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Giving newborns the best possible start in life

The newly redeveloped maternity care unit at the Peter Lougheed Centre will improve support for pregnant women, new moms and babies in southern Alberta.

Giving newborns the best possible start in life

Victoria and her newborn baby girl Khali watch Premier Rachel Notley celebrate the Peter Lougheed Centre's newly redeveloped maternity care unit.

The state-of-the art redevelopment will provide 60 new care spaces, including 36 private and semi-private postpartum beds, 11 labour and delivery beds, eight triage beds, five private antepartum beds and two C-section operating rooms.   

“Bringing a child into the world is such an exciting experience. Moms and babies in Alberta deserve the very best. That’s why we are so proud to open this new maternity care unit at the Peter Lougheed Centre. Better space for families, world-class equipment and an unwavering commitment to the safety of moms and babies – that’s what this new maternity unit means for families in Calgary.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

The unit features larger rooms, increased privacy and more space for families. It was designed to help promote an enhanced experience for not just mothers, but the entire family – with better furnishings and other amenities like a family shower.

“Alberta moms and families deserve high-quality health care from dedicated care teams, before, during and after the miracle of birth. This redevelopment will help ensure expecting moms and newborn babies in southern Alberta have the care they need, where they need it and when they need it.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

There are about 20,000 births each year in the Calgary zone, which continues to experience population growth and an increased number of births each year. Between 2011 and 2016 there was a 26 per cent increase in the number of multiple births in the Calgary area, so the unit also features improved recovery space specifically designed for moms with twins.

“As a new mother, seeing how wonderful the new unit is will help alleviate the stress and pain of delivery. In addition to the great staff on the unit, the environment of a bright and inviting new space will provide comfort for mothers before delivery, and while recovering after giving birth.”

Kristine Dy, mother of baby Kayden Angelo Dy, born May 9, 2018

 A new centralized fetal monitoring system allows moms and babies to move throughout the unit while providing the care team with real-time access to alerts and labour progress to help enhance patient safety. The redevelopment improves the flow, connection and proximity to other services like the neonatal intensive care and postpartum units.

Negative pressure isolation rooms let doctors and nurses care for patients with airborne infections like tuberculosis, chicken pox or severely immunocompromised conditions.

“This new unit will help provide families with the highest standards of care and comfort during one of life’s most cherished moments. Our priority is to ensure that enhanced patient and family-centred care is provided to each and every expectant mother and family that walks through these doors.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

The total annual operating cost of the maternity care unit is $21 million.

Quick facts

  • The Peter Lougheed Centre opened in 1988 and now supports a referral base of about 2.3 million people from Calgary and southern Alberta.
  • In 2016-17, the Peter Lougheed Centre maternity care unit:
    • Managed 9,800 obstetrical triage visits.
    • Cared for 308 antepartum inpatients requiring care and monitoring prior to giving birth.
    • Performed 5,336 births, including 78 sets of twins.
  • The total cost for the new maternity care unit is $34 million.
  • The Calgary Heath Trust committed $2.9 million for completing and outfitting the space.

Overview of project

  • 14 labour and delivery private rooms (one is an isolation room)
  • 7 antepartum private rooms (one is an isolation room)
  • 5 semi-private postpartum rooms
  • 2 private postpartum isolation room
  • 9 triage exam rooms (one is an isolation room)
  • 3 triage observation beds
  • 2 baby assessment rooms
  • 12 private Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) rooms
  • 6 multi-birth NICU rooms (one is an isolation room)
  • 2 six-pod NICU rooms
  • 5 on-call (sleep) rooms for staff
  • Office and staff spaces
  • Mechanical upgrades (smoke exhaust fans, isolation rooms fans)

Listen to the news conference


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