Mother and baby were resting comfortably in one of the patient rooms in the new Mother Infant Unit, which along with the Birth Center is part of the Brittingham Family Women's Services at the new Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Located on the third floor of the Junipero Pavilion, the Birth Center has 12 birthing rooms, each with a Jacuzzi tub that can be used during labor.
"Mothers love the Jacuzzi tubs because it can help them relax and not require pain medication," said Linda Bacon, director of Women's Services. "The Jacuzzi tubs help to promote a natural childbirth."
In case a Caesarian (C-section) birth is required, the Birth Center also includes two operating rooms reserved just for maternity use.
Close to 2,500 babies a year are delivered at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The brand new Mother Infant Unit now offers all-private patient rooms, and each room has a sofa bed that allows a family member or friend to spend the night with mom and baby after delivery.
Added comforts include room service so mothers can order meals when they want, and Wi-Fi and internet access lets families connect instantaneously with loved ones who are far away.
James had given Akina a new iPad as an anniversary gift, and she was able to log onto Skype from her bed to communicate with her parents in Japan.
"It's their first grandchild, and they were really excited to see her," James explained.
Despite being exhausted after a sleepless night, James said he clearly remembers how well he, Akina and Karina were cared for by the entire staff at Cottage.
"Everybody here has been awesome. The nurses, our doctor...everyone has been so helpful and so encouraging," he said. "The rooms are really nice and clean and comfortable. We're in no hurry to go home."
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