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Family Birthing Services: Ochsner Lafayette General

Why choose Ochsner Lafayette General for your family birthing services?

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center has a dedicated, experienced nursing staff, physicians and childbirth educators that many mothers have come to love and trust — so much so that surveys have consistently ranked us in the 99th percentile for patients' likelihood of recommending our facility to other mothers-to-be. We have delivered babies for generations of families, including vaginal births, cesarean sections, multiple births and premature deliveries — and we are still the only Lafayette hospital to provide intensive care services to mother and baby under one roof, with an adult ICU and a Level III NICU.

Our philosophy is different – we see childbirth as wellness, not illness. Our staff recognizes that every woman is different, and each childbirth experience will be distinctive and personalized. We also believe in keeping your family together, so no special moment is lost.

If you are interested in the mother/baby model of care, where your baby is not just another face in the crowd and you have choices in all aspects of pregnancy and labor & delivery, then you’ll feel right at home.

In fact, maternal-newborn & pediatric services is constructed to feel more like home. From the expanded family waiting area with adjoining break room to more comfortable sleeping couches, our mother/baby suites and labor & delivery rooms are designed with patients and their families in mind. Our rooms are large, elegant and comfortable, with special amenities like a mini-fridge.

Newborns who need special or intensive care are often admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center. Our Level III NICU is one of the most technologically advanced NICUs in the nine-parish Acadiana area with a capacity of 31 beds.

Caring for the tiniest patients requires a combination of precise skills, complex technology, specialized facilities and a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable staff. The NICU staff and physicians continually implement initiatives which improve patient care. The Ochsner Lafayette General Foundation has been involved in helping to provide a Total Body Cooling System for hypoxic infants, NICVIEW cameras and other innovations to continue the high standard of care required for our smallest patients.

Our caregivers include neonatologists Matthew Cortez, MD (Director of Neonatology), William Smalling, MD, and Stacey Soileau, MD. Additionally, there are 7 full-time and 4 part-time neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatric subspecialist like pediatric cardiologists and gastroenterologists, as well as dedicated registered nurses.

In addition, Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center provides a team of other professionals including physical therapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, lactation consultants, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, social workers and hospital chaplains.

We recognize that not all NICU patients need the same level of care; therefore, our plan of care is structured into three stages. As babies progress, they and their parents can transition to more independence and spend more time together. At each step, parents are educated how to care for their baby so that families are ready for discharge when that special day comes. Our lactation consultants are well versed in helping mothers provide nutrient-rich breast milk, even while baby is in the NICU.

For our NICU graduates that were born at less than 33 weeks, Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center offers a neurodevelopmental follow up clinic. This clinic allows our expert team of occupational and speech therapists to follow neurodevelopmental outcomes and provide parents and families with home education to continue to progress towards age-appropriate development.

NICU Transport Team
When a newborn is in peril at another hospital, the NICU Transport Team of Ochsner Lafayette General rides to the rescue. The team is an emergency response crew that goes, at a moment’s notice, to nearby facilities requesting assistance with a sick or premature newborn beyond their scope of care. This voluntary group of RNs and respiratory therapists, must complete a 40-hour transport education course as well as having continuing education requirements. The neonatologist or extra nurses accompany the team when necessary.

Key Performance Indicators
Ochsner Lafayette General’s Level III NICU is committed to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families. Our voluntary affiliation with the Vermont Oxford Network provides ongoing, real-time reviews of our outcomes, allowing us to identify areas of need and to objectively determine improvement strategies. A comparison to the network’s benchmarks reveals excellent outcomes in all key NICU performance indicators.

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center Outcome Statistics

Patient Care Initiatives
Since 2006, the NICU staff and physicians have implemented several initiatives which have hard-wired a new approach to patient care. They include:

  • Developed a collaborative Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Implemented formal, multi-disciplinary daily patient rounds
  • Created multiple task forces to
    * research nursing best practices
    * revise existing policies to reflect these best practices
  • Standardized the approach to patient care among all NICU health care professionals
  • Strictly controlled the use of blood transfusions
  • Minimized the routine use of antibiotics
  • Strictly controlled the use of supplemental oxygen
  • Changed the entire approach to ventilator care, resulting in decreased days on mechanical ventilators, decreased lung injury and significantly lower incidence of chronic lung disease
  • Decreased length of time with central umbilical arterial and venous catheters in place

Milk Bank Depot
The demand for human donor milk in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICU) continues to rise across the country. To help meet the need for accessible donor breast milk in Acadiana, Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center opened the first milk bank depot in southwest Louisiana and third breast milk donation depot in the state. Please call 337-289-7785 or 337-289-7752 for more info.

Ochsner Lafayette General’s Level III NICU is committed to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families through our voluntary affiliation with the Vermont Oxford Network.

The Vermont Oxford Network (VON) is one of the largest neonatal performance databases in existence, with over 950 participating Neonatal Intensive Care Units around the world. They collect detailed information on newborn intensive care unit (NICU) performance and provide a benchmark for quality patient care. These are their Key Performance Indicators that allow participating NICU’s to see how their performance compares to the Network performance as a whole. In general, the Key Performance Indicators represent complications of prematurity, and as such, the lower the rates of these complications, the better the care is likely to be.

Significant measurable improvements have been made since 2006, when orchestrated efforts were made to improve the approach to neonatal care in Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center's NICU. All of the Key Performance Indicators have consistently improved to the point where we now compare extremely favorably to all NICU’s in the Vermont Oxford Network’s database, and in many areas we are now consistently better than the majority of neonatal intensive care units in Louisiana, the United States, and around the world.

The people who choose to deliver their babies at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, as well as the physicians who refer patients to us deserve to have access to objective data regarding the quality of work we do, and it is in this forum that we plan to provide this information. Matthew Cortez, MD, would be happy to discuss our outcomes, the Vermont Oxford Network, and the measures we took to achieve our success with any interested party, and will update our outcome statistics real-time here on Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center's website (please note that Network data as well as the Louisiana Group data lag behind Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center's data by one year).

Please note that the red Vermont Oxford Network line varies little because there are 50,000 – 60,000 babies a year in their denominator so it would take quite an event to make a significant change in their aggregate data; the green All Louisiana NICUs line varies more since they have several thousands of babies a year in their denominator; the blue Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center NICU line varies greatly because we only have 40-50 babies a year in our denominator, so one patient can make a significant change in that year’s statistic — this is why we have the black Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center Trend Line in place, which smooths out that line and makes it easier to compare our performance with that of the other groups.

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center is a certified Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which means it demonstrates expertise and a commitment to quality care for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries. These centers demonstrate better overall patient satisfaction and a lower percentage of early elective deliveries.

At Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, you’ll never miss one miraculous moment of your journey. We encourage you to take a tour, either after a childbirth education class or by appointment. Call 337-289-7210 to prepare yourself and your family for that special day.

You can also email with any questions regarding your upcoming delivery or to schedule a phone call to receive personalized prenatal education from a labor & delivery nurse, postpartum nurse or lactation consultant.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Family Birthing Services: Ochsner Lafayette General

Family Birthing Services: Ochsner Lafayette General Locations

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7