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Navy's Women's Health Clinic delivers

Little Braelon Johnson didn’t seem to have a care in the world. The nearly nine-pound newborn baby boy, snuggled in his tiny blue footie outfit with matching knit cap, snoozed contentedly in his mom’s arms while three women oohed and aahed over him.

Braelon’s mom, Nakeisha, an active duty sailor stationed with the Search and Rescue unit at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, had delivered him the day before by Caesarian section.

Bringing a new little one into the world is hard work, but the Women’s Health Clinic at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor has made the process, from start to finish, as easy as possible for new parents.

The Women’s Health Clinic covers all the bases from routine exams to prenatal care to support for new parents, all with the security and comfort that comes from getting to know one place and one staff, said the nurse manager for the clinic. Additionally, the clinic offers a wide range of services for expectant and new parents.

The staff of the clinic is made up of three certified OB/GYN doctors, nurse manager Kali McCauley, RNC, one licensed practical nurse and two certified nursing assistants. The team sees about 350 patients per month.

Having three doctors that are members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the clinic is capable of caring for even higher risk pregnancies, including twins, complicated OB issues, and previously infertile women who succeeded in getting pregnant, McCauley said. One of the doctors, Dr. Marshall Goldberg, even deals with basic infertility issues and artificial insemination.

“We can offer some specialized care,” McCauley said.

About 30 or 40 babies per month are born at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, which has three labor and delivery rooms. Labor and Delivery has one RN, one LPN and one CNA on duty at all times. An operating room is right next to Labor and Delivery, in case the need for an unexpected C-Section arises. Two certified registered nurse anesthetists and one anesthesiologist are available around the clock.

“It’s usually a really positive experience,” McCauley said.

After a routine vaginal delivery, the new mother will stay in the labor and delivery room for about an hour to recover. Then, the new family is transferred to the Maternity/Infant unit.

Falthers always welcome too

Fathers are always welcome to stay with mom and baby, and visiting hours for family and friends are “very flexible.”

“We encourage dad to stay with mom and baby, and learn baby care along with the mother,” said Lt. Linda Spencer, the department head for Inpatient Services.

McCauley’s job doesn’t stop when patients have their babies and transfer to the maternity department. She is also a lactation counselor, and she is there to assist new mothers in the art of breastfeeding. McCauley also talks to new moms about birth control, before they are discharged from the hospital.

Women who delivered naturally can stay in the hospital for two days, while women that had C-sections stay for three days.

After the new moms and babies head home, McCauley sees them again two days later so that the baby can be checked for weight gain and for jaundice. Babies come back again at two weeks for their first well baby check, and moms come back into the clinic six weeks later for a post-partum exam. Women that delivered by C-Section come in for a checkup after two weeks.

McCauley invites patients to call her with any questions or concerns, and she will direct them to people and departments that will provide the appropriate follow-up care and support.

Testing and screening for illnesses and risk-factors.

You can reach News-Times reporter Christine Smith at csmith@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611

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