South Florida Baptist Hospital is stepping up its game when it comes to serving expectant mothers.
Moms can breathe easy at South Florida Baptist Hospital thanks to the dedication of the hospital’s team to provide award winning care and expand the service available for soon to be parents.
SFBH was one of 20 Florida hospitals to achieve the Healthy People 2020 Maternal and Child Health goal, which they won for reducing cesarean section deliveries for first-time mothers that had low-risk pregnancies. The national goal was to keep C-section births below the 23.9% range and SFBH’s rate in 2017 was well below the bar at 21%.
“It’s very simple, we avoid unnecessary inductions,” Dr. Carlos Lamoutte, OBGYN with BayCare Medical Group, said. “Nationwide, inductions have remarkably decreased to avoid unnecessary admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.”
An unnecessary induction is when a doctor induces labor for a mother whose cervix is not yet ready to properly dilate. C-sections can be life-saving procedures, but they also can pose serious health risks to both the mother and the infant. Lamoutte said the United States was seeing a drastic rise of unnecessary C-sections and a movement was created by the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce the nationwide rate.
The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statics found in 2017 Florida’s C-section rate was one of the highest in the country at 37.2%, well above the national goal.
Lamoutte said that SFBH has a much smaller unit than many of the mega-hospitals throughout Tampa Bay. Because of its size, it is able to offer more one-on-one care for its patients, which helps increase the level of aid the hospital can provide.
Lamoutte also sits on a board that meets every month to discuss guidelines and recommendations that are then distributed to all of the physicians and nurses at the hospital. They make it their goal to stay up to date and constantly run simulations in the unit to ensure the staff is always prepared to give top-quality care.
That care extends far beyond simply ensuring a safe delivery. Last month the hospital began offering a variety of maternity classes to help expecting parents be completely prepared for the childbirth experience.
Sonya Vickers, nurse practitioners with SFBH, leads the four classes offered and each falls on a Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The first Thursday’s class is Healthy Pregnancy, which covers topics like the highlights of each trimester, proper nutrition, how to decrease risks, safety concerns and warning signs.
The second Thursday will feature Birth Experience, which covers various aspects of labor and devilry like labor signs, pain control options and stages of labor. The third Thursday of the month offers the Breastfeeding and Newborn Care class. This will cover topics like breastfeeding techniques, handling a crying baby, swaddling and bathing.
The fourth Thursday of the month will feature the Hospital Stay and Postpartum class, which covers emotional changes, policies regarding hospital stay and how to adjust to being a new parent. All of the classes are free and snacks will be provided. Attendees can bring one guest.
“The main reason we brought these courses to South Florida Baptist Hospital is to help educate the moms on having a healthy pregnancy and the birth experience,” Vickers said. “We’re able to prevent problems. Early education helps prevent complications later on in the pregnancy.”
Vickers leads the courses and occasionally brings in experts to discuss individual topics. She said early care is so important for a successful pregnancy and though it is rare she has seen moms who show up at the hospital for delivery that have not taken any steps to prepare of the birth.
The classes offered cover all stages of pregnancy and Vickers said the hope is it will help reduce any complications and increase awareness of the importance of early care throughout the Plant City community. Those interested can register at 1-855-269-4777.