ALAN REED | The Sun
Casey Storm of Bardwell holds daughter Heidi as their family tours Western Baptist Hospital's Childbirth Center during the Childbirth Fair on Saturday. The Storms learned about programs like the hospital's sibling class to help children become better big siblings when a new child is born into the family. Heidi, 1 expects her new sister Jenna in November.
Casey and Nathan Storm of Bardwell saw Saturday’s Childbirth Fair at Western Baptist Hospital as a chance to visit a facility they might choose to deliver their daughter, who is due in November.
“We’re new to the area and had our daughter Heidi (1) when we lived in Missouri,” Casey Storm said. “It’s nice to be able to visit a hospital, talk to the doctors and nurses and people like lactation consultants that work there.”
The Storms waited in a line that stretched around the first and second lobby of Doctors’ Office Building 2, passing a well-behaved Heidi back and forth. They met doctors and nurses who could deliver their daughter and provide health care for her as she grows, learned about car seat installation, registered for prizes and filled a bag full of baby care items given away at the booths around the lobby.
“One reason we wanted to come was to get a tour of the birthing center,” Nathan Storm said.
Casey Storm said she was impressed with the facility and staff. She added she would feel comfortable having her baby at WBH.
“The free stuff will come in very handy,” she said patting her swag bag. “We have formula, diapers, lotions, diaper cream. This is our second childbirth fair. We went to one in Missouri and it had a lot of free stuff. Both helped us learn about a lot of what is available in the communities.”
Brittany Tapp answered the Storms’ questions about child seat installation and requirements under Kentucky law. She is a certified car seat installer for the Marshall County Health Department.
“People who do safety checks see that nearly 100 percent of all seats without professional installation are installed incorrectly. We encourage everyone to go to their local fire department, police station or health department and get it checked before you put a baby in,” Tapp said.
Tapp told the Storms that most police stations, fire departments or health departments offer free professional installation. She encouraged them and all parents to call for appointments.
Neonatologist Dr. Edward O’Neill told parents such as the Storms about the hospital’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for children born needing extra health care.
“We’re here to let parents know they can stay here if a child is born prematurely or with health problems,” O’Neill said. “A lot of parents still don’t know about us, especially if they had a baby before that had to be taken to Nashville or Louisville.”
Nurse Cindy Divine talked to the Storms about classes offered to parents by the hospital.
“We have all kinds of classes on childbirth. We have relaxation from within as you go through the labor and delivery process, breastfeeding classes with our lactation consultants, sibling classes for families with siblings, grandparenting classes and a lot more,” Divine said. “People ask us about the classes and we take them on the tour of the facility.”
On the tour, parents see the rooms where they may choose to deliver a baby, the nursery, the NICU and meet with the staff in the birthing center.
“Parents see the nursery and the delivery and recovery areas,” Divine said. “It’s good to let them see because it relieves their anxieties and tensions.”