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My NICU experience

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This is a guest blog post by Jenny McCollian, St. Elizabeth Hospital patient

My first child, my daughter Maya, was born 12 weeks premature, but my second pregnancy seemed just as normal as any other. Because Maya had been born early, I was getting regular checkups every two weeks or so to keep an eye on things. At a checkup a week before my son James was born, I found out that he was going to come early. He arrived at exactly 28 weeks, on September 16, 2014, and I’m so happy that we had a NICU available right in our hospital to take care of him.

I started having pains late at night on September 15 and knew something was up. We initially went to the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Hospital, and when the staff on call realized that I was going into early labor, they went into action in seconds. Once the labor and delivery team came in, things were flawless, perfect. Even though my doctor, Dr. Darling, had just left to go home, he came right back to deliver James. The NICU nurses were all so sweet—truly friendly, caring and compassionate. I just loved them all.

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What is a midwife?

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The tradition of having a midwife for childbirth is a long one, but make no mistake that today’s certified nurse-midwives (CNM) are highly trained medical professionals.

A CNM is an advanced practice nurse with a master’s degree in nursing who specializes in the care of women across their lifespan. CNMs are considered independent practitioners, who have the authority to write prescriptions.

The main difference between a midwife and an OB-GYN is in the perspective of care for their patients. Midwives are trained as nurses first, in the health promotion model of care. This means that they are trained to encourage patients to make healthy lifestyle choices while taking into account physical, emotional, mental and spiritual factors of health. OB-GYNs are trained in the medical model, which focuses mostly on the physical aspect of care and treatment. They specialize in surgery and illness processes, and midwives specialize in education and management of normal pregnancy and birth.

Because they are not called out of the office as frequently for emergencies and surgeries, midwives often have the luxury of being able to spend a great deal of time with their patients. A midwife can typically offer a highly personalized, natural process of care for your pregnancy and birth, and will have a collaborative agreement with a physician, who can consult or assist if risks or issues emerge.

If you decide that a midwife is the best choice for you and your baby, Mercy Medical Center has an expert team of certified nurse-midwives, who are now accepting patients. For more information, visit http://www.affinityhealth.org/Affinity/Services/Obstetrics-and-Gynecology/Midwives.htm

 

 

Baby’s First Foods (Infographic)

As a mother of a nine-month old, I understand the feelings parents may have when introducing first foods to your baby. It is exciting, but also nerve-wracking. Starting pureed solids is a slow and gradual process. Keep in mind that early on, most of your baby’s nutrition is coming from breastmilk or formula. Here are some tips and answers to help you get started.
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What to consider when selecting a primary care clinician

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Finding a primary care clinician who you like and trust, and building a partnership with him or her over time is one of the best things you can do for your health. My goal as a connection specialist is to be the first step in navigating that process, taking the stress and anxiety out of finding a new primary care clinician, and talking through the process and answering any questions you may have so we can get you on the road to good health.

Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a primary care clinician have better overall health outcomes and save money in the long run by doing yearly preventative visits. As you begin looking for a primary care clinician, consider the following:

  • Are the office hours or location convenient?
    Some patients want to have a clinician closer to their workplace versus their home, and Affinity Health System has several convenient locations to meet your health care needs. We offer same-day appointments, extended hours during the week and also weekend hours at some of our locations.
  • What do you want in a clinician?
    I often get asked how long a particular clinician has been practicing, or what their specialty is. If you have specific needs, like treating high cholesterol, or are interested in treatments such as integrative medicine or acupuncture, keep those in mind while you search.

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How to store breast milk (Infographic)

Your biggest questions about breast milk storage are answered here:

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