Birthplace Brilliance Unveiled

Story by Ann E. Butenas

University Health Women’s Care Centers Embrace Culture of Care

UH Women’s Care The Birthplace-Bridge of Hope link to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

An integral part of the University Health hospital system is its two birthing centers located in Kansas City, Missouri. Together, they delivered over 3200 babies in 2023. According to Amy McTaggart, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at University Health, both birthplaces offer distinct delivery approaches, but share a culture of caring and patient focus in a safe environment.

“We aim to create a connection with our patients, ensuring that every new family leaves with great memories of their experience here,” said McTaggart, who oversees both birthplaces.


Welcome to University Health Women’s Care The Birthplace, located at 2301 Holmes Street, Main Hospital, 6th Floor, in Kansas City, Missouri 64108; 816.569.9997
Our goal is to give every baby the best start in life, and we have recently renovated and expanded our traditional Labor and Delivery center to achieve this. Newly opened in January 2023, The Birthplace offers patients a traditional labor and delivery approach, with separate rooms for labor and delivery, and transfer to antepartum rooms following delivery. All deliveries at the birthplace are attended by OBs. Over 1800 babies were delivered in 2023.
Our new birthing center is bright and homelike, providing a comfortable environment for patients and families. We understand that every mom deserves a private suite with luxurious and spa-like amenities, which is why we have designed each room with en suite bathrooms featuring relaxing rainfall showerheads. Additionally, we have incorporated wireless fetal monitor telemetry to ensure that you receive superior care at all levels. All thirty-four suites provide privacy and space for family members who are getting acquainted with the newborn.

UH The Birthplace Suite

UH WC The Birthplace – NICU suite for multiple births/twins

Dawn Cox, Director of Perinatal Care at UH WC the Birthplace.

At The Birthplace, they offer more than just a facility; they provide a unique and unforgettable experience.
“Our team of highly experienced and skilled practitioners are experts in assisting with both normal and high-risk pregnancies, making us a regional referral center for high-risk pregnancies,” said Dawn Cox, MSN, RNC-OB, Director of Perinatal Services for The Birthplace. “A perinatal internship program allows us to provide a strong foundation for our newest nurses.”
Cox has been at University Health for over 18 years and describes her staff as “amazing.” Each patient has her own dedicated labor and delivery nurse throughout the delivery. Further, the hospital is also equipped to deliver many twins and triplets, with six larger rooms dedicated to multiple births.
University Health Women’s Care The Birthplace is the most advanced maternity care provider in Kansas City with not only a new birthplace but a new Level III NICU. One of the added benefits of delivering here is the hospital’s connection to Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH), which is just 63 steps away via a footbridge called the Bridge of Hope that connects both hospitals. This provides immediate access to CMH’s Level IV NICU, where the highest level of care can be found for premature and critically ill newborns. This is the only hospital in the metro area with this physical connection.

UH The Birthplace

UH The Birthplace NICU

Kansas City’s newest birthplace is a testament to University Health’s commitment to providing superior care and support to every patient. So, if you’re looking for exceptional maternity care – from routine to complex cases – look no further than University Health Women’s Care The Birthplace.


Lakewood Family Birthplace/Murphy Bed

Welcome to University Health Women’s Care Lakewood Family Birthplace, located at 7900 Lee’s Summit Road in Kansas City, Missouri 64139; 816.569.9997
University Health Women’s Care Lakewood Family Birthplace has been delivering exceptional care for over a decade, with more than 18,000 babies delivered since our opening in November 2011. This LDRP model birthplace (labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum) allows moms to stay in the same room throughout labor and delivery. Most often the newborn remains in the room throughout the stay as well, rather than moving to a nursery.

UH Lakewood Family Birthplace- Birthplace suite

The 19,290 square foot facility boasts 19 private rooms designed to accommodate new families throughout their stay. It provides traditional delivery beds or queen-sized Murphy beds for mothers seeking the comfort of home after delivery. Additionally, it includes two dedicated operating rooms for C-sections, a four-bed private triage area for early stages of labor, and a five-bed Level II NICU in partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital. Mothers can avail themselves of amenities such as a jetted tub for early labor and Wi-Fi access to remain connected.


