Our Patients Say Virginia Hospital Center Is the Best Place to Have a Baby
Every birth day here is the unique experience it was meant to be.
“There’s only one reason for selecting a hospital in which to give birth: it’s the quality of medicine you’ll receive,” says J. Jeffrey Elliott, MD, OB/GYN. “Everything else is optional. Virginia Hospital Center is well known for the excellent medical care it provides.”
“Our members consistently tell us they have a great experience—so much so that we have a significant number of members who choose to deliver at Virginia Hospital Center, bypassing other hospitals in Northern Virginia and DC that are closer to them,” says Mark A. Tretiak, MD, FACOG, Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology for Kaiser Permanente Northern Virginia.
At 5,800 births a year, Virginia Hospital Center is a sophisticated, high-volume maternity center. Yet, “this Hospital places a high value on giving patients more time and attention, making their care more personal. It’s the right size for comfort, while big enough to have the all the technology and skills our patients need,” says Dr. Elliott.
Dr. Tretiak adds, “If you have a complicated pregnancy, Virginia Hospital Center is the best place to go. Or, if you want to have a high-touch, low-tech natural delivery, the Hospital is equally good.”
Expert Care for High-Risk Pregnancy
Everyone wants and hopes for a completely normal, uneventful pregnancy. However, when there are bumps in the road, OB/GYNs bring in the expertise of maternal-fetal medicine physicians who specialize in high-risk pregnancy.
“We coordinate care with the patient’s OB/GYN and other physicians involved in her care, including endocrinologists, cardiologists, and surgeons, as well as specialists from the Fetal Medicine Institute at Children’s National as necessary,” says Kelly Orzechowski, MD, FACOG of VHC Physician Group Maternal Fetal Medicine.
“We have had excellent outcomes for moms with congenital heart conditions. We collaborate with cardiologists to co-manage their pregnancy and work closely with intensivists for the birth, which takes place in the Intensive Care Unit. A generation ago, these women were not able to have babies,” says Kristin Knight, MD, FACOG, a perinatologist with Kaiser Permanente.
Your Birth Day–Your Way
At Virginia Hospital Center we help expectant parents choose the birth experience they want. We encourage family involvement to the extent that mom would like. There are no specific limits on visitors during the labor and delivery process.
“My record was 18 people in the delivery room,” says Sandra Caskie, MD, OB/GYN, who has been delivering babies at the Hospital for 20 years. “It was an unusual request, but the mom’s father had recently passed away and she wanted her entire family to witness the totally joyful occasion of her child’s birth. We made it work for her—and it was wonderful.”
High Touch, Low Tech
There are many women who choose to have a midwifery birth in a hospital setting. Virginia Hospital Center is proud of its thriving midwifery service.
“Women who deliver with a certified nurse midwife at Virginia Hospital Center want a high-touch, low-tech birth; they want to feel empowered and be an active participant in the birth process,” says Karen King, CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). “We’re in the room a lot during labor advocating for mom’s choices. We partner with our patients. We talk about what are good choices to make and then make those decisions together as a team.”
Dr. Bear® is on the NICU
Managed by board-certified neonatologists from the nationally top-ranked Division of Neonatology at Children’s National Health System, our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can take care of babies of all gestational ages with most complex conditions. Our partnership with Children’s National means that our babies have expert neonatal care available, right here in the community. When more acute care is needed, babies in our NICU have direct access to more than 40 pediatric clinical divisions at Children’s National.
Like all patients at Virginia Hospital Center, NICU babies have private rooms, allowing parents to bond with their baby in a peaceful environment free of unnecessary stimulation to promote their growth and development.
“This can be an incredibly stressful time for our families. We spend a significant amount of time with them, explaining what to expect, hearing their concerns and answering their questions. The family is the most important part of the care team,” says Brian Stone, MD, MBA, Children’s National neonatologist, Medical Director of the NICU and Chief of Pediatrics.
Preparing to Bring Baby Home
Our high level of expert care with a personal touch extends well beyond the birthday.
All of our moms have private rooms with private bathrooms and showers. Every nurse on the Mother Baby Unit has inpatient lactation certification.
“Moms give high marks to our nursing staff for their courteous, considerate postpartum care. They particularly appreciate how we include the family in the baby’s care—educating not just mom, but the family in preparation to go home,” says Bonnie Williams, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Women & Infant Health. For example, we offer a breastfeeding survival class for dads and partners taught by a lactation consultant who explains how to support mom while breastfeeding. “A lot of our dads won’t leave the Hospital until they’ve attended it,” adds Williams. “When parents go home with their baby, we want them to feel, ‘I’ve got this.’”