New Laborist Program at area hospital

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a couple's life. Even so, the thought of the actually delivery, especially for first time mom and dads can be scary.

Now Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center has taken a step to make a smooth delivery by becoming the first hospital in the area to offer a Laborist Program.

What is that you are probably asking? I'll show you what that means for mom, dad and baby in a special Medical Moment Just Before Six.

When you hear a lullaby at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center that means another little bundle of joy has entered the world.

At St. Joseph the Family Birthplace is offering a new program. A joint effort with OB/GYN Associates of Northern Indiana means there is now an OB/GYN doctor on site throughout the night and on weekends for laboring moms.

Dr. Tracy Swetz Byrne is one of four doctors who rotates at the Family Birthplace and says it's a growing trend nationwide because babies don't always wait for doctors.

“When everything goes well, 99 percent of the time and the one percent of the time when something can go wrong, when you need someone around quickly and that's the bonus of having us present,” says Dr. Tracy Swetz Byrne, M.D., FACOG, of the OB/GYN Associates of Northern Indiana.

In fact if a mom is laboring in the middle of the night a doctor is sleeping just doors down and makes the rounds as needed.

“The room we stay in is about two or three doors down,” says Dr. Byrne.

The emergency room, triage, labor and delivery rooms and OR, if needed, are all on the same floor.

Stacy and Russ Gelow of New Carlisle just became parents for the second time. When they came to the hospital late at night Stacy was admitted to the Family Birthplace but then got to go home and sleep in her own bed because the doctor on staff knew she wasn't going to deliver anytime soon.

“It was great, it was reassuring because he was my doctor and he was able to make that judgment,” says Stacy Gelow. “I had an appointment the next morning, a regular scheduled OB/GYN visit, they checked me and said, you're going right back to the hospital.”

“I felt pretty comfortable,” said Ross Gelow. “I mean they were there right on the spot whenever we needed them.”

Dr. Bryne says even patients who do not use OB/GYN associates benefit from the new Laborist Program at the medical center.

“Other patients where we have had to step in because their doctor's coming or if there is an emergency have been very thankful that there is a doctor here in house,” says Dr. Bryne. “The nurses love it. I just think it's been a win win.”

That care continues the next day when Dr. Bryne visits Stacy, Russ and little Zeke to make sure it's okay to go home.

Zeke's Pediatrician, Dr. Hendrica Sisk stops to give him a last look.

With a clean bill of health for both Stacy and Zeke the Gelow's get to go home, having had a positive experience at the family birthplace and looking forward to introducing Zeke to his big brother Aidan.

Doctor Byrne says the overnight and weekend Laborist Program has gone so well that they hope to have the program running 24-7 by August.

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