The birth of your baby is an exciting time and something that you will remember for years to come. Although nearly 300 babies are delivered at Graham Hospital each year, our highly trained staff work to make each and every one special. Our extraordinary healthcare team is devoted to the care of you and your newborn and treat each delivery as though it were their own family. Our goal is to provide a safe delivery and a wonderful experience for you and your family.
Graham Medical Group
180 S. Main Street
Canton, Illinois 61520
When help from a specialist is needed, care is close by.
Alyssa Crawford, M.D.
Office Location: Canton
Breann Farr, APRN
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
Office Location: Canton & Havana
Samuel Rickerl, M.D.
Office Location: Canton
Our Team: Nurses
At Graham Hospital we have 16 specially trained registered nurses, with a passion for OB, who dedicate themselves to making your day special. Each new patient that comes through our doors is special to them. They celebrate with you, cry with you, and encourage you to keep going when you want to give up. These nurses work hand in hand with your doctor, anesthesia, laboratory, and all other areas of the hospital to make sure your stay goes smoothly. Our staff are all certified in CPR, neonatal resuscitation, and fetal monitoring to ensure you will receive the best possible care.
The OB department features a modern look that is sure to make you and your family feel at home. All rooms are private with your own personal bathroom, allowing you that intimate environment your desire during the birthing process and as you get to know your new little one. We have 2 labor and delivery rooms and 6 postpartum rooms, all with recliners suitable for sleeping should your significant other choose to stay overnight. Cordless fetal monitoring is offered so you are able to move about your room more freely.
Should you need a C-section, our surgical suite is located within the department and features an attached recovery room so you may remain close to your baby and family. Our surgical team is proud to offer the gentle C-section technique, in which you will be offered a clear drape so you can enjoy the moment your sweet bundle enters the world.
The newborn nursery is located within the department as well so you can rest easy knowing your baby is in good hands close by. We proudly support a Level II nursery, meaning at Graham Hospital we are equipped and capable of caring for infants 32 weeks gestation and greater. Should you go into labor or deliver before 32 weeks, or if you or your infant require more specialized care, our staff are trained to safely care for you and your baby until transfer to a Level III facility can occur.
Room service is offered for breakfast, lunch, and supper and your significant other may choose to receive a complimentary tray so they may remain with you. One of our friendly dining representatives will visit you personally to take your menu. Wifi is included in all rooms and can be easily accessed without a code.
Visiting hours are 8am-8pm, but special exceptions are made for those delivering between the hours of 8pm and 8am. For the safety of all of our patients the visitation guidelines for children are restricted during the active months of flu season (October-March). During this time no one under the age of 10 may visit, unless they are a sibling of the baby. Thank you for helping us keep our patients healthy.
Tours of the department are available daily by calling (309) 647-5240 extension 2376.
The safety of your baby is of the utmost importance to us, that’s why we have several measures in place to protect your newest addition. Our department is a locked unit meaning all visitors will need to communicate with a nurse prior to entry. This is done by telephone which is located just outside the door to the department. There are video cameras directed at all doors that allow entrance (or exit) from our department so visitors and outside activity can be monitored. Once inside the department all visitors are expected to sign in at the nurse’s station.When your baby is born he or she will receive a security bracelet that it placed on the ankle so they can be monitored. Our nursery is kept locked at all times to prevent unauthorized access.
While you’re here
We will provide everything you need for you and your baby, clean towels and linens, a fresh gown, 3 in 1 body wash, pads, and underwear to name a few. Please feel free to bring your own clothing, pillow, or anything else to make your stay more comfortable. We also provide diapers, wipes, formula if you desire, pacifier with your consent, clean blankets, a t-shirt, and hat for your baby to wear. Again, you are welcome to bring clothing for your baby to wear during your stay.
Before You Go
Each baby born at Graham Hospital is given a receiving blanket as well as a support bag with lots of goodies. Newborn pictures are offered with no obligation to purchase.
