As part of an effort to make more resources available for parents on the Northshore, I’ve begun touring local hospitals and speaking with their staff. This way parents can get a peek at local hospitals before they go in for an official tour.
The first hospital I visited was Slidell Memorial and I was lucky enough to not only tour the facility, but I also got to speak with the head of their labor and delivery staff. Teresa spent a long time speaking with me about where the hospital is headed in Labor and Delivery and some of the policies that they’ve implemented in the last year or so. What impressed me most about Teresa, however, was her obvious dedication to mothers and their health and comfort. It’s clear that she has the utmost respect for the women that deliver at Slidell Memorial.
In the last six months, SMH has implemented some policies that I believe most mothers will enjoy. My favorite thing to hear is that they have established quiet hours–two in the after noon and six in the evening. These are hours where visitors are not allowed and neither are disruptions in the patients rooms. No one will come pick up your tray or sweep the floor; no one will wake you up to take your temperature. For these hours, mothers are encouraged rest and to bond with their babies. They’ve also started some pampering things for new moms like bringing them fruit-infused water and hot, moist towels in the morning. While not a necessity, I’m sure it’s a lovely thing to wake up to!
SMH has also strengthened their commitment to breast feeding. Starting in 2016 they will no longer accept any formula samples from manufacturers. They have also begun the process of having all of their postpartum nurses certified as lactation consultants so that there’s always one available when needed.
I asked if doulas we were welcome in the delivery rooms and they are. I asked if women were allowed to walk around while they’re in labor, and they are unless they are receiving medication that prevents that. They welcome birth plans and do their best to follow them unless medically it become impossible.
I’d encourage anyone considering SMH for giving birth to go ahead and contact them–they seemed very accommodating and open to providing mothers with the birth experience that they desire.