Hallmark Health System enhancing the birthing experience for local moms

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital (MWH) is leading the way in enhancing the birthing experience for mothers by becoming one of the first hospitals in the state to introduce family-centered caesarean births. Patient and physician feedback has shown that mothers who give birth via caesarean section, or C-section, have a very different experience than women who have natural births. Family-centered caesarean births include the use of clear surgical drapes that allow mothers to see their baby being born and to see and better communicate with their physician. Other aspects of Family centered C-section include the facilitation of early skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby and delaying routine procedures until after first breastfeeding.

Erin Friedrich, of Saugus, felt she missed out on the birth of her first child two years ago. Due to complications she was rushed in for an emergency C-section and was not awake when her daughter Keira was born. Though Friedrich was thrilled with her first baby, she was disappointed that she had not felt a part of the birth process and hoped things would be different when she had her second child. Thanks to MWH they were!

Friedrich had read about family-centered caesarean births and introduced the idea to her OB/GYN Daniel Witkowski, MD, who embraced it immediately and made the proper arrangements to follow the new approach for Friedrich’s C-section. On May 24, 2013, Friedrich’s daughter Madeleine was born and she got to experience every second of it.

“Being able to see our daughter being born was absolutely amazing,” she said. “I have never experienced anything like it in my life. It was such a rush. I joked with my husband that we have to have another baby just to experience that feeling again.”

For more than 100 years, MWH has offered the region the very best in maternal and newborn services including a Level II Special Care Nursery, which provides a higher level of intensive care for babies having medical problems at birth. Our expert team of physicians, nurses, lactation consultants, social workers and others work closely with new mothers and their families to ensure they get off to the best possible start on their journey as new parents. MWH is also a Baby-Friendly® birth facility, a prestigious international recognition from Baby-Friendly® USA, which recognizes hospitals that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

For more information about HHS, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.

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