After an eight-year absence, babies are appearing once again at South Bay Hospital.
The hospital this week opened a $3.7-million obstetrics unit, which has been under construction for a year. Registered nurse Dee Klotz, who heads the unit, said it uses the "newest obstetrics concept" of birthing suites, in which admission, labor, delivery and recovery take place in the same room. Family members, including children over the age of 2, are welcome for the entire process, she said.
The hospital's decision eight years ago to eliminate obstetrics was cited as a major reason why South Bay Hospital, which was built as a public hospital, fell behind its competitors in services, admissions and technology. American Medical International Inc., a for-profit firm, leased the hospital in June, 1984, and made restoration of obstetrics a top priority.
Hospital officials estimate that the new unit will have 100 births a month, and that number is expected to increase to 150 by the end of 1986. Most of the obstetrical admissions will come through the hospital's contracts with two major health plans.
Klotz said the unit has nine suites, which include a fold-out bed for the father and a small kitchen.
The minimum obstetrics charge is $850 for a normal delivery and a 24-hour stay, Klotz said.