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Community Hospital Family Birthing Center Is Ready for the Unexpected


When it comes to having a baby, there are many uncertainties including the expectant mother’s exact due date. While your obstetrician has planned to be present for labor and delivery, in some cases that is not always possible. For those unplanned events, Community Hospital’s Family Birthing Center has a laborist – a board-certified obstetrician – on site to deliver baby 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Laborists do not replace the expectant mother’s primary obstetrician, but work in tandem or in partnership to assure that round the clock, she has the best care available no matter when baby needs them.

“If there is an OB emergency and the mom comes in through the emergency department, no matter what time it is, the laborist is on hand to see her immediately,” said Teresa Meece, RN, manager of Labor & Delivery at Community Hospital. “As board-certified, skilled obstetricians our laborists serve as an additional safety net to make sure mothers get prompt excellent care.”

This model of care enhances patient safety and leads to better outcomes for both mother and baby, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“We decided to move forward with the laborist program because we felt that it was key to providing all the elements required for the most comprehensive Mother-Baby care,” said Carla Meyer, director, Patient Care Services.

Benefits of having laborists at the hospital include:

  • The laborist assures that a board-certified obstetrician is in the hospital at all times to attend to immediate concerns and helps streamline care between all members of the Labor & Delivery team
  • The laborist is prepared to help with any emergencies concerning the mother (hemorrhaging or seizures) after delivery and provides additional specialized support in addition to the capable nursing presence
  • Since the laborists’ “office” is the hospital, they are familiar with the hospital’s policies, activities, education, outreach coordination and shared resources. For example, they can fortify efforts by the hospital to help reduce infant mortality rates
  • Because laborists are in the hospital round the clock, they are able to maintain communication between all team members across shifts, track test results and order necessary follow up tests promptly

Community Hospital’s first obstetrics unit opened in 1979, with its neonatal intensive care unit opening three years later. In 2014, the hospital expanded and opened its $34 million project Parkview Tower that includes three floors dedicated to moms, babies and outstanding care.

What makes Community Hospital’s Family Birthing Center care a cut above is the complete spectrum of acute care available to mothers and babies, explains Meyer. “Our surgical and anesthesia teams are in-house 24/7. We offer a critical care transport to and from our hospital which is enhanced by our maternal-fetal medicine partnership with the University of Chicago Medicine. Now we have laborists to enhance the management of expectant moms’ care, too.”

“Pregnancy and childbirth are not predictable,” said Meece. “There are a lot of unknowns. The laborist is here to manage emergent obstetrical situations until your primary care obstetrician arrives. For expectant parents, laborists provide peace of mind.”

For more information about the Family Birthing Center and Labor & Delivery care at Community Hospital in Munster, visit https://www.comhs.org/services/family-birthing-centers/community-hospital-family-birthing-center.

Community Healthcare System
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