Last year Genesis Bethesda was the birthplace for 1,356 area babies and this year they may welcome even more new additions.
"Right now we are nine deliveries above where we were this time last year and about 25 some out-patients above where we were last year so we’re very busy," says Melissa Montgomery, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services.
Bethesda’s second floor has 12 labor-and-delivery and 19 post-partum rooms for moms. There’s also 24 spots for babies in the nursery, though many won’t use them.
"We encourage them to keep the baby’s in the room so they can get used to caring for that infant and they can bond right away, but we also know moms are very tired after delivery and they need their rest, so if they choose to send the baby to the nursery that’s absolutely fine," says Montgomery.
A support person is also allowed to stay with mom 24/7. For babies with complications Bethesda has eight beds in a Special Care Nursery that is Level II certified.
"It’s certain physicians on staff, services that you are going to provide for the babies you are going to care for, education, X-ray, all those things play into the care of the baby," says Jeri Whiteus, Manager Special Care Nursery.
The NICU also has specialized Telemedicine equipment to link up with doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at anytime to discuss the newborns.
"They can see our X-rays, we can talk about the infant, they can offer recommendations on the care that infant needs," says Whiteus.
For babies that need care in Columbus, they can return to Bethesda once their condition improves.
"They can come back to us to finish growing, learning how to eat, gaining enough weight to keep their temperature up. Gets them closer to home, gets them closer to their families," says Whiteus.
The typical mom and baby will only spend 48 hours at the hospital, but they’ll all leave with a gift bag to remember their stay.
"We have a nice gift box with a photo album inside that box, a nice soft blanket, just some little gifts for the baby, we also provide a t-shirt and a matching cap that says ‘I was born at Genesis Healthcare’," says Montgomery.