Gosford Private Hospital has opened a brand new, state-of-the-art maternity ward and welcomed its first baby, Indiana, in the early hours of Tuesday, April 27.
Kurt and Cassandra were the first parents to use the Central Coast’s only private dedicated maternity unit.
The new unit contains three spacious birthing units including immersion baths, monsoon showers and partner accommodation.
Maternity Unit Manager, Robyn Gasperotto, said the facility had been purpose-built with women in mind.
“Every step of the way through the design of this build, we engaged with our customers,” Gasperotto said.
“When taking on board all of their feedback, we know that women want mobility, and they want to be upright and active in labour.
“For that reason, we have provided large birthing spaces with a home-like environment.
“There are soft furnishings in the rooms, lamps and lounges, a water immersion pool…everything exists in the room in terms of medical equipment, but it is hidden from sight.
“It looks like a natural birthing environment.
“We celebrate women’s ability with birth.
“Everything we need is still here in the hospital, but it’s just not in your face.”
Christine Crichton was the midwife who delivered the baby girl, Indiana, and said even though the unit had been designed for women, it still accommodated the partners’ needs.
“We are catering for the dads much better … they have lovely pull-down beds in all the rooms with a really nice sized mattress,” she said.
“Previously, the mattress was really skinny and not comfortable.
“The dads get meals as well.
“All the birthing units are spacious, and they all have really lovely bathtubs.
“We have a couple of private assessment rooms for women to come in for monitoring as well.”
Crichton has been a practising midwife since 1978 and has been at Gosford Private Hospital for 18 years.
Over this period, she has seen women and their partners have become more involved in the birthing process.
“Previously, they didn’t know why they were being induced or anything like that,” she said.
“But now women come in with a bit of a ‘wish list’ and they are more involved in the journey of the birth.
“They have more of a voice.”
Gasperotto said the facility offers women continuity of care, allowing them to stay in the hospital five to six days postnatal.
“We know women feel safe in a room with the right people around them…knowing their carer, their specialist obstetrician, and also having previously met their midwife,” she said.
“They really become part of our family here at Gosford Private, and we are providing them a space for them to birth in with expert care.”
The unit, on level 2, has a Neonatal Special Care Nursery (takes babies from 32 weeks), 12 plush postnatal suites including pull-down Murphy Beds, and parents have access to a team of 12 Obstetric, Paediatric and Neonatology specialists.
The official opening of the ward was on Thursday, May 6.