What You Don't Know
about Virginia Baptist Hospital Birth Center
Here in Lynchburg, Virginia we have a variety of options for maternal health care and one of those is delivering your baby at the Virginia Baptist Hospital Birth Center. Below are ten things Lynchburg moms may not know about this labor and delivery unit located in Central Virginia. It is important to note: I am not affiliated with Virginia Baptist Hospital Birth Center in any way. I am merely a mom in the Lynchburg, VA community and I love to visit my clients and photograph their births at this location whenever I'm granted the opportunity. :)
1. They have a birth tub available for all mamas to use! I’m not talking about the big jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms (those are nice, too!). I mean a giant, blow up birthing tub that they can set up in the middle of your room! A giant birth tub is called the “midwife's epidural” for a reason, friends! Once you’re in active labor and you have reached a point where you really don’t think you can take it anymore, that’s when it’s time to slip into the magical tub! (So you should ask for it to be set up right after you arrive, because it takes a while to get it ready.) They also have a birth stool, really fun shaped birth balls in a variety of sizes, and other tools available if you simply ASK for them! Don’t be afraid to ask!
2. They are a teaching hospital! There will very likely be a student nurse on the hall while you are laboring and it is possible you may be asked if they can observe in your room. Make your decision ahead of time and let your birth support person know your choice so you are both prepared when the question is presented to you. (Yes, you are in complete control of who comes and goes in your room!) You can always say no, but keep in mind, this is how nurses learn and they will be excited to be present if you don’t mind!
3. Essential oils are welcome, but diffusers have been banned. My hippie heart broke when I heard this news! It's because some of the staff are allergic to a handful of the popular oils and diffusers make the oils utterly impossible to ignore. So bring your oils! Just plan to apply them to wash cloths for inhaling or directly onto your skin as preferred.
4. The beds in the Labor & Delivery unit are uncomfortable. But, let's be honest - they should be! You’re not really there to sleep and be pampered. (I know, I hated that realization, too.) The beds are super functional and help mamas get babies out in all the best ways! And the good news is the beds over in the Mother Baby Unit ARE comfy and just waiting for you to come rest and heal as soon as you are ready! If you know that you will be in L&D for a long period (perhaps you are on bedrest or you may have another reason), you can request an egg crate mattress topper be added to your bed. Also, have someone from home bring lots of pillows to help you adjust the bed to your comfort level as much as possible!
5. They have a staff of incredible nurses, midwives and O.B.s who all want to see you and your baby transferred to the Mother Baby unit happy, healthy and as quickly as possible. This means they care about you, really! However, you can ALWAYS request a new nurse if you don’t have a good connection with the one assigned to you. If you are getting bad vibes from your care provider (perhaps they are having a rough day themselves), have your partner or advocate speak up and request a new one for you! It won’t be the first time this has happened, nor the last!
BONUS: If you know you want to aim for a natural, vaginal birth, you can request a nurse who prefers this type of delivery. And vice versa! Nurses are human and each tend to have a preference towards a certain "style" of birth, so don't be afraid to ask for someone whose preferences align well with yours!
6. If your labor, delivery and postpartum progress all goes well, you can request to leave 24hrs after delivery instead of the normal range of 48-72 hours. Just let them know this is your intention as soon as possible so they can make arrangements to help you get home ASAP! I am pretty sure my husband told the first nurse he came in contact with when we were checking in the hospital that he wanted us to check out as soon as possible. No joke! Ha!
7. The first hour after baby has arrived they will do everything they can (short of mandating) to give skin to skin time with mom and only mom. This is part of what helped them earn their Baby Friendly Hospital label they are so very proud of! Skin to skin with mama is so very good for your baby. Embrace that first hour if you have the opportunity, friend!
8. They offer laughing gas as a form of pain management now! The technical term is Nitrous Oxide and it is given by inhalation through a small mask that fits over your nose and mouth. You have full control over the mask (it is not strapped to your face) and you can use it whenever you feel the need! This is an awesome option for mamas who are really hoping to avoid the process of getting an epidural but are feeling anxious about a pain-medication-free delivery.
9. They no longer do “inked” footprints, instead they use Certascan technology to create a high pixel digital scan of your baby’s footprints. This information is stored in a database available online where you can access it once you're home and settled. If you’d like to have an old fashioned inked footprint from your baby’s first day you can bring in your own ink pad and paper and they will gladly do that for you!
10. They have a new(ish) practice of delaying baby's first bath for up to 8 hours after birth (barring extenuating circumstances). The reasons and research that back this practice are plenty! However, if you really want your baby bathed sooner, just ask! :)
BONUS! If you take the time to send in a Thank You note to your nurse or care provider, it will go in their personal file and will remain on hand for their annual review! Every note that comes in is kept safe and greatly appreciated! So feel free share your opinions and experience with the hospital. The HR department at Centra Health takes every comment and complaint seriously!
So there you have it! I've shared ten things about Virginia Baptist Hospital Birth Center that you may find surprising! Were you surprised by any of these? Was there something else about your birth experience you were surprised by?
If you are interested in possibly having your birth photographed, I'd love to invite you to meet with me at the studio for a complimentary studio consultation. Simply inquire with me and we can set up a date for you to come and chat about what the Liz Cook Photography Birth Experience is like and whether or not it may be a good fit for you.