Smoothing the Way for New Families

When Westminster resident Sherri Suchan was pregnant, she looked forward to the "Golden Hour"

Kimberly Wood, RN, is one of three nurse navigators at the Birth Center.

Kimberly Wood, RN, is one of three nurse navigators at the Birth Center.

— the time immediately after birth when the doctors and nurses would retreat so that she and her husband could privately bond with their baby. She learned about the golden hour, as well as other aspects of giving birth at Lutheran Medical Center, during another critical hour—her nurse navigator appointment at Lutheran’s Birth Center.

Nurse navigator appointments are available for expectant families who have decided to deliver at Lutheran, as well as those who are still deciding on a hospital. Kimberly Wood, RN, one of three nurse navigators at the Birth Center, notes that these appointments help prepare families in multiple ways.

Setting the Stage

“We go over prenatal history and obtain insurance information so everything is already in our computer system when mothers arrive at the hospital to deliver,” she says. “We also discuss the birth plan, including preferences for anesthesia and breast-feeding, as well as any services and resources families will need before going home. For example, many mothers don’t realize that they’ll need a pediatrician before they leave, because the baby’s first appointment should be the day after they go home. We can help families make these types of decisions in a relaxed, unhurried environment.”

The appointment also includes a private tour of the Birth Center, which offers the following amenities and services:

  • Spacious private suites with full-sized whirlpool tubs, wireless internet, flat-screen TVs, DVD players and refrigerators, as well as sleeping accommodations for one family member

  • Restaurant-quality food

  • Baby’s First ride, a free program to install an infant car seat with the help of a certified child passenger safety technician

  • A Level III Neonatal intensive Care unit for infants who need specialized medical attention

On Her Terms

The navigator appointment reduced a lot of stress when my daughter was born. It was a great comfort to go in prepared and to know that everyone was on the same page.
— Sherri Suchan, New Mom

When Suchan went into labor and arrived at Lutheran, she knew what to expect. “I knew exactly where to go and what to do,” she says. “And the nurses already knew my history and my birth plan, so everything, including my epidural, happened on my terms.”

Three hours later, Suchan and her husband, Anduin, welcomed their daughter, Maela. They were able to enjoy the golden hour in the labor and delivery suite before moving to another private room in the Mother and Baby unit.


»Make an Appointment with a Nurse Navigator

To schedule an appointment with a nurse navigator, please call 303-425-2515. For more information about the Birth Center, visit