Women and Children’s Services

Our goal is to provide a comfortable and compassionate experience while offering a family centered approach to birth and recovery.

Preparing for your special day

Childbirth and parenting classes
 
Being prepared for a new arrival is a mental and physical challenge. Regional Health offers several classes for expectant parents to prepare for the big day and every day after.
Prenatal fitness, childbirth preparation,and breastfeeding class information can be found here. 
 
What to pack in advance for your hospital stay
  • Bathrobe, night clothes, and slippers (non-skid)
  • Makeup, brush, toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Favorite pillow (if desired)
  • Small amount of cash
  • Baby book for footprints
  • Camera/video camera
  • Your contact list
  • Advanced directives and/or living will, as desired
  • Lip balm to moisten lips
  • Clothes for going home for yourself and baby
  • Blanket for baby to go home with
  • Special items or props for professional newborn photos
  • Infant car seat - required by state law  (To learn if you qualify for assistance to acquire a car seat, contact South Dakota Department of Social Services Child Safety Seat Distribution Program or call Early Childhood Connections, 605-342-6464)
Birth preference worksheet
 
We want to honor your birth preferences to the best of our abilities, while ensuring safety for you and your baby. Our birth preferences worksheet can help guide you in choosing options for your birth experience. It is recommended that you discuss your preferences with your obstetric provider prior to your special day. Here is the link to our birth preferences worksheet.
 
Tours
 
Tours of the facility are arranged during Childbirth Preparation Classes for expectant parents. You can also call our labor and delivery unit and we will arrange a tour that day if possible.
 
Facility map
 
You may review and print the Rapid City Regional Hospital Map with frequently dialed numbers prior to your visit.

 

At the hospital

When you arrive at the hospital, in Rapid City or Spearfish, you should check in at the emergency department. Please take time to familiarize yourself with the emergency department entrance and parking before your big day arrives. 
 
Once you check in, the emergency department caregivers will call and inform us of your arrival. We will then escort you to labor and delivery and complete your registration at your bedside. Your nurse will ask you some questions that will help us assess whether you need to be admitted for labor.
Other assessments may include:
  • Monitoring your baby’s heart rate
  • Notifying the physician or midwife
  • Obtaining orders for care which can include an IV, medications, and tests

During labor

Our registered nurses are here to support your desires during your special day. We will keep you informed and provide comfort measures throughout your birthing experience. We provide peanut balls for comfort and can assist with position changes to promote labor progression. For specific birth preferences, please provide us with a copy of a birth preferences worksheet when you are admitted to the hospital for the birth of your baby.
 

Skin to skin

After delivery, we will ask if you would like to place your newborn immediately on your chest. Placing your newborn with his or her skintouching yours helps with transition to life outside the womb. We encourage skin to skin throughout your stay to promote your newborns warmth, emotional well-being, and parental bonding. Fathers are also encouraged to perform skin to skin with their newborn.

After you deliver

After you deliver, you will be able to celebrate and recover with your family in the mother/baby healing environment.  We encourage baby to remain with you throughout your stay and try to limit separation for procedures and assessments. You will have the same registered nurse for you and your newborn to provide a family centered approach to care. Our nurses have specialized training in breastfeeding, newborn, and postpartum care. 
 
Room service and celebration meal
 
Our room service provides on-order meals and snacks from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Meals are served fresh within 45 minutes after you place your order. We recognize the importance of this special family occasion and want to celebrate with you. During your stay, we offer a celebration meal for you and your support person. You may call any time during room service hours to have this special celebration meal catered.

 
Birth certificate

After you deliver, you will need to fill out the birth certificate worksheet return it to our caregivers before leaving the hospital. We will then submit it to the State Vital Statistics Office. To obtain a copy of the birth certificate after you are discharged, you may go to any registrar’s office in South Dakota or send in the appropriate paperwork that is attached to the worksheet. The birth certificate will be available from the State of South Dakota approximately two weeks after you leave the hospital.
 

Social security card

If you want your baby to have a social security card, you may request one by checking the box on the birth certificate worksheet. If you request one on the birth certificate worksheet, it will arrive in the mail approximately eight weeks after you leave the hospital.
 
Paternity affidavit
If you are single and want the father's name listed on the birth certificate, mother and father must sign an affidavit with a notary present. Both parents will be required to show photo identification. Information for this process will be explained by our caregivers and a video is available for you to view when you are admitted and/or after your baby is born.  We are able to provide the notary service free of charge during business hours.
 

Proof of birth

If you request a proof of birth, we can provide you with one before you leave the hospital. Please discuss this with our caregivers.
 

Visitation and quiet time

During your short stay with us, we encourage you to get plenty of rest and enjoy this special time with your new baby. You may want to consider asking family and friends to wait a day or two before visiting to allow for your rest and recuperation. We can support your requests to limit visitors. We will provide education, support, and comfort to help you and your baby prepare to go home.  
 

