Bringing a baby into the world is one of life’s most joyful events. In western North Carolina expectant parents are enjoying the amenities and enhanced safety offered by Mission Hospital McDowell’s five new state-of-the-art birthing suites.
Margaret Sullivan, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Mission Women’s Care – McDowell and service line leader of Women’s Services at Mission Hospital McDowell, explained that the roomy suites offer families a new care model. “Traditionally, families were moved from the delivery room to a hospital room after the birth. Our new suites were designed so labor and delivery, recovery and the postpartum bonding period all happen in one place, causing less disruption for new families,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Parents can also access education modules via the suites’ TVs. “Programs offer information appropriate to wherever parents are in their birthing journey. They can learn about pain management when mom’s in labor or breastfeeding after the birth,” said Dr. Sullivan.
Feedback from parents has been very positive. “Parents are saying that they no longer feel shuffled around and hurried,” said Dr. Sullivan. “This equals less stress for them, and that’s exactly what we want to hear.”
Newborns are safer in the new suites also, according to Dr. Sullivan. “When a baby is born here, they receive an anklet that monitors and displays their location at all times on a tracking board at the nurse’s station. If a baby is transported anywhere outside the unit, an alarm is activated and a full hospital lockdown occurs,” said Dr. Sullivan.
“Smart Room” technology also allows each suite’s TV screen to display the badge name and photo of any staff member who enters or exits. If NICU services are needed, Mission Children’s Hospital is quickly accessible.
“Our birthing suites were intended to make a new family’s start smoother,” said Dr. Sullivan. “So far, our families, and we, are very pleased.”
Margaret Sullivan, MD, is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Mission Women’s Care – McDowell and service line leader of Women’s Services at Mission Hospital McDowell.