Car Seat Safety
At Graham Hospital we are proud to support our nurses in furthering their education to provide the best care to our patients. Currently on staff are 4 RN’s certified in child passenger
safety (CPS). These specialized nurses understand the importance of properly securing your little one and will take the time to educate you as well. While several local checkpoints are provided throughout the year, the CPS techs can also install your car seat before you take your precious cargo home from the hospital. Appointments are also accepted by calling (309) 647-5240 extension 2376.
Breastfeeding is on the rise and is rapidly becoming the popular choice of feeding method for many new mothers. While breastfeeding is a wonderful, natural part of caring for your baby, it isn’t always easy. We are here to help! Graham Hospital offers 3 lactation counselors to help you begin this beautiful journey. These caring nurses will help you feel confident and prepared to take your baby home and continue towards a healthy breastfeeding relationship with your baby. Struggling at home? Call (309) 647-5240 extension 2376 to speak with a member of our team or make an appointment with this specialized staff.
Signs of labor can be very different from one woman to another. Some of the common signs of labor include:
- Contractions: Similar to menstrual cramps felt in the lower abdomen or low back that occur at intervals of 2-10 minutes. Contractions may begin as a mild, infrequent cramp and progress to being more painful and more frequent. Early, irregular contractions will typically stop with rest and hydration. True labor contractions will continue through rest and become stronger with activity.
- Bloody show: discharge from the vagina made up of a small amount of mucus mixed with blood.
- Rupture of Membranes (water breaking): Some women will experience leaking or a gush of fluid from the vagina. Women who notice leaking fluid should go to the hospital immediately for evaluation. Labor will generally begin within a few hours of rupture of membranes, but if labor does not begin on its own the doctor may decide to induce labor as the risk of infection increases after the water has been broken for over 24 hours.
You may hear your doctor or nurse talk about the stages of labor. There are 3 stages of labor, the first of which is divided into two phases: latent and active.
- Latent labor: typically the longest phase of labor, but also the least intense. This is when your cervix makes the transition to 5 centimeters. Frequently changing positions will help labor to progress in this early stage. Many women will experience infrequent, mild contractions that aren’t painful and therefore will not realize they’re in labor.
- Active labor: begins when the cervix dilates to 6 centimeters. Contractions begin to get stronger and more frequent. The active phase is typically shorter than the latent phase.
The nurses and doctor will be checking the cervix for changes throughout the first stage.
The second stage of labor is known as the pushing stage as it begins when the cervix is fully dilated to 10 centimeters and ends when the baby is delivered. When the baby’s head becomes visible at the vaginal opening this is called crowning. The second stage can take a few seconds up to several hours. A first time mother with an epidural can push up to 3 hours.
The third stage of labor is when the placenta is delivered. This can take a few minutes up to 30 minutes. The woman may be asked to push similar to when she was pushing the baby.
Whether you choose to have a natural, medication free birth, or an epidural our staff is here to support you and make the birthing process every bit of the experience you desire. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are available 24/7 to place a labor epidural if you desire. If you don’t want an epidural, but would like pain relief our nurses will work with your doctor to ensure you can receive pain medicine through your IV. If you prefer no medicinal intervention our caring staff will assist you with position changes, relaxation, and breathing exercises to help you move through the labor process.
When it’s time to begin pushing you will be positioned in bed to best facilitate delivery, either with your legs in padded supports or held by family, nurses, or even you. As the baby makes its way out of the vagina the doctor will guide the head and shoulders to deliver the baby safely. In some cases the vaginal opening does not stretch enough to allow the head to come through, in this case the doctor will perform an episiotomy. This is a small cut through the vaginal wall and perineum (the area between the vagina and anus). This is not routine and not needed for every delivery. Once the baby is delivered the doctor will suction any mucus from his or her mouth and nose, then place the infant on your abdomen. Our physicians practice delayed cord clamping in order to facilitate additional blood flow to the baby. After the cord has stopped pulsing the doctor will clamp and cut the cord and you are welcome to hold your baby closer. While you are meeting your baby the doctor will inspect your vagina and perineum and repair any tears or cuts. You will receive a medication through your IV called Pitocin to help the uterus contract and slow the bleeding. The doctor or nurse will massage the uterus through the abdomen to prevent excessive bleeding as well. The nurse will assist you to clean up and reposition in bed for comfort. The nurses will monitor your closely for the first few hours and give pain medication if you request.
