Last fall, the nonprofit group I direct, Birth Matters Williamsburg, conducted a small survey to assess local women’s opinions of maternity care at Sentara Williamsburg: what they liked, and what they would like to see changed. The results of that survey can be viewed here.
In November, I met with Sentara Williamsburg administrators to present the results and discuss options. It was a very positive meeting.
This month, I received word from Sentara about changes they have implemented in the time since we met.
While our community’s request for nurse midwives at Sentara Williamsburg has not been met, a number of positive changes have been made, including:
- a change in policy so that mothers who have had C-sections may now have their babies with them during recovery if mother and baby are both stable
- the purchase of a telemetry fetal monitoring unit so that women requiring continuous electronic fetal monitoring can be out of bed and mobile during labor
- the installation of two larger labor tubs so that women can labor in water (although I do not believe water birth will be an option)
- further education of staff on supporting birth plans and breastfeeding
All of us at Birth Matters Williamsburg are thrilled about these changes!
When any new policy is established, it can take time for the changes to become habit for the staff implementing them. If you are a mother giving birth at Sentara Williamsburg, know that these options are now official policy. If you encounter challenges in receiving care in line with these policies, **speak up** so that hospital administrators can ensure that all staff are carrying out the new policies.
Please direct any feedback — both positive and negative — about your experience at Sentara Williamsburg to Jaime Sanderson, Director of Patient Care Services. She is a kind and lovely woman who is very receptive to hearing what Williamsburg women have to say! Here is her contact information:
Director of Patient Care Services
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
100 Sentara Circle
Williamsburg, VA 23188.
Many thanks to all who provided feedback last fall — your input has made a difference in our community!
Please spread the word about these new developments at Sentara Williamsburg so that local mamas can know their new options!