When it comes to solving problems and coming up with practical solutions, Dutch people are known to be pragmatic and clever. This enviable cultural trait is fully on display at Gelderland Valley Hospital, a regional medical facility where the obstetrics department decided to optimize their labor, delivery and postpartum procedures with a simple improvement to their maternity beds.
Like many other hospitals, the Gelderland Valley labor and delivery unit has a nursery where babies are monitored shortly after their birth. Exhausted mothers can relax for a few hours while their babies are cared for in the nursery and they get ready to be discharged within 24 hours.
In some cases, new mothers may have to stay longer at the hospital due to high blood pressure readings, cesarean deliveries, or if the birth was compromised by various health issues. When this happens, nurses usually have to carry babies back and forth from the mother’s bed to the nursery for breastfeeding and bonding.
To cut back on the shuttling of babies and to keep them closer to their mothers, the Gelderland Valley maternity came up with the brilliant concept of modifying the therapeutic beds so that the bassinets can be mounted on the sides. This simple modification extends the functionality of the bed, which can reclined forward while the baby rests on the clipped-on crib.
These clip-on cribs keep babies together with their mothers longer before they are discharged and allowed to go home; the newborns enter the nursery only once and do not return. Once again, the Dutch common sense prevailed, and now pregnant women and new mothers can share the same space at the hospital because the beds can be rolled into the delivery room and back to the ward with the cribs attached for recovery.