The months before and after giving birth — known as the perinatal period — can be the most wonderful time in a woman’s life. They can also be some of the most stressful.
Marivic Uytengsu, a Kaiser Permanente member in Northern California, struggled with nausea and vomiting throughout her first trimester, twice needing intravenous fluids to treat her dehydration. The challenges continued after she gave birth to her daughter, Angelique. She had a difficult time getting started with breastfeeding. Because of those breastfeeding challenges, Uytengsu soon developed mastitis, an infection that can be related to cracked, sore nipples or latching problems. She also noticed that her milk supply was decreasing.
Fortunately for Uytengsu, she received her perinatal care at Kaiser Permanente, where physicians and care teams are dedicated to meeting the needs of moms throughout their maternity journey. Our medical centers are regularly recognized for outstanding maternity care by third-party organizations. Newsweek recently honored 24 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Southern California, Northern California, and Hawaii for providing safe, high-quality maternity care to moms and their babies in its Best Maternity Hospitals 2022 report.
Hospitals on Newsweek’s best list meet rigorous criteria for maternity care, including having low rates of cesarean-section and infection, and following important protocols to keep new moms and their babies safe. The award-winning hospitals are also among those highest rated for exclusive breastfeeding during the hospital stay.
“We’re proud to be recognized by Newsweek for providing exceptional maternity care,” said Kari Carlson, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and national clinical lead for women’s health. “Even if you had a relatively easy birth, you’re dealing with physical and emotional changes as you recover. Our patient-centered approach to health helps to ensure parents receive comprehensive care from our team of doctors, certified nurse-midwives, nurses, lactation consultants, and other health care professionals. That includes help addressing social and emotional challenges, as well as physical concerns.”
For Uytengsu, a secure email exchange with a pediatrician and certified lactation consultant was the turning point in her troubles.
Uytengsu was encouraged to use a breast pump to maintain and increase her milk supply — and to temporarily feed the milk to Angelique in a bottle. Soon after, Uytengsu was able to get her baby to latch on using a breastfeeding position that her pediatrician and lactation consultant taught her. It didn’t take long before Angelique was breastfeeding exclusively.
“I’m very happy and proud of myself for sticking with it,” said Uytengsu.
Learn more about maternity care at Kaiser Permanente.