November 2014

Special Delivery! New Women’s Pavilion designed for comfort of moms and babies

Author: Courtney Hillis

Women throughout the area are buzzing about the new Women’s Pavilion at Coastal Carolina Hospital. The facility is a welcome change, providing women the freedom to birth as they wish—a peaceful place, designed for the comfort of mothers and babies.

The center views Mom, Dad and baby as a whole and helps the family feel at home, even in a hospital environment. Mothers throughout the Bluffton, Beaufort and Hilton Head area are excited about the new birthing facility, its convenient location and open-minded staff. In fact, some women are changing physicians in order to deliver at the Women’s Pavilion.

About Coastal Carolina Hospital
Coastal Carolina Hospital is part of Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, which also includes Hilton Head Hospital and Bluffton-Okatie Outpatient Center. Coastal Carolina Hospital is an acute care facility with 41 beds, conveniently located in Hardeeville, S.C. at the intersection of Highway 278 and Interstate 95. The hospital has been open since November 2004 and originally offered labor and delivery services, which were later shut down due to lack of demand. However, a currently growing population and increase in younger demographics has led to the need for and opening of the new Women’s Pavilion at Coastal Carolina Hospital.


The new space boasts an experienced staff, with each labor and delivery nurse having a minimum of five to seven years of experience.

The decision to build the Women’s Pavilion was made in early 2013, with design beginning in early fall 2013 and construction starting in January of 2014. Two existing units were combined and remodeled to create the new labor and delivery facility. The pavilion opened its doors on July 1, 2014, and as of mid-July, had over 50 births. Averaging about four births per day, the new complex already has a higher volume of births than its counterpart, Hilton Head Hospital.

The newly designed center has six large labor and delivery suites and 10 spacious postpartum rooms, all of which come with a sleeper pullout for Dad/partner. Three antepartum beds are available for expectant mothers in the beginning stages of labor to be monitored and evaluated. Everything is brand new in the Women’s Pavilion, from the centralized fetal monitoring system to the beds to latest medical equipment. It is a lock-down unit, so each person entering the facility must be buzzed in through a video intercom or have a keycard.

Furthering the safety of the facility is an infant security system—a tag on each baby that allows the staff to know where every newborn is at all times. The pavilion also has a 10-bed nursery. One of the most unique features of the new facility is the outdoor courtyard with a walking path, which allows laboring mothers to stroll outside in the fresh air.

New building, experienced staff
According to Katie Mowery, director of women’s services, “It is a new space but not a new staff.” In fact, each labor and delivery nurse has a minimum of five to seven years of experience, and most of them have much more. “We have assembled a team to give the very best care, and it shows,” Mowery said.

Meg Sordi, who delivered at the Women’s Pavilion in July said, “The staff was sincere and genuine in their care and treatment…the staff was amazing.”

Expectant mother, Amber Boulware says she feels at ease at the Women’s Pavilion and is confident in the experienced staff.


The newly designed center has six large labor and delivery suites and 10 spacious postpartum rooms, all which come with a sleeper pullout for Dad/partner.
One of the most unique features of the new facility is the outdoor courtyard with a walking path, which allows laboring mothers to stroll outside in the fresh air.

The pavilion follows a laborist model, meaning that a doctor and anesthesiologist are in-house 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The facility also employs about 35 nurses, a midwife and lactation support. Riverside Women’s Care is one of the practices currently delivering at the Women’s Pavilion. With offices in Bluffton and Beaufort, the timing was perfect for Riverside Women’s Care, which was looking to offer more regional care, to join the pavilion. The addition of Riverside Women’s Center to Coastal Carolina Hospital added labor and delivery to the existing services of women’s health offered at the hospital, making it a full-service Women’s Center. Palmetto Pediatrics is the hospital’s practicing pediatric office.

Patient care
The Women’s Pavilion focuses on patient care and comfort, and this begins the moment the mother-to-be enters the hospital. She does not have to have wait in an emergency room and is instead brought immediately back to registration with minimum waiting. Soon patients will be able to preregister online to speed up the process even more.

Each laboring mother is greeted with a toiletry bag in her labor and delivery suite, a gift bag in her post-partum room and a comfortable terrycloth robe, which patients seem to enjoy much more than walking around in the typical hospital gowns. The luxury does not stop there. Moms are also offered a post-partum celebration meal, consisting of filet mignon or chicken served as a candlelight dinner (battery powered, of course). Bella Baby Photography also offers it services to all new mothers by taking in-suite photographs of the newborn and family. Some of these photos are on display in the waiting area of the pavilion.

Even with multiple births per day, the labor ward is quiet and homey. “Most women have never been in a hospital before. We do not want them to feel anxious. We don’t want it to feel like a hospital,” Mowery said.

The hospital focuses on letting each mother labor the way she wants to labor with the assistance of her doctor(s). Medically assisted births, natural births, caesarean births and everything in between are supported. For natural births, birthing balls are offered, and walking during labor is encouraged with telemetry fetal monitoring. In fact, laboring mothers are allowed to walk with IVs. Large showers with benches are also provided in the labor and delivery suites so that laboring mothers can shower and find some relief.

Boulware, who is planning an all-natural birth says she feels like the staff is there for the moms and to do what the moms want. Sordi, experienced this supportive care firsthand during her delivery when offered options to walk around, shower, etc.

The Women’s Pavilion also supports baby bonding and the family as a unit. Babies are kept in the labor room for all standard measuring and tests, most of which can even be done while the mother is holding the baby. Once the mother is in her postpartum suite, the staff supports room-in care, which means the baby will only be taken to the nursery upon request.

High-risk deliveries are rare, but when they happen (depending on severity of issue) the patient(s) is transferred to MUSC in Charleston. Nurses at The Women’s Pavilion at Coastal Carolina Hospital are trained to stabilize patients for transport to MUSC.

The new labor and delivery facility also offers a selection of education courses for expectant mothers, including childbirth education, breastfeeding, sibling, baby care and preparing for childbirth. In addition, a breastfeeding support group meets on Monday evenings.

The hospital gives back
During the opening of this new state-of-the-art labor and delivery facility, the hospital held a baby shower, donating all gifts to Bluffton Self Help and Storks Nest. Over 2,000 diapers and other baby essentials, including onesies, burp cloths and blankets were given to families in need.

To learn more about the new Women’s Pavilion, take a virtual tour, or view the classes available, visit coastalhospital.com/en us/ourservices/medicalservices/pages/labordeliveryservices.aspx.

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