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Levi Sky Mendez of Lansing is first baby of 2016 born at Oaklawn Hospital

MARSHALL – Oaklawn’s first baby of 2016 is Levi Sky Mendez, born at 3:24 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1. The child is the son of Luis Mendez and Amanda Esser of Lansing.

The parents and child received a celebratory gift basket from the hospital in addition to the service that families of newborns have come to expect at Oaklawn’s Birth Center.

Little Levi weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces at birth, and measured 20½  inches long, Oaklawn’s nursing staff reported.

“I had a great visit there. I drive all the way from Lansing to go to that hospital because I like it so much,” said the baby’s mother, Amanda Esser.

“All the staff is really nice, and my nurse Terri [Penney] is the best nurse I’ve ever had,” she added. “This is the second child that I’ve had there. All the nurses are really friendly, and my doctors were great.”

The hospital staff presented the family with a gift basket containing items for the child and family. Included were a hooded baby blanket, a newborn outfit and bib, a receiving blanket, a stuffed animal, a newborn hat, a gift certificate and mug from Ella’s Cafe at Oaklawn, and a gift certificate from Schuler’s Restaurant.

Oaklawn’s renovated Birth Center opened in 2012, and the number of babies that have been delivered there is expected to pass the 3,000 mark early this year.

At Oaklawn, a new mother remains in one comfortable, homelike room from labor through the time she takes her baby home. Fathers, support persons and siblings are welcome at all times, and other family members and friends may visit during normal visiting hours.

Each of the 11 private rooms for labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum care is decorated in soft colors and features a private bathroom and shower, a rocking chair and other amenities to make the mother and baby feel at ease. Some rooms have whirlpool tubs.

Direct access to the Birth Center is controlled by a computer-controlled security system, permitting staff to observe visitors visually before they may enter or leave, or lock all of the center’s doors automatically. The nursing station features a code-alert monitoring system for the electronic monitoring of each infant’s location in the center.

Experienced obstetrical nurses are always prepared to answer questions or respond to any need, and can provide information about natural relaxation, breathing techniques and pain medication. The Birth Center also offers pre-natal and childbirth education classes.

For additional information about the Birth Center and its services, go to www.oaklawnhospital.org or call (269) 789-3929.