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BirthPlace Born on January 5:

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital are the proud parents of The BirthPlace.

Taking up the entire second level of the Southwest Wing and the Merle Norman Pavilion, The BirthPlace officially opened on Saturday, January 5.

The BirthPlace features seven elegantly designed LDRs – rooms where expectant mothers labor, deliver, and recover in one place. The rooms provide a comfortable, home-like setting, yet also contain the latest technology to ensure a safe birthing experience. There are two special delivery rooms to accommodate scheduled and emergency C-sections and other procedures.

Additional amenities include chairs that convert into sleepers so that the expectant father or another support person can stay overnight in the room, flat-screen televisions, and wireless capabilities.

The BirthPlace also features a new, 16-bassinet Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit for premature infants and other newborns with life-threatening conditions. Santa Monica-UCLA has the city’s largest NICU and is closely linked with the area’s only Level-III facility at sister hospital UCLA Medical Center. “Expectant parents may never need these services, but they can rest assured knowing this level of expertise is readily available, if needed,” explains Lynn Sullivan, community programs manager for The BirthPlace.

The new center also contains a remodeled Postpartum Unit, with 26 comfortable, all-private rooms, and a new Well-Baby Nursery, where newborns are bathed and undergo nursing assessments, screenings, hearing tests, pediatrician exams, and procedures such as circumcision. Besides the latest technology, the nursery features large windows to enable family members and friends to view and welcome new arrivals.

In addition to the new facility and technology, The BirthPlace will continue to offer services such as high-risk pregnancy care, 24-hour obstetrical anesthesia, and daily breast-feeding instruction and education. In 2007, Santa Monica-UCLA had the highest exclusive breast-feeding rate of any hospital in Southern California.

The BirthPlace will also continue to provide a wide range of prenatal and parenting classes. The classes run the gamut from childbirth preparation, baby care, infant CPR, and first-aid to sibling preparation and new mom support groups.

“Our BirthPlace Office also provides personalized assistance to help expectant couples with class selection, physician and community referrals, and other birth-related decisions,” says Sullivan. “Additionally, rooms in our BirthPlace offer ‘The Newborn Channel,’ which broadcasts a full spectrum of educational programming for parents.”

Santa Monica-UCLA also features the city’s only “Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics” and dedicated Pediatrics Unit to ensure that infants, young children, and adolescents receive “age-friendly” care when they require hospitalization.

Twins Eliana and Daniel Salem were the first babies born in The BirthPlace, at 11:37 and 11:38 a.m. on January 5, to Elizabeth and Morris Salem of Brentwood.

“We’re like proud parents who can’t wait to show off our new birthing center,” said Sullivan. “We think expectant families will see that our BirthPlace is the best choice for their child’s birthplace.”

For more information about The BirthPlace at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital or tour and class information, call 310.319.4947.

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