For Immediate Release October 24, 2018


Obstetric Care Unit First look

High-Risk Unit Offers Women and Their Families World-Class Care in a Comfortable, Private Setting

Today, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) proudly announces its newest arrival: a beautifully expanded, upgraded obstetric care suite.

"We have the only critical care obstetrics program in the state and are one of just a handful in the country to treat critical complications of pregnancy that many mothers face. Because of this, it is essential that we stay up to date on the latest medical advances, which includes our technology, equipment and facilities," says Christopher Harman, MD, chair and Sylvan Frieman, MD Endowed Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and director of the Center for Advanced Fetal Care.

As one of only two designated level IV perinatal centers in the state, UMMC specializes in caring for pregnant women and newborn babies with a range of complex health conditions. Complications may include heart disease, severe preeclampsia, HIV, renal failure, hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, respiratory failure, drug reaction and stroke. Of the 1,700 total deliveries that took place at UMMC in 2017, a quarter of those cases were of major or extreme severity. Approximately 400 critical care obstetrics patients are brought to UMMC via the Maryland Maternity ExpressCare transport service on an annual basis.

"As a tertiary academic medical center, our patients have direct access to not only obstetrical specialists but also a level IV neonatal intensive care unit and a complete range of pediatric specialists," says Sarah Crimmins, DO, medical director of the obstetric care unit at UMMC and an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at UMSOM.

The new unit took two years to complete. It is approximately 30,000 square feet – about three times larger than the previous space, and is expected to accommodate a 35 percent increase in deliveries by 2024. It is equipped with the latest technology to provide world-class care to families. Some features of the new unit include:

  • 12 large, private labor, delivery and recovery rooms to accommodate mother, baby and partner;
  • 3 operating room suites;
  • 5 prep/recovery beds and 5 triage beds;
  • High-risk birthing beds;
  • Laboring tubs for pain relief and relaxation;
  • Beds for partners to stay overnight with mom and baby;
  • Family waiting and hospitality amenities;
  • Nurse call system that allows for instant alerts to emergency and critical care teams;
  • Anesthesiologists with specialized obstetrics training on the unit 24/7
  • Larger rooms to allow for newborn care and evaluation at the mother's bedside; and
  • Design that optimizes workflow and incorporates a wind-water theme to inspire calm and harmony.

"Times have changed, and today's maternity patients have come to expect a more family-centered experience. We are proud to continue to give all of our families the childbirth experience they deserve," says Monika Bauman, MS, BSN, RN, patient care services director for women's and children's health at UMMC.

The $24 million renovation was made possible through funding from the state and hospital operations. The new obstetric care suite reception area, named in honor of the past chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the late M. Carlyle Crenshaw, MD, was made possible through a gift by donor Brent Myers.

"Our obstetrics division plays a major role in keeping Maryland families healthy," says Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, president and CEO at UMMC. "We thank the state of Maryland for entrusting us with such a responsibility. It is our privilege to care."

Learn more about women's health services at UMMC.


About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital Downtown – the flagship institution of the 14-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) – and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus. UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health. All physicians on staff at the Downtown flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At UMMC Midtown Campus, faculty physicians work alongside community physicians to provide patients with the highest quality care. UMMC Midtown Campus was founded in 1881 and is located one mile away from the Downtown Campus. For more information, visit