It’s common knowledge that babies are born on their own schedule – at any time of day or night, on holidays and weekends. This uncertainty can create complicated schedules for obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), and often leaves expectant mothers unsure of who will be delivering their baby.
To ease some of these anxieties, the Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has launched a Laborist Program.

A laborist, also called an OB/GYN hospitalist, is solely dedicated to treating women who are being treated for obstetrical issues, most often labor. These physicians do not see patients in an office, and only work in a hospital to oversee various obstetrical issues when needed. Laborists provide 24/7 coverage in all areas of obstetrical care when a patient’s primary OB/GYN can’t get to the hospital in a timely manner.

For expectant women arriving to the hospital, there is an extra measure of comfort knowing an experienced OB/GYN is available to assist her until her physician arrives. The laborists also are available to treat women who may not have an OB/GYN or someone who has not received prenatal care.

“We are thrilled to have laborists join the team at Miller Children’s & Women’s,” says Michael Nageotte, M.D., Maternal-Fetal Medicine Sub-Specialist and Associate Chief Medical Officer, BirthCare Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “With Maternal-Fetal Medicine sub-specialists and neonatologists already providing 24/7 coverage, we are adding an additional level of safety and service for our expectant mothers and their primary OB/GYN.”

Miller Children’s & Women’s is the only regional hospital that delivers comprehensive maternity and pediatric care under one roof, and has maternal-fetal medicine specialists, laborists, obstetricians and neonatologists on-site 24/7. The BirthCare Center is equipped to handle routine to high-risk pregnancies, so if a delivery isn’t routine, the baby is moved just down the hall to the level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to receive specialized care, if necessary. This means that mom and baby will not be separated at two different hospitals.