OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is announcing a new program called TeamBirth to improve communication and care for moms and babies during labor and delivery. TeamBirth includes moms in every step of the childbirth process to prevent injuries during childbirth. 

Mercy officials point to nationwide research, showing that communication lapses between doctors themselves and doctors and patients account for nearly 90 percent of preventable injuries during labor and delivery.  TeamBirth was developed to formally include expectant mothers in the decisions about her care.

“It sounds so simple, listening to the wants and needs of our patients and including their preferences in every decision, but this new program puts a mom’s requests at the core of every decision we make,” said Dr. Chad Smith, Chief Medical Officer and obstetrician/gynecologist at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. “For example, if Mom wants an unmedicated birth experience, delayed cord clamping and to breastfeed immediately after birth, we’ll do everything we can to honor her wishes when medically appropriate.”

The process includes writing the mother’s wishes, care plan, and progress for the mother and baby on a whiteboard located in all labor and delivery, antepartum and postpartum rooms.

Nurses, physicians and lactation consultants will then follow the plan on the whiteboards, and update them as necessary.

Officials say Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is the first hospital in the metro area to implement TeamBirth, which is used in more than 16 health systems around the country, and includes more than 1,500 clinicians and more than 67,000 mothers and babies.

According to Mercy officials, TeamBirth was created by Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.