First baby born in new natural birthing room

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COLUMBIA - MU Health Care’s new Low-Intervention Birthing Program welcomed its first baby on Monday Nov. 23. Deacon Markijohn was born to the first family that to use the new program.

The rooms at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital allow a natural birthing experience to happen within a hospital.

The first mom to use the new room said she enjoyed the experience, “It was fantastic,” Jill Markijohn said. Markijohn said she used the labor tub as well as the sling connected to the ceiling to start her labor.

This is Markijohn’s third child and said she wanted to try something different with this birth. “My other two kids were both induced and I really wanted to have a completely natural birth and I just felt like that would keep me on track if I went into labor on my own to not have an epidural and try out some different equipment to encourage the baby to come on its own.”

Markijohn’s husband Tim said the experience was wonderful for him as well, “The way the rooms are designed and built they make you feel like you’re in a five star resort and not a hospital so the overall setting calms and relaxes you and allows you to concentrate on the baby and the birth.”

He compared the room to that of a Disney World resort room they had previously stayed in. “Within a few minutes you totally forget you walk through the hospital to get to these rooms and to stay a few days in there it was like a vacation.”

“The goal is to provide mothers more options and control of their birth,” staff Midwife Lori Anderson told KOMU 8 News in a previous interview.

During labor Markijohn only had a midwife, labor and delivery nurse and a Douala assisting her.

“It was really a team effort and I really felt like I had a birth team and it wasn’t just they were there to do their job,” Jill Markijohn said, “[The last times] I had felt like a patient and this time I felt like I was with people who loved me and just wanted to help us.”

The recovery was also better and Markijohn said she had no pain afterwards, where with the previous children she had had pain for days.

Markijohn found out about the rooms when she was six months through her pregnancy and was hopeful the rooms would be available for her to use. The hospital had just had the ribbon cutting ceremony a few days before her due date.

“It really is world class and it’s a benefit to our system and our community,” Tim Markijohn said.

The program is available to all women who meet the low-risk pregnancy requirements.

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