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Published on July 31, 2012

Welcome Your Baby into the World with the Family Centered Maternity Care Model

 

Cameron and Kevin Pierce with son, Bradley

Cameron and Kevin Pierce with son, Bradley.

UPLAND, Pa. Nothing is more powerful than those first few moments after giving birth and welcoming your new son or daughter into the world. This is the first bonding experience you will share with your newborn baby. Having a child not only creates a new person — it creates a family.  

Crozer-Chester Medical Center is proud to offer the Family Centered Maternity Care (FCMC) Model, which provides parents with the opportunity to be more involved in the care of their newborn baby. In addition to including you in the care process of your newborn, the FCMC model also teaches and guides you to become the best parent you can be. The FCMC model’s overall goal is to minimize the separation of you and your baby and to assist and lead you on the long journey ahead to successful parenthood. 

One characteristic of the FCMC model is “skin-to-skin” contact, which enables you to hold your baby moments after he or she is born. Your baby will be with you most of the time with the same nurse caring for you and your child while in the hospital. In addition, pediatricians perform newborn examinations in your postpartum room. Rather than in the nursery, care is also provided in your postpartum room. In short, the FCMC model gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with your newborn and insight on what life with your baby will be like.  

“The main focus of the Family Centered Maternity Care Model is to always think about what is best for mom and her baby,” says Thomas Bader, M.D., chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. “What we have found is that the more time mom and baby spend together the more the baby is accustomed to being on mom’s schedule.” Instead of a nurse checking on your baby and then reporting back to you, he/she will examine your baby in your presence, talk you through each step of the care process and explain every detail. When a baby has established its sleeping and eating patterns, it helps make parents more calm and comfortable. 

“Not too long ago, we had a 17-year-old new mother with a very supportive family, but like most new mothers she was scared. After experiencing the FCMC model at Crozer she expressed that she felt more confident than when she first arrived; she thought, ‘I can do this,’ when she left the hospital,” Bader says. The longer a mother can bond with her baby, the better the outcome. The Family Centered Maternity Care Model gives parents the confidence they need to be “great.”  

When Kevin and Cameron Pierce welcomed their baby boy Bradley into the world, Crozer-Chester Medical Center had just implemented the Family Centered Maternity Care Model, and the Pierces could not have been happier. “Using the FCMC model definitely helped prepare us to take Bradley home. We all know babies don't come with an instruction manual but both Cammy and I felt this was the closest thing to a manual,” Kevin Pierce says. “Cammy was nervous about nursing, and one of our nurses took a good amount of time to make sure she was doing it correctly and that Bradley was getting enough milk,” he says. 

One of the most beneficial aspects of the FCMC model that stands out from a traditional birth is the time you actually get to spend with your newborn. “The chance to be with Bradley as much as we were really stood out to me,” Pierce says. “He wasn't immediately whisked away to the nursery. We really got to know him right away because he was with us the entire time. The time we spent with him those few days in the hospital we will never forget. Also, the education that we got in the hospital was great. Cammy and I learned so much about how to care for Bradley — from feeding him properly to bathing him. The nurses and doctors were great from the moment we entered the hospital to the moment we left.” 

After what the Pierce family described as an “awesome overall experience,” there was not a second of hesitation to recommend the Family Centered Maternity Care model and Crozer-Chester Medical Center to others. They felt confident taking baby Bradley home and knew that he was going to be just fine. “The FCMC model really fosters the family atmosphere that we will continue to have with our new family. We were so lucky to have such caring nurses and doctors who were willing to go the extra mile to help educate us on how to raise our baby,” Pierce says. 

“Giving birth is a pinnacle event in the life of a family. As a nurse providing care to both mom and baby as a couplet, I support the family as they welcome their new arrival,” says Mary Caparros, R.N., a staff nurse on the Maternity Unit at Crozer who took care of the Pierce family. “Having the baby at the bedside provides opportunities for teaching the family about their newborn. Moms that have been with us before tell me they like having the baby with them versus a central nursery. They learn to recognize and respond to their baby’s needs with the nurse reinforcing them. Whether a mom chooses breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, having the baby with them allows them to recognize and respond to their newborn’s cues for feedings. As a nurse, providing care in the mother’s room for both mom and baby allows me to respond to their needs so that they feel prepared to care for themselves and their babies when they are discharged.”  

“Family Centered Maternity Care is an attitude of care rather than a doctrine,” says Christopher Stenberg, MBCB, FAAP, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Crozer. “For families, the birth of a child is a time of creating new relationships and responsibilities; it should not be seen as a medical procedure. The outcomes we see are the promotion of early bonding between mothers and their newborns. Especially for first-time mothers it supports the establishment of breastfeeding and the confidence mothers have in handling their newborns. This takes away the anxiety that suddenly we are going it alone. FCMC allows the nurturing of the parent and infant relationship and of parenting skills in a supportive environment,” he says. 

Giving birth and starting a family is one of the greatest gifts we are given. To learn more about how we can help welcome your son or daughter into the world at Crozer or DCMH, or for a referral to an obstetrician or midwife, call 1-855-CK-BABIES (1-855-252-2243) or visit http://4ubaby.crozerkeystone.org.

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