With almost 200 babies born a month at Wellington Regional Medical Center, hospital officials recently renovated and expanded the 30-year-old post-partum unit.
The unit will be unveiled to the public Monday, July 11 during a community open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Seventeen of the rooms are suites, one is a mini-suite, and there are nine regular rooms, all of which recently have been redone, explained Director of Maternal Services and Nurse Leader Rebecca Boyer.
The unit includes two sections, the birthing center and the post-partum wing. In between the two sections is a nursing station with a holding nursery.
“We have a nursery available to our patients if they are tired, if they need to get some rest. We do some procedures in there. We have a procedure room right behind it,” Boyer said. “I’m in here many times at night, and a lot of times, especially our C-section moms, just need a bit of a break during the night.”
For the most part, she explained, the hospital keeps mothers and babies together.
“The great thing about these suites is that they’re family-centered, and the suites allow more space for the families to visit during the time that a mom and her newborn are here in the hospital,” Boyer said.
Each suite features a spacious bathroom, a queen-sized bed, a glider chair, two televisions, a crib (or double cribs, for multiples), a “man cave” sitting room with a couch that can easily become a bed, a sink, a refrigerator and more to ensure that new families are cozy and relaxed as they recover from birth and bond with their new child or children. There are also nourishment rooms open to the patients and their families with coffee, cereal, snacks and a large refrigerator.
The Town-Crier was given a tour of the new unit Tuesday and had the opportunity to meet new parents Tatum Williams and John Exantus, with their day-old twins Ruby and Rose.
“Everyone has been very nice,” Williams said. “Everything has been great.”
Lactation consultants are available seven days a week to visit new mothers and assist with feeding. Breastfeeding classes are offered free to the community, Boyer noted. Lamaze, infant massage and baby safety classes are also offered. There are daddy boot camp classes, sibling classes and more to help families adjust to a new baby.
Framed Bella Baby Photography photos of newborns line the hallways. A photographer takes pictures of every newborn, and parents are given the opportunity to purchase pictures. “There’s no pressure. It’s a great service. They do a beautiful job,” Boyer said.
Previously, there were 19 small, dated rooms in the unit, WRMC Director of Marketing Ellen Cole explained. Now, there are hardwood floors and large rooms to accommodate people and their families.
WRMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only Level 3 facility in the western communities, Cole explained, and can take care of the smallest of babies.
The NICU is able to offer special services to help babies.
“We have all of the services here. We do have high-risk patients who come here for specialty care. Sometimes they spend weeks with us, which is a beautiful thing, because we get to know them and they get to know us,” Boyer said. “We try to give them as much advance information about the NICU services as we can to make it more comfortable for them. We even have patients who know they’re going to spend additional time with us who come over in advance.”
Those who will be spending more time at WRMC often meet with Boyer to see the NICU and meet others. “All of that is designed to make moms more comfortable, to take into consideration more of their personal wants for delivery,” she said.
A special feature of the unit is the infant security system.
All babies are given a tag when they’re born, Boyer explained, and if a tag is tampered with, an alarm and a computer system alert will go off, letting nurses know which tag set off the alarm, alerting them to which baby, and where the tag is located.
For Boyer, who has more than 30 years’ experience, working with new babies and their families is a special experience that she feels privileged to be a part of.
“I love working here. I’m in the middle of reviewing all of our nurses, and I could not be more proud of our nurses,” she said. “I feel so privileged to work not just in a space that is beautiful, but for an organization that I know values what women and their families need. It’s really a beautiful thing for me. I can’t wait to be open on July 11. It’s going to be great for our nurses, but it’s going to be really great for our patients and our families.”
Feedback on the new rooms has been tremendously
positive. Transforming the unit provides an even more beautiful place for the nurses to provide amazing care to families, Boyer said.
Cole invited everyone from the community to stop by the July 11 open house. “We’re proud to show all of that off,” she said.
Refreshments will be served, and the first 200 attendees will receive a free gift.
Those interested in a guided tour and learning more about the Birthing Center at Wellington Regional Medical Center should call (561) 798-9880. For more info., visit www.wellingtonregional.com.
New parents Tatum Williams and John Exantus with twins Rose and Ruby in the newly redesigned maternity area at Wellington Regional Medical Center.
Director of Maternal Services and Nurse Leader Rebecca Boyer.