By Kim Walter
WINCHESTER - The Nest is now open at Winchester Medical Center.
Due to a partnership between Valley Home Care and Valley Health, the quaint baby boutique on the first floor of the North Tower offers a variety of generic and specialty items.
Angie Fishel, director of Valley Home Care, gave a quick tour of The Nest to those who attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. She said the space truly feels like its name.
"It's small, but very welcoming," she said. "We tried to use colors and pictures that really put you in the baby mood."
Fishel said friends and family of new parents can visit the shop to pick up a quick gift that can be used not only in the first few days, but the first several months, of a newborn's life. There are also items for expecting moms.
Specialty items include breastfeeding equipment and clothing, organic blankets and towels, preemie diapers, humidifiers and Moby wrap baby carriers.
Fishel said the items were important to include, especially for families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"Not all babies are born to a healthy start, and we thought it would be great to have helpful supplies that are harder to come by right here in house," she said.
Deena Lanham, executive director of Valley Health's Women and Children's Services, said doctors and nurses were involved in deciding what items to offer at The Nest.
Vendors brought their products to Winchester Medical Center so that medical professionals could look through and try them out.
"It was great, we had a bunch of doctors trying on the Moby wraps," she said.
Lanham and others working to get the boutique open also attended labor and delivery, as well as mother/baby unit meetings. She said that helped in the planning phase, as the medical professionals had a better idea of what new parents needed and were asking for while staying at the hospital.
"They know what their patients need, so we were able to come up with even more ideas," Lanham said.
However, it was also important to get staff approval of the items for safety reasons. Lanham said she wanted the supplies to go along with Valley Health's safety and education initiatives.
She said The Nest's employees are all able to answer questions about the products and were trained to be able to give demonstrations. There is also a private fitting room in The Nest, so new moms can figure out all the different ways to wear a Moby wrap, or which nursing tank top is right for them.
"And if mom or dad is really struggling with something, we have trained consultants who are just a phone call away," she said. "We don't want new parents to have to leave to get what they need for their baby ... that's the beauty of this."
She said The Nest is also a good place for "dad and siblings" to take a break, look around, and maybe find a special gift for the new mother.
Lanham said the shop should offer gift cards and possibly an online option in the future.
As for cost, Lanham said The Nest's items come in below prices found at bigger stores.
"We value our patients, and we want to make sure they are able to get what they need right away," she said. "There are so many questions and things that come up after a baby is born, so The Nest is one way we can help make that process more convenient and efficient at the same time."
For more information, go to www.valleyhealthlink.com/thenest.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org