Preparing to go home

We will begin preparing for your transition to home throughout your stay to ensure you have all the information and support you need to care for you and your new baby. Discharge is based on doctor's orders and patient's condition. Many mothers and newborns are discharged 24-48 hours post-delivery. Once discharge orders have been completed from mother’s doctor and baby’s doctor, and we will be able to review the discharge instructions with you.  You will receive written discharge instructions as well as additional resources for more information and help at home.
 

Items to complete prior to leaving the hospital

  • Watch instructional video at the hospital
  • Provide a car seat for baby
  • Complete birth certificate worksheet
  • Complete paternity affidavit if applicable
  • Once baby has reached the age of 24 hours a neonatal screening test will be drawn from baby's blood

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Having a baby in need of serious medical attention is a difficult situation for families. Parents can rest assured Rapid City Regional Hospital (RCRH) is able to provide quality care for even the smallest of patients and ensure that they receive the necessary medical treatment. RCRH neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cares for approximately 350 babies a year. We are supported in part by the Children's Miracle Network (CMN). Check out our CMN Champions!
 
Through the support of the Regional Health Foundation, we are pleased to provide the NICVIEW camera system that allows parents to view their newborn 24/7 while being cared for in our NICU. The images are transmitted over a secure system and accessed through an individualized log in.
 
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Claire’s Place

Highly specialized care for newborns is provided in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As a level III healing environment, our NICU is the only of its kind in western South Dakota and has 28 beds and the ability to treat most neonatal medical problems. Every year we care for approximately 350 newborns, and most newborns admitted to our NICU are born  at Rapid City Regional Hospital. However, many newborns are transferred to us annually by our Neonatal Transport team. 

High-Risk Pregnancies

Many women with high-risk pregnancies are referred to Rapid City Regional Hospital to consult with obstetricians and neonatologists. If they are able to be delivered at Rapid City Regional Hospital, they can be immediately evaluated in the NICU. Critically ill newborns from other hospitals are frequently transferred to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Neonatal transport team  

The neonatal transport team consists of registered nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners specially trained in the stabilization, management and transport of ill and premature newborns by ambulance or airplane. The transport team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to transport your baby to the NICU at Rapid City Regional Hospital. In the instance your baby needs care unable to be provided by Rapid City Regional Hospital, the transport team will safely deliver your baby to a hospital able to provide the specialized care required by your infant.

Specialized care 

The neonatal intensive care unit is responsible for the care of premature and critically ill infants born at Rapid City Regional Hospital and at community hospitals throughout western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming, eastern Montana and northwest Nebraska.

We are able to provide:

  • Prenatal consultation for high-risk obstetrics patients
  • Attendance at high-risk deliveries
  • Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and intensive care for sick or premature newborns
  • Intensive care transport
  • Outreach education to referring hospitals in our four state regions

Specialized capabilities include

  • Ventilatory support including advanced ventilator modes
  • Neonatal neurological shunt placement
  • Nutrition management
  • Specialized cranial cooling
  • Inhaled nitric oxide therapy

Rapid City Regional Hospital is proud to offer pediatric care for children up to 16 years of age. Located on the third floor of Rapid City Regional Hospital, our 16-bed Pediatric department and 6-bed advanced care pediatrics are the only specialized pediatric units in the Black Hills region, providing care to more than 350 patients each year.The highly-qualified pediatric team at Rapid City Regional Hospital specializes in the care of children and their unique needs including:

  • Family members
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Doctors
  • Registered nurses
  • Patient care technicians/nursing assistants
  • Health unit clerks
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pediatric pharmacists
  • Laboratory staff
  • Pediatric case manager
  • Pediatric social worker
  • Lactation consultants for breastfeeding mothers
  • Dieticians
  • Chaplain
  • Assistant director of pediatrics (registered nurse)
  • Director of women's and children's services (registered nurse)
  • Unit assistant

Conditions we treat 

  • Ear, nose, and throat illness and surgery
  • Endocrine conditions including diabetes
  • Infections and immune system conditions
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach and bowel) illness and surgery
  • Neurologic (brain and spinal cord) illness and surgery
  • Oncology (cancer) follow-up treatment
  • Orthopedic (bone, muscle, and joint) injuries and surgery
  • Poisoning and drug overdose
  • Respiratory (lung) and breathing illness, including asthma and respiratory infections
  • Trauma
  • Urinary and bladder illness and surgery
  • Other medical and surgical problems

Care is provided to critically-ill infants and children in the advanced care pediatrics unit.

Visiting

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit and spend time in the family-oriented Pediatrics department at any time of the day or night.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) Who can visit my child?
Parents, caregivers, and family members are encouraged to spend as much time with their child as possible.
Sleeping chairs are available for a parent or caregiver to spend the night.
2) How will my child react to hospitalization?
How your child responds to hospitalization will depend on his or her age, development, and past experiences. How you react may also affect your child.
 
Some general guidelines are:
Always try to tell the truth. If your child asks a question, be honest with your answer. If you do not know the answer, tell your child you do not know and then ask your nurse, doctor, or other health care team member for help.

