BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s busy in the maternity wing at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman with a big jump in the number of babies being born there.
In August, the hospital had 257 deliveries – the highest total since the ward was relocated from Youngstown to the Boardman campus two years ago.
Three other hospitals – Alliance, East Liverpool and Jameson – closed their maternity wings, meaning those patients are now coming to Boardman.
For the last three months, St. Elizabeth Boardman has delivered 735 babies (231 in September and 247 in October), which is about eight per day. Year-to-date, the number of births is running 8 percent above last year.
“Our volume of births have surpassed 2015. Wherein we were doing 150 births a month, now we’re doing 200 and that’s becoming the norm now,” said Anna Klejka, vice president of women’s services.
The hospital has 14 labor rooms and 33 private rooms for after-delivery.
“We have a healing environment. We have surround sound, we offer aroma therapy and those are just the niceties which compliment the high-tech service that we provide,” President Genie Aubel said.
St. E’s transferred the Madonna from downtown to have a comforting presence watching over the maternity.
“The challenge is just that you’re trying to maximize your space because you know babies have their own time to come into the world, and sometimes it may be more challenging than others,” Klejka said.
You won’t see babies lined up in the maternity ward at the Boardman hospital, though. The medical personnel encourage bonding time between mother and baby, so the newborns are often with their moms.
The hospital believes that’s been a big boost to dropping the local infant mortality rate.
The hospital has a level of care to treat high-risk babies and a partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital, which runs a neonatal intensive care nursery on the same floor. On the other hand, the Boardman campus can also provide the gentle touch during routine deliveries as well.
St. Elizabeth Boardman is the only Level 3 OB Unit in the tri-county area. Aubel says that makes it well-equipped to handle the high volume of babies.