Cesarean Delivery (C-section)
For some women the baby may be surgically delivered by making an incision in the abdomen. Many C-sections are planned while others may be a result of complications in labor. The type of anesthesia will depend on your individual situation, but the team will not proceed until you are comfortable or asleep. You should not feel any discomfort until the doctor begins to deliver the baby at which time you may feel pressure or pulling. The baby will be held up for you to see then transferred to a warm crib with the nurse. Once the infant is stabilized he or she will be returned to you. Many mother’s become sleepy after delivery at which time the infant is taken to the nursery while the procedure is completed. Your significant other is welcome to accompany the infant to the nursery while you rest. Your incision will be closed with stitches then covered with a bandage. The surgical team will then transfer you to a more comfortable bed and take you next door to recovery. When you are stable and awake the nurse will bring your baby back for bonding and feeding.
Your body will go through several changes in the weeks after delivery as you try to heal and recuperate. You can expect to have bloody discharge from the vagina for several weeks. This discharge will eventually change to a brownish color and become less and less. It is normal to have postpartum bleeding for up to 6 weeks. If your bleeding become heavy, you are soaking more than one pad in an hour, or passing large clots you should call your doctor’s office.
Your vaginal area will be tender, and if you have stitches these will cause discomfort. The nurses will provide you with medications to help soothe the soreness. If you had a C-section your incision will be uncomfortable for the first week or two. Be sure to keep it clean and dry.
Cramping will continue on and off as your uterus contracts and returns to its normal size. Ibuprofen over the counter is most helpful for pain associated with cramping.
Your breasts will swell and become engorged even if you chose to bottle feed. Wear a well-supported bra and use breast pads if you begin leaking breast milk. If you are not breastfeeding, avoid extra stimulation to the breasts and use ice packs to reduce the swelling. If you are breastfeeding you can pump, or hand express, a small amount of milk to reduce the discomfort.
Your body has been through a major process so fatigue and general soreness are to be expected. Try to rest when your baby rests and pay attention to your body’s signals. You will be given a date to follow up with your doctor so he or she can make sure your body is healing appropriately.
Baby blues are common for the first few days or even a week or two. You may feel sad or cry for no reason, be moody or irritable. This is normal, but if these feelings last longer than a couple of weeks or you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby you should speak to your doctor immediately as it may be postpartum depression. Other signs of postpartum depression include:
- Feelings of guilt
- Low self esteem
- Appetite changes
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling isolated
- Low sex drive
- Poor concentration
Never feel ashamed to talk to your doctor about your feelings. Your doctor will help you decide the best treatment. Some common treatments include medication such as antidepressants, therapy, peer support or classes, stress management and relaxation techniques, or exercise.
Preeclampsia is often thought of in relation to pregnancy with delivery as a cure. What many people don’t know is it can still develop after delivery and up to 6 weeks postpartum. Some signs of postpartum preeclampsia are elevated blood pressure, abdominal pain, headache, blurry vision, and increased swelling. Preeclampsia is a serious complication and left untreated can lead to seizures, stroke, or even death. Globally, preeclampsia (or other hypertensive disorders) is the leading cause of maternal and infant illness or death. While some patients will develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, other’s may have no symptoms until after delivery.
At Graham Hospital we strive to educate all patients on this potential risk. At discharge, each patient is given a teal bracelet with the words “Me First ~ New Mom” to be worn for their first 6 weeks after delivery. These bracelets are meant to be an identifier for first responders and medical personnel so they can appropriately diagnose and treat postpartum mothers. Together, we can prevent this disease from claiming more young lives.