Nikola Alex Letham, DO – VA Women’s Health – Delivering Babies

Nikola Alex Letham, DO – VA Women’s Health – Delivering Babies


(upbeat music) – I’m Dr. Nikola Alex Letham. I’m an OBGYN here in Blacksburg, Virginia. I’m with Lewis-Gale Hospital Montgomery practicing with Virginia Women’s Health. Delivering babies is a very rewarding, exciting and happy time. It’s why I love my job. When I was studying medicine, it’s what ignited that
passion and makes me come to work everyday
and it’s very rewarding. Great to be a part of a wonderful team. The nurses, the other
physicians that provide support, everything that we can provide to the patient to make sure that we have a healthy mom and a healthy baby. The birthing experience is very personal. A lot of people do bring birthing plans and have an idea of what wishes they want during the birthing experience. Something that many women are wanting more frequently is natural labor. We try very hard to support them during their labor to help them with distraction techniques
and coping techniques, allow them, as long as it’s
safe for mother and baby, to move around and facilitate
that natural labor. Also at Lewis-Gale Montgomery, we’re focused on being baby-friendly. We are a baby-friendly
institution and that means we wanna keep baby with
Mom as much as possible. Things like delayed cord clamping for term neonates and pre-term neonates, skin to skin as quick as possible, as long as the baby’s healthy,
we wanna do that first. Rooming in with the
mother, so instead of going to the traditional nursery and spending all the time in the
nursery, to be with mom in her room as much as possible. There’s a lot of resources
available for women. Birthing classes, Lamaze,
hypno-birthing courses, I’ve had patients who’ve
completed hypno-birthing courses online and have
had wonderful experiences. So there’s a lot of resources
out there for patients to self teach and bring
more self awareness to what the labor process entails. It’s often very stressful for the parents, for many have never been through it before and it’s really a privilege
to be there to help them and to make sure everything goes well. Also to have the training and experience for when there are issues,
to be able to intervene and make sure that both mother and babies are doing well and that we
have excellent outcomes. Delivery’s a very exciting
time for everybody. So the patient, the
partner, family members, and we’re really happy
to have the partner there to assist with the labor process, to be there for delivery, to
be there during the c-section. We’ll have the partner sit at the head of the table with the mother
and then after the baby’s born, bring the baby over to
them and have the partner hold the baby with the mother and that way they can bond immediately
after a c-section so we do like very much to
keep the partner involved. That way, it’s an experience
for the both of them. They’re in it together for
a long time afterwards. At our practice, there are four physicians and a nurse practitioner. Most patients will see their doctor for the majority of their prenatal care. If they want to meet the other doctors, that can be arranged. We do have a rotating call
schedule where you may deliver with one of the other physicians and that is to provide
the safest environment possible for a woman to have a baby. You have a doctor on call you can dedicate to taking care of those emergencies and provide that excellent patient care. As a practice, we’re focused
on bringing comprehensive, up to date health care to
women here in Blacksburg. To bring them all the latest techniques and to keep up to date
with all the literature recommendations so that they’re getting the best care they can right here in town.

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