Providing excellent—and safe—care for mom and baby
Written by Laura Roe Stevens
Marina Pelzl, RN, spontaneously went into labor on May 21 at her home in
Lakewood. While there were hospitals closer to home, the labor and delivery
nurse says, “We knew going to Torrance Memorial was worth the drive.”
And that’s due to the excellent services and programs offered by
Torrance Memorial’s Maternal Services—providing unparalleled
care for mom and baby. With a Baby-Friendly facility certification, Torrance
Memorial not only advocates and supports breastfeeding but also provides
safe-sleep protocol training for families. In fact, Torrance Memorial
recently became the only certified Safe Sleep hospital in Los Angeles
County, via a program created by Cribs for Kids®.
And those are just a few reasons to choose Torrance Memorial as a place
to give birth, according to Pelzl. From prepared childbirth to new baby
care classes and a state-of-the-art breastfeeding clinic—as well
as private labor and delivery suites, birth navigators, couplet care,
CertaScan baby footprint offerings and afternoon quiet time—no hospital
in the South Bay can compare.
But according to Pelzl and her husband, Ryan, safety was their highest
priority during these uncertain times. And every department within Torrance
Memorial exceeded her expectations.
“When we pulled up, everyone had masks and gloves on, and that was
reassuring because when you’re pregnant, everywhere you look and
turn, you worry about being exposed. Walking in and seeing everyone was
taking it very seriously was reassuring. Labor and delivery unit [employees]
had their shields on too. All staff were covered and protected. I did
not feel concerned in any way,” Pelzl says.
Pelzl, who works in labor and delivery, says she saw the department with
a completely different perspective. “It’s completely different
being on the other end. It’s so different being the patient—especially
during the pandemic. I never felt like my safety was compromised at all.
They’re taking it incredibly seriously.”
All the safety protocols, however, do not compromise comfort within the
newly- renovated, plush maternity ward. Currently, no family members or
friends are allowed to visit, but a designated partner may stay in the
private room. In fact, he/she is provided with a bed and all meals, in
order to lessen the chance of exposure from trips out or food deliveries in.
“I brought my own birthing ball, and they were fine with that as
long as it stayed in my room. They fed my partner, and it was really good.
My husband was happy to be stuck in the room,” she says with a laugh.
Pelzl highly praised the baby advent nurses who encouraged more skin-to-skin
contact after birth, helping mom and baby achieve a good first breastfeeding
experience. Pelzl also had a lactation consultation when she needed assistance
getting her newborn to latch on.
Baby Luke, born at 9 pounds, 1.5 ounces and 20.5 inches, has no issues
with breastfeeding now—he has gained 3 pounds in one month! “I
had a lactation consultant see me after delivery. She showed me how to
coax him (Luke) to bring his bottom lip out and bring his jaw forward
in order to latch on. Clearly, he’s got the hang of it!”
For new moms who require a lactation consultation upon leaving the hospital,
rest assured Torrance Memorial’s Breastfeeding Clinic is still open.
A board-certified lactation consultant will weigh your baby and answer
any questions regarding breastfeeding, latching on, positioning and problem-solving,
says Leah Romine, RNC-OB, MSN, clinical director of Maternal Child Health
Services at Torrance Memorial.
Lactation consultants—who wear gloves and masks—also create
individual plans to specifically help you and your baby moving forward.
The clinic is open Mondays and Saturdays with preregistration necessary.
Cost is $30.
Safety protocols require moms to arrive with masks on. “They [moms]
will be screened before being allowed to proceed to the classroom. Class
size has been reduced in order to maintain social distancing,” says
Catherine Hargrove, Torrance Memorial manager of health education.
Torrance Memorial is committed to providing excellent and safe care for
new moms and babies during this time—and always!
Torrance Memorial's Virtual Prenatal & Baby Care Class Offerings
During these unprecedented times, expecting and new moms need more support
than ever before. That’s why high-quality maternal service programs
and classes at Torrance Memorial Medical Center are being offered virtually.
Following is a list of current courses and services of interest to expecting
parents and new mothers. To enroll in all classes, please call Health
Education at 310-517-4711.
Prepared Childbirth Class: Taught by a certified childbirth instructor, this course includes the physiology
of labor and childbirth, breathing techniques and exercises to make delivery
easier. The importance of the coach’s role as an active participant
in childbirth is also stressed.
Prenatal Breastfeeding Class: “The class was super helpful, as Susan gave us a lot of information
about what to expect when breastfeeding for the first time. She shared
the pitfalls she’s seen through research and her own experience
too,” says Rachel, an expecting mom who attended a course taught
by instructor Susan Orr in March. “We gained a lot of insight about
what to do and what not to do. I would definitely recommend it to all
Newborn Baby Care Classes: This popular class for first-time parents covers baby care basics from
swaddling to proper sleep routines, feeding schedules and bathing.
Baby Steps Maternity Virtual Tour: All in-person walking tours of the Family Birth Center have been cancelled.
You can, however, explore the beautiful, renovated maternity center virtually.
Labor and delivery nurses provide a virtual preview of the labor, delivery
and mother-baby areas of the hospital. You will also learn about the many
safety protocols and increased comfort offerings. To see a tour of the
maternity ward and state-of-the-art Level 3 NICU facility, please go to: