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Celebratory dinner added to birth services

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Carley Norris and Tristin Goodman had plans to have a quiet steak dinner at Colton’s the night before Norris was induced to have their baby. While their new daughter had other ideas and arrived a few days early, they were still able to enjoy a steak dinner courtesy of Bothwell Regional Health Center. The dinner is a new amenity for mom and a guest served on the last night of the hospital stay. 

Norris and Goodman, of Sedalia, enjoyed dinner for two in Norris’s room at a linen-covered table complete with the ambiance of dimmed room lights, flickering artificial candles and sparkling grape juice chilling in an ice bucket. The pair said they were told about the meal when Norris was admitted and were excited to pick their entrées from a menu.

“We both selected the ribeye, and it was very good,” Norris said. “The whole setup was really nice. There was a romantic vibe. It’s worth it to stay.” 

Goodman said it was “nice to have the sit-down experience before we are busy with the baby at home and don’t have as much time.”

Last August, Bothwell began discussing the possibility of adding a celebratory dinner for patients on the last night of their hospital stay. Hollie Dubroc, Bothwell Women’s Health Center director said CEO Lori Wightman approached her first with the idea. 

“Lori thought it would be a wonderful addition to the families’ hospital stay as a celebration and thank you for choosing Bothwell,” she said. “I called other facilities to see if any were doing something similar.”

Dubroc said that while researching the idea, which was also in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Women’s Health staff was seeing a wide range of information about newborn stays that included early discharges and readmissions.

The American Pediatric Association recommends new mothers and babies stay in the hospital 48 hours after a vaginal delivery, as it decreases the likelihood of newborns needing additional hospital care. The first 24 hours after birth are critical for monitoring both the baby's and the mother's health. If women stay for less than a day, they could also be at higher risk for complications. Women should typically stay longer after C-sections since they have to recover from major surgery. 

“The idea really worked in tandem with a secondary goal, which is to educate patients and families about the importance of monitoring their newborn in the hospital setting,” Dubroc said. “Staying the recommended time allows our pediatric team to complete a full assessment of newborns and identify if there are any concerns like dehydration, jaundice, sepsis or feeding difficulties and ensure a successful start to breastfeeding.”

Tracey Arwood, certified nurse-midwife at Bothwell OB/GYN Associates, delivered Norris’s daughter and said that staying the maximum time allows staff to monitor both babies and moms and provide extra care.

“The extra time allows us to monitor baby for signs of illness that may not be visible at 24 hours,” she said. “In addition, the moms benefit from assistance and teaching in feeding and caring for baby. We have a lactation consultant who visits with breastfeeding moms. The nurses also assist with recovery and pain management for mom. We want our moms feeling well and ready to return to their normal routine soon after leaving the hospital.” 

Kaylee Asbury, of Sedalia, delivered her son, Kingston, at Bothwell Jan. 11. She stayed for 48 hours and was also able to enjoy the meal and the extra care from staff. 

“Bothwell is a great hospital,” she said. “The nurses were always checking on me and asking if I needed anything. The special dinner was very thoughtful. If other moms stay the recommended time, they will receive great hospitality and a delicious meal.”

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