Common responses based on your child's age:

  • Infants: Infants (newborn to 12 months) are often afraid of noise and strangers. Babies usually will calm with your voice and touch. Music, infant toys, or mobiles may help distract or calm your infant.
  • Toddlers: Toddlers (1 to 3 years) are often afraid to be alone and may also be afraid of strangers, darkness, loud noises, and big machines. Tell your child that it is OK to cry but that you will be there as much as possible. Use simple terms and special words. Toddlers like special toys and blankets from home and they enjoy stories or movies to help relieve some of their fears.
  • Preschoolers: Preschoolers (3 to 5 years) may be afraid when you leave and may also be afraid of the dark, masks, and hospital equipment. Preschoolers want to know "why" things happen and will use their imaginations for answers. Be honest about tests and exams and use words that your child understands. Time "anchors" such as "after breakfast" will help explain when things will happen.
  • School-age: School-aged (6 to 12 years) children can accept being apart from you. They are afraid of body harm, pain, and the unknown. An illness or injury that makes them different from their friends causes stress. Encourage your child to ask questions. Use books and pictures to help explain the answers.
  • Adolescents: Adolescents (13 to 18 years) have concerns about being different from their peers, pain, loss of control, and the possibility of death. They want information and ask very specific questions. Answers should be complete and honest. Allow teenagers to make as many health care choices as possible.
3) What should I bring from home/what will my child have in the hospital?
  • A favorite toy or blanket can provide comfort to your child.
  • Pediatrics has a wide selection of movies for children and families to watch and each patient room has a VCR and a DVD player. Several video game players are also available along with video games.
  • Older children and adolescents may prefer to listen to music or use their cell phones with parents' permission.
  • Your child may bring food from home if OK with his or her doctors and nurses.
4) What services are available at the hospital?
  • Vending machines in the family lounge and first floor cafeteria (Rapid City Regional Hospital Map)
  • Coffee and juice for family members
  • Cafeteria open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Meal trays can be delivered to family members for $5 per meal
  • Koffee at Kerry's at the main entrance to the hospital
  • Shower areas for family members; linens are provided
  • A refrigerator is available for families
  • An ATM machine is located in the lobby
  • Wireless internet access throughout the hospital
  • Free parking
  • Parking valets are available at the main entrance

Please call with any questions or concerns you may have.

  • 605-755-8380 (pediatrics)
  • 605-755-8393 (advanced care pediatrics)

Our lactation physicians and caregivers consist of registered nurses who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). They provide education and support for parents choosing to breastfeed their infant. 

Consultant availability
The Lactation Consultants are available in the hospital:

Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Achieving IBCLC status requires specialty education and extensive practical experience working with breastfeeding mothers before taking and successfully passing a university level certification exam. Regional Health's standard of providing only lactation consultants with IBCLC status assures you the highest level of expertise available.

Breastfeeding classes:
2nd Thursday of each month - learn more

Breastfeeding supplies: learn more

Benefits of breast feeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics states in their 1997 policy statement on breastfeeding, "Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short- and long-term outcomes."

Benefits to infants:

  • Protective effects against or decreased incidence and/or severity of:
    • Diarrhea
    • Lower respiratory infections (i.e. RSV) 
    • Otitis media (middle ear infections)
    • Bacteremia (bacterial infection in the blood)
    • Botulism (a severe form of food poisoning)
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Bacterial meningitis
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis (severe bowel infection usually found in premature infants)
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    • Diabetes
    • Crohn's disease (an inflammatory bowel disease)
    • Ulcerative colitis (chronic digestive disease)
    • Lymphoma and other childhood cancers
    • Allergies
    • Metabolic diseases
    • Childhood obesity
  • Enhanced immune response to vaccines
  • Enhanced cognitive development—Higher IQ scores (an average of 8.5 points higher)
  • According to the American Dental Association, breastfed infants have fewer cavities, better jaw development, and fewer orthodontic problems later in life.

Benefits to mothers:

  • Less uterine bleeding after birth
  • Delayed resumption of ovulation and optimal child spacing
  • Provides protection against postmenopausal osteoporosis (i.e. hip fractures)
  • Decreased risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  • Promotes weight loss after birth
  • Improved glucose metabolism and reduced insulin requirements for diabetic mothers

What we provide

  • A breastfeeding course for expectant mothers
  • Instruction and support following delivery
  • Assistance for breastfeeding infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Assistance for breastfeeding mothers during any hospitalization
  • Resources and information on breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories
  • Education and support for health care providers
  • Outpatient services for breastfeeding support after discharge from the hospital

 
 
 

Our Care Providers

Steven I Benn, MD

Neonatology

Melissa Bowers, DO FAAP

Family Medicine

Heather A Brewer, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Jessica L Donner, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Stephen M Kovarik, MD

Neonatology, Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine

Stephen C Parys, MD

Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine

Kristen Prescott, MD

Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine

Brooke Renard, MD

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Tara Ulmer, MD

Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine