By Kerri Robins
Special to the Express
Moms are a bit more comfortable giving birth now thanks to new technology at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre via a new state-of-the-art automatic Affinity 4 Birthing Bed.
The bed is a new piece of equipment being used in Lacombe to keep moms comfortable while in labour.
New mom Jada-Lynn Muncaster was happy with the bed and its ease of use in changing the position of the backrest when necessary.
“My overall labour was about seven hours, so it was nice being able to easily adjust the position of the bed when I needed to,” said Muncaster, who gave birth to son Gunner on April 21. “In fact, it only took less than a minute to change the position of the bed when it was time to deliver the baby.”
The old birthing bed had limited supports. Nurses and labour partners had to provide the additional support, which involved standing in the same position for long periods of time.
The Affinity 4 changes all that, said Wyona Sargent, acute care charge nurse at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
“The new bed is fully automatic, giving labouring moms the option of raising or lowering the backrest themselves with the push of a button. They can go from laying back or sitting upright at will.
“The freedom of movement in labour is not only critical in assisting in the birthing process, it’s just nice to move and switch positions when one position becomes too painful,” said Sargent.
And that’s important, as letting the bed do the heavy support work decreases the strain and fatigue on staff during labour. The bed also features a high quality foam memory mattress with air support. Lower back pain is common in labour, but the mattress has air pockets in areas where additional support is needed, and women can fill these pockets with air to her comfort level at the push of a button, she said.
The bed is also on locking wheels with safety side rails so, in the event of an emergency, women doesn’t have to move – staff can wheel the bed to an operating room.
The Affinity 4 Birthing Bed was made possible through donations from 120 golfers and a number of local sponsors at the 21st Annual Lacombe Hospital Charity Golf Classic last June. Hosted by the David Thompson Health Trust, $24,000 was raised through the golf tournament for the birthing bed.
Corrie Fortner, executive director for the David Thompson Health Trust, is pleased with the community support.
“It’s an extraordinary moment for every family when a new member joins them, and donors are excited to know that they are contributing in such a special way,” said Fortner.