This Mother’s Day, we celebrate all moms and especially those who welcomed life into the world at The Birth Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which opened last summer as the region’s state-of-the-art setting for labor and delivery.
The Birth Center provides the full range of delivery options from routine, traditional births and certified nurse midwife-assisted births with hydrotherapy to cesarean and other complex births. Deliveries are attended by expert teams of obstetricians, certified nurse midwives, maternity nurses and neonatologists.
Alisa L. Starbuck, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, NEA-BC, president of Brenner Children’s and vice president of women’s and children’s health services at Wake Forest Baptist, says The Birth Center’s opening marked a new era for mothers and families in the area. All deliveries have immediate access to specialists in newborn care and, if needed, intensive care just across the hall in the new Dale and Karen Sisel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“Every woman who is pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should know this is the most comprehensive place for them to deliver their child,” says Starbuck, a former NICU nurse who has spent more than 30 years working at Wake Forest Baptist. “It’s also the best place in case any complications arise.”
Phillip Heine, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest Baptist Health, knows that having emergency care just steps away from The Birth Center is vital. He says it is the only facility in the region with top-flight labor and delivery services paired with immediate access, if needed, to specialized NICU and pediatric care.
“Combining labor and delivery options with the newborn and pediatric specialists of Brenner Children’s and the resources of an academic medical center allows us to manage both the known and unknown medical needs of mother and child,” he says.
The facility was developed with patients and their families in mind. It also included input from Ob-Gyns, midwives and birthing professionals to make sure the new setting was designed to help them serve their patients in the best way possible.
“Our goal is always going to be that our patients get personalized service and the personalized labor and delivery care they deserve, and their infants get the best possible start to life,” Heine says.
Located on the top floors of the Medical Center’s Ardmore and North towers, The Birth Center offers unmatched convenience, comfort and patient- and family-centered care. There’s valet parking service and dedicated elevators that bring patients directly to a greeting area on the 11th floor.
The setting is serene and comfortable with numerous windows providing lots of natural light. Amenities include family lounges on each floor, private patient rooms with couches that easily convert to beds, soft floors, a variety of lighting options and beautiful mountain and cityscape views.
There’s a recessed “front porch” entrance to each room that offers family members their own entry and a foyer for coats, suitcases and personal belongings. Hospital staff enter through a separate door. There is restricted access to the floors and on-site security provided.
The Birth Center includes nine triage and four preparation and recovery rooms and four Ob-Gyn procedure rooms. There are 17 labor and delivery rooms, four of which are dedicated to alternative deliveries with certified nurse midwives on staff in a home-like setting.
There is even a special room where adoptive parents and their babies can meet to bond and begin their new lives together.
Each of The Birth Center’s two floors has its own respite area for on-call physicians and staff that offers a nearby place to rest so they can quickly respond when needed. Lactation consultants and other maternity resources are also located on each floor. The “Mother’s Nursing Nook,” located on the main floor of Ardmore Tower, features a post-maternity consultation suite and breastfeeding items for the convenience of new mothers.
“We’re able to take care of all patients whether they are low-risk or high-risk,” Heine says, “and that’s something we can be really proud of.”