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‘Ohh baby’ Maternity care at Madison Hospital

Just 30 minutes east of Huntsville is a hospital that is gaining attention for its quality maternity care. Madison Hospital, part of the Huntsville Hospital Health System, opened its doors to patients in February 2012 and has since made a name for itself as a community hospital consistently recognized for clinical and service excellence.

Madison Hospital is the first North Alabama hospital to earn The Baby Friendly USA certification through the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund, a designation that requires many hours of staff training, verification of policies, and an on-site assessment. The certification recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding, and offers ongoing support and resources for moms who wish to breastfeed.

“Our goal is that everyone is able to make an educated decision on infant feeding, and we provide the resources to help them make that decision,” says Renee Colquitt, CRNP, NNP-BC. As the Director of Perinatal Services, Colquitt is passionate about providing individualized care and resources for new moms, particularly during a unique season of life that brings excitement but also, at times, fear or anxiety. 

The hospital prioritizes mother-baby bonding from the moment of birth, as all mothers receive skin-to-skin time with their newborn immediately following delivery. “Everything happens in the room with mom, from the first bath to learning about feeding,” says Colquitt. The hospital’s 19 spacious postpartum rooms offer a peaceful environment for new moms to bond with their baby, and the seven labor and delivery rooms overlook the hospital’s Healing Garden.

Post-delivery, new moms can expect a visit from a certified lactation consultant; the hospital currently houses six lactation consultants who offer a wealth of information and resources for feeding options and who continue to see breastfeeding moms during the length of their stay. 

Additionally, free outpatient visits are offered to moms who struggle with breastfeeding after arriving home. The hospital also runs a well-attended breastfeeding support group with two meetings per week and about 20 moms and babies attending on average.

The family-centered care extends to the hospital’s Level 2 Special Care Nursery (SCN), which provides individualized care for preterm babies born after 32 weeks and weighing 3 pounds or more. If a higher level of care is needed, a transport is made to the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.

Madison Hospital has a close relationship with one of the area’s most popular obstetric providers. OBGYN Associates’ four board-certified obstetricians and two certified nurse midwives deliver babies exclusively at Madison Hospital. The hospital also has neonatal nurse practitioners available and ready to serve with compassion and integrity.

Colquitt has served on staff since the hospital opened 12 years ago, and she beams with pride when asked about the quality of care and services that the hospital offers. “It’s truly one of the best places I’ve ever worked,” she says. “We are very much a community here and we always have each other’s backs. It shows outwardly as well, because we know we’re responsible for the people in our community, and we don’t take that lightly.” 

When asked about her favorite part of her job, she echoes the sentiment of being able to serve — and the responsibility that it entails. “I love how we make care individualized to our patients. What mom wants, we make that happen. We have the privilege to make this unique and life changing experience really meaningful.”

To learn about Madison Hospital’s maternity care, services, and resources, visit ohhbaby.org.

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