In a Family Way

A new birthing center helps The Christ Hospital welcome babies in comfort for the whole family.
Leanne Olshavsky, M.D.

Photograph courtesy The Christ Hospital

Leanne Olshavsky, M.D.
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Christ Hospital Medical
Center – Liberty Township

—as told to Lisa Murtha

The birthing center opened the second week of January 2018. We wanted to provide the Cincinnati-Dayton metro area with access to The Christ Hospital services closer to home.

Before, birthing experiences were like mom has a baby, dad waits in the waiting room with a cigar. That’s traditionally what you see on TV. Well, it’s not like that anymore. We have dads who are birthing coaches who want to be present. We have doulas who are there helping support moms. We have the [patient’s] mom or mother-in-law, the best friend—even a birthing photographer. So we really work toward giving support to our moms [and] helping everyone feel comfortable now. We were looking for family-centered care.

Our rooms are bigger and feel almost like a hotel. We have real sheets on the beds, beautiful showers and the bathroom feels like a bathroom at a hotel. The [rooms also] have a microwave and a mini fridge—comforts of home that you don’t [usually] get in a hospital.

For moms who need to have a C-section, we developed a room that is completely private but has large windows that overlook one portion of the operating room. [Visitors] can’t see the actual surgery—there’s a sheet there—but they can see mom’s head and baby as soon as baby is delivered and passes the privacy sheet. There are also blinds controlled by the O.R. staff so when it’s time for mom to have privacy or do some skin to skin [bonding], that can be closed up. This is all optional—no one has to use it—but it gives our families another opportunity to experience birth with the family.

Many parts of the country are moving to what we call a Laborist Model—a group of physicians who have agreed to work via the same safety protocols and guidelines, so everybody’s kind of on the same page and treats labor and delivery the same way. With our Laborist model, a physician stays in-house so there’s somebody there 24-7, kind of like an ER doctor. It’s not unique to Cincinnati; however, not every hospital in Cincinnati has a Laborist model. Laborist models tend to decrease the primary C-section rate, which is huge because no one’s feeling the pressure to have a baby by a certain time. There’s a lot of evidence from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that this model really improves outcomes. Our Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores are in the 99th percentile, so we’re really happy to see that this model is working.

This is a beautiful facility; you can park right there, walk right in, it’s well-lit. You have one stop shopping—your lab’s right there, ultrasound, your doctor’s office is feet away, and we’re connected to the hospital. Liberty offers a full range of women’s health services: annual exams, gynecology surgery, mammography—urogynecology will be starting to see patients there soon. That’s the really nice part about Liberty; it’s all there together.

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