Birth and NICU Facilities

Mother/Baby Important Factors Shaping Birth and NICU Facilities LDR (Labor- Delivery- Recovery)
  • Patient moves to a separate postpartum room after labor and pre-op care.
  • Do not require windows in rooms by code, but hospitals typically do not build them without windows.
  • 340 nsf clear (min)
  • + 60 nsf bathroom
LDRP (Labor- Delivery- Recover- Postpartum)
  • Patient stays in the same room that they labored and had pre-op care in.
  • Room is used longer.
Mother/Infant Rooming-in
  • Rooms offer enough space for the baby to be in the same room as the mother
  • Lowers the number of new born bassinets in nursery.
  • Location of the nursery should be near a control/ nurses’ station if it is a small “holding” nursery.
  • two “headwalls” needed
  • Space for baby to be examined in patient room



Mother-Baby Couplet Care
  • One nurse provides care to both mother and baby. Many hospitals try not to separate mother and baby because it is the mother’s preference and clinically proven to be better for the two.
  • Enhances patient teaching
  • Family centered care and family satisfaction
  • Lactation initiation and breast-feeding
  • Nursing and staff communication

Scheduled Cesarean rate
  • Higher scheduled rate = greater # of cesarean OR’s
  • More cesareans = more postpartum rooms (4 day vs 2 day average stay)
  • Fewer LDR and LDRP’s, if they are only used for vaginal births and unscheduled Cesarean’s Perinatal Acuity (mother and baby or fetus)
  • Higher the acuity, the greater need for antepartum inpatient rooms
  • Increased need for access to NICU Single Family Rooms, cubicle, pinwheel, or open design
  • Increased control of environment to support infants development regardless of design
Philosophy of Movement of NICU babies
  • Minimal patient movement = no or very little “graduation” of purposeful transfer of patients from room to room
  • Amount of square feet per infant and headwall gases/ outlets sized for highest acuity if space is used for all levels of care
  • All flexible, acuity adaptable infant care areas or rooms.






    • Lecture by Judy Smith, Smith Hager Bajo, Inc.