The Birth Designer Program at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Provides Options

May 5, 2022

Chrissy ConeyChrissy Coney, RNC, BSN, CLC, the Birth Designer/Clinical Program Coordinator at The Women’s Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, talks about the unique Birth Designer Program at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.

Q: What is the Birth Designer Program?

For expectant moms, this program is a tremendous resource and provides options that they may not have thought of otherwise. Being able to offer these services is very rewarding for our team who runs this program.

The program itself delivers care that is truly focused on each individual and her support person, to help educate on the tools needed to stay safe and healthy during the prenatal, delivery and postpartum periods. Creating customized birth plans is one of the main focuses of the program.

Q: What is the benefit of this program?

Our hospital has a high standard of safety. If expectant mothers understand the entire labor and delivery process prior to labor, they're better able to choose the best birth-experience pathway for them, based on their individualized desires and healthcare needs, and within the safety net of the hospital.

Q: Is Lakewood Ranch Medical Center the only hospital in the area to offer this?

Yes. At this time, the Women's Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center is the only one in the community to offer this to expectant mothers.

Q: Along with developing customized birth plans, what else does the program offer?

We know that being in labor can be challenging and we want to make it as smooth going as possible for the mom. They will have one-on-one support during labor, and if they want a doula, we welcome that, too. After the baby’s born, we continue to offer support, whether that’s with breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

Ahead of delivery, our patients receive information from me as well as during childbirth classes about things they may choose to help aid in relaxation during labor and delivery, such as massage, visualization, breathing, music, and having an epidural for pain relief.

Q: Is there a cost involved in participating in the program?

The Birth Designer Program is offered at no cost to expectant mothers delivering at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. This program was designed to ensure that the expectant mothers and their support teams, staff and physicians are all on board with the birth plan constructed for each individual.

Q: What experience do you bring to this role as the birth designer?

I have more than 11 years of experience with eight years as a labor and delivery nurse. I earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of South Florida in Tampa and a bachelor's degree in biology from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. In addition to being an RNC (registered nurse who is certified in electronic fetal monitoring), I am a CLC (certified lactation consultant) as well. I’m very passionate about helping mothers with breastfeeding. Seeing the look on their faces when their baby is finally able to latch and feed well — I mean, that’s just the best feeling because I know how important it is for them.

Q: Who else is on the medical team for the program?

Obstetricians are a part of our team and are involved with the birth plan constructed for each individual. We also have a neonatologist and doulas as part of our group.

Q: What does the Women’s Center look like?

The Women’s Center is located in a facility that just had a $3 million renovation to make it more serene and spa-like. The hospital has 120 total beds, but within The Women’s Center, we have 14 LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum) rooms. And unlike in most hospitals, once a patient is admitted to a room, they stay in that room. After all, who wants to move to another room after the baby’s born?

The Women’s Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center is located at 8330 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202.

Learn more about our Birth Designer Program