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How Deliveries Have Changed Over the Years

How Deliveries Have Changed Over the Years

father holding newborn baby black and white

Here at Walnut Hill, our staff has been in practice for over 100 years combined. With that experience comes stories of lives changed, countless procedures, and even seeing how deliveries have changed over the years. In this video, we interview Dr. John Bertrand, who is in his 38th year of practice as an OBGYN physician, and Dr. Jane Nokleberg, who is now in her 18th year as an OBGYN physician, to discuss how things have changed and why they love their practice.

Dr. Bertrand has delivered close to 14,000 babies throughout the years. “I don’t think there’s anywhere that I go around here that I don’t see someone I’ve delivered or someone I’ve taken care of,” Dr. Bertrand says. “It’s been a long journey, but I don’t know where else in the world I could have had the same experiences that I’ve had.”

Dr. Nokleberg’s career has also been rewarding, bringing her a new appreciation for women’s health over the years. “I still love delivering babies—that part is wonderful and I think that is still what brings me the most joy, but I enjoy women’s health,” Dr. Nokleberg says. “I find menopause and what older women are going through, it’s a completely different spectrum but just as important.  To hear them say ‘oh my gosh I feel so much better’, that’s just as rewarding and exciting as delivering babies.”

How the deliveries have changed

Deliveries have changed over the years. Dr. Bertrand explains how things were when he first started: “When mom was ready to deliver, she would go to the delivery room, and wouldn’t stay in the room she had labored in. The dad would go out into the waiting room and we would then, at birth, put the baby in the isolette, and roll the baby out to the dad and say, ‘here’s your newborn’.”

Today things are much different. Women don’t leave the room they labored in, and the rooms look much like a comfortable room in your home. Also, the baby stays with the mom for the important skin to skin time for warmth and bonding. Today, women have more options to choose from when it comes to the style of delivery they prefer. “If we can guarantee that the patients are safe, if she wants to go naturally, or wants a doula, we are okay with that,” Dr. Bertrand says.

Father’s roles during delivery

Families are more involved today. The dad and other family members are present in the room and are helpful throughout the whole process. “They’re not sitting in the waiting room anymore like they used to,” Dr. Noklberg says. “We put them to work, and they’re helping with pushing and supporting a leg and doing everything along with us.”

The joys of delivery

Although some things have changed, the feeling of excitement when a baby is born hasn’t.  Both Dr. Bertrand and Dr. Nokleberg have brought so many new lives into this world, and they explain the joy they feel when hearing a baby’s first cry. Dr. Nokleberg says, “Hearing that first cry, no matter how many times, still can bring tears to the parent’s eyes and tears to our eyes too.”

“There are no two deliveries that are the same,” Dr. Bertrand says. “It’s extremely exciting to see that first choke and that first breath, that beginning of life. It’s actually addicting to be able to be with the parents, to see the tears stream from dad and mom, as they clutch and hold to their newborn. It’s a moment you bond with the family. It’s the closest to God we get when we see new life, in that first choke and that first cry.”

If you’re pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant soon, read more about our pregnancy and prenatal care and see what Walnut Hill can do for you and your baby.