First look inside Riley Children’s Hospital new maternity tower


INDIANAPOLIS — After a delay in opening due to COVID-19 cases, Riley Children’s Hospital new maternity tower is just weeks from opening, and Thursday hospital officials gave us a look inside the new unit.

The maternity tower will centralize all inpatient childbirth and newborn care offered at three downtown Indiana University Health hospitals.

The tower consists of four floors devoted to the care of infants and mothers at every stage of pregnancy.

“That is such an awesome thing, that we can have moms in the building even if they’re baby needs that higher level of care, that they can still see their baby and you know be able to start that bonding experience cause you’ve waited all that time to see your baby, you don’t want to wait another day or two it makes a really big difference,” said Sheila Decker, the clinical manager of the Mother-Baby Unit of the Riley Maternity Tower.

When it opens, the tower’s 45 bed Level 3 NICU combined with the NICU currently in Simon Family Tower, will make it the largest NICU in Indiana and among the largest in the country.

It is expected to accommodate more than 3,800 deliveries each year.

“With it being Riley, you often think of being sick kiddos and the great care that’s provided here but we see any moms from, we see the sickest moms in the state all the way to the completely normal delivery that walks in through the door,” said Decker.

Thanks to the other services offered through the hospital, care for parents goes beyond just helping with the delivery and infant health.

“Our parents are able to stay here with the babies if they are happening to be going through some kind of withdrawal, we have an extensive drug treatment program for moms here in the hospital and I think that makes us very unique in the state that we offer that to our moms,” Decker added. “We have  a lot of those patients.”

The maternity tower will open on November 7th, which means all moms and babies at Methodist Maternity Center not going home that day, will then be moved by ambulance into the newly opened facility.

“It will be quite the effort but we have an excellent plan in place and I think that we are ready to go,” said Decker.

Patient feedback was also used when it came to designing the rooms of the maternity tower.

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