New Discoveries in Childbirth Experiences at VCU Medical Center

I was fortunate to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Labor & Delivery unit at VCU Medical Center last night.   Such an impressive new space to bring this already amazing team of physicians, nurses, midwives, and doulas to the front of everyone’s mind when thinking about birthing options.

I wanted to share some of the unique features with you!VCU Room

Top-notch medical care 

– VCU Medical Center is the only hospital in the area with a full delivery team onsite at all times, including obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists  and certified nurse-midwives (specialized in natural birth), as well as 24/7 pediatric consultation and anesthesia relief, and lactation consultants on site 7 days a week.

– They are the only Level III NICU with private rooms, should a baby need additional, specialized care.

– The new unit features spacious rooms with private labor tubs and showers, a 24-hour visitation policy for family and friends, á la carte room service and wireless fetal monitoring, allowing women to move freely during labor.


VCU Medical Center has the lowest rate of cesarean births in the region, and the highest rate of vaginal births after cesarean in the region. 

– The VCU School of Nursing offers a volunteer doula program that is free to patients. Research shows that constant labor support of a doula drastically lowers C-section rates, and benefits health care costs.

– When C-sections are medically necessary, VCU Medical Center is pioneering a new family-friendly C-section that feels more like a natural birth experience. Some components that aid this environment include low lights around the mother, music of the mother’s choice being played, the curtain lowered so mom can see the baby being brought out, skin-to-skin contact immediately after the baby is out to encourage bonding and nursing, and the baby stays with mom after delivery, not leaving her bedside.   This is all shockingly progressive with regard to C-sections and I am so thrilled to see these practices become available to expectant mamas!!

Group prenatal care: Centering PregnancyVCU cube

VCU Medical Center is the only major hospital in the area that offers an innovative group approach to prenatal care, called “Centering Pregnancy.”  If you’re not familiar with ‘centering pregnancy’, you owe it to yourself to find out more…in fact, I think we might to write an article on it here!

– Participants get much more time with their care provider than they would in one-on-one appointments.

– Group care empowers mothers to take charge of their prenatal care, and provides a great source of education about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

– Groups of expectant mothers go through their prenatal care with others around the same stage of pregnancy, allowing them to learn from one another and bond with other mothers going through similar experiences.  

– Group sessions are offered at both the VCU Medical Center’s Nelson Clinic downtown, as well as at the Stony Point clinic.
All in all, the new space is incredible, but the real show stopper is the evidence-based approach to mother/baby care!