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Non-invasive Equipment Allows New Moms in Saskatchewan to Focus More on Baby

A baby’s first movements, the opening of the eyes and the first yawn are all blissful moments that new parents want to fully experience after baby is born. After the whirlwind of childbirth, it’s an intense time of learning for both mom and baby – unless mom is experiencing painful bladder complications.

Valerie Phillips LPN using the BladderScan on a new mom

While they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the Maternal and Newborn Care Unit in Saskatoon now has its own BladderScan BVI-9400 Bladder Volume Instrument funded by the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation grants program. This new bladder scanner helps with the early detection of urinary retention for moms following birth. The bladder scanner is a non-invasive way to accurately measure bladder volume following childbirth, reducing the need for unnecessary and often frequent catheterizations for women.

“Imagine being a new mother…all you want to do is love and take care of your baby, but you are in pain,” says Julie-Smith Fehr, Registered Nurse and Maternal Services Manager. “Postpartum urinary retention, or the inability to void, is a common complication affecting 10-15 per cent of women who give birth.”

With the bladder scanner, medical staff can ensure that if urinary retention is an issue it is caught early, avoiding issues like an over distended bladder which can lead to long-term complications and can cause irreversible bladder damage. By preventing these complications, new mothers are able to focus on their babies and return home sooner.

“Following completion of a clinical assessment, if I determine that there is an over distended bladder, I can use this non-invasive equipment to scan the abdomen immediately to determine how much urine is in the bladder,” explains Registered Nurse Colleen Benson.

After baby is born, the last thing mom wants to do is worry about not being able to void. She would much rather soak in the first few moments of baby’s life without the existing discomfort of a catheter. Instead of worrying about urinary retention and long-term or irreversible bladder complications, the thought of a bladder infection likely won’t even cross her mind.

In Saskatchewan, this unit has become a paramount method in advanced care for moms after baby is born. Before January 2017, the scanner was shared among four units and had limited availability to be used on mothers. With the purchase of an additional scanner, the equipment no longer needs to move between patients and units.

Staff in the Maternal and Newborn Care Unit with the new BladderScan technology

Linda Trebish, who is also a Registered Nurse and helped to develop the teaching protocol for Clinical Nurse Educators, explained “it’s simple to use and easy to clean between patients. Since this new equipment arrived on the unit, it’s been used frequently and has prevented many catheterizations.”

While bladder complications aren’t ever top of mind for new moms, the new bladder scanner allows moms to now focus on baby’s development from day one. Now that mom is well taken care of with technology such as the BladderScan post-delivery, Saskatchewan parents can cross cranberry juice off the grocery list and stock up on baby items instead!

To support urgent maternal and pediatric equipment like the new bladder scanner, please donate today under give where needed most.

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