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Mailing Address:
The Valley Hospital
223 N. Van Dien Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Center for Holistic Birth
Creating a Positive Atmosphere for Childbirth


Valley's Center for Childbirth is now offering a hydrotherapy tub
to help expectant mothers ease labor pain. 
Click here to learn more.

Click here to view a video that highlights Valley's Center for Holistic Birth. 

Congratulations! You’re expecting a baby! Although this is a time of great joy, you may also be feeling a bit nervous about what will happen during pregnancy and childbirth. We’re sure you have a lot of questions, and we want to help you understand all of the exciting changes you and your baby are experiencing now and as the time of birth grows closer.

At The Valley Hospital’s Center for Childbirth, we believe that pregnancy and childbirth are wonderful, natural events that can be enhanced by knowing what to expect and by creating a calming atmosphere for mother and baby, both before and during childbirth. The philosophies of our Center for Holistic Birth – the only holistic birth program offered in a northern New Jersey hospital – emphasize personalized care for each mother’s unique labor and delivery. These are not new theories or ideas, but ones that have been practiced successfully and humanely for hundreds of years by midwives, nurses, doulas, and other birth attendants all over the world.

Our Center for Holistic Birth helps promote confidence in the mother and her ability to give birth, often without labor-inducing medications or other interventional treatments. Through holistic techniques – such as therapeutic touch, active listening, and the use of essential oils and other integrative healing therapies – our nurses can assist you in birthing your baby within a positive atmosphere, free from anxiety or lengthy confinement in bed. These services are all offered as part of your unique care within the Center for Childbirth at no additional charge.

We Embrace Holistic Care at Valley

Holistic nursing combines nursing practice with various integrative healing modalities, including massage, music, touch therapy, meditation, and aromatherapy. Holistic nursing also encourages nurses to take care of themselves and each other so that they can bring their best to their patients. Holistic nursing practice at Valley has helped to raise patient satisfaction scores and resulted in an award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Institute for Patient Care Research and Education.

Nurses at The Center for Childbirth, as well as patients, have enthusiastically embraced holistic nursing in many patient care units, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this program to our patients.

The Components of a Holistic Birth

Our Center for Holistic Birth is overseen by our holistic birth coordinator Heidi Z. Brenner, CNM, a certified nurse-midwife and advanced practice holistic nurse, who has more than 30 years of experience in The Center for Childbirth at The Valley Hospital. Our Center for Holistic Birth integrates many of the practices of holistic nursing now being used in several patient care units at Valley with the unique aspects of labor and delivery. All of these practices are based on research studies that have proven their benefit to mothers, babies, and the nursing staff. Research has shown that the use of holistic childbirth techniques can alleviate the need for interventions that often lead to cesarean sections, such as labor-inducing medications, epidural pain medications, or bed confinement due to continuous fetal monitoring.

Our Center for Holistic Birth includes:

  • consultations at no charge; (We like to see new mothers-to-be when they are 28 weeks pregnant. Please call 201-447-8488 a few weeks prior to set up your first appointment.)
  • informal educational discussions in some of our Valley obstetricians’ offices;
  • collaboration with our Center for Family Education to provide continuous educational classes for expectant parents from preconception through birth, including the Ultimate Birthing Experience and how a doula can enhance your holistic birthing experience;
  • attentive patient care by nurses during all phases of labor and delivery;
  • use of our hydrotherapy tub to induce relaxation;
  • childbirth with minimal use of interventions such as labor-inducing medications or lengthy periods of fetal monitoring that require you to remain confined to your bed;
  • integrative healing services that nurture the mind/body/spirit connection and enhance positive childbirth, such as therapeutic massage, essential oils, soothing music, acupressure, other complementary holistic therapies for pain management, and other services to come;
  • preparation that assists the mother in exploring the many options available during labor and delivery (e.g., other family in room, music, medication, a doula) and then choose her own personal path;
  • collaboration with our Valley obstetricians to promote prenatal education and holistic birth techniques among their patients;
  • skin-to-skin placement of baby to Mom’s chest immediately after birth to warm the baby;
  • no separation from your baby; and
  • follow-up visits by the holistic birth team after the birth.

Creating Your Birth Path

During a personal appointments with our holistic birth consultant, she will help you to outline your personal birth path. Although every labor and delivery is different and unforeseen events can happen, you can decide many of the basic options in advance, including who will be your childbirth partner, whom you want to be with you in your room while you labor, if you’d like to have the lights dimmed, and what holistic techniques you might like to integrate into your childbirth experience.

The Privilege of Assisting in Childbirth

Our Center for Holistic Birth benefits not only our new mothers and their newborns, but our labor and delivery nurses as well. Our program incorporates the holistic philosophy of Jean Watson, a nursing pioneer and our hospital theorist. Ms. Watson’s model of caring views the personal care of the expectant mother and her family as greater than the sum of the patient’s immediate physical needs. Her research has shown that when a nurse is in the room in direct communication with a patient, the nurse’s presence directly affects the mind/body/spirit of the patient in a positive or negative way. Here at The Valley Hospital, we emphasize that helping a mother and her family bring their child into the world is a blessing and a privilege and should be viewed as such by every nurse who enters a labor and delivery room. At the Center for Holistic Birth, we espouse Ms. Watson’s holistic nursing practice and the positive effects holistic nursing in our labor, delivery, and recovery rooms can bring to the mother, baby, and nurses as well.

Educating Our Nurses

More than two-thirds of our labor and delivery nurses are trained in holistic techniques and many have graduated from or are enrolled in Birchtree Integrative Healing Arts program, which teaches the art and science of holistic nursing. In addition, our holistic birth consultant offers “High-Touch, Low-Tech” in-service education to our labor and delivery nurses, which emphasizes the goals of our Center for Holistic Birth and more “hands-on” nursing care. We also work closely with the mother-baby nurses in our post-partum unit, newborn nursery, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a natural progression of this program.

Because our Center for Holistic Birth is unique in the North Jersey area, it holds great potential for nursing research. In the future our advanced practice nurses and registered nurses will engage in nursing research with a goal toward improving the care we offer in our Center for Childbirth.

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