Nine months after construction began, the Loudoun Hospital Center gave birth to its new Birthing Inn, taking the first patients last Saturday when six babies were born.
Another three babies were born on Sunday in the hospital’s newest facility, which spans 31,000 square feet and nearly doubles the size of the former Birthing Inn, now designated for 37 medical and surgical beds. The additional beds, which will be opened in stages, will provide the hospital with enough beds through 2007. The first 10 beds opened on Saturday, with the rest scheduled to open in the next two months.
“From a male perspective, it’s like going to the Hyatt,” said Rodney Huebbers, president of Loudoun Healthcare Inc., father of three children. “To me, you have one of the most beautiful experiences having your child, and you should have it in an environment that complements that. That’s what we strive for here.”
Located at the rear of the hospital, the Birthing Inn includes nine labor, delivery and recovery rooms, 24 postpartum suites, two operating rooms and two recovery rooms. The rooms, along with two well-baby nurseries and eight special-care nursery beds, are located on the first floor, leaving space on the other floors for women and infant services.
THE HOSPITAL SEPARATED the postpartum function from the labor, delivery and recovery rooms to provide services for a larger number of patients, increasing the hospital’s capacity from 1,700 deliveries a year to 3,500 deliveries. Loudoun Hospital staff delivered 1,573 babies in the well-baby nursery in the year 2002, compared to 1,420 babies in 2001 and 1,377 babies in 2000.
In the past, when the combined delivery and postpartum rooms ran out of space, patients were relocated to other hospital beds for postpartum care.
“You learn your lessons. You do everything with what you have,” said Deena Lanham, director of Women and Infant Services, adding that the Birthing Inn increased housekeeping services to turn over the rooms at a faster rate and added staff for a total of 180 employees.
The employees and patients of the Birthing Inn helped design the facility, which is rectangular in shape with the postpartum rooms and the delivery rooms set up into two horseshoe shapes, leaving room for the nurseries and operating rooms in the middle.
“We went by what our patients said, that’s how we chose our furniture and equipment,” Lanham said.
Loudoun Hospital provides delivery services for births at 26 weeks and more, weighing at least 800 grams. The services include 24-hour, in-house anesthesiology and neonatology, perinatology — high-risk obstetrics — and lactation services.
“It turned out to be a wonderful unit. It’s gorgeous … more than I can hope for,” Lanham said.