tub used for the actual delivery of the baby, but it has proved to be a very effective way for Moms to labor, offering great relaxation which leads to a faster progression of the labor. After enjoying the relaxation the tub provides, many moms decide to stay in the tub to deliver, while others choose to move to the delivery bed. Either way, the birthing tub has proven to be very beneficial in many deliveries at VMH for the following reasons:
- Ability to cope more easily with contractions
- Ability of buoyancy allowing for free movement and new positioning
- Reduced stress allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain blockers
- Relaxation between contractions
- Smoother transition into life for baby, as well as many other advantages.
Jayne McCormick, RN, Chief Nursing Operator at Veterans Memorial Hospital used the birthing tub herself for three of her children’s deliveries. She states, “I loved the birthing tub and would encourage any laboring patient to at least give it a try. The warm water is so relaxing it greatly decreases the pain of the contractions and helps laboring moms relax and progress faster.”
Expectant mothers are encouraged to discuss the option of water birth with their physician. Tours of the hospital’s Birthing Center are available by calling McCormick at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.
Veterans Memorial Hospital and Clinics is accepting new Maternity Services patients at any stage of their pregnancy, offering that personal touch that sets them above the rest. Any patients who may want to transfer their care to Veterans Memorial Hospital from another facility are welcome to do so. Schwartz, Ruff and Maker are willing to pick up where the patient left off with their previous provider. To make an appointment in Waukon, call 563-568-5530 or in Postville, call 563-864-7221. Interpretation services are readily available at either clinic.