How ready is your hospital to deliver your baby? Louisiana now has a designation for that.

In 2018, Louisiana ranked 47th nationally for maternal mortality, with more than 92 out of every 100,000 expectant or new mothers dying. Since then, the state has actively helped to push hospitals where babies are delivered to become better prepared and improve those outcomes.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health announced the Louisiana Birth Ready Designation. The standards were set by the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative, which launched in 2018. Sixteen of the 42 hospitals in the collaborative received that designation or Birth Ready Plus Designation.

“A lot of it has to do with readiness for these events that happen around hypertension and around hemorrhage. The main way that we improve outcomes is that we diagnose those conditions early and we act on them fast,” said Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, who directs the collaborative.

In addition to encouraging hospitals to take steps to diagnose and treat hypertension and hemorrhages faster, the collaborative has also worked with hospitals on racial equity.

“Four black women were dying at a rate of everyone white woman,” Gillispie-Bell said. “Our hospitals have really worked really hard within themselves to work on things like addressing implicit bias, making sure that they’re looking at patients as partners, making sure they’re respectful care, making sure that their patients are heard.”

Gillispie-Bell said expectant mothers who don’t see their planned birthing hospital on the list can advocate for themselves by asking their doctor or a facility representative what’s being done to improve outcomes around hemorrhage and hypertension.

See the list of hospitals with the Birth Ready or Birth Ready Plus designations.

READ MORE:How ready is your hospital to deliver your baby? Louisiana now has a designation for that.

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