Virtua Welcomes 9,109 Babies in 2021, Setting New Records for its Maternity Services Team(January 10, 2022) One week into 2022 and the maternity teams at Virtua Health are busy as ever. That – along with the demands of the latest COVID wave – provides little time to stop and reflect on something truly special: Virtua experienced a true “baby boom” in 2021, setting a new record for the health system.
In the calendar year 2021, Virtua welcomed 9,109 babies, which is more than a 7 percent increase over 2020. Virtua provides maternity services at three hospitals – Virtua Voorhees, Virtua Mount Holly (formerly known as Virtua Memorial), and Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes in Camden – as well as the new Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center.
As part of that impressive number, Virtua is pleased to have been assisted in the births of 111 babies born to displaced mothers from Afghanistan currently residing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and throughout southern New Jersey. It is projected that approximately 25 Afghan babies will be born at Virtua hospitals each month in 2022.
Significantly, all of these births occurred during the pandemic and under safety measures designed to keep tiny patients and their families safe.
Virtua’s reputation for excellence was recognized by U.S. News & World Report this year on its inaugural list of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care. This list includes 237 high-performing hospitals across the United States.
New Birthing Options - Virtua’s Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center
Virtua now provides more options for the birth experience through its new Midwifery Birth and Wellness Center. The center, which opened in the fall, is the only freestanding birth center in South Jersey. It offers a natural approach – known as physiologic labor and birth – in a setting designed to resemble the home.
The midwifery model of care is based on the philosophy that birth is a natural part of life, rather than a condition to be treated. The approach is holistic, wellness-based, and patient- and family-centered. Physiologic labor and birth is an option for women at low risk for pregnancy complications. It emphasizes a supported birthing process with less-invasive monitoring.
Facilitated by a certified nurse midwife, a licensed provider trained in nursing and midwifery, physiologic birth allows women to give birth spontaneously without an epidural or other obstetric intervention, unless medically necessary. Should medical intervention be necessary, the center’s location, adjacent to Virtua Voorhees Hospital, gives patients quick access to a full range of treatment and care options.
Prioritizing Quality, Experience, and Outcomes for New Moms
Virtua prides itself on being at the forefront of the most advanced technology and procedures. The medical team’s top concern is to ensure patient safety and to “deliver” an exceptional patient experience.
Strict protocols established over the last several years have significantly lowered C-section and episiotomy rates, provided for the rapid treatment of hypertensive patients, and provided risk assessments for a patient’s potential for hemorrhage. All of Virtua’s maternity staff members—physicians, laborists, and nurses—are involved in decision-making processes and the development of protocols, which benefits the staff as well as their patients.
“The education and engagement of all team members is critical to our care delivery model. This inclusion results in a comprehensive and collaborative approach to patient care,” said Nicole Lamborne, MD, Virtua’s vice president of clinical operations for women’s health. “We welcome the input of our nurses, who play a vital role in how patients are managed and improves maternal outcomes. The entire team needs to have the same level of engagement for a successful result.”
To learn more about maternity services at Virtua, visit virtua.org/services/maternity.