Renovated space for moms, babies: Part of $13.3 million women and children project

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Starting in April, pregnant women will have a new space to delivery their babies at Wilson Medical Center.

The latest renovation project at the hospital is an 18,000-square-foot gut and rebuild project on the second floor that will house labor and delivery, the nursery and post-partum rooms.

Mark Holyoak, CEO at Wilson Medical Center, said there were three main concerns with the design of the new unit: safety, quality and experience.

One of those concerns is addressed starting the minute someone comes to the doors of the new unit and wants to gain entry. The unit will be locked, he said, and visitors can only enter if someone lets them in.

This is to protect the patients, Holyoak said, but also to give them privacy.

The new unit has six labor and delivery rooms.

“We’re accommodating growth,” Holyoak said. He added that just under 1,000 babies are born at the hospital every year.

The rooms are different sizes, but each one will include a bed for the mother, a space for baby care, a reclining chair and a spacious bathroom with a shower. The rooms have soft paint colors and cherry cabinets and are designed to have an upscale hotel feel, Holyoak said.

During a hard-hat tour last week, Wesley Byrd, with Robins and Morton construction company, pointed out that one of the labor and delivery rooms is set up as an isolation room to accommodate any special needs during delivery. The room includes direct overhead lighting.

If, during labor, it becomes necessary to deliver the baby by Cesarean section, the patient won’t have to travel far. The new C-section suite is just steps away from the labor and delivery rooms. The bright room, already outfitted with surgical lights last week, will be equipped with the latest technology, Holyoak said.

Once the baby has been born, the mother and child will stay in one of six post-partum rooms in the unit. Holyoak anticipates most babies will room-in with mothers during the hospital stay.

When they are not in the mother’s room, babies will be in the new nursery. With the new design and because of the configuration of the space, the viewing window is much smaller than the one in the current nursery.

Once the labor and delivery unit is complete, work will move to the pediatrics and gynecology rooms on the same floor. The cost of the entire women’s and children’s services area is $13.3 million.

After the completion of this area, surgical services, including the operating room, pre- and post-surgery, will be next.

The current renovations are part of Duke LifePoint’s commitment to $120 million in capital improvements at Wilson Medical Center as part of an acquisition plan. Patient rooms are being enlarged throughout the hospital and behavioral health and cardiopulmonary units are up and running.