Skip to contents
In This Issue:
The Boston Lying-in Hospital, one of the nation’s first maternity hospitals, opened its doors to women unable to afford in-home medical care in 1832. Now, 170 years later, BWH celebrates the exceptional advances in maternal and newborn care achieved at the Lying-in and continued today at BWH.
“In 1832, the death rate of women during childbirth was approximately three percent, and the infant mortality rate was in the range of 20 percent,” said Robert Barbieri, MD, chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Over the past 170 years, advances in pediatrics, anesthesia, blood banking, surgery, nursing and obstetrical care have produced remarkable reductions in the risk of childbirth to both mother and newborn.”
Advances at the Lying-in specifically include the first instance of administering anesthesia in childbirth in 1847, and the introduction of antiseptic techniques to ward off infection following childbirth in 1883. More recently, in 1994, BWH opened the 12-story Center for Women and Newborns, known today as the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health. The Center has set a new standard in obstetrical and newborn care, featuring home-like birthing suites, private postpartum and antepartum rooms that promote family-focused care, and a 46-bed Newborn Intensive Care Unit with overnight rooms for parents.
“The key to the high quality obstetrical care provided at BWH today is the multidisciplinary teamwork involving, nurses, pediatricians, anesthesiologists and obstetricians,” said Barbieri. “We have the best clinicians and the best obstetrical care.”