La Opinion: Highland Hospital birthing center opens with innovative technology

It’s another great news day for AHS! Yesterday’s issue of La Opinion carried a story by reporter Marcela Gray featuring the new Family Birthing Center at Highland Hospital. We thank the MCH team who have continued to welcome visits by media to the new center to showcase the services provided by our exceptional caregivers. Enjoy!

~Translated from Spanish to English~

Highland Hospital birthing center opens with innovative technology
The hospital was certified as 'baby friendly' by the World Health Organization and UNICEF



Gina and her newborn son, Alejandro. Although her unborn baby had complications early, the mother said that hospital care was first class.PHOTO: MARCELA GRAY / THE BAY VIEWOAKLAND - Private and spacious rooms with beds that change position therapeutically, private bathroom, shower, TV and wardrobe: This is the new face of Highland Hospital's Acute Care Tower in Oakland, a member of Alameda Health System, which opened its doors a few months ago.

"We no longer have to deal with medical equipment around the room or move lamps back and forth," said Deva Wolf, labor nurse in this hospital.

Nurses have a station with special equipment and medicines on hand, and also have a lamp that is operated by remote control exactly where necessary, either pointing to the mother or baby.

Nutritionists offer food 24 hours a day, with room service available in less than 45 minutes.

This hospital was certified as 'baby friendly' in February 2012. This certification is an initiative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, which stipulates that the mother should be with her baby during hospital stay.

"We put babies skin to skin with their mothers from the moment of birth and promote breastfeeding," said Wolf.

The 'Panda' bassinettes allow the baby to be comfortable while they are examined. "The only time the mother is separated from the newborn is when we give vaccines," he said.


Gina is 34 years old, is a native of Chile and has been living in Fremont for eight months.

"It felt like a top hotel not only with infrastructure and technology but also for the human treatment by doctors and nurses, always with a smile on their faces," said the new mother.

"My son Alexander was born prematurely at 35 weeks and did not want to eat, just slept. We had 16 days of being in the hospital and now I’m leaving. Thank God, and my son is taking my milk, " she said happily.

Paulina Jerome has been living in the Fruitvale area for 13 years,  she speaks Spanish and does not know English. Jerome said she was happy to stay in the new hospital and the support she received to breastfeed her baby.


An easy process with innovative equipment

Patients are evaluated in preparation rooms to confirm the status of the mother.  Each room is equipped to delivery a baby, as they are all outfitted with the necessary equipment.

Highland has six isolation rooms if the mother is sick or breathing problems are present. These special rooms allow for the protection of other patients from possible infection, especially when there is suspicion of tuberculosis, chickenpox or other infections. They have an air suction system that does not allow other hospital rooms to be contaminated.

Who can enter Highland Hospital?

Highland accepts patients all patients, regardless of legal status, whether they do or do not have health insurance, or prenatal records. 

If patients do not have insurance, assistance will be provided to them, should they qualilfy. 

In addition, Highland accepts women from various clinics in the East Bay Area, not only Alameda Health System (AHS).

High-tech security

Nurses have a station in which computers can monitor both mothers and babies. They follow a strict security protocol within the maternity center. They also have an alarm system for babies with a tracking device. When newborns approach the boundaries the alarm system is activated.

Economic contribution

The Alameda Health System provides 4,500 jobs and contributes $560 million annually to the economy Alameda County in California.

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