Pennsylvania Hospital opens city’s first all-private room maternity suite

Nearly 5,000 babies are delivered annually at Pennsylvania Hospital, more than any other hospital in Philadelphia.

By nature, a postpartum room is semi-private because two patients, a mom and her newborn (or newborns) stay together, or “room in.” However, postpartum rooms that are designated semi-private can have two moms, their babies, dads, visiting family members, and friends.

Pennsylvania Hospital—America’s first hospital and part of the family of hospitals in Penn Medicine—now offers every patient in the maternity unit a fully private room with the recent opening of its new Well Mother & Baby Unit.

Part of the hospital’s $61 million, long-range facility master plan, the new unit marks the completion of a three-year construction project to transform three floors of the hospital into the maternity unit, which features 54 private rooms, or 18 per floor, and a nursery.

Pennsylvania Hospital

Pennsylvania Hospital

Each private room in Pennsylvania Hospital’s new Well Mother & Baby Unit is bathed in soft colors and subdued lighting with comfortable, contemporary furniture, a flat-screen TV, and a spacious restroom with an open shower stall.

R. Michael Buckley, executive director of Pennsylvania Hospital, says the Well Mother & Baby Unit optimizes the in-patient experience by offering rooms that “provide the best experience for patients, staff, and visitors alike from a safety, ergonomic, and aesthetic perspective.”

Each new room is bathed in soft colors and subdued lighting with comfortable, contemporary furniture, including a full-sized convertible sofa sleeper, a flat-screen TV, and a spacious restroom with an open shower stall. Combination safes provide a secure space to store personal belongings and charging stations keep mobile devices powered up.

Buckley knows the experience of two mothers having to share a hospital room, and the benefits that come with a private room all too well.

“Two of my three children were born at Pennsylvania Hospital. My wife stayed in a private room once and a semi-private room another time. Her roommate was the wife of a Philadelphia Mummer. It was Mummers Day 1976,” Buckley laughs, recalling the memory. “They were all very respectful, but there was a stream of visitors.”

The Well Mother & Baby Unit helps support Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Medicine’s commitment to the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global effort to improve health care for pregnant women, mothers, and infants by ensuring ­­that mothers have all the information they need to make the best infant feeding decisions and to provide assistance to help them meet their feeding goals.

The new postpartum units complement Pennsylvania Hospital’s Labor & Delivery unit, which also offers private rooms, including birthing suites for women seeking natural and low-intervention childbirth experiences.

Originally published on February 27, 2014