New rooms give patients options for childbirth

These new rooms offer additional space for a family as well as more natural light, enhancing that experience.

Patients giving birth at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital have another option for their experience in two newly renovated labor and delivery rooms.

The two rooms offer a more home-like setting and will be ideal for a natural or midwife-assisted delivery, as well as for those who may be expecting the loss of their infant.

The $266,000 project was funded through the Norton Healthcare Foundation with support from donors including the Merrilee Kullman Living Trust.

“We know that many patients would like a more holistic experience for childbirth — but with the safety net of a hospital,” said Gigi L. Girard, M.D.,  OB/GYN and executive medical director of women’s services for Norton Medical Group. “Helping make childbirth more of an experience as opposed to a hospital stay is very important to us.”

These new rooms offer additional space for a family as well as more natural light, enhancing that experience. They are available to anyone coming to deliver at the hospital on a first-come, first-served basis.

All 19 labor and delivery rooms offer natural childbirth options and other services that patients have requested over the years. These include availability of a labor tub, birthing balls, birthing stools, nitrous oxide for pain management, showers and wireless monitors that allow a patient to move around more freely during labor. The hospital has board-certified lactation consultants, including one dedicated to labor and delivery to help patients begin breastfeeding within one hour after birth. This practice has been shown to increase breastfeeding success.

“We’re excited to bring this new option to patients and are grateful to the donors who have made it possible,” said Lynnie Meyer, R.N., Ed.D., FAHP, CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “Just imagine the number of new families who will be touched by these spaces and how it will help them welcome their new little ones into the world.”

Norton Women’s Care, which has locations at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Norton Hospital, has been recognized as High Performing in Adult Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years. It is the only provider in Kentucky to receive the award all three years, and the only in Louisville to receive it for 2023-2024. The designation is the highest award a hospital system can earn in the U.S. News list of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care.

In 2023, Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital set a new record of delivering 6,446 babies, beating 2022’s count of 6,325. More babies are born at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital than any other hospital in Kentucky.

Caregivers at Norton Healthcare’s two Norton Women’s Care birthing locations deliver more than 8,600 babies a year. While many of those deliveries are uncomplicated, Norton Women’s Care also specializes in high-risk pregnancies and deliveries, with a specialty maternal-fetal medicine program and connection to specialists in two neonatal intensive care units. A Level IV NICU at Norton Children’s Hospital offers the highest level of care to critically ill and premature infants. A Level III NICU is at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

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