Spa-Inspired Birth Center Renovations Planned at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in GR

Ask any mom about her experiences giving birth and she can likely give you a full play-by-play, down to the smallest detail.

The idea that one of life’s biggest chapters begins with such a tiny bundle of joy is helping to drive upcoming renovations at The Birth Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids. Ten labor rooms, 24 postpartum rooms, two operating suites, and a family lounge will be given a complete makeover to better reflect the experience patients have come to expect when they usher in a new family member.

Over the next 18 months, the ninth-floor accommodations will transform, treating new moms to a more spa-like atmosphere. In-room Jacuzzi tubs featuring hydrotherapy are planned and services will include aromatherapy, massage, and music therapy. Staff are working closely with the Wege Institute for Mind, Body, and Spirit at Mercy Health, which already focuses on integrated holistic healing methods, to fully implement best practices into the labor and delivery experience.

Keri Kujala, manager of Special Events and Donor Relations at the Saint Mary’s Foundation said the aesthetic upgrades will better reflect the award-winning experience parents have when they choose to give birth at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

“The philosophy on the birth floor is not changing, we’re just making sure that the surrounding atmosphere really does compliment the philosophy, which is an amazing birth story,” Kujala said.

An upcoming Saint Mary’s Foundation Gala on May 6 will help fund some of the little extras that will really provide a memorable experience at the birth center. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the event.

“It’s those little tiny factors that make the experience a wonderful experience and make sure that the moms are being taken care of and the baby is being taken care of,” she said.

Things like sleep sacks for newborns, water bottles for moms, and a journal to record those first few hours in might not seem like medical necessities, but Kujala said they transform what could be a clinical experience into a memory in the making.

“It’s a story and the story begins at the birth center,” she said.

The new and improved birth center will start welcoming guests in late 2017. In 2015, 2,300 babies were born at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

In 2014, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s was named as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Obstetrics by WomenCertified, Inc., home of the Women’s Choice Award. In 2015, the hospital was recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection.

The hospital was also recently recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as one of 63 hospitals in the state under its new Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, which is a designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

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