NMC Recognized as a Leader in Obstetrics

There are important reasons so hundreds of women each year choose to have their babies at NMC, as our team provides expectant families with supportive, personalized care and experience in a wonderful environment. This was highlighted recently when the NMC’s Family Birth Center and the team at Northwestern OB/GYN earned the prestigious international designation of being a “Baby Friendly” hospital – becoming one of only two Vermont hospitals (along with Northeastern in St. Johnsbury) to hold that honor! This comes on top of another impressive recognition announced earlier this year when NMC’s Family Birth Center achieved “Blue Distinction Plus” from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont for meeting nationally established criteria in delivering quality specialty care – with the “Plus” for doing so with cost efficiency. I am so proud of our nurses, physicians, physician assistant, and the rest of the team on the Family Birth Center and at Northwestern OB/GYN. Their tireless efforts to provide exceptional care and make NMC a wonderful place to have a baby fully deserve these high honors!

It is a joy to hear the passion that Family Birth Center Supervisor Anna Gabree, RN, has when she talks about the Baby Friendly designation. She said, ““Baby Friendly means offering an optimal level of care for mother/baby bonding and infant feeding. It is evidence-based care for newborns aligned with world-wide recommendations and it is more than breastfeeding. It means keeping families together, rooming in, encouraging skin to skin contact between baby and parents, and supporting families with breastfeeding and other feeding choices. The clinical differences for newborns and their parents of these best practices are already evident. We are finding that babies are healthier and moms have less pain. The studies support it and we are seeing it. By keeping families together and emphasizing skin to skin, babies are feeding better, they have low blood sugar less often, and they are crying less. Moms are requiring less pain medication and actually have less post-partum bleeding. Baby Friendly designation represents align our care with world-wide best standards. This focus on the patient carries over into our “gentle c-section” option for expectant moms that provides a more natural experience for the family and does not separate mom and baby during recovery. We are fortunate to have three board certified international lactation consultants on our staff and to have strong and supportive resources in our community, including the Vermont Department of Health and Franklin County Home Health Agency. They help support expectant moms during pregnancy and after the baby is born. It doesn’t matter what your feeding choice is, we support all growing families the same way the benefits of our baby friendly approach are many.”

Our community is fortunate to have an experienced, trusted team of Board Certified physicians at Northwestern OB/GYN. Dr. Leonard Temblay, Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine, and Dr. Lowrey Sullivan have cared for our community for many years and have been joined more recently by a wonderful addition to the team, Katja Von Sitas, PA. They offer an innovative approach to prenatal care through their Healthy Beginnings program, which combines traditional one-on-one visits with the provider and group-based care to help expectant moms feel more supported and connected during their pregnancy. For more information on this remarkable team, visit their practice website at https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/services/obgyn/obstetrics/

In addition to the Baby Friendly focus, Distinction Plus, and Healthy Beginnings, another

Welcoming a newborn community member is one of our happiest moments at NMC. We are so thankful that families place their trust in us to be part of this precious moment. The Baby Friendly designation and the Blue Distinction Plus honor are signs of how serious we are in our commitment to providing exceptional care in Northwestern OB/GYN and on the Family Birth Center. To learn more about our Family Birth Center, you can visit their website https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/services/family-birth-center/ , or better yet, you can call our Family Birth Center at (802) 524-1040 to have your questions answered in person and arrange a tour.

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC Chief Executive Officer