New protocols allow for enhanced recovery after delivering baby

File photo (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Nearly 4 million babies are born each year in the U.S. It’s a very joyful time for moms, but sometimes the journey to delivery is filled with difficulty. Ivanhoe has the details on a new set of protocols that is giving moms the energy to bond with their babies faster.

Brianna Edmiston’s road to motherhood was long and rocky.

“I was 41 weeks. I went a week over my due date,” Edmiston said.

She scheduled an induction and 24 laborious hours later, she was still waiting.

“I was laboring for so long. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink. I was physically exhausted,” Edmiston said.

But now a new set of protocols is changing the delivery experience. It’s called enhanced recovery after delivery, or ERAD. It provides patients guidelines before, during and after delivery, reducing anxiety and pain while promoting faster healing.

“Similar to how we prepare athletes for marathons, we provide them education on how to keep their glycemic levels high enough to sustain labor and delivery process,” explained Jennifer Southall, director of perinatal services at Baptist Health in Jacksonville.

Prior to ERAD, patients who were coming in for scheduled C-sections could not eat or drink anything eight hours before their procedure.

“Now they’re allowed to drink liquids up until three hours prior to their procedure,” said Dr. Katherine McIntyre, chair of the OB-GYN Department at Baptist Health.

If it’s a vaginal delivery, they can have clear liquids up to eight centimeters. After delivery, they’re encouraged to get out of bed and eat sooner. Edmiston’s doctor finally did a C-section and little Emmie was born. Edmiston wished she had some of the ERAD protocols in place when she gave birth.

“You wanna be present and love on your baby and have that great time, but I was just so exhausted that I didn’t really get that right away,” Edmiston said.

But even with some ups and downs, this special delivery was all worth it.

ERAD protocols are based on enhanced recovery after surgery protocols. Since one of the protocols of ERAD is working on pain management before delivery, doctors reported there has been a reduction in patients needing narcotics after delivery.