The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her baby girl in a hospital said to be one of the most beautiful in the United States.
The Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California was founded in 1888 by 50 women determined to provide a healthcare facility for the growing community of Santa Barbara.
It welcomes 2,400 new babies into the world each year and says the birth of a child is “a significant life event and one you will always remember”.
The hospital’s website says it is a 519-bed acute care teaching hospital and trauma centre, the largest of its kind between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“With the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south, our new (2012) hospital was recently voted one of the most beautiful in the country.
“Built in the Spanish Colonial style with artwork from local artists decorating the halls, it feels more like a home than a hospital.
“That feeling continues in the Birth Centre where our rooms have a plentiful amount of space and natural light from picture windows with mountain and skyline views,” the website says.
The women’s services section of the website says each birth is “very personal” and encourages parents to attend classes offered throughout the pregnancy.
It says every room has Wi-Fi and a large video monitor with a computer keyboard.
Expectant mothers can call up a mix of media and tune into videos for relaxation and baby care, and they can order meals from a menu like room service.
“You are welcome to snacks from our pantry any time,” the website says.
Each of the birthing rooms at the hospital has a recliner, a rocking chair, and a sofa “to compliment the birthing bed with a generous number of pillows for comfort”.
The website says: “Coping techniques and relief of labour’s pain is offered in a variety of ways: position changes, walking on one of our beautiful outside terraces, physical therapy (or “birthing” balls), and our Jacuzzi tubs for hydrotherapy and labour support from your nurse and others you’ve invited to your birth.
“We also have analgesia (‘pain medication’) available in the form of intravenous medication and epidural analgesia performed by one of our skilled anaesthesiologists should you desire it.”
Following her recovery time, a woman and her baby will be transferred to Mother-Infant Care for the rest of their stay.
The unit has 19 private rooms and five semi-private rooms.
The website says: “Mother-baby couplet care is provided and ‘rooming in’ with your baby is encouraged.
“This promotes bonding, skin-to-skin opportunities and assists with successful breastfeeding.”
The room is designed for families, and partners or another family member is welcomed to stay overnight when in a private room.
Regarding visitors, the website says: “We welcome your visitors to the Birth Centre for your support any time but ask that you limit the number to three at one time for safety and privacy of all patients.
“We also encourage that you take advantage of the ‘golden first hour’ following birth to be alone with your baby to provide skin-to-skin bonding and early breastfeeding while the baby is most alert for those first 24 hours of life.”