The Labor and Delivery unit at North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC) will feature two natural birthing suites, designed in collaboration with doulas, to offer mothers in Florence a better place to give birth naturally in a hospital setting.
North Alabama Medical Center will replace Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital (ECM) in order to improve access to quality healthcare in the North Alabama Region. Upon its completion, the $250 million technologically advanced medical center will centralize medical care in the region, eliminating the need for patients to travel to Huntsville to receive care. The 450,000-square-foot structure will house $32,000,000 in new equipment to further the hospital’s mission toward patient-centered care.
Part of this investment is the improved Labor and Delivery unit. NAMC will be improving on the two existing private natural birthing suites at ECM. Each suite at NAMC will feature a custom labor tub and labor swing to facilitate natural birth. Designed under the guidance of doulas, the labor tubs will help to ease labor pains.
“We do not do water births, but we are providing tubs for water labor,” said Mike Howard, Chief Operating Officer at NAMC. “This way, mothers in labor can soak in a hot tub. These tubs are specially designed $25,000 labor tubs, with walls that insert so the tubs can fill with water and be removed so the mother can exit the tub without having to climb out. The tubs drain rapidly so the mother can exit quickly.”
During labor, mothers at NAMC can deliver from a stabilizing labor swing in each suite, which will support the mother’s body during the birth. It will support her in a natural squatting position, prevent her from falling, and keep her comfortable during labor and birth.
The HOPE suites are just one of the many improvements to the Labor and Delivery unit of the new hospital.
North Alabama Medical Center will feature an expanded, 6-bed special care unit to continue to prevent families with babies who need special care from traveling to Birmingham or Huntsville to
receive care. NAMC will be able to care for premature babies close to home, preventing families from having to leave town for weeks or months on end while their baby receives care.
In addition, each suite in the Labor and Delivery unit is designed to be comfortable and private for families. Suites boast panoramic views, and contain sinks specially designed for parents to give their babies their first bath.
Each suite has a bathroom with a full-size shower, custom, directed lighting to assist during procedures, and a storage closet for carts and supplies to clear the room quickly and safely after a delivery.