Brookings Health System Aims to Improve New Parents' Birth Experience

Posted: 7/21/2011

Marilyn Hildreth of JM Birth Consultants instructs a class of nurses during the art of mother friendly labor support workshop held at Brookings Health System.As a part of the ongoing initiative to improve the birth experience, Brookings Health System recently hosted Marilyn Hildreth, co-founder of JM Birth Consultants, to lead a series of classes and focus groups aimed toward progressive labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care.

Hildreth, a registered nurse and the chair of the CIMS mother friendly nurse recognition program, lead Brookings Health System's birth experience focus group on July 12. Area residents received the opportunity to voice their wants and needs for a birthing facility.

"We are using the feedback to actively make changes to our labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care," said Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Hillestad. "We want to give our expectant moms and dads the best experience possible with a wide array of options focused on respecting the laboring couple."

Future birth experience focus group sessions are scheduled for August 4 and October 13, 7:00 p.m. in conference rooms A and B.

In addition, Hildreth taught a doula and labor support workshop on July 15-16 and the art of mother friendly labor support workshop for nurses on July 18-19.

"A doula is a person who provides non-medical support to women and their families during labor, childbirth and postpartum period," said Hildreth. "The workshop is an excellent way for doulas to learn the value of providing emotional and physical support to mothers during the birth process."

Local nurses who attended the mother friendly labor support workshop learned about the latest evidence-based practices in maternity care, including new and traditional pain relief techniques and standards for the normal birth process.

Brookings Health System provides full obstetrics services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home. 

For more information about Brookings Health System's full obstetrics services, go to

About Brookings Health System
Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at