I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the labor and delivery suites at Mountain Point Medical Center in Lehi, UT. I’ve honestly been wanting to see inside this little hospital for a while. Since it opened its doors all the way back in 2015, it’s still a relatively new hospital and is visible right off I-15 on the Silicon Slopes side of Point of the Mountain. On top of all that I have yet to hear a negative thing about it, which is saying something. My curiosity was thoroughly peeked. So, when I heard they give free, twice weekly tours I said “Sign me up!” I grabbed one of my fellow Wasatch Mountain Birth Boot Camp ladies, the lovely Hollie Hauptly, and together we joined the expecting couples for the tour.
So let me get the bad news out of the way up front. Ladies, gentleman, and variations there on, this is still a hospital. That means they still have hospital policies and procedures. There are still going to be nice and well meaning people in scrubs who may or may not share your opinions about birth, vaccines, or who really should have won The Masked Singer. This is still a hospital that does hospital like things, but from the moment you walk in the door you wouldn’t even know it.
Hollie and I walked through the door at 9:50 on a Saturday morning into what looked like an empty upscale hotel lobby. Seriously, this place and 80% of the hotels in Park City must have used the same interior designer. But what was more noticeable than the earthy stone walls, high windows, and bright naturally lit atmosphere was how absolutely calm and quite the whole hospital was. This spirit of quite calm continued up the stairs and down the hall to the “Women’s Services” area of the hospital on the second floor. We were buzzed through the doors and asked to wait in one of the biggest triage rooms I had ever seen. Soon the rest of the tour group was there and we were off.
Our first stop was one of the labor, delivery, and recovery rooms. That’s right, families who come to Mountain Point Medical will have just one room for the entirety of their stay. The first labor/delivery/recovery room that we saw was one of 5 with tubs. The rooms without tubs have spacious showers instead (plenty big enough for a laboring woman and a birth ball). The tubs are also impressive. Deep and wide with a door to make getting in and out easier for the laboring woman. Now, before you get excited because you just hear “tub” and “labor” in the same sentence, no, they don’t do water births. In the event that a baby is born when the woman is still in the tub hospital policy/procedure is to take the newborn to the level 2 NICU for a quick once over to make sure they are ok. The room that we were shown was also big enough to fit our group of 14 comfortably. When asked how many people the hospital was comfortable being at the birth the answer was basically “however many can fit and still allow us to do our job” and this list included family, doulas, and birth photographers/videographers.
Besides beautiful spacious rooms and tubs that make me want to renovate my own bathroom, Mountain Point Medical offers wireless monitoring, allowing women to walk the halls during labor instead of being strapped to the bed. They also are fine with women eating and drinking during labor before they receive an epidural. After an epidural women can have water, juice, jello, or a slushy from the slushy machine in the kitchen. Before an epidural families are welcome to help themselves to the snacks in the fridge, the cookies in the cabinet, or bring their own food.
Our last stop on the tour was the healthy baby nursery...which was completely empty of babies. This is because most women choose and are encouraged to do rooming in. “Of course,” we were assured, “if the parents feel like they need a little bit of rest we are more than happy to accommodate them.” Accommodating might be the best word to describe the whole atmosphere of the labor and delivery suits. Accommodating, calm, and peaceful. And it’s no wonder they are able to achieve this sort of atmosphere with a patient to nurse ratio that they try to keep at 1:1!
Yes, this is still a hospital. Once your water breaks your labor will be put on a clock (24 hours according to our tour guide); it is still routine to give the newborn test, shots and screenings; and no, they are not going to be ok with you having a water birth. However, for families that need or want to give birth in a hospital but are hoping for an atmosphere that is cooperative and supportive of their birth plans I would say that Mountain Point Medical Center is a great option.