Get Ready for Baby

June 01, 2012

Starting a family is packed with joy, excitement and—let’s face it—anxiety. That’s why Providence is here to help. With a wealth of prenatal and parenting classes, quality care and special extras, Providence’s five award-winning medical centers and clinics offer the resources you and your growing family need to get off to a happy, healthy start. Here’s what you can expect.

Increase Your Baby IQ

Parents-to-be have a million questions. With a wide array of prenatal and parenting classes, Providence has answers.

“To help you prepare for your new bundle of joy, we offer childbirth, breastfeeding and baby care basics classes to help build confidence and reassurance as you begin your new role as loving parents,” says Mary Black-

Williams, director of nursing for women’s and children’s health at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, which provides prenatal classes for the entire South Bay.

In fact, whether this is your first or fifth child, Providence can help you master the ABCs of healthy childbirth and parenting.

Access to maternity tours. All five Providence medical centers offer maternity tours so parents can become familiar with the state-of-the-art delivery rooms. Additionally, hospitals in the Valley offer a Big Kids and Babies Sibling tour, which includes a walking tour of “mom’s” room and the nursery area, plus tips on safe play once baby comes home.

Breastfeeding/baby care classes. Our lactation consultants and baby care educators set you up for breastfeeding success by covering common problems and solutions inherent to breastfeeding, as well as maternal diet needs and tips for partner feedings. Baby care classes fill future parents in on the essentials: nutrition, bathing, child safety and immunizations.

Childbirth preparation and refresher courses. Sometimes called Lamaze, childbirth preparation classes help moms-to-be know what to do when labor starts and how to reduce stress during delivery. Refresher courses are available for return moms who want to brush up on the basics.

At Providence, support doesn’t stop with delivery.

Depending on where you live, you can access postpartum resources, including a Mommywise support group for new mothers and infants, infant and child CPR and even a therapist-led course designed to help couples during this enormous change. Some courses are available in Spanish..

Gain Access to Quality Care

Each month, hundreds of babies are born in Providence labor and delivery rooms. And when you’re deciding where to turn for obstetrics care, experience counts. So does having top-notch equipment. When you choose to give birth at Providence, you will find:

  • Board-certified physicians
  • Advanced monitoring and delivery capabilities
  • Lactation consultants
  • 24/7 anesthesia and neonatology
  • 24/7 access to perinatology for high-risk OB care
  • 24/7 access to chaplains

“We pride ourselves in offering a high level of expertise so we are always prepared to handle any complications associated with high-risk pregnancies,” says Lisa Little, M.D., an Ob-Gyn with Providence Tarzana Medical Center. These can include gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and hypertensive disorders, among others.

In fact, doctors and staff from all Southern California Providence medical centers meet regularly to discuss best practices in obstetrics care. “We help each other stay current and identify strategies for all the ministries to get on board,” says Dawn Hernandez, BSN, director of maternal-child health at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine congenital heart screenings for newborns. Providence Saint Joseph was the first in the

Providence family to begin to implement testing, and the program has been initiated by Debbie Camara, NNP/CNS. “We’re proactive in finding heart dysfunctions in newborns,” Hernandez says. “And we’re sharing our protocol on how to do this with the rest of the Providence hospitals.”

In addition to Providence’s highly skilled physicians, the nursing staffs also take pride in high standards, low patient ratios and clinical expertise.

“You will receive compassionate care—the best care—from Providence nurses,” says Farid Yasharpour, M.D., an Ob-Gyn with Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. The facility has earned Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services—a distinction attained by only the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide. “Our nurses are very empowered. They are very strong patient advocates,” Dr. Yasharpour says, noting that labor and delivery nurses have a patient ratio of no more than two patients per nurse.

Providence Saint Joseph, meanwhile, offers on-site review courses to help prepare nurses for certification. “This educational push for our nurses helps them be the clinical experts they should be. Research shows that certification is related to better care, and this boosts patient confidence,” Hernandez says, noting that 45 percent of Providence Saint Joseph’s labor and delivery nurses are currently certified.

And at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, nurses stay with laboring moms from labor to delivery and postpartum. “You have continuity of the same team. You don’t have one labor and delivery nurse, another nursery nurse and then a postpartum nurse,” says Deborah Cheeks, director of special care services.

Enjoy Added Amenities

In addition to excellence in care, Providence is proud to offer “extras” that set us apart.

Golden hour. Providence Saint Joseph, Providence Tarzana and Providence Holy Cross, which also holds a Baby Friendly designation, provide a “golden hour” for new parents and babies to bond without any intrusion for the first hour after delivery. “We also have lactation consultants involved with patients on a daily basis,” Dr. Yasharpour says.

Private rooms. Patients who choose Providence discover tastefully decorated private labor and delivery rooms that create a home-like setting—with ample room for both parents.

Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro offers spacious private rooms with ocean and harbor views and overnight accommodations for friends or family. Patients stay in the same room throughout labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum.

At Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance, suites include bathtubs for labor and relaxation, refrigerators and Internet access.

At Providence Tarzana, new moms receive care at the Women’s Pavilion, a stand-alone facility dedicated to women and babies. “This is not just labor and delivery. You walk in and you’re in the Women’s Pavilion, not just on another hospital floor,” Dr. Little says. Providence Tarzana’s Women’s and Children’s Services has ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation two years in a row for maternity care excellence.

Web nursery. Several of our ministries have launched online web nurseries, which allow the proud family to display their baby’s first pictures on the newborn’s own webpage.

From bells and whistles like high-tech ultrasound and in-room fetal surveillance monitoring equipment to simple comforts such as an uninterrupted first hour with your newborn, Providence is equipped to provide optimum care and comfort.

So, let the joy and excitement begin. Explore all that Providence has to offer today.