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Saint Joseph Mount Sterling Maternity Care Focuses on New Moms

Saint Joseph Mount Sterling Maternity Care Focuses on New Moms

August 10, 2023 Posted in: Women's Care  3 minute read time

An Experienced Team

When Roberta Butler, RN, MSN, gave birth to her daughter Julia 39 years ago, she remembers how unprepared she felt.

“Literally, they handed the baby to me and turned around and walked out,” she said.

Butler has been a nurse in the labor and delivery unit for 27 years, beginning her career at Mary Chiles Hospital and continuing through the years at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling. A lot has changed since those early days.

“There are a lot of resources out there that we can utilize that help moms be more successful and go home and not feel like they don’t know what in the world is going on,” she said.

Butler is one of six nurses in labor and delivery at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling with more than 20 years of experience. Gather a few together and you often have more than a century of experience in care for moms and babies.

“You’re not going to find that at any other hospital … no where else has that,” Butler said.

Roberta Butler, RN, MSN

Rachel Horne, RN, can attest. She’s been at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling for 23 years. Her mother, Sharon Manley, was a labor and delivery nurse at Mary Chiles Hospital. In fact, Horne worked nights on the maternity floor while her mom worked days. When Manley retired,  Horne was able to move to day shifts, which was more convenient to her with a new baby at home.

Manley was Butler’s mentor and taught her daughter a lot too. Now, the entire team is like family. The two nurses have also learned a lot through the years.

Horne said one of the biggest changes has been the addition of central monitoring. 

“Back in the old days, you would not be able to see the monitor strips which allow us to view the fetal heart rate … you couldn’t see what the patients were doing while you were charting,” she said. “There was a lot of back and forth because you couldn’t see the strips and you might have to turn it up really loud so you could hear them while caring for multiple patients.

“When we got the computerized monitoring, it was a world of difference. WE could sit and chart and monitor more than one patient at a time,” Horne said. “It’s a huge difference in safety.”

Rachel Horne

Making a Difference with Modernized Care

Horne said there are other changes that have increased safety, such as new technology and new equipment. Parents now have private rooms with more conveniences such as a mini-fridge. Newborns are staying more with their parents in the mom’s room, an important piece of the bonding process. The downside, Butler said, is that visitors can no longer see the newborns through the nursery window.

“It’s all about listening to what the mom wants and what she needs,” said Butler. “We always want to encourage rooming as much as possible, but sometimes mommy isn’t up for it and we want to support their rest too.”

That bonding time is important, Horne said, to help prepare new moms.

“We don’t want to send them home and they not have a clue,” she said. “Time in the room is helpful for bonding purposes and for mom and dad to be able to learn how do to their diaper changes and feedings, and care safely for their new bundle of joy.

“My favorite part (of the job) is laboring with the patient,” Horne said. “I just enjoy being with the moms. I enjoy educating them, helping them hold their baby for the first time. When the dads cry, it’s the best, so sweet, and I’m happy to be a good support for them.”

Living in Mount Sterling, Horne enjoys seeing the babies she has helped to deliver out in the community. “I like being a part of generations of families and I l love learning how babies turned out,” she said.

Both Butler and Horne recognize the role they play during one of the happiest times in people’s lives.

“At the end of the day, we just have to remember that this is the most important time for these mommas,” Butler said. “They have waited nine months or longer to have a baby. We are fortunate to be a part of this process with them and try to leave them with a very memorable experience.”

And while they want to help moms have the experience they want according to their birth plan, “I do have to tell them the baby is driving the bus. Sometimes the baby isn’t a team player here and we have to do what is safe for mother and baby.”

Our Women's Care team at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling is committed to making your birthing experience one you and your family will always remember.  Schedule a tour of the Birthing Center by filling out our quick form or call 859.497.5000.

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