“Amazing staff. Healthy newborn and wife. … Absolute best experience in a hospital.”

 “OB and NICU teams are both fantastic!”

“Best hospital in the world. Wouldn’t trust anyone else with my babies.”

Those are just a few comments from satisfied parents who welcomed their newborns at Mease Countryside Hospital. While the hospital is known for its family-centered care and experienced team, Mease Countryside also is prepared for emergencies with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on campus. The NICU, which is the only Level III NICU in northern Pinellas and Pasco counties, offers an extra layer of support to parents when premature births or other issues arise.

“We are dedicated to our patients’ needs before, during and after pregnancy to make the transition into parenthood as smooth as possible,” said Robin Lapham, director of patient services at Mease Countryside. “We are always happy to hear from satisfied parents because our goal is to make them and their babies comfortable through our comprehensive care to meet their medical and emotional needs. We definitely want to wrap our babies in much more than blankets. We want the family to feel confident that our team of experts will work to provide the best possible birthing experience. ”

Located in Safety Harbor, Mease Countryside has been serving North Pinellas and Pasco counties since 1985. The 311-bed hospital currently has 12 labor and delivery beds and 22 Mother/Baby beds which are all in private suites. More than 2,000 babies were delivered at Mease Countryside in 2017.

The extraordinary team that provides a vast amount of medical expertise and experience and is committed to providing quality, compassionate care. Mease Countryside has a knowledgeable team of board-certified obstetricians, neonatologists, labor and delivery nurses, certified nurse midwives and Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists who are physicians that manage mostly high-risk health concerns of the mother and baby. An OB hospitalist is on campus 24 hours a day on weekdays and weekends to assist with any emergencies.

For babies who are born early, who have problems during delivery, or who develop problems while still in the hospital, the 10-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit offers a high-level of specialty newborn care.

“Our physician team of obstetricians/gynecologists, neonatologists and Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists have nearly 1,000 years of collective experience to provide expectant mothers and their babies with the utmost care,” said Hugo Perez, MD, an OB/GYN who serves as the maternity unit department chair.  “We’re ready to help support moms and their families as they welcome their new baby into the world.”

The talented staff uses the latest available technology to treat expecting mothers with care. Among the technology on hand is the Fetal Link software that allows physicians to monitor patients even while the physicians aren’t physically on the unit. Physicians are able to keep a close eye on their patients regardless of the physician’s location, providing yet another layer of comfort for expecting moms and their families.

The hospital also has a state-of-the-art pain management program to help expectant moms through labor. The expectant mother has access to nitrous oxide and water immersion, pain relief methods that allow the patient to control when she uses it during labor.

Before arriving at the hospital for the birth, Mease Countryside is offers opportunities for expectant parents to get to know what is offered at the hospital and tips on how to care for their little ones. Tours of the birth center are available so that expectant parents can see the private birthing suites and meet members of the labor and delivery team. There also are classes on child birth, breastfeeding and how to take care of your newborn. There’s even a boot camp for expectant dads that teaches how to survive the first few weeks, support the new mom and more. Parents can also have their car seat inspected for baby’s first ride home.

 

Parents who have alternative birthing plans will find Mease Countryside a welcoming environment. Water immersion births can be performed in the hospital’s birthing pool. “I was so beyond impressed with my first experience (at Mease Countryside) as a doula,” said Taylor Bland, a doula and birth assistant at Trinity Calm Birth Services. “I would happily recommend and attend many more client births here. They followed the birth plan … and the nurses were incredibly kind and reassuring to the parents and it made for a fantastic, all-natural birth for first-time parents. … If natural birth and parenting is your goal, it is very obtainable here.”

Mease Countryside services don’t just stop once the baby is born. Mease Countryside has been recognized as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for its efforts to advocate for breastfeeding. The Baby-Friendly Hospital designation is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The hospital also received the Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). The Maternity Center at Mease Countryside offers breastfeeding mothers the information, skills and support needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Breastfeeding moms can also participate in a support group to help with tips and suggestions.

For expectant mothers determined to be at high risk, Mease Countryside also has a Maternal Fetal Medicine program. Working in conjunction with physicians who specialize in perinatology, the program gives mothers the opportunity to receive advanced care while remaining in their own community.

As one of 15 hospitals that are part of BayCare, a health system with headquarters in Clearwater, Mease Countryside has been able to strengthen its commitment to advance children’s care through its partnership with St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Called St. Joseph’s Children’s at Mease Countryside Hospital, the goal of the partnership is to offer the community more access to innovative and high-tech care in a family-centered setting. Through the partnership, Mease Countryside offers pediatric emergency services and an enhanced 15-bed, private inpatient children’s unit. A child life specialist works with children and their parents to bring a sense of normalcy to the experience of hospitalization.

Although known for its expertise in labor and delivery and childcare, Mease Countryside Hospital has been recognized overall on the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. Mease Countryside is the only hospital named to the 2018 list to have achieved that honor 10 times.

“We are proud that Mease Countryside is recognized for its advanced care and medical excellence in serving our community,” said Lapham. “Our extraordinary team is here to help all patients throughout their health care journey.”

For more information on Mease Countryside, visit BayCare.org/MCH. For additional information on prenatal and postnatal services, visit MeaseCountrysideMaternity.org.