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Thu, Nov. 14

The birth of an obstetrics nursing career

Courtesy photo<br/>Mary Ramsey, RN, holds a newborn at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.

Courtesy photo<br/>Mary Ramsey, RN, holds a newborn at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.

Ask Mary Ramsey, RN, who was the greatest influence on her career choice and she will tell you that it was the obstetrics nurse who was by her side at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) as she delivered her first child.

"I was impressed by her compassion," she said. "The birthing process is such a strong moment in life. It's one you don't forget."

Ramsey's memory of that nurse's strength and kindness culminated in an important decision for the new mother. She resolved to return to college and pursue a nursing degree. Three years after her first child's birth, Ramsey enrolled at Yavapai College to begin the courses that would earn her that degree.

Throughout nursing school, Ramsey never wavered from her goal of working with women and their labor coaches during delivery. While other nursing students researched myriad specialties, Ramsey knew she was destined for a career as an obstetrics nurse.

"I was inspired to pursue obstetric nursing," she said.

This focus no doubt helped earn Ramsey a nursing position in YRMC's Family Birthing Center following graduation. At the same time, the Ramsey family continued to grow. Four years after the birth of her first child, the Ramsey family welcomed another boy. Three years later, the family grew to include twins, a boy and a girl.

"Every multiple birth is considered a high-risk delivery," Ramsey said. "It can be scary for a woman. I try to visit every woman in labor who is delivering more than one baby. It helps to have someone who has been through it giving reinforcement and encouragement."

Ramsey also enjoys sharing information with the new parents on caring for a baby. She discusses feeding, immunizations and answers questions from the perspective of a healthcare professional and a mother of four. For mothers of twins, she has special tips on feeding and ideas for multi-tasking during those hectic early years.

"My main advice to parents of twins," she said, "is to never turn down an offer of help from family members or friends."

Ramsey introduces all new families to the First Steps and Healthy Families programs, both sponsored by YRMC's Family Resource Center. Through First Steps and Healthy Families, new families receive educational materials including a developmental calendar so they can track typical milestones for growing babies. Ramsey also encourages families to call the First Steps "warm line" to ask questions they may have about their newborn. She reminds them that the baby receives a check up at the hospital shortly after birth through First Steps. Families participating in Healthy Families are eligible for home visits until the child reaches five years old.

Ramsey is looking forward to the upcoming opening of the Women's Health Pavilion and Family Birthing Center at YRMC East. She marvels at the changes in labor and delivery since she launched her career.

"I really like the idea of the labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum taking place in a single room," she said. "All of these changes are so positive for parents. It has been a good evolution."

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