Exclusive: New WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital to include spa-like Birthing Center


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – When mothers walk into the new Birthing Center at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, which is still under construction, they will enter a spa-like environment.

The Birthing Center will take up the entire eighth floor of the new hospital when it is completed in the summer of 2021. It will have 30 obstetrics rooms, seven of which will have birthing tubs, which help women relieve some of the pain and anxiety of their labor. All of this excites Leo Brancazio, M.D., chair of WVU Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, who said he cannot wait for the new hospital to be completed.


To quote the movie Spinal Tap, on a scale from one to ten it’s an eleven. I’m so excited, we’ve been wishing for this for a long time. Our current facility is good, but it’s somewhat outdated. The new facility is truly going to be state of the art, it’s going to be completely family-centered and at the same time if a woman were to get sick, unfortunately, or her baby were to get sick we could immediately turn into the highest tertiary care she could want.

Leo Brancazio, M.D.

Brancazio said the rooms in the Birthing Center will be larger, meaning more room for the mother, child and family. If there is a need for intervention because of complications, he said, the larger rooms can be converted into a makeshift intensive care unit where mothers can be treated.

WVU Medicine Children’s is also building a medical office building adjacent to the hospital tower, Brancazio said.

“Where we will be able to take care of women who have complicated pregnancies, so if there’s an issue, they don’t have to travel anywhere to be admitted to the hospital,” Brancazio said. “They just take the elevator up to the labor and delivery unit.”

Although the Birthing Center may look like more than a hospital, it is all about providing mothers and children the best care, the Ob/Gyn said. That level of care will also extend to their families.

There will be a family lounge and, as mentioned earlier, enough space in rooms for family members. Brancazio said families are an essential part of the birthing process, and that is why it is vital to include their wellbeing into the Birthing Center.

“It’s actually been well studied that women have a good support system during their labor they have better labors,” Brancazio said. “Furthermore, they have a decreased chance of needing a cesarean delivery and probably most importantly, it creates a bonding situation where not only the patient, the mom, can bond with her newborn child, but so can the family.”

Rendering of the new hospital

According to WVU Medicine Children’s, in addition to the Birthing Center, the nine-story, 150-bed WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital will include:

  • A Pediatric Intensive Care Unit · A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • A Pediatric Acute Care Unit
  • Private inpatient rooms with a window view
  • Private inpatient rooms with a window view
  • A dedicated emergency department
  • Operating rooms, cardiac catheterization, interventional radiology, and endoscopy facilities
  • A medical office building, including a pediatric heart and vascular institute, blood disorder and cancer center, and maternal-fetal medicine clinics
  • A pharmacy, pediatric imaging services, a cafeteria, and a gift shop.
  • A family resource center

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