Newborns are being delivered in a new setting at Mayo Clinic Health System’s new Family Birth Center in Austin. The project, announced in August 2018, is part of plan to reconstruct the hospital’s third floor, which includes a two-story connecting link between the main clinic entrance and the hospital.

To date, these components have been completed:

  • The obstetrics operating room, which is on the same floor as the birthing center, has been remodeled. This new large operating suite is dedicated to cesarean section deliveries and other emergent labor and delivery procedures.
  • The nursery and procedure room have been remodeled. The new nursery allows for newborn resuscitation in a centralized location within the unit with enough room to accommodate all staff and equipment needed. The central location and multiple doors make it easy to access from any labor and delivery room. The procedure room allows for newborn procedures to occur any time while allowing the nursery to remain open for any emergencies.
  • A remodeled nurses station, which allows for additional workstations for all team members, can be accessed from multiple locations in the unit.
  • Five new labor, delivery and postpartum rooms are complete out of 10 total rooms to be newly constructed, that allow patients to remain in the same location for triage, labor, delivery and postpartum care. All new rooms feature a large private bathroom, refrigerator, couch, gliding chair and plenty of space for visitors. The medical equipment needed for labor and delivery is built in to the room design and tucks away into cupboards when not in use. The soothing design and colors of the room allow for optimal bonding and healing. Additional rooms continue to be available to allow for ample space in the Family Birth Center until all 10 rooms are complete.
  • A new nourishment room enables a mother’s support person to obtain coffee, juice, water and snacks whenever desired. Also, food brought from home can be heated up here. This room is currently closed to patients and families due to COVID-19, but refreshments are still available for patients and family upon request.
  • A large equipment room, as well as a supply room, laundry room and soiled utility room also have been completed.

Jessi Kirsch, (pictured above) who lives in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and was one of the first patients who delivered her baby in one of the new private room labor and delivery rooms in Austin, says she was extremely nervous about coming to Austin to deliver her second child.  Kirsch says even with all of the changes in where and how she and her husband had to prepare for the delivery of their baby, the experience was positive.

In the future, the unit will feature these amenities once construction is complete in late 2020 or early 2021:

  • An expanded family waiting area that includes amenities for families and visitors
  • Easy access from the same elevators that patients use for the nine months prior to delivery

The full Family Birth Center project is tentatively scheduled to be complete in late 2020 or early 2021.