By Charlotte Caldwell
SIDNEY — Wilson Health’s main campus held a Family Birth Center open house on Feb. 8 to bring awareness of their services as Upper Valley Medical Center’s (UVMC) Labor and Delivery Unit will close at the end of February.
In a press release from Premier Health about the closing of UVMC’s Labor and Delivery Unit, two of the reasons why the company made the decision were “A declining birth rate locally and outmigration of births” and “The number of births at UVMC in 2023 was about half of what it was less than a decade ago. This averages out to fewer than one delivery each day at the hospital, or approximately 325 of births at UVMC in 2023.”
According to Wilson Health Marketing and Communications Director Margo O’Leary, Wilson Health has conversely seen an uptick in births at their facility, with about 800 babies born in 2023 and about 900 to be born in 2024. Because of this, their birth center is continuing to grow and thrive. Along with the OB/GYN team on the main campus, Wilson Health also offers a Miami County OB/GYN at 1930 Prime Court in Troy under the direction of Dr. Daniel Dilworth.
Wilson Health offers services that give moms and babies options that might not be found anywhere else.
One example is the massages offered by Versailles Medical Massage which started at the hospital at the beginning of the year. Theresa Nelson of Versailles Medical Massage has been a massage therapist for 25 years and in the hospital setting for 11 years. She taught infant massage classes about 20 years ago and has been certified in infant massage since then. She and her team can do massages for moms to help manage pain during labor; give moms massages after labor; and teach moms how to massage their babies for problems like earaches, sinus congestion, constipation and gas. To hire the massage team to provide massage during labor, contact Nelson at 937-564-7424.
After birth, moms can visit the Sweet Beginnings Boutique located inside the birth center where breastfeeding mothers can get advice, purchase products, and receive assistance from certified lactation consultants.
The hospital also offers a mothers support group called “The Baby Bunch at Wilson Health” which meets once a month from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There is a guest speaker every month, and topics/activities include developmental toys, breastfeeding, and mom and baby yoga. It can also be an informal visit with staff to see how the baby is doing and to get the baby weighed. For more information, visit the Baby Bunch Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/216385311895802.
Other activities offered by the hospital include a childbirth preparation class, a breastfeeding success class, a newborn care class, and a birthing naturally class series. More information and registration are located at https://info.wilsonhealth.org/class-registration-form.
The birth center has five obstetricians, two nurse midwives, two women’s health nurse practitioners, and one physician assistant. The center is licensed for 17 moms at one time with 10 birthing suites, three observation rooms, and four recovery/post-partum rooms for C-section deliveries.
The hospital started midwifery in April of 2021 due to an increase in demand. The facility can do water births, and the only other water births in the area would be in Dayton, according to Dr. Kristi Pedler of the OB/GYN team. They can also do “vee-backs,” or a vaginal birth after cesarean section, which Pedler said is unusual for facilities of their size.
Pedler said someone would choose Wilson Health to deliver over somewhere like Miami Valley Hospital because, “It’s the family feel. We’re smaller, more personal, people who have delivered at both have said this is homey.”
“Our suites are large and spacious. It doesn’t feel like a medical facility. We have our own C-section, so if you have to have a C-section it’s right here in the birth center,” O’Leary said.
The large birthing suites also include a pull-out couch for guests; a large walk-in shower; and they are decorated to remind the patient of home with medical equipment hidden behind framed pictures and kitchen-like cabinets.
O’Leary said the birth center is open for anyone to take a tour anytime, and both OB/GYN offices are accepting new patients. For the Sidney office, call 937-498-5373, and for the Troy office, call 937-339-7982.