Close your eyes for just a moment and imagine beautiful, spacious delivery suites with laboring tubs and corridors filled with gorgeous photography. Now, add to that vision newly redecorated postpartum rooms and a stay filled with caring, compassion, and respect. Think of a place where childbirth is viewed as a joyful natural event. Open your eyes and you’ll discover that such a place really does exist. And it’s right here in Richmond at VCU Health.
“During the past three years, we’ve been making huge strides in designing a warm, inviting and family-friendly birthing center that includes all the features that today’s moms want,” said Bethany Loving, nurse clinician on VCU Health’s Mother-Infant Unit. “Four years ago, we opened our new Labor and Delivery Unit. It looks more like a luxury hotel than a hospital. But we wanted our families to enjoy an experience that is equally nice throughout their hospital stay. We’re excited to share that the renovation of the Mother-Infant Unit, where mom and baby recover after birth, will be complete in March. In fact, most of the patient rooms are already finished.”
Choosing a hospital for childbirth is a huge decision, and the facility is just one consideration. “At VCU Health, we listen carefully to what women want for their childbirth experience,” said Loving, “and we deliver the things that are most important to our patients.”
Here are just some of the features offered at VCU Health:
- Convenience. You have the option of receiving your prenatal care at the VCU Health Stony Point campus or downtown — whichever is closer to home or work.
- On-site delivery team. With a delivery team on hand 24/7, your baby can be born when the time is right, not when the doctor or midwife arrives or before the end of a shift.
- Availability of specialty care. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists — experts at handling complex pregnancies and deliveries — and the region’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit make VCU Health the number one choice for mothers-to-be who want to be prepared for any eventuality.
- The choice is yours. At VCU Health, we understand that childbirth is a highly personal experience. You can choose if you would like to have an obstetrician or certified nurse-midwife provide prenatal care, deliver your baby and care for you postpartum. And you can select one-on-one prenatal visits or you can participate in CenteringPregnancy® — an innovative group approach to prenatal care. We will make every effort to support your wishes and follow your birth plan.
- Amenities. To make your hospital stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible, we’re delighted to offer room service with a wide variety of menu options. We also have a number of restaurants available in the hospital.
- Support. On the Mother-Infant Unit, certified lactation consultants are available seven days a week, and all our nurses are trained to provide breastfeeding support. We even have breastmilk that has been donated and pasteurized available, if needed.
- Time for bonding. Our practice of delaying your baby’s first bath allows more time for skin-to-skin contact with your baby in those precious moments just after birth. And mother-infant nursing care (rooming-in) allows you to bond with your baby and enjoy your new family while you rest and recover.
“One of the features I am most excited about,” said Loving, “is our new Baby Box program. Baby Boxes originated in Finland in the 1930s as a way to ensure that every baby has a safe sleeping environment. Now that nation enjoys one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. We want the same positive outcome for every baby born in Richmond. Our moms are invited to complete a brief online teaching module about safe sleep. After completing the training, the mom is given a Baby Box — a sweet and safe portable bed for a newborn baby.” The Baby Box also contains a selection of baby items, including diapers, a thermometer, wipes, a baby book and a Halo® SleepSack® — a wearable baby blanket.
We’re so excited about all the changes happening at VCU Health that we’re inviting our new families to share their experiences on our website. Please enjoy reading the stories of moms who delivered here, or share your own VCU Health childbirth story, by visiting vcumom.com/share.
Bethany Loving, RNC-MNN
VCU Health Mother-Infant Unit