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Spring View women's center offers services to expectant, new mothers

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By Jesse Osbourne

Some changes have occurred at the Spring View Hospital Women’s Center recently.
Among those changes is a new service and a new suite.
Of the brick and mortar variety, a new LDRP suite has been added. LDRP means that a woman giving birth is able to go through labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care all in the same room.
“They stay there the entirety of their stay, which is a very nice component to maternity care that a lot of the hospitals in larger cities can’t provide,” Mary Batt, a lactation consultant at Spring View Hospital, said.
The center now features nine LDRP rooms since the new suite has been added.
All rooms feature sleeping arrangements for fathers. Dads-to-be can rest on a couch that pulls out to a full size bed.
Dads aren’t the only ones who get extra care, as mothers have the benefit of large, handicap accessible showers.
Of the medical care variety, the center is now offering Kangaroo Care.
Kangaroo Care, according to a press release from Spring View Hospital, is skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother after delivery.
According to the release, after birth the baby wears only a diaper and is placed directly on the mother’s chest after the first bath.
Baby and mother then rest for an hour or two in skin-to-skin contact.
According to the release, fathers can Kangaroo the baby as well, especially when the mother is showering or sleeping.
“Kangaroo Care is about providing patients with the best care available,” Batt said. “It is supported by over 40 years of evidence-based research findings.”
Batt is a strong advocate for Kangaroo Care.
“Implementing Kangaroo Care is one of the many steps Spring View has adopted towards providing the best care standards in today’s changing health care reform.”
According to information from Dr. Barbara Morrison,  provided by Batt, infants benefit greatly from Kangaroo Care.
The process has shown cardio-respiratory stability, less crying and fretting, social brain development and minimized pain with procedures.
According to the same information, Kangaroo Care is also beneficial to mothers.
It has shown an increase in attachment behaviors, increased attention and communication with the infant and increased breast feeding duration and exclusivity.
“I have to commend the administration, obstetrical and nursing staff of Spring View for adopting and implementing the Kangaroo Care program,” Batt said. “I would also like to thank the University of Louisville for promoting Kangaroo Care in Kentucky, and their continued support throughout our transition.”
Spring View Hospital offers a full line of services besides offering LDRP suites and Kangaroo Care.
Some of these services are lesser known to patients in the region.
“We do a full line of hormone replacement therapy for our patients, if they are an appropriate candidate, and if they want that kind of care,” Dr. Mark Ackermann said.
The center also provides routine gynecological services, including pap smears, prenatal care, routine mammograms, diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds.
“We pretty much do the full line of OBGYN care, and a little bit of high risk obstetrics on top of it,” Ackermann said.
Ackermann said the center also has three general surgeons on staff that can take care of breast issues ranging from a cyst that needs to be drained to dealing with breast cancer.
The center also offers a full range of pediatric care, including ultrasounds and monitoring those that are at high risk for diabetes, asthma or seizure disorders.
“We take care of all of that without difficulty. We prefer to keep those patients here because if someone has an acute problem, they are going to go to the nearest hospital,” Ackermann said. “And it is much harder to take care of a patient with a known medical condition when you’ve never seen the patient before, and you’re seeing them for the first time.”
Batt also provides a service to the hospital as a lactation consultant.
Batt said the hospital has gone from a 22-percent rate of breast feeding mothers to 60 percent of mothers who are now breast feeding.
“We really, really try to encourage all of our mothers to breast feed for a lot of really good reasons,” Ackermann said.
Among those reasons is a decrease in inner ear infection, meningitis, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and any kind of infectious disease.
Ackermann said breast feeding also provides big savings for the country, the tax payers and the parents.
“If you looked at health care savings annually in the United States, you would approach about $3.5 billion savings every year in the health care industry if people would breast feed,” he said. “Not to mention the cost savings to the parent, and the cost savings to the taxpayers for the WIC program.”
Saving money isn’t the only reason to breast feed, however.
“It’s always the right temperature. It’s always ready. It’s healthier for the mother,” he said. “It actually decreases the risk of breast cancer. It decreases the risk of ovarian cancer and it’s a fairly reliable form of birth control initially.”
Ackermann said the benefits of breast feeding will last well into adulthood for the infant.
Batt said that the number of patients that breast feed has increased since Kangaroo Care was implemented.
“If you put baby skin to skin with Mom, it can smell her and it’ll go (to the breast). You don’t even have to help the baby,” Erica Bartley, a registered nurse at Spring View, said. “You put it there on the chest, and the baby will crawl down and find the breast with no help whatsoever.”
Batt is pleased with the results of Kangaroo Care and emphasized the benefits of breast feeding.
“If you breast feed for one day, that’s better than never breast feeding. If you breast feed for two days, that’s better than one,” she said. “The benefits are perpetual.”
Also new to the hospital, it was recently announced that Dr. Paul DeFranco, who is board certified in Pediatrics and Neonatology, will be opening a pediatric practice in May.
DeFranco has had nursery privileges for some time, but only recently decided to practice at Spring View Hospital.
Dr. Diane Thomas of Lebanon Pediatrics will continue serving the hospital and the community, which she has done for more than 10 years.