BIRTHDAY BUTTON: Birth Announcements Brighten Hospital

Bringing a baby into the world is one of life’s greatest joys. These days there are so many ways to announce the arrival to the world. Hospitals around the country are offering a way that helps more than just the new family.

Waiting for a baby is an exciting time. Dad Chris Eddy says, “It seems like a fast nine months for me. But, I don’t think that’s the opinion my wife would have.”

Wife Robyn Eddy says, “It’s been a long pregnancy with this one, so we’re just ready.”

The family is at Iowa Methodist waiting for their third bundle of joy. As they get ready to announce the arrival, down the hall, a nursery full of babies alerts staff to theirs, along with a new sound.

Methodist Maternity Unit Manager Deb Tell says, “We celebrate the birth of all babies that are born at the hospital with the push of the lullaby button.”

Nursing leadership put in the buttons at the start of the new year. The ten second song plays about ten times a day. A new dad pushed it saying, “7:04 this morning.” Then, the Rock-A-Bye Baby lullaby played.

New moms, dads or siblings press the birthday button in the maternity center, but the lullaby is played throughout the entire hospital. A nurse three floors below says, “Listen, there it goes. See, it makes it all good.”

She works on the oncology floor. It’s just three floors down, but it’s a world away from the maternity center.  Certified Nursing Assistant Michelle Warmack says, “It’s actually inspiring for us. We like to hear that because we see a lot of patients go into death. So, we don’t get to see a lot of patients come into this world. So, it kind of reminds us what we’re doing.”

It’s a simple reminder of the circle of life, as Chris Eddy shows off his beautiful baby. He tells his family, “6 pounds 10 ounces, girl, Hazel.” Then, he shares her arrival with the world. As he presses the birthday button, he says, “There we go. “ The lullaby plays as he takes his little girl to see her mom.

Tell says it didn’t cost much to install the lullaby buttons at UnityPoint’s three metro hospitals. She says the goal is to improve patient and staff satisfaction.

Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames plays Mozart’s Sonata in A every time a baby is born at Birthways. Staff members press the button there.

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