Licking Memorial Health is announcing an expansion to their Maternity Services Department. With more than 1,000 babies born at the hospital in 2009 they're hoping the expansion will bring in even more births.
It was a several million dollar investment in the Hospital's third-floor maternity department that officials say was necessary.
"We know that our community is growing and we certainly had to make sure with this expansion that we could keep pace with that," says Robert Montagnese, President & CEO Licking Memorial Health.
They've added five new mother-baby rooms, to bring the hospital up to 16 private suites.
"We wanted to be able to assure mothers who deliver here that they would have private rooms and this expansion allows us to do that," says Montagnese.
The hospital also updated security. Families get a specialized code they can give to wanted guests to allow them to visit. It's one of the precautions put in place to ensure babies' safety.
"We just enhanced our security by securing doors so we don't have routine public traffic coming and going," says Deborah Young, Vice President Patient Care Services.
One of the most important aspects of Licking Memorial Maternity Services is they offer a Level II intermediate care nursery for ill babies and have a partnership with Children's Hospital for extreme cases. It takes special training to work on the maternity floor.
"All of our nurses are NRP or infant resuscitation certified and then we have over half of our staff are additionally certified in other areas related to maternal child care," says Young.
The hospital also offers some amenities. Parents can order a gourmet meal from a menu including filet mignon and lobster. Or mother's can get a massage.
"Of course during the labor process it can be stressful and painful and again massages can provide some relaxation techniques and help and assist through that process," says Young.
Hospital officials hope all of the maternity services will help keep mothers-to-be coming through the doors.
"We're really pleased that we're able to offer this and if folks are surprised when they come over here you know that's great, but once they have an experience here we find that they're very impressed and they tend to come back," says Montagnese.
Tune in next week when I'll have information on parenting classes to get you ready for your child's arrival.