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Roseland Hospital aims to improve resources for expectant mothers, newborns

Roseland Hospital aims to improve resources for expectant mothers, newborns
Roseland Hospital aims to improve resources for expectant mothers, newborns 02:41

CHICAGO (CBS) – Bows, bottles and bibs: a Southside hospital is getting ready for a community baby shower on Saturday, Sept. 17 from noon to 3 p,m. The party will honor 30 new or soon-to-be moms in need.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside the greater meaning of the celebration: encouraging deliveries closer to home.

Inside Roseland Community Hospital, Dr. Joy West and her team are caring for only about 15 new babies a month.

"In our heyday, we did as many as 100 deliveries per month," said Dr. West, chair of the hospital's OB/GYN department. "The main reason we hear from patients about why they don't want to deliver at Roseland is the facility."

She readily offers that her maternity unit needs a makeover and hopes its perception will change with a refresh.

Dr. West showed CBS 2 parts of her floor that now feature new wood floors and new paint along with modern furniture and modern bedding.

"We thought a nice balance of both pink and blue," Dr. West said of the color scheme. In older rooms, you'd see a lot of stark white.

Tiny gifts and special artwork also await mom and baby as wells as an updated bathroom.

"We want our moms, postpartum, to feel like they're at home," Dr. West said.

That home-y feeling is only available in two out of 10 rooms right now.

"We have to do it [the renovation] piece by piece. We don't always have the budget to make massive improvements," said Tim Egan, president and CEO of Roseland Community Hospital.

Other Chicago-area hospitals are struggling with finances too. In recent years, declining birthrates and insurance disagreements led some to shut down their entire labor and delivery wings which forces mothers to travel farther to give birth.

"Delivery close to home is really important for maternal and infant outcomes," said Dr. West. "Our patients don't have to worry about the social determinants to care such as transportation and income [because of the hospital's proximity to their homes]."

"There is also skyrocketing morbidity rate for pregnant women in the African American community," said Egan, explaining Roseland's commitment to keeping its birthing services open. He's hoping to attract new patients from the neighborhood with the maternity unit's new look and new partnership with Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit that donates infant care packages for families in need.

Cradles to Crayons will soon help Roseland Community Hospital put on a giant baby shower for mothers who choose to deliver there.

"Each mom will get a box of diapers," said Angelina Martinez, partner relations manager for Cradles to Crayons. Lotion, baby wash, nail clippers and more will be provided at the baby shower.

"I was that mom who needed those items so now that I'm on this side, I know what those moms are feeling," said Martinez. "They're just so relieved."

Cradles to Crayons is always looking for new or slightly used baby items to give to moms in need. You can find more information here.

And, to donate or provide sponsorship to Roseland Community Hospital, you can contact the Director of Marketing: Chrislin Flanagan via email at

Roseland Community Hospital is pining for a 10-million dollar grant from the State to finish its renovations - but the money isn't approved yet.

In the meantime, administrators say they will always accept donations.

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