Thursday, February 21, 2008
Changes coming to Nanticoke's maternity unit

By Brenda Conaway, RN

Editor's note: Dr. Policastro has asked that we run this article about recent changes at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in place of his column. Dr. Policastro's column will resume next week.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is preparing for new and exciting changes in the Maternity Unit. Beginning March 1 we will be initiating mother-baby couplet care. This means that once the baby is born and both mother and infant are in stable condition, the baby will be encouraged to stay in the mother's room until discharge with few exceptions. One nurse per shift will assume the care of both. The time frame that this will occur will depend upon the condition of the mother-baby couple. All new mothers will be encouraged to have one support person available to assist them during their stay. There will still be a nursery available for babies requiring a higher level of care and for those whose mother desires a brief period of time to rest. We will continue to maintain a locked unit. Visiting hours will remain unchanged. General visiting hours are from 12 pm until 8 pm. The designated support person may stay the entire time. Mother-baby care has many advantages, especially for the new baby and family. -Mother-baby care allows the mother and family more quality time with the baby by allowing more of the care provided to take place in the mother's room. This include assessments, baths, hearing screens, newborn metabolic disorders screenings, medication administration, etc. This allows the mother and family more participation in the care of the baby and to be assured that the baby is receiving good care. -Babies cry less when they are close to their mother and they begin to learn to sleep through the night with less activity and light distractions as are present in hospital nurseries. -There is less of a chance of infection as babies are exposed to fewer people due to less travel through hallways and less contact with staff and other babies. -With the same nurse caring for mother and baby, there are more educational opportunities which also improves communication between the mother and the nurse forging a closer relationship between them. -Breastfeeding is more likely to be successful as the mother can learn and observe the baby's hunger cues and feed on demand which helps establish a good and lasting milk supply which results in a happy, healthy baby. Bottle fed babies will benefit because they won't have to wait to be fed if the nurse is busy caring for another baby. -Family bonding is promoted as the baby is present in the room and accessible for all to enjoy. Benefits of mother-baby care for the hospital include more efficient utilization of nursing care hours, better continuity of care for the mother-baby couple, patients that are more satisfied with their care, and a healthier community by increasing breastfeeding rates and duration. Please share this information with those you know who are expecting a special little one. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact the Maternity Unit at 629-6611 ext. 2541.

CPR classes offered at Del Tech
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) basic classes for the general public and refresher courses designed for health care professionals are available at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus. Parents, teachers, coaches and babysitters are just a few of the people who can benefit from these classes. Healthcare providers whose jobs require CPR certification can take the refresher course to meet continuing licensure requirements. Two separate sessions of CPR Heartsaver courses are offered: one teaches adult (one-rescuer) and the other infant and child techniques. Participants may sign up for either or both. For complete information about these and other prevention and wellness courses, contact Corporate and Community Programs at 854-6966.

ACS plans benefit for March 16
The Lighthouse Restaurant, located at Fisherman's Wharf, 7 Anglers Road, Lewes, is donating the restaurant's pavilion area as the site for an American Cancer Society (ACS) benefit on Sunday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Spruce Up for Spring and Summer: Caring for the Mind, Body and Soul," is the theme of the ACS Relay for Life 2008 fundraising event as vendors from across Sussex and Kent counties bring their products, information and expertise in hopes of raising contributions and awareness for cancer patients and caregivers. Paul and Mary Buchness, owners and operators of the Lighthouse Restaurant, are longtime supporters of ACS Relay for Life. The ACS Relay for Life 2008 benefit is open to the public. Along with ACS information booths, vendors offer an array of specialty products from skin care to chocolates, handbags to spring and summer houseware gifts and much more. For more information about the American Cancer Society Relay for Life 2008 benefit, contact the Ribbon Cap Club team at 302- 422-7878 or e-mail

Depression support group in Laurel
The Mental health Association in Delaware will be sponsoring a Depression Support Group in Laurel on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The meetings begin at 7 p.m. The MHA encourages anyone dealing with a depressive disorder to attend. Register in advance by calling 1-800-287-6423.
  • Peer support groups sponsored by Mental Health Association of Delaware are not intended to replace professional mental health treatment. MHA does not publish support group locations; locations are provided with registration.

  • Stroke support group
    Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer free monthly Stroke Support Group meetings designed for individuals who have survived a stroke and their families and caregivers. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. The meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and networking. Refreshments will be provided. Sheila Brant and Joan Burditt, occupational therapists at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, will facilitate the support group meetings. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, call 629-6611, ext. 5121.