A day on the labor and delivery unit

One of my favorite places to round is the mother/baby unit at MelroseWakefield Hospital. I love hearing the stories of how and why families choose to have their babies at our local community hospital. For some, there is a family tradition that goes back generations, where daughters, mothers and grandmothers have all had their babies here. For others, it is as simple as wanting the highly personalized experience that many patients report not receiving at downtown hospitals. Of course there is also the fact that we have the best team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals around, all working at providing the best experience possible for our local families.

Our newly renovated labor and delivery unit

Whether it is one or any combination of these reasons, I’m proud that we play an important role in caring for so many families in the region during this special time.

I’ve been hearing the stories of how delivering babies here is like being with family; that some of the same nurses who helped with the delivery of a family’s first child were also there for the subsequent deliveries over the years.

That’s the MelroseWakefield Hospital difference, and it is what we strive to deliver every day. We know that no two deliveries are the same — each unique and special in its own ways. Our team excels at achieving individualized birth plans for each mom-to-be.

With our new labor and delivery suites, we also continue to expand labor and delivery options, including offering vaginal births after cesarean (VBACs) to our patients, as well as various choices for labor pain management including nitrous oxide, epidurals and medication-free options.

Our maternity department is really unique because we combine that community/family feeling with the high-tech patient-safety focus of the larger academic hospitals. We pride ourselves on keeping our families and newborns safe, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It was wonderful to see three sets of twins all born within hours of each other this past spring.

This video provides a snapshot of what a day is like on our maternity unit.

Having your baby at MelroseWakefield Hospital

Our labor and delivery suites were fully renovated in 2019 and now bring a more spa-like or luxury hotel experience to our delivering families.

Many of our families are also comforted to know that for more than 20 years, we have been providing for those babies who need a little bit of extra care in our Level II special care nursery.  Staffed with neonatologists from Tufts Medical Center, we provide expert care for our tiniest patients. When I speak with the parents of some of our special care nursery babies, they tell me how thankful they are to have this unit so close to home. It is not uncommon for moms of special care babies to be discharged home a few days before their little ones, and for a mom to have the ease and convenience of visiting their baby locally provides great peace of mind and makes a huge difference for the whole family. 

Each year, the special care nursery holds a reunion party for all of the recent babies who have spent time on the unit, and it is truly one of my favorite events on our calendar. We may have to creative with this year’s party due to COVID-19, but I’m sure that we will figure out a way to celebrate.

Our level II Special Care Nursery provides for those babies who need a little bit of extra care

MelroseWakefield Hospital was is also one of the first hospitals in Massachusetts to have been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital which means we provide exceptional care and  support, including for your feeding choice, and offer breastfeeding support with visits available in-person or virtually, that start in the hospital and will continue when you are home. We are proud of this distinction and all of our efforts to help bring strong, healthy babies into the community.

If you are thinking of having a baby, please visit melrosewakefield.org/maternity to learn more about the personalized care, to choose an obstetrician.

Keep sending me feedback about this blog. I enjoy hearing your thoughts about our services and any future topics of interest or concern as they relate to great community healthcare. You can write to me at community@melrosewakefield.org.

Stay safe and healthy,