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Caring For Our Youngest Community Members

The Gunnison Valley Health Family Birth Center was renovated in the fall of 2016 to help the youngest members of our community arrive in style. With lighter rooms and a welcoming atmosphere, the new Family Birth Center is a fitting location for many in our community to get their start!

Gunnison Valley Health is recognized as a Maternal and Infant Care Quality Champion by the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative.CPCQC-Logo[1]

This designation means we have access to the most current data, best​ practices and resources available and is leading the way for the safest, healthiest outcomes for Colorado’s pregnant and postpartum people, infants, and their families.

CPCQC members benefit from access to:

  • Expert clinical and quality improvement support
  • The most current data in infant and maternal health
  • Sharing of best practices and innovations with members around the state and nationally

Coping & Pain Management Measures for Labor

  • Movement: walk around the family birth center and/or Gunnison Valley Health Campus
  • Breathing & Relaxation: ask your nurse to help you with breathing techniques.
  • The Bathtub: many women find this extremely therapeutic and relaxing during labor. Nurses will check your baby’s heart rate intermittently while you are in the tub.
  • you cannot use the tub if you are receiving Pitocin or have an epidural
  • Massage
  • Counter Pressure & Massage: focus on your back to off-set labor pains.
  • Labor Ball & Peanut Ball
  • Rocking Chair
  • Aromatherapy
  • Labor Bed: we can adjust this into many positions.
  • The Labor Dance
  • Medications for Pain:
  • Fentanyl: this is an IV narcotic. It can take the edge off contractions and help patients relax in between contractions. This medication does cross the placenta.
  • Epidural: administered by an Anesthesiologist or CRNA. The medication does not cross the placenta, and can provide complete pain control during labor.

Medications in Labor

  • IV Fluids: these help to keep patients hydrated during labor.
  • Fentanyl: this is an IV narcotic. It can take the edge off contractions and help patients relax in between contractions. This medication does cross the placenta.
  • Epidural: administered by an Anesthesiologist or CRNA. The medication does not cross the placenta, and can provide complete pain control during labor.
  • Pitocin: this medication causes uterine contractions. It can be used to strengthen uterine contractions during labor. It is also used after delivery of the placenta to keep the uterus contracted and prevent excessive post-partum bleeding.
  • Terbutaline: this medication is administered as an injection. It is sometimes given to relax the uterus and stop contractions if indicated.
  • Magnesium Sulfate: this medication is given to prevent seizures in patients with preeclampsia.
  • Tylenol: administered for headaches and/or fevers during labor.
  • Antibiotics: this is given to women who are group beta strep (GBS) positive. It can also be given if the amniotic sac has been ruptured for a prolonged period of time.
  • Lidocaine: this medication is a local anesthetic that is sometimes necessary if a patient requires repair of the perineum after delivery.

Post Cesarean Section

  • There will be discomfort because you have just had a major abdominal surgery.
  • Pain is typically felt in the area of the incision. The nurses will help you to move and provide you with tips on how to make moving and doing your daily activities less painful and more manageable.
  • Within 8 hours after surgery, the nurses will assist you to the edge of the bed to dangle your legs. At around 12 hours after surgery, the nurse will help get you out of bed and walk around the room. By the next day, it is important to be out of bed and ambulating around your room and the unit frequently.
  • A foley catheter will be in place to empty your bladder for up to 12hrs after surgery.
  • Your doctor and nurse will work together with you to most effectively address your pain.
  • Before you go home, your doctor will provide you with a prescription for pain medications. The nursing staff will educate you on the medications, dosages and frequency.

Infant Care at the Hospital

  • Skin to skin after delivery and there-after to promote bonding and breastfeeding.
  • Bath (immersion or sponge bath) after the first 8hrs of birth.
  • Safe sleeping with baby on his back in bassinet or crib.
  • Feeding approximately every 2-3hrs or on demand (hunger cues such as rooting, hands to face)
  • Elimination of urine and stool (meconium stool)
    • Meconium stool is dark and sticky. Stools become more frequent and lighter in color by day 3-4.
    • Change the diaper as soon as it becomes wet or soiled to prevent diaper rash
  • Daily weight to monitor for weight loss.
  • Daily bilirubin check with bili-meter to monitor for jaundice.

GVH Maternity Resources

NEWBORN FOLLOW-UP CLINIC: The Newborn Follow-up Clinic is scheduled 24 to 48 hours after discharge. The follow-up takes place at the hospital and includes a weight check, jaundice check, repeat hearing screening (if needed) and breastfeeding assessment. The breastfeeding assessment involves weighing the baby before and after a feeding. Mom can then know how much baby is consuming each feeding. New parent questions are answered and follow-up recommendations given. A complete lactation assessment can also be scheduled if desired. Occasionally a physician may request a jaundice meter or weight check on your baby. This can be done at the hospital.

NEWBORN HEARING SCREENINGS: Gunnison Valley Health has a newborn hearing-screening program. All infants can receive a hearing test within a few days of birth. If hearing is a problem, it should be addressed immediately. The test usually takes two-five minutes and does not hurt the baby.

NURSE- FAMILY PARTNERSHIP: This program is recommended for first-time mothers. It is best to start during pregnancy but can be commenced up to four weeks after giving birth. This is a two year program and involves home visits from a public health nurse


Learn More About Support for New Parents

For more information, call the Gunnison Valley Health Family Birth Center at 970-641-7221.

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