UH Lakewood Family Birthplace Laney Abraham, BSN, RN Director of Perinatal Services

Laney Abraham, BSN, RN, Director of Perinatal Services, leads the exceptional team at Lakewood Family Birthplace. She emphasized the importance of patient and family care.
“Our nurses and physicians take the time to educate patients and empower them to ask questions and make informed decisions about their care,” expressed Abraham. “The staff work well as a team, and the patients can feel that. Quality and safety are of utmost importance to the team, and you can see that in our outcomes and in the care we give. Women come back here to have their babies, they remember their nurses’ names, and the unforgettable experience of bringing a life into the world. They expect great care, and that’s what we give them.”
“We have midwives, obstetricians, and family medicine doctors that deliver here with us, which gives the patients the unique opportunity to find someone they really connect with, which is so important,” she reflected.
In fact, the choice of certified midwives is a true distinction for UHWC Lakewood Family Birthplace.
“We have offered access to the services of a certified nurse midwife since 2001, providing a low-intervention birth choice for patients who desire a more natural birthing experience,” noted Abraham. “Our midwives deliver roughly 10% of the total babies at UH Lakewood Family Birthplace, and many patients drive long distances to have access to a Nurse Midwife. Nurse Midwives are associated with education and offer higher levels of emotional support to their patients. However, everyone on the OB teams at UH TMC and UH Lakewood stands out as exceptional in their caring and supportive approach to patient care.”

UH Lakewood Family Birthplace Laney Abraham, BSN, RN Director of Perinatal Services

Empowering Expectant Parents at University Health Prenatal Classes
Prenatal classes offered by University Health are essential in equipping expectant mothers with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the physical, emotional, and mental challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. These classes cover vital topics such as nutrition, exercise, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and postpartum care. They also provide a supportive environment for mothers-to-be to connect with other expectant parents, offering reassurance and camaraderie throughout the journey to motherhood. By attending these classes, expectant parents can feel more confident, empowered, and prepared for the arrival of their newborn with the guidance and expertise of University Health professionals.

Expansion of Childbirth Education Programs for New Parents
Education plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth pregnancy and labor/delivery process. Unfortunately, many birthplaces had to suspend in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to low attendance in virtual classes and program discontinuations in some hospitals.
However, University Health took a different approach by rebuilding and expanding their birthplace education program in early 2023. Abraham, Director of Perinatal Services at UH Lakewood Medical Center, emphasized the importance of offering choices that catered to patients’ needs, including different times, in-person or virtual sessions, and multilingual options with consistent messaging to set realistic expectations for the birth process.

Kristy Flores, RN BSN Childbirth Education Coordinator

Kristy Flores, RN, BSN, Childbirth Education Coordinator for University Health, highlighted that prenatal education classes were beneficial for all parents, not just first-time moms. Attending childbirth classes could boost confidence and help manage expectations, leading to greater satisfaction with the birth experience.
University Health offers complimentary classes to all patients delivering at their birthplaces, with flexible scheduling options to accommodate a wide range of patients, including a three-part series covering pregnancy (anatomy, nutrition, signs of labor, preterm labor, stages of labor, and birth), labor and delivery (comfort techniques and birth plans), and newborn and postpartum care (safe sleep practices, self-care after delivery, and perinatal mood disorders). An Express Class condenses all three parts into a 4-hour session for convenience. Virtual and in-person classes are available, with virtual attendance now being the preference for about two-thirds of participants.
In addition to the series, there are in-person teaching tours on the labor process offered in multiple languages, including English and Spanish, with interpreters available for other languages. University Health’s prenatal educator is bilingual.
Lactation Coordinators also provide breastfeeding classes as well as facilitate the Terrific Moms Club, a support group for new moms choosing to breastfeed. Through these comprehensive education programs, University Health aims to empower and support expectant parents through every stage of the pregnancy and birth journey.


University Health’s Commitment to Creating Exceptional Birth Experiences
University Health is dedicated to creating exceptional birthplaces that consistently deliver a quality family experience for new families. From the moment expectant parents walk through our doors, our focus is on providing expert care, support, and guidance to ensure a positive and empowering birthing experience. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals is committed to offering personalized care, compassion, and respect to each family, making their journey to parenthood a memorable and joyous one. By prioritizing the best interests and well-being of both the parents and their newborn, we strive to create a welcoming and nurturing environment that fosters trust, confidence, and satisfaction in the care we provide.