To help expectant parents learn what to expect prior to, during and after childbirth St. Mary’s Hospital offers a four session Childbirth Education series. The classes are team taught by Sr. Janet Barnard, RN, and Lisa Halligan, RN. Barnard worked as an OB nurse while on the Gritman Medical Center nursing staff and Halligan is a certified childbirth educator and lactation consultant.
The hour long classes are alternately offered at the Kamiah Medical Clinic and in the Conference room at SMH in Cottonwood. Sessions one and three cover pregnancy and breastfeeding. They are held the first and third Thursdays in Cottonwood. Sessions two and four cover childbirth and postpartum care. They are held the second and fourth Thursdays of each month in Kamiah.
“Anyone expecting a baby is welcome to attend the free classes whether or not they plan to have their baby at our hospital,” said Barnard. “At each class we practice breathing and relaxation techniques. Every session is self-contained so parents can attend any one at any time in no particular order. We are trying to make it easy on everyone’s schedule.”
To enroll or find out what sessions are scheduled on what dates call either the Kamiah Medical Clinic, 935-2585 or SMH, 962-3251. The classes and further information can be found on their childbirth education Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SMH Childbirth Education.
Halligan moved to Cottonwood a year ago from Phoenix where she worked in OB and pediatrics. She is the mother of seven children. “I really enjoy teaching the breastfeeding component of the class, but believe all the classes are important. I’ve found that expectant parents who take the class know what to expect and this knowledge tends to decrease any discomfort,” said Halligan. “Facing the known is always better than facing the unknown.”
The physicians at St. Mary’s Hospital delivered 69 babies last year using the hospital’s birthing suite. Prenatal care and well child appointments are available at each of the SMH satellite medical clinics.
“We believe our OB staff provide supportive, family centered care in a safe and secure setting,” said Barnard. “You hope and plan for the best, but it’s nice to know we have the latest in technology to help in all situations. We consider each of our babies to be a special delivery.”