The Rotary Club of Semiahmoo has partnered with the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation to sponsor one of the eight Birthing Rooms at the Peace Arch Hospital.

This $150,000 commitment spans several years so we can leave a legacy for Rotary and have a significantly improved birthing experience for the Doctors, Moms and Dads of the 800 babies that are delivered in the hospital annually.

The existing ward which is being replaced was built in the 1960s. Shown here is the manager of maternity services in the new birthing room.
(From Peace Arch News) Once the entire ward is finished by December 2010, mothers will be able to labour, deliver and recover in the same room. The concept is a stark contrast to the hospital's previous model, in which the birthing experience took place in three rooms; one for assessment, one for labour and delivery, and another for postpartum care.

The new ward will also be 50 per cent larger and have almost three times the capacity of the previous one.

"One hundred per cent of the project is funded by the community," Jackie Smith, Foundation Executive Director said, noting many items, such as mattresses, were donated.

The new ward is a far cry from the clinical and sterile feel of the previous birthing rooms, and will likely attract families from outside the Peninsula, she added.

"It makes a huge difference for families. We think it's exciting for the patients."

Other added details in the ward include a ledge on the bathtubs where patients' companions can give massages; a wheelchair-accessible bathroom; wood basinets to replace the metal ones; and a cupboard for laughing gas that a patient can access from the bed area as well as the bathroom.

A small Murphy bed folds out from one of the wall cabinets, where a baby will be moved to if he or she requires medical attention following delivery. After being tended to, the baby would be returned to mom, and the bed folded back, out of sight. Everything is tucked away.