ThedaCare Celebrates First Water Birth

Riverside Medical Center Staff Deliver Two Babies by New Method

Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca now offers water birth to its full scope of obstetrical care available to patients. 

“We’re the only hospital in ThedaCare that’s offering the water birth service,” said Don Waldrop, practice administrator at ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca. “It’s a wonderful service for our campus to be able to market locally, as well as regionally, and for other ThedaCare providers to be aware of. It’s great to be able to offer this form of natural child birth to those who prefer it.”

Deborah Ferguson, a certified nurse midwife, agreed. She wrote up the proposal for the hospital to offer water birth after being approached by Joanne Telfer of Rosholt, a patient of hers six years ago when Telfer had her first child. “It’s been something I’ve been interested in for a period of time,” said Ferguson, who had taken a water birth class early in her career. “For me, it’s just another tool that I feel we can use affectively to help women accomplish their goals in childbirth.”

For her third delivery, Telfer wanted to have a water birth, which she had experienced with her second delivery with another health care provider. However, Telfer wanted to stay in Waupaca and under Ferguson’s care, if water birth was made available at RMC. “It was that important to us just because I knew the second time around how much it would help,” said Telfer, 32, who gave birth July 21 to a boy, Eliyah. “Even though Deb was an amazing midwife, we knew at that point that a water birth was something we really wanted to have.”

Ferguson said Telfer’s first water birth experience helped pave the way to try it at RMC. Another couple also opted for water birth. Meagan McGoldrick of Stevens Point gave birth to a daughter on July 25.

A water birth is takes place in the patient’s room using a special portable tub that has removable liners to ensure sanitation. The patient is in the tub and the spouse or partner can be in or outside the tub. The delivery team is outside the tub, providing support to the patient. Water birth “makes women feel much more comfortable,” said Ferguson. “If you could just see women’s faces when they get in the tub...”

Ferguson is excited water birth is provided at RMC. Patients can talk to their primary care physician about water birth. “We really want people to be thoughtful about it and not just make a decision at the end,” she said.

Riverside Medical Center is a 25-bed acute-care, critical access hospital located in Waupaca. Riverside Medical Center has previously been rated among the “100 Top Hospitals™” in the United States by Solucient, Inc. Riverside Medical Center was founded in 1955 and employs more than 300 people, making it one of the five largest employers in the area.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!