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For new arrivals: Sentara Healthcare expands Family Maternity Center at Sentara Leigh Hospital

The $6 million expansion project comes after hospital staff noticed an increase in deliveries over the last few years.

NORFOLK, Va. — A new expansion at Sentara Leigh Hospital is helping staff care for more births. 

Wednesday morning, hospital staff opened a new wing for its Family Maternity Center and introduced the new part of the facility to patients. 

 “Over the past few years our volumes have continued to grow," Jennifer Kreiser, the chief nursing officer at Sentara Leigh Hospital, said.

 "We are now delivering over 3,000 babies a year.”

Kreiser said that growth started back in 2020.

“When Bon Secours DePaul closed, their midwifery center and their physician group decided to join Sentara Leigh," she said. 

"With that came a thousand more deliveries a year.”

After identifying the need to grow, crews spent a year on the nearly $6 million expansion project.

“We currently have more patients on the unit right now than we actually have postpartum rooms for,” Karen Kemp said, the director of the Family Maternity Center.

“Our new rooms are really truly meant for everyone to be able to come and join and gather together." 

The center added 13 new postpartum rooms, which gives the center a total of 41 beds. She said the expansion even comes with new technology.

“We’ve been able to initiate a fetal monitoring process where babies that needed to be in the nursery before can now get their monitoring in the room with mom,” Kemp said.

She said this process is new to the hospital and Hampton Roads.

“It’s really exciting to be able to transition them out of their labor room and into a room that’s nice and clean and warm,” Kemp said.

According to Sentara Healthcare, Sentara Leigh Hospital is among the top 10 busiest Labor & Delivery units in Virginia, delivering more than 3,100 babies in 2022.

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