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Joyous lullaby signals a baby’s arrival

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The standard overhead speaker announcements at Bothwell Regional Health Center include stroke codes, trauma alerts and call requests. As of Sept. 24, a soothing melody has been added to the mix.

That’s the day that Hunter Lee Hays, son of Savannah Baker and Travis Hays, was born. Baker was the first mother at Bothwell to “push the button” that played Johannes Brahms’ “Lullaby” on the overhead speakers to let everyone know a new baby had been born.

“One of the nurses came in and talked to me about it,” Baker said. “We’ve had one miscarriage, so Hunter is my little rainbow baby. I think it is a cute and awesome way to say you brought life into this world.”

The idea to play a lullaby, which is a quiet, gentle song sung to send a child to sleep, was the brainchild of Hollie Dubroc, Women’s Health Center director. Dubroc approached Lauren Thiel-Payne, Bothwell Foundation executive director, for funding ideas.

“Lauren was on board with the idea,” Dubroc said. “From there, I gave a presentation to the foundation board, and they graciously agreed to fund the project costs.”

Dubroc said the process of pushing the button is simple and happens as mothers are being moved from labor and delivery to a postpartum room.

“During that transition, the nurses encourage the new mom or someone of their choice to push the button that’s by the doors on the way out of the unit,” she said. “If a baby is born overnight or during the hospital’s quiet hours, we’ll wait and have them push it the next day.”

Having a baby is a significant moment in a woman’s life and a family’s life and Dubroc said she wanted a way to let the rest of the hospital know that something special has happened.

“Every day we all hear codes on the intercom for cardiac or respiratory issues or other serious emergency situations,” she said. “It’s the nature of a hospital; there’s uncertainty, grief and sadness. We hope the lullaby helps everyone in the hospital pause and smile that a new life has just entered the world.”

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