According to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics, maternal deaths increased during the pandemic – from 754 in 2019 to 861 in 2020. Factors contributing to the rise in deaths may be linked to COVID-19 and the hardships the pandemic placed on people giving birth, including limited access to prenatal care, increased stress and lack of family support available before and after birth.
Princeton Baptist Medical Center has a history of providing quality maternal health care and has continued to do so during these uncertain times. As hospitals face financial strains, staffing shortages and other difficult conditions fueled by the pandemic, Princeton Baptist is not only keeping the lights on but going the extra mile to make sure pregnant women and their babies are getting the best care possible. In fact, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report named Princeton Baptist as one of the best maternity care facilities in the nation in 2020 - as COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc on the nation’s health system.
The Birmingham, Alabama hospital offers a full range of maternity and women’s-care services, including delivery, gynecology and a neonatal intensive care unit. Program highlights include:
- Birth Navigator: designed to act as a personal guide for the journey to motherhood. The program makes it easy for the health care provider teams and the expectant mothers to collaborate on a plan for the months leading up to delivery day.
- Gift of Motherhood: a unique session to help expectant parents prepare for childbirth by sharing information on all possible scenarios that can occur during labor and delivery. Interventions are discussed as well as epidural anesthesia and C-section deliveries.
- Mother-Baby Couplet Care: babies can stay with moms in their rooms as opposed to going out to a nursery, so infants are with their mothers the entire time. And they receive care from the same nurse. That way the nurse has full knowledge of both patients and their needs.
- Doulas Support: woman trained to give nonmedical, emotional and physical comfort join the health care team to assist moms throughout the childbirth process.
- Breastfeeding 101: a private one-on-one session introducing expectant mothers to every aspect of the breastfeeding process. Partners and support persons are encouraged to also learn how to support breastfeeding mothers.
Despite the ongoing challenges in health care, the Princeton Baptist stays focused on providing the best possible care at every touchpoint throughout the new mother’s journey. As a result, the hospital has low rates of C-section, episiotomy and early elective deliveries.