Expecting mothers and family in the area now have an exciting option for a comfortable and soothing birth experience. Washington Health System has announced the completion of the beginning phase of its new CARE Center for Family Birth and Women’s Health.

The first aspect of construction included the completion of a comfortable family lounge, a new lobby and thirteen spacious postpartum rooms. The 22,000-square-foot space fills the same area of the hospital, but the layout has been adapted to offer a more aesthetically pleasing and functional department.

For a year and a half, WHS spoke with community members and new parents about what changes would help them to choose Washington Hospital to deliver their babies. They heard from both WHS patients as well as patients from other area hospitals. Staff and physicians also provided input on what changes would enhance the overall experience. The feedback was the driving force of the plan for the new unit.

“We decided that if we were going to make this investment in our hospital and our community, we wanted to get it right,” says Leslie Gostic, nurse manager of the CARE Center for Family Birth and Women’s Health. “Who better to listen to than patients, our community members and staff?”

The $7 million project strives to make the experience of welcoming a new baby more pleasant for both the mother and her family. The revamped suites allow new moms to recover in a calm and comforting environment in contrast to the standard hospital rooms of the past. The space now matches the excellent level of care they have always provided.

The rooms themselves are more spacious, with a family nook for meals and other activities, a comfortable convertible couch, artwork and a roomy modern-looking bathroom. Parents and family members will have access to complimentary snacks and drinks. The rooms are even equipped with a Bluetooth speaker system that will allow women to listen to a custom playlist. The addition of retractable curtains creates a space for breastfeeding mothers to have privacy, if they prefer, without needing to ask guests to step out of the room. The rooms will allow women to feel more at home, rather than the typical hospital environment.

Besides the aesthetic improvements, patients will still receive excellent care from the medical staff, plus every delivery is attended by a neonatal resuscitation team member. The new nursery now includes a level 2 special care area that will allow staff and physicians to provide the best care possible to babies that may need some additional medical attention.

The second phase of construction is underway and is expected to take several months to complete. This part of the project will see the completion of drastically improved labor and delivery rooms, C-section suite as well as a physician on-call area. In the meantime, care is being taken so that patients will not notice or be distracted by the construction project.

To take a virtual tour of the unit, visit whs.org/CARECenter.

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