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Tracey Savage, RN, BSN, MS, clinical educator for the Mother Baby Units at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, along with her team, recently published their study, "Individualised, flexible postnatal care: a feasibility study for a randomized controlled trial," in BioMed Central.

According to Savage, there are "dramatic differences" in postnatal care models between Australia and the United States. This study looked at individualizing the length of hospital stay for women after childbirth by discussing their preferences and support systems a few months ahead of the expected birth date.

Through the study, Savage and her colleagues provided postpartum women home visits in conjunction with shorter hospital stays. Savage said it was difficult to change the cultural expectations and individualize the length of stay as staff were accustomed to sending most women home on day two after a vaginal birth and day four after a cesarean birth. "Generally women were appreciative of the home visits, and providing education within the home setting was certainly more applicable, especially for first time parents who had tons of questions after some time alone with their baby," said Savage.

Due to the fact that outpatient care in the United States is on the rise, Savage believes that a model like this could quickly gain popularity here. "Planning ahead allows women and families and health care providers to be prepared and organize appropriate home visits and community supports," said Savage. BioMed Central is a United Kingdom-based, for-profit scientific publisher specializing in open access journal publication.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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