Scenic views, a queen-size bed, a spa-size Jacuzzi tub, innovative flooring that dampens noise.

This isn't describing a spa or a hotel. It's just a sample of some of the amenities in place at select New Jersey hospitals that are raising the bar for care of expectant and new moms, and their babies. After all, the experience of bringing new life into this world should be a pleasant one, and one you'd prefer to never forget.

"We really looked at all the aspects of quality and care and the aesthetics of being a very high-end hotel, so we can marry the two," said Mariekarl Vilceus-Talty, senior director of patient experience at Jersey City Medical Center.

The hospital is one inspection away from the launch of its new state-of-the-art maternity wing, featuring 20 private mother-baby rooms designed to promote family bonding and provide the best outcomes for families.

"They have upgraded amenities which are free of charge because that is the new standard," Vilceus-Talty said.

A room in the Mary V. O'Shea Birth Center at Jersey City Medical Center (Lord Abbett)
A room in the Lord Abbett Maternity Wing at Jersey City Medical Center (Lord Abbett)

The new wing was made possible through a $1 million donation from Jersey-City based investment management firm Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC.

"I think it's going to be amazing for moms and families. I look forward to the announcement of the first child being born," said Catherine Tantillo, head of community relations for the firm.

Close to 2,000 newborns were delivered at Jersey City Medical Center in 2019. The current labor-delivery area has 10 private rooms and five shared rooms.

One of just a dozen or so in the nation, New Jersey in October saw the opening of its first hospital-owned "birth center." Eight babies have been delivered so far at Saint Peter's University Hospital's Mary V. O'Shea Birth Center, which offers a home-like, personalized setting to low-risk mothers who prefer a natural childbirth.

Each birth is attended by a midwife, as well as a registered nurse and a patient care technician who is trained as a doula.

"We do not want to interfere with the normal physiologic process of birth," said Joanne Cunha, the center's clinical director. "We don't want to give any medications that would stimulate birth. We don't want to give pain medications."

The center is a short distance from the elevator that leads to the labor-delivery floor, and the neonatal intensive care unit, should medical intervention be needed.

The 4,100-square-foot center includes two birthing suites — each equipped with a queen bed, spa-size tub and shower, plus space and furnishings for additional family members  — along with a reception area, lounge area, dining area and full-size kitchen.

"We have some women coming to us that have had bad experiences the first time around, so they want something different," Cunha said. "It's just a really nice environment with a whole lot of tools that help women give birth naturally."

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