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Winchester Medical Center Offers Nationally Recognized Maternity Care

Winchester Medical Center Offers Nationally Recognized Maternity Care

Winchester Medical Center and its affiliated gynecologists and obstetricians are proud to offer compassionate care that focuses on the health and well-being of the women, mothers and babies they see.

This emphasis on maternity care has garnered national recognition. In December, WMC achieved U.S. News & World Report’s 2023–2024 designation as one of the nation’s Best Hospitals for Maternity Care for uncomplicated pregnancies.

“We provide the full range of care for any issue pregnant women and their newborns might face, including high-risk pregnancies and expectant mothers with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health conditions, as well as mothers and babies in a medical crisis,” says Leslie S. Kidd, MD, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Winchester Medical Center and a physician at Winchester Obstetrics & Gynecology. Kidd notes that WMC obstetricians refer women with significantly high-risk pregnancies, as well as newborns who need surgery, to specialists at other centers. Additionally, Shenandoah Valley Maternal Fetal Medicine, located on the WMC campus, is a practice dedicated to offering comprehensive care for women experiencing complicated and high-risk pregnancies.

WMC met certain standards to earn the Best Hospitals for Maternity Care distinction. These include a breastfeeding rate higher than the regional average, as well as rates for caesarean sections and newborn complications that are 26 and 37 percent lower, respectively, than unrecognized hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report. Just as important is WMC’s wide range of maternity services, including childbirth classes, midwives who can attend births, and private labor and delivery rooms and suites where a birth partner may stay overnight.

Labor and delivery care also reflects research-based standards for optimal outcomes. “No pregnancy is induced before 39 weeks unless there is a high-risk indication,” Dr. Kidd says. “This contributes to a low rate of neonatal complications. We also offer vaginal birth after C-section and have a high rate of success with this, eliminating a major surgery for women that leads to a better recovery after birth for mothers and for babies.”

During labor and delivery, WMC’s well-appointed birthing rooms and suites provide a comfortable, private setting with full medical support. A birth partner can stay overnight, for example, and moms can move around during labor. “We use portable baby monitors so a mother can get up and move as she likes,” Dr. Kidd says. “We try to let mothers have the birth they desire without a lot of medical intervention, while at the same time monitoring the health of mother and baby and having a safety net of medical services immediately available if needed.”

Care After Birth

For newborns with medical needs, WMC has the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). For new moms, there’s help with breastfeeding and much more. “We help new mothers prepare themselves for life with a new baby,” says Mark Leonard, MD, an obstetrician at WMC who is a partner at Valley Health Women’s Specialists. “They are not on their own.”

“All of our labor and delivery and mother-baby nurses are highly trained to help mom be successful with breastfeeding from the beginning,” Dr. Kidd says. “Not every new mom and baby can breastfeed, of course. But lactation consultants see every mother and are available once a mom and baby go back home. Breastfeeding is not always easy at first. We may encourage a new mom to stay an extra night in the hospital to get more support, and the staff helps new moms find the right position and identify when their baby is latched on properly to prevent soreness.”

Obstetricians keep tabs on the mental health and coping skills of women before and after delivery. A social worker is available to coordinate care if needed for issues like postpartum depression. “We’ve built trust and a rapport with our patients, so they are willing to tell us if they’re facing challenges after giving birth,” says Dr. Kattal, an obstetrician at WMC who partners with Dr. Leonard at Valley Health Women’s Specialists. “We can help.”