Mom-to-be Kate Middleton has set fashion trends during her pregnancy. The world wants to know not only what she's wearing, but also how she's preparing for the birth of her first child.
Local expectant moms can also be pampered like a princess.
Area hospitals offer special treatment giving mothers-to-be an experience that may go beyond many people's expectations for delivery day.
Julie and Kevin Carmichael of Harleysville opted to have their fourth child born at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, just like their prior three.
From inside the birthing room, you may gaze out the window and see a view of the rolling hillside. The lights needed by doctors to guide the birth of the baby are conveniently recessed in the ceiling. No clunky lights on wheels needed. A warm color tone with beige furnishings, beautiful artwork, wooden floors and cabinets give the labor and delivery room a master bedroom feeling. That's the tranquil scene that greets a woman in labor at Grand View Hospital.
In addition to state-of-the-art equipment in the delivery room, there’s also a flat screen television, a spa bathroom with six shower heads and a sofa bed for the parent or support person to stay the night or get some rest.
The extra amenities make moms feel special.
The Carmichael's fourth daughter, Lacey Belle, was born Sunday, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz at 9:13 a.m. in that atmosphere.
“We had a great experience (at Grand View). The meals are real good,” said Julie Carmichael. “You can order whatever you want, snacks, cookies, crackers and fruit juice, any food for nursing mothers.”
The top-notch amenities and personal touch have attracted expectant mother near and far.
“We’ve had VIPs from all over the region and out of state that come here (to Grand View) to deliver,” said. Dr. Michael Chmielewski, president of the medical staff.
Due to confidentiality, the hospital can't say who. But, it’s the everyday moms like Carmichael who keeps their maternity ward busy.
Grand View redesigned its maternity ward three years ago to create a better birthing experience. The hospital board, comprised of community members, invested $7 million to renovate and expand the maternity wing.
“We want to make it feel more like home, not sterile environment,” said Dr. Michael Chmielewski, president of the medical staff. “There’s no tile floors. It’s a flagship hotel-like atmosphere. It really is a great place to be.”
The intimate, family-oriented atmosphere has 28 beds, 18 rooms and state-of-the-art security system.
“Babies come whenever they want,” said Kathy Peca, director of Maternal Child Health at Grand View Hospital. “During (Superstorm) Sandy we were slow, but we all knew the babies would come.”
And the babies have come to Grand View. Last week was a busy week. The hospital delivers approximately 1,500 babies each year.
“You don’t feel like a number,” said Kevin Carmichael. “It’s a more personal experience.”
Meeting the needs of the tiniest babies, Grand View now has a neonatologist on staff and may deliver babies 32 weeks and older. There’s a nesting room for families to get better acquainted with their preemies before going home for the first time.
“It’s about an attitude of a level of service and standard we expect from each other and deliver constantly to our patients,” said Chmielewski.
Lankenau Medical Center also offers a more upscale and personal feel for mothers to be. Their Mother-Baby Center features private rooms used for labor and delivery. The hospital boasts of a "superior experience for expectant moms" by providing her with the opportunity to stay right in that same room following delivery, according to Bridget Therriault, Main Line Health director of communications.
There's no bouncing around from room to room, a perk moms welcome after labor at Lankenau.
And you can take advantage of perks like access to a kitchen and large family waiting areas, which provides ample space to keep loved ones are close by, all of which helps moms feel right at home at Main Line Health.
The Paoli Hospital has a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as part of an $11 million expansion of the maternity unit. The project will be complete this fall. With 2,300 babies born at Paoli Hospital each year, the expansion provides ample opportunity for the maternity ward to live up to its family-centered care reputation.
In addition to making mom feel at home, Lankenau Medical Center, Paoli Hospital and Grand View Hospital all offer a photo service to capture baby’s first hours and days. Bella Baby Photography visits every day to take baby photos, giving families an option to purchase professional portraits, a nice touch to an already special experience.