GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Say hello to Brantley Larsen. The bouncing baby boy calls George County home now. A few weeks ago, he would have been born more than 60 miles away. Mom Megan is very pleased.
"I'm glad they re-opened it because people were having to drive, so it's just a lot better to have it around here," Larsen said. "And me growing up here, I'm really glad I got to have him here."
The signs of the re-birth of the labor and delivery unit are everywhere at the hospital. It's not hard to find them. People who live in George County are responding, according to hospital CEO Paul Gardner.
"The community has been very positive about it," Gardner said. "We've already got over 100 babies lined up to be delivered here in George County, and people are excited about having this service. It's close to home."
Obviously, having labor and delivery back in operation at the George County hospital is a big convenience for mother, child and family members. But it serves something even more important. It's a big boost for patient safety and well being.
Gardner explained, "The families can get pre-natal care more readily. They can get time for delivery; they can come here close to home as opposed to going a long distance off."
Dr. Jay Pinkerton heads up the unit. After moving to Lucedale to escape the hustle and bustle of Cleveland, Ohio, Pinkerton has worked with staff nurses to get the unit just right, making it feel more like a home than a hospital.
"Labor and delivery is usually kind of a happier end of the hospital. Everybody is young; everybody is healthy," Pinkerton said. "Usually they are happy with the outcome, and when you don't have that, the hospital is a little bit on the incomplete side."
That feeling will no longer exist, as more babies like Brantley come into the world. The labor and delivery unit reopened on July 21.
The unit offers four birthing rooms and a newborn nursery. The hospital also offers childbirth classes.