No matter where expectants parents reside in the region, they can now get a feel for the local maternity ward well before the due date arrives – in a way that doesn’t require any travelling.
Interior Health launched a web-based resource at www.interiorhealth.ca last week, that allows soon-to-be parents to take a virtual tour of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital’s (KBRH) fourth floor maternity ward.
“They can be in the comfort of their own home to go in and tour the unit, see the rooms, and what services are available on the floor,” explained Trish Thomson, KBRH’s maternal services manager. “It also gives patients, for example, from Grand Forks or Castlegar, the opportunity to see the KBRH maternity unit while they are deciding where they are going to deliver their baby.”
The online presentation is simple to access by clicking on “Your Health” and the “Having a Baby” link. The page pops up with the option to take a KBRH maternity tour, and provides links to information about healthcare teams, prenatal services, instructional videos, what to expect, and breastfeeding tips.
The Maternal Child Unit link provides an overview of the hospital’s amenities, and includes details and photos for the ward’s three Labour, Delivery, Recovery and Post Partum (LDRP) rooms and two post-op caesarian section rooms. Additionally, the online resource summarizes what a mom-to-be can expect upon admission for delivery at KBRH, through to the post birth experience and discharge planning.
Although it’s been four years since the maternity unit was given a major overhaul, Thomson says many expectant parents aren’t aware of the modern changes that allow for a one-room LDRP stay from birthing through recovery to taking the baby home.
“A lot of people don’t know we were fully renovated in 2010,” she said. “So when people are making the decision where to go for a planned delivery, it’s nice for them to see our brand new unit, single room maternity.”
Another service Thomson noted, which is also available under the Having a Baby link, is online registration to the Healthy from the Start program. Expectant mothers can register as early in their pregnancy as possible to gain support in a number of areas including access for prenatal care, pregnancy warning signs, mental health, breastfeeding, parenting and more.
Additional support at KBRH for post partum women and their support persons include a free one-hour infant feeding support group on Tuesdays beginning at 11:30 a.m.
“We always have lots of education happening for our physicians and staff,” said Thomson, referring to the IH-supported Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently program. “That is teaching nurses and physicians together about managing obstetrical risk.”