By Ms. Kaytrina Curtis (Army Medicine)January 16, 2019
The Thomas' was the third Family in 2019 to use the new hydrotherapy-Tub at Winn Army Community Hospital. When the Thomas' arrived at Winn ACH January 10, Tashaia was in labor, and was assigned the hydrotherapy-tub room. When asked if she would like to use the tub as she labored, Tashaia jumped at the opportunity.
The hydrotherapy tub is equipped with comfortable head rests and seating, a shower sprayer and temperature control. Although the hydrotherapy-tub is not a viable option for all moms giving birth, Tashaia fit the guidelines.
Major Shannon Renfrow, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Winn Army Community Hospital, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Stewart said certain guidelines are in place for patient safety. Moms who meet the qualifications to labor in the tub have to have had a healthy pregnancy. Patients who go into labor spontaneously, with no drug inducement or epidural; patients who do not have complications in their pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, or a patient who has never had a C-Section or uterine surgery, are good candidates for the hydrotherapy-tub.
"We have the research to support it," Renfrow said. "We have effective pain control … the research to show that it can decrease the duration of physiologic labor."
Tashaia agrees and said being in the hydrotherapy tub helped her labor to progress at a rate of comfort and timeliness that left her and Spc. Thomas enlightened. Previously, Tashaia had an epidural with their first child and she labored for 16 hours, but with Solas, she dilated from five to eight centimeters in 30 minutes.
"It progressed really fast in the tub," Tashaia said. "The temperature control, helped a lot with contractions. The contractions would come, but because the water was so warm … I really didn't notice having many contractions."
Tashaia suggests moms in labor walk as much as possible before coming to the hospital. While this natural delivery, meaning no pain management drugs, was more intense than her first, she would take having a baby naturally over receiving an epidural to manage the pain.
When she got to eight centimeters, Tashaia was moved from the tub to the bed to give birth, and an hour later Solas was born.
Specialist Thomas' advice to the support team is to have patience and be available to offer comfort.
"If you don't have much to say, then don't say nothing at all," Thomas said, "because you might say something that might make your wife mad."
In the end the Thomas' are happy they chose to have their baby at Winn.
"I recommend Winn," the Thomas' said in unison.
"I first I heard tons of horror stories making me want to actually pay to have labor outside (at another hospital)," Tashaia explained, "Which I could have paid for it, had an epidural and wouldn't have been satisfied. Instead of me taking a risk, because it is a risk either way, in coming, and having the best experience."