Team Birth gives moms control of childbirth experience

Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 9:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Mariella Kennedy, RN loves her job as a labor and delivery nurse in Stormont Vail’s Birthplace.

“I’m very passionate about my patients and their babies,” she said.

Kennedy and her colleagues are taking that attitude a step further with Team Birth. It puts the patients at the center of everything they do.

Melinda Theis, MSN, nurse manager at Stormont Vail’s Birthplace, says it’s an approach that goes back to basics.

“We are going to implement huddles,” Theis said. “If the patient has a request, sometimes now, the nurse might call the doctor on the phone, ask for some certain orders, then report back to the patient these are the doctor’s orders. Now, there’s not a conversation that’s going to take place without the patient being right there and involved.”

Kennedy said the change in approach could actually make things more efficient, and avoid miscommunication, especially during what’s often a stressful time.

“By doing it in front of the patient, we’re making sure that they are receiving the exact same information that we’re getting from the doctors and that we’re explaining it in a way that they can understand and making sure that every single question is answered,” Kennedy said.

In addition, patients will be greeted with a ‘menu’ of options for their experience, and fill out a planning board with their care team.

“The planning board will include for them to be able to put down their preferences, things that they wish for their birth and they might not even know there are things that they want that they do,” Theis said.

The Team Birth information will be online and in doctors’ offices, and available in both English and Spanish, so moms-to-be can plan ahead, and make the best game plan for them.

“It is important for all patients to have a voice, to have the experience they want and to have a say in everything that’s going to happen,” Theis said.

“They come in at their most vulnerable and they have to put a lot of trust into us,” Kennedy added.

The Team Birth initiative was developed through a partnership with the March of Dimes. Stormont expect to fully launch it Sunday, Oct. 1.