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'Childbirth Services' posts

Renovated Level II Nursery Swedish Issaquah Now Open!

The Swedish Issaquah Women, Infants and Children’s team is excited to announce the opening of our Level II Nursery, helping us provide specialized, around-the-clock care to premature babies born as early as 32 weeks gestational age.

The nursery is staffed by highly skilled neonatal advance practice registered nurses, with support by neonatologists. These nurses and physicians are part of the Pediatrix Medical Group, the same group of clinicians who staff Swedish’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the First Hill campus and the special-care nurseries at Swedish’s Ballard and Edmonds campuses.

Our nursery features:

  • Six private, state-of-the-art hospital rooms offering the latest in neonatal technology and space for parents to sleep.

  • A multidisciplinary medical team trained to take care of premature newborns. The care team includes advanced practice registered nurses and physicians who specialize in neonatology, plus registered nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, care managers, dietitians, lactation consultants, child life specialists, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists and more.

  • A family-centered environment where newborns and their parents receive tender, loving support they deserve. The Robin’s Nest lounge provides families a place to relax, while staying close to their little ones.

  • A location in close proximity to other related services. The Level II Nursery is located on the second floor of the hospital near the Labor & Delivery, Post Partum and Pediatric Units.  

In  ..

Newborn screening testing in Washington

For most parents, the newborn period is a time of profound joy, incredible challenges, and LOTS of questions.  As pediatricians, some of the questions we are frequently asked are related to a simple blood test done on all infants in Washington State.  Commonly referred to as the “newborn screen” or “NBS”, “PKU”, or “newborn metabolic testing”, this test checks for several congenital disorders that are rare but can be life-threatening. 

Often parents want to know:

  • What does the test involve? The newborn screen is done by pricking the heel of the infant at around 24 hours of age, then collecting a few drops of blood onto a piece of test paper.  This is dried and then sent to the state lab, where the testing is performed.  Because some of the conditions may take several days to show up, the test is repeated at 7-14 days old (usually by your primary care doctor; it can also be done in the hospital if the baby is still there for any reason).

  • Does it hurt? The needle prick is performed by trained nurses and is done quickly.  It may feel similar to pricking your finger to test blood sugar.  And you can significantly decrease the discomfort of the quick poke by breastfeeding your baby during or immediately after the test!

  • Why do we need this? The diseases we check for are typically rare, but if undiagnosed and untreated can cause a variety of complications, including blindness, poor growth, brain damage, and even death.  The reason that testing every baby is essential is that babies with these conditions can look and act perfectly healthy even while the disease is damaging their bodies, until they get so sick they need to be hospitalized or have permanent damage.  Starting treatment as early as possible can prevent many of the complications.

  • What are you testing for? The ...

Managing pain during labor

One of the most common concerns women have during their pregnancy is how to manage pain during labor and delivery.  Labor pain may be more or less intense than you expected, or may hurt in a different way. It is hard to predict how any labor will go or how anyone will respond to pain.

Labor pain is due to contractions of the muscles of the uterus and by pressure on the cervix. This can feel like strong cramping in the abdomen, groin, and back. Some women experience pain in their sides or thighs as well. Women can also feel pressure on the bladder and bowels by the baby's head and the stretching of the birth canal and vagina. Some find the hardest part is not the contraction itself, but the fact that the contractions keep coming.  

One of the best ways to alleviate fears for women is to learn about the available strategies for coping with pain. There are both medical and non-medical tools that may be a good match for you.

While you are deciding, think about what appeals to you most. Ask your health care provider these questions:

Parent's guide to newborn testing, screening, and prevention measures

When picturing the first days of an infant’s life, what we look forward to the most is love. We express our love in so many ways: skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, swaddling and snuggling. 
 
Love also means keeping them safe. 
 
Advances in maternal-infant health are one of the greatest success stories of the 20th century, with a drop in the death rate of 99%. But some of those dangers only stay in the past through constant vigilance. Behind every screening test and preventive measure is a careful, research-driven rationale. Here are seven newborn tests, screenings, and prevention measures you should know about:
 
Vitamin K injection 
Vitamin K is vital for blood to clot properly. Newborns cannot make Vitamin K and it is poorly transferred in breast milk. Without this injection, babies are at risk for spontaneous bleeding from the umbilical cord, mucus membranes, even in the brain. Giving Vitamin K has greatly reduced this "hemorrhagic disease of the newborn," but rates are increasing as more parents refuse it. Oral Vitamin K has not been shown to prevent this potentially devastating disease. 
 
Hepatitis B vaccine
This is an anti-cancer vaccine. Before this vaccine existed, approximately 10,000 kids under age 10 contracted hepatitis B each year. Most had no known exposure to it. Kids are more likely than adults to get very sick and to have complications. Vaccination at birth has greatly reduced rates of pediatric liver cancer due to hepatitis B. 
 
Antibiotic eye ointment
This prevents bacterial eye infections. Some of these infections are associated with sexually transmitted bacteria, but not all of them are. Negative testing or a monogamous relationship does not ...

Getting healthy for pregnancy

It’s a new year and whether you are planning to start a family or expecting a return visit from the stork, it is a good idea to prepare for pregnancy. Although pregnancy is a natural process, we often have patients ask how they can best prepare their bodies for one of life’s greatest journeys.

Below are answers to a few common questions that I often receive from my patients:


What if I am taking birth control?

Depending on the type you use, you may want to stop birth control a few months in advance of planned conception. Birth control suppresses ovulation and impacts fertility. The good news is the affects of birth control do not last long. For example, we recommend that women finish a pack of birth control pills, have their next menstrual cycle and then go through one additional full cycle before attempting to conceive. During this time, it is important to use a barrier method of contraception (condoms) if you plan to engage in sexual intercourse.

An IUD (Intrauterine Device) can thin the lining of the uterus. I recommend that patients with an IUD ....

Swedish Welcomes Record 9,014 Babies in 2013

Ballard, Issaquah Hospitals set Records with More Than 1,000 Deliveries



News Release
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 13, 2014                                                  
 

Contact: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org


SEATTLE – Swedish Health Services delivered 9,014 babies across four hospitals in 2013, a record for the hospital system and an increase of 3 percent over 2012. Last year also saw a record number of births at both Swedish Ballard and Swedish Issaquah, which each surpassed 1,000 deliveries for the first time. In total, three of Swedish’s four hospitals offering childbirth services saw growth in 2013.

“We take great pride in providing Western Washington families with the very best convenience and care for their pregnancies and newborns,” said Jane Uhlir, M.D., executive director of the Women & Infants program at Swedish. “We share in the joy these families experienced last year and look forward to a lifetime of health and wellbeing for these children.”

Swedish Opens First, All-Inclusive Childbirth Resource and Education Center

Swedish announced that the Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns, a first-of-its-kind center equipped to accommodate mom, baby and a modern family’s every need, opened today. 

Shortened maternity stays, reduced family and community networks and the rising number of working moms have created a need for expanded access to comprehensive pregnancy as well as postpartum care and support services.

For the first time, parents and their families can access these care and support needs, all in one convenient, well-thought-out location—the Lytle Center. The center